What are the advantages & disadvantages of the Sony Xperia M?
When you are on a budget, it is especially important to consider whether the product you are looking at is right for you. The Sony Xperia M is at the lower end of the market but still offers a decent Android experience for those looking at cheaper smartphones.
We take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Sony Xperia M from our very own hands on.
Sony Xperia M Pros
Removable battery – Being able to pop out the battery is always useful. A removable battery allows you to slide in a replacement if you’re out of power. It can also make resetting and warranty repairs easier should there be any issues with the device
MicroSD slot – We live in a media filled age; offline songs, movies and games all take up storage space. The Xperia M supports micro SD cards up to 32 GB so you can store plenty
Weight – Budget handsets tend to be a fair amount smaller than the flagships. At just 124 x 62 x 9.3 mm and 115 grams, the Xperia M is one of the lightest fully-featured smartphones available.
Screen size – For those who think phones are getting too big, the Xperia M may be just for you. The 4 inch panel is still just as big as the iPhone 5 (although the resolution doesn’t quite reach as high!); keeping it smaller helps with overall size and weight.
Camera button – Starting to disappear from many devices these days is a dedicated camera shutter button. A quick press will take you straight into the camera app and also assists in taking pictures, making it easier to steady the device and capture an image, without having to touch the screen.
USB on the go (OTG) – Considered a minor feature by many, USB OTG can actually be surprisingly useful. A separate accessory allows you to connect USB flash memory sticks, memory card readers and other select peripherals. The feature is oddly absent on a number of devices.
PlayStation certified – As with almost all new Sony smartphones, the Xperia M is PlayStation certified. This means the device has access to the PlayStation Mobile store for the download of unique games
Sony Xperia M Cons
Memory – Despite the additional memory card slot, Sony have only provided 4GB of internal storage on the Xperia M. Sony have optimised their Android installation so it doesn’t take up too much space; still there is only about 2.5 – 3 GB available to the user.
Size – The Xperia M may be light but it’s strangely bulky given the 4 inch screen size. The bezel around the screen is very large adding a fair bit of extra height and width and looks quite unattractive compared to many other devices on the market.
Screen quality – 4 inches a decent middle of the road screen size however the 854 x 480 resolution is very standard. It’s not a terrible resolution for this price point, matching the competition, but it would have been good to see Sony push limits a little bit and try to squeeze a 720p panel in a cheaper device.
Camera resolution – Along with the screen quality, the camera shows that Sony were to hit a particular price point. Sony provide many other manufacturers with camera modules so it’s always a shame to see them include a sub par sensor. They have included an Exmor RS sensor, so HDR (High Dynamic Range) is available, but it is only at 5 MP.
Video out – The Xperia M doesn’t offer video out through an MHL enabled micro USB port. The technology has been available for some time so it would be good to see it appearing on lower end devices. The Xperia M is DLNA certified though, so with some tinkering you may be able to get it set up on a home network streaming to a Smart TV or PC
As low range devices go, the Xperia M happily sits amongst the crowd, providing an up to date Android experience. The handset follows Sony’s recent design language and so is unmistakeably from ‘this year’ and provides the basic smartphone features required at a decent price.
If you’re buying SIM free, it’s incredibly difficult to recommend the Xperia M over the Xperia L, which at just 27 GBP + VAT more offers a slightly larger screen and 4 GB more storage, as well as the superior 8MP Exmor RS camera.
The difference will probably lie in getting the device on contract from a network provider. With lower costs and specs than the Xperia L, I would expect the Xperia M to be available in lower tier price plans, providing Sony with an option to market at consumers in retail stores looking at different plans.