Sony Xperia M5 review
Professional grade photography on a premium smartphone
The Sony Xperia M5 has been created to bring professional grade photography to smartphone users. It achieves this goal extremely well while delivering a smartphone experience to die for. Couple this with premium looks and the durability you need from a device that travels through life with you and we have a phone to lust after.
The overall design of the Sony Xperia M5 is of the same quality as priceless jewellery, with the gold colour scheme trumping that of the black or white colour schemes. The polished stainless steel corners offer contrast to the matt body while offering an extra layer of knock-protection. The screen is slightly sunken to help achieve the same goal.
The micro-USB port is situated on the bottom edge and in parallel with this is a fine mesh that separates the outside world from the speaker chamber. The Sony Xperia M5 is IP65/IP68 certified for dust and water resistance and can be rinsed clean under a tap.
The 5” IPS display utilises Sony’s latest screen technology for vivid colour reproduction, even at wide viewing angles. The resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels provides definition at the limits of what the human eye can distinguish and the whole experience is ultra responsive thanks to the inclusion of an octa-core 2GHz processor with 3GB RAM.
A healthy 16GB internal memory offers plenty of storage for the typical user but a 200GB microSD card slot is available for those who heavily download games and videos or wish to save every moment captured through the eye of the camera. Having consumed all of this tech you may think that the Xperia M5 would have on oversized figure, but this isn’t the case, weighing in at only 142 grams with a 7.6mm thickness.
Phone Set Up
The Sony Xperia M5 runs the latest Android Lollipop v5.0 operating system so straight out of the box you get to enjoy the world’s most popular OS. The set up process typically includes adding live widgets to the home screens, sorting apps into folders, downloading new apps from Google Play and setting up phone security, which can include a patterned lock code or Face Unlock.
The set up is further aided by Xperia Transfer Mobile, which wirelessly collects your photos, videos, music, games and messages from your old Android, iPhone or Windows smartphone.
The Sony Xperia M5 enjoys 4G, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity for use in conjunction with many of its features. These include Google services such as Google Voice Search and Google Maps with Street View.
The audio performance is of a quality that has long been associated with Sony devices. The Xperia M5 employees Sony technologies to achieve this including ClearAudio+, Clear Bass and xLoud. Music can be managed in the usual way but with the addition of SensMe. This software analyses individual music tracks for mood and tempo, allowing you create highly personalised play-lists to match your mood.
Xperia Socialife is also included. This social news reader places Facebook posts, Tweets, blog posts, YouTube videos and news articles, of your topical preferences, in one place with a magazine styled layout. The final feature of note is the Sony Sketch drawing and painting app which provides creative types with a blank canvas onto which freehand drawing takes place with the option to import pictures taken on the camera.
Camera & Video
The stand out feature of the Sony Xperia M5 is it professional grade photography that employs a main 21.5MP camera and a secondary 13MP selfie camera on opposite sides.
The numerous camera features include:
- Auto Scene Recognition of 52 scenes types.
- 0.25-second Hybrid Autofocus that combines phase detection AF for a fast response and contrast detection AF for precision. This hybrid system offers perfect focus for moving objects and even objects in the corner of the frame.
- HDR and Selfie HDR capture the detail of objects and portraits even when they are backlit by the sun or another bright light source.
- Smile Shutter and Style Portrait for selfie enhancements applied in real time.
- 5x Clear Image Zoom for almost lossless quality with increased zoom ratios.
- 4K video recording with Timeshift Video recording at 120 frames per second. This allows videos to be slowed down at any point during playback.
The Sony Xperia M5 has a 2,600mAh battery which promises 2 day battery life for the typical user. This Sony battery can sustain playback of up to 63 hours of music or 8 hours of Full HD video playback, 12 hours of talk time or standby of up to 671 hours.
STAMINA mode is included for increased performance which is achieved through intuitively turning off apps when the screen is off. Ultra STAMINA Mode is also available to increase standby times to the absolute maximum.
Sony Xperia M verdict: This Sony smartphone is the ultimate choice for smartphone photographers, yet every other aspect is of a quality that will rival the very best smartphones on the market.
Written by: Michael Brown