Sony Xperia M Pros and Cons

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

Sony Xperia M

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

Xperia M

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

Conclusion

Sony Xperia MAs 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.

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About Josh Bethell

Josh joined Clove part time a few years ago whilst studying Computing at Bournemouth University. Since finishing his studies he has remained at Clove in a full time position, involved in sales, returns and social media.

Involved with both consumer electronics and software since the mid 2000s, keeping up to date with industry developments is as much a hobby as it is a job.

Easy going but never afraid to share an opinion, Josh can often be found in his spare time listening to some heavy rock or at a local gig as well as playing with the latest gadgets and video games.

Comments

  1. Phone Crazy says:

    Sony says this phone does have the HDR Exmor sensor:
    http://www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/phones/xperia-m/features/#camera

    The internal memory available to the user is guaged at 2.5-3.0GB out of 4
    http://www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/phones/xperia-m/features/#camera

    Feature/Gimmick on the bottom bezel is a multi-coloured LED, some nice videos on Youtube

    • Hi, I was originally working from an early pre-production model so I’ll get this updated with the final specification.
      I can see the Exmor RS sensor is confirmed now, still at 5MP though

      • afifxperia says:

        hey josh…i have an xperia m with purple back cover,i want to replace it with a black back cover….how do i get the back cover?>..

        • Josh Bethell says:

          Hi Afif, this isn’t something we sell right now, in fact I haven’t seen replacement Xperia M covers for sale anywhere.
          You might have better luck speaking to Sony support or checking the Sony Mobile website for your region

  2. Maninder Singh Madaan says:

    Thanks,
    That was very helpful

  3. Hey, are you sure about the USB OTG feature in the retail models? coz u mentioned that you were working on a pre-production model..the same question goes for MHL..

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi DG, yes I’ve checked this. Our stock has USB OTG; all Sony phones do now, not only for memory sticks but also for pairing up PlayStation DualShock controllers.
      I can confirm MHL isn’t present as well. I think the first Sony model with MHL is the SP, so the E, M & L are all missing it

  4. I bought Sony Xperia M last evening and after I inserted the sim card, there was no network after 5 min. This happens everytime I remove the sim and insert it. All the other ways to get the signal isn’t working and I dont know what to do ? Everything else is fine though.
    Can someone help me out ?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Dimkiy, does the lack of signal happen again after it is restored or is it just those first few minutes?
      I’ve not heard of this before but if it is only after you change / reinsert the SIM card for a few minutes then I would not worry.
      If your signal continues to drop out though during normal use then I would recommend contacting Sony or your retailer

  5. i heard that xperia m heating up while speak calls is this good enought to buy

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hey Saran, all devices tend to warm up slightly during use, especially when using the cellular connection.
      If there is any heating up it shouldn’t be to the point of being uncomfortable however.
      If it is uncomfortable then I think that would indicate a fault to be reported to Sony

  6. which is good galaxy core or xperia m or canvas 2 r canvas 2plus

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello we don’t stock the Galaxy Core or the Canvas 2 so I can’t give you personal experience.
      Specification wise the Xperia M is the best device as has the Snapdragon S4 Plus processor compared to the S4 Play in the Galaxy Core.
      Galaxy has more internal memory (8 GB > 4 GB) but both can use an SD memory card.
      The Canvas 2 is the lowest specification and is running older Android. I would avoid this phone unless it has a very attractive price

  7. unable to transfer app from internal memory to SD card using apps2SD!
    Is there any way?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello Somnath, Android stopped the ability to completely install apps to the SD card a few versions ago, although you can still store app data to SD card if the developer allows it.
      Unless you root your device, which will likely void your warranty, you will not be able to completely store and run apps on the SD card.
      Notes from the App2SD FAQ:
      This app is not used to backup apps to SD card. It only helps you to move a portion of apps used space to SD card
      AND
      Only the app is configured to supported to be installed on SD card by the developer that can it App2SD. [sic] So you will see many apps are “On Phone Only”

  8. Kivang Aggarwal says:

    SIR,
    does xperia m/mdual really support otg??
    can it play hd games??? pls tell me sir. i want to know more about it.

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello Kivang, we have tested the USB OTG functionality and can confirm it works.
      What do you mean by HD games? At 854 x 480 the M doesn’t have an HD screen although most games should scale to the resolution properly.
      I would suggest trying some games on it if you have the chance to see if it can run what you like

  9. hai josh, i brought the new sony xperia m c1904 but it is not connecting to my pc through datacable please help me to use my mobile internal storage on my pc

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Prasad, the PC should automatically recognise the phone as soon as it is plugged in and ask you to install Sony’s PC Companion software.
      Have you tried more than one data cable?
      You may also have the wrong USB mode enabled on your device.
      Go to Settings > Xperia > USB Connection (or similar). Here you should be able to switch between the various USB modes the phone can utilise

  10. i have installed the software it was started automatically but it is not connecting correctly can u help me to download the software (link)for that or any other possibility to connect like wifi or bluetooth anything else

  11. I have bought Xperia m dual and it’s internal memory is oly 2gb

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Atin is this 2 GB total, or available to the user after Android / Sony software installation?
      Our UK models are 4 GB total, but only 2 is user accessible.
      Of course the dual SIM version is a different model and Sony may have changed the spec

  12. I am planning to buy xperia m dual sim..but almost in all reveiws of customers, it is said that camera quality is very poor..and in a sony showroom, i was told the camera is very good.. i am confused..

