Sony Xperia M4 Aqua review
Setting a new mid-range standard
Our Sony Xperia M4 Aqua review highlights a smartphone that Sony believes is setting a new standard for the mid-range end of the market. Read on to find out what we thought of the Xperia M4 Aqua.
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua has all of the premium design traits that you could wish for including a metallic frame and Sony’s trademark aluminium power button. On the front we find an ample 5” HD tempered glass display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
IPS screen technology has been built in and this means that even when you are viewing from an extreme angle you still get a perfectly exposed viewing experience. On the back we see a matt colour finish from a choice of White, Black, Silver or Coral.
Highlighting the Aqua element of the Xperia M4 we see the Sony OmniBalance design deliver certified water resistance for both splash and submersion. Adding onto the practical edge of this resistance we also find a cap-less microUSB charging point, so there will be no more fumbling around to inset those pre-submersion protective plugs.
The overall design is pretty lightweight at 136 grams and the body is impressively slimline at just 7.3mm. On the inside the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is hiding an octa-core 64-bit processor with 2GB RAM. A choice of an 8GB or 16GB memory will be available but in both cases there will be a slot for a 32GB microSD card.
Phone Set Up
The set up will include linking the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua to your home Wi-Fi and there is 4G internet connectivity for when you are out and about. At this point it is always a good idea to use your Wi-Fi connection to visit Google Play, which forms part of the Android Lollipop OS. From here you can download your favourite apps and content.
This Sony smartphone has one of the best user interfaces yet and Sony has mirrored the minimalist look of Android v5.0 to ensure a great experience when browsing through the menus and features.
A Sony device wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t have excellent audio qualities and the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua doesn’t disappoint. Sony 3D Surround Sound Technology, Clear Audio+, Clear Bass, the xLoud Experience and a manual equaliser all contribute to this.
The Xperia Lounge Silver is accessible for new apps, entertainment, software updates, tips, and bespoke offers. The Privilege Plus Movies app also offers extras such as bonus film clips and television episodes.
ANT+ compatibility is built in and this ensures that the Xperia M4 is compatible with a whole host of other devices and sensors for sport, fitness and health management. GPS is available for location based services and navigation.
The final stand out feature is the PlayMemories app that allows you to control Wi-Fi enabled digital cameras with the phone. PlayMemories also enables easy sharing of photographic results between devices.
Camera & Video
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua’s 13MP camera is simply exquisite and is powered by the Sony Exmore RS mobile sensor which is used in Sony’s compact digital camera range.
Superior Auto Mode works in the background by sensing up to 52 different scene types so you truly get a point and shoot experience that almost guarantees the best results. So capturing vivid results under low light or when there is a strong backlight is no longer an issue.
Further camera features include a 4x digital zoom, HDR mode, Sound Photo and the Movie Creator that automatically stitches your photos together to make 30 second mini-movies.
HD video recording at 1080p with SteadyShot video stabilisation is possible through the main camera while on the front we find a 5MP camera with a super wide-angle lens that boasts an 88° field of view. The Portrait Retouch app is also present for powerful selfie editing for results just like in the magazines.
The 2,400mAh battery gives a pretty impressive 2 day battery life under a mixed usage scenario. There are of course a variety of power saving modes that can be selected including Battery STAMINA Mode which optimises battery performance whilst Ultra STAMINA Mode keeps the phone running only on its core functions for a week.
The asynchronous octa-core processor powers up and down each core as needed so that you have the processing power when you need it and when you don’t it will preserve battery life. The official figures from Sony suggest that you should be able to achieve up to 13 hours talk time, 779 hours standby, 64 hours music playback or 7 hours video playback.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua verdict: It is impossible to deny that Sony has delivered a new standard for the mid-range smartphone market. The reality is that if this mobile phone was released in 2014 we would have been calling it ‘flagship’.
Written by: Michael Brown