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Kaushik, the Xperia M camera is quite basic at 5 megapixels and doesn’t feature any major enhancements like HDR or OIS.
      That said, you’re not really going to find any better camera on a phone for this price.
      So whilst some reviews say it’s poor, that’s a bit unfair if they’re comparing to other more expensive phones.
      It’s not great, but it’s still more than acceptable and the best you can get at this level

  13. Hi josh…need some help, really considering purchasing this phone. but as im a heavy user, storage can be a problem. my question is, if you root the phone, can apps and games be installed on sd card? thanks

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Kevin, as far as I am aware you will be able to do this yes.
      If you are comfortable with the idea of rooting the device then I would look for support at somewhere like XDA developers, I have found a thread from last month here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2450265
      Of course be aware that you may well void your Sony warranty by carrying out this procedure

  14. Hi Josh… i bought Sony xperia M dual just 2 days back …i am facing heating problem.
    Whenever i starts playing games it gets hot in 15mins.
    Can you please suggest what should i do ?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello AbhiShek, it is quite normal for new smartphones to heat up during intensive use. This would include many modern mobile games.
      This should only be of real concern if the handset becomes uncomfortable to hold and is a problem to use as excess heat may damage the battery.
      If this is the case then I would recommend contacting your retailer or Sony locally for warranty support.
      If the device is warm, but not uncomfortable, then I would think this is normal.

  15. xperia m-The pics from the camera have a bluish tint and the screen also has some blue tint. As per various forum threads, this is a common problem in all models of this phone across the world. It can be fixed with some software update, but there’s no guarantee that Sony will do it.

  16. izhaar ahmed says:

    hey josh!!!
    im looking to buy a smartphone under Rs.15000\-
    is SONY XPERIA M \ DUAL is worth to buy or any other smartphone is lots more better than dis phone ?
    PLzzz reply soooon , im waiting fot your reply !!!!!!!

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Izhaar, what other phones are there you can get for this amount?
      There’s plenty of phones better and worse than the Xperia M, it’s all about finding the best one you can afford in your area :)

  17. hi josh-The pics from the camera have a bluish tint and the screen also has some blue tint. As per various forum threads,

  18. Hi Josh,

    Is there any difference between XperiaM and M dual except the dual sim feature? Is the issues with camera will be fixed on any updates given by sony?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi John, as far as I’m aware there shouldn’t be. Unfortunately the dual SIM isn’t available in the UK so I’ve never actually seen one. I’ve heard a few reports mention less storage but I think that might be down people confusing the ‘available’ storage.
      Camera performance is subject to Sony updates yes, we saw this with the flagship Z1 device also

  19. Ankit seth says:

    how can we mave apps to external memory in xperia M

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello Ankit, you will not be able to move apps completely to SD card in the Xperia M. Google removed this feature from Android several versions ago.
      You may be able to move some app data, such as game save files, to the SD card if the app lets you.
      The only way to completely move apps to the SD card is to root the phone and use custom firmware which will void your Sony warranty

  20. Hi Josh,
    OTG is not available in Indian models of M or M dual. I confirmed this by asking sony support team. Now, is it possible to make these models support OTG with some drivers ?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi John, USB OTG is hardware specific – if the USB port is not wired for the OTG functionality the no driver will make it work.
      I can’t be sure if Sony have changed the actual hardware on the Indian model or simply disabled the function through software. If the later then you may able to get round it.
      I would recommend more investigation concerning your local model

  21. I bought a Xperia M dual, was wondering if anyone has tried to move the apps to SD on this mobile, having a expandable memory till 32G is useless if apps cannot be moved. Any suggestions are welcome

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello, the ability to move apps to SD was removed from Android several versions ago for security reasons.
      Certain apps may let you move data, but the app cannot be installed and loaded from the SD card without rooting the handset and potentially voiding your warranty.
      By design, expandable memory is for storage of files and data only

  22. Hello, i heard that most dual sim phones have problems compared to single sims. The problem is that the network goes blank on the other sim when we are ön a call in a sim. Is it true?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello Sourav, this depends on the technology in the phone.
      Until recently, dual SIM devices were mostly Dual SIM Dual Stand-by (DSDS). This technology could only allow one active call, if someone called the second number then they would be informed it was unavailable or sent to voicemail.
      Some newer devices are Dual SIM Full Active (DSFA). This technology requires 2 lots of call making hardware in the device so they tend to be quite specialised. It is likely that the dual SIM Xperia M is DSDS as this is cheaper to produce.
      You can read more on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_SIM

  23. DrGoodvibes says:

    As an observation I note the XPERIA M (115g) is lighter than the XPERIA L (137g) and with a smaller screen has a higher pixel density, also benchmarks have noted better 3D performance on the XPERIA M. There are indications that the battery ‘may’ last longer in an XPERIA M than it does in an XPERIA L.

  24. Hi josh my son wants this phone as he thinks he can link it to his ps3 and play games etc is that the case ?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello Maria, almost right. Like all new Sony phones, the Xperia M is PlayStation Certified.
      This doesn’t actually have much to do with the PS3 or other PlayStation consoles though, despite the naming.
      Instead it’s more of a branding term which means the device is able to access, browse and download Sony specific games on the PlayStation Store that are only available to PlayStation Certified devices.
      So whilst the PlayStation branding has not got anything to with linking the phone to the PS3, it does mean he could play games on the phone that he couldn’t on other phones.

  25. Hi Josh,
    How is the sound quality of Xperia M / Dual?
    Heard that the volume is very low and we will not be able to talk in traffic.
    Please advice.

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Pavan, the main speaker sound is a little weak compared to some other phones so listening to music / movies etc in a crowded environment may be difficult without headphones or connection to an external speaker.
      The earpiece is fine though so making normal calls when holding the phone in your hand is more than acceptable.
      You mention traffic – are you looking to put the phone on speaker during calls when driving? If so then you might want to test the volume before you buy if possible

      • Hi Josh,
        I am looking for making normal calls only.
        I just want a good & audible voice with less noise.
        My ear pains when i take any call with high volume due to traffic.

  26. Hi Josh

    Whats the initial charge time for M dual models? i.e for how many hours I have to put my new mobile under continuous charging? few recommends 8hours..plz let me know your suggestion.

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi John, there’s no exact number for this. ‘Conditioning’ batteries is far less important than it used to be as most are generally conditioned before shipping and installation into devices or as part of the manufacturing process.
      If you want peace of mind though, the best thing to do is generally to charge your battery to 100% when you first get the phone and then allow it to discharge completely.
      After this charge back up & try not to let the battery ever run down to 0 if you can help it

  27. Hi, Josh… I am not able to decide whether buy Xperia C Black Dual or Xperia M Dual ? Can you pleaes suggest which is better. Price is not an issue…Thanx
    Prem (Mumbai -India)

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello Premdutt, if you can get hold of an Xperia C and don’t mind the size (a 5 inch screen is about as big as the Galaxy S4) then it is the better option.
      We don’t sell the Xperia C in the UK but this comparison link from GSMarena shows the differences: http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=5541&idPhone2=5497
      As you can see from this, the XPeria C is better in most places; higher resolution screen, faster quad core processor, better network speeds & battery etc.

  28. plz tell me whether sony m single sim supports OTG or not in indian model Plz Josh reply .

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello Sohaib, The UK Xperia M that we stock at Clove definitely has USB OTG support.
      I can’t be certain of the Indian model as I have never been able to test one myself.
      Perhaps you can test one in a store before you buy?

  29. kk thnxs josh !!!

  30. Im not able to transfer media files to SD card..is it possible to do so using data cables?? i.e. connecting the mobile with computer?

  31. As mentioned in previous comments, Latest Android version’s are not supporting the apps moving to SD Card

  32. Hey josh.
    I purchased Xperia m but it is showing a total of 2gb internal memory and if i can’t move apps to external sd card that means I can only install 2gb apps only…???? But there is an option to mount an external usb storage…..m a bit confused….!!!

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Abhinay, you are mostly correct – you will only be able to install 2GB of apps to the phone storage.
      You can mount external memory with a micro SD card, however this can only be used to store files (pictures, music, movies etc.)
      Some apps may let you move data to the SD card (like the save file for a game), but you cannot install the app there

  33. Bappa Das says:

    Hi Josh, I’ve a problem with downloaded games in my xperia m dual, when I copy big game ( like Angry Bird Go, NFS most wanted etc.) data to android/obb or data folder,
    the game is not working. I’ve downloaded many big sized game from torrent, but I can’t run them in my phone. Please help me.

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Bappa hhow are you downloading these games? You say you have torrented the files and attempted to move them in the Android system?
      This is unlikely to work correctly unless you follow strict instructions as to where to put the files.
      It is for this reason that most apps not downloaded from Google Play are delivered as an .apk file. This is a ‘package file’ that contains all the necessary files and internal instructions as to where to put them.
      I would recommend that you look for an associated .apk file for these games

  34. Bappa Das says:

    Thanks for the reply Josh, i download android games from torrent site like extratorrent.com, some game contain only .apk file (like Subway Surffer, Talking Tom 2, mostly these game come with unlimited coins), which I installed in my mobile after download and they work finely, but some big sized games (like NFS Most Wanted,
    Angry bird go etc.) come with a “APP DATA” folder with the .apk file. The uploader always gives instruction, where to put the “APP DATA” folder, in Android/obb or Android/Data folder after install the .apk file. I’m facing problem with these big games only. I put the “APP DATA” folder as the instruction after install the game on my mobile, but it never works. I think now you understand my problem. Please try to solve my prob.
    Thanks again.

    • Josh Bethell says:

      I’ve never really done any app installs this way Bappa. I understand what the instruction are trying to get you to do though.
      Are you able to move the folder correctly? Some devices won’t let you move folders in or out of system folder in this manner unless you have rooted the device.
      If you continue to have issues, try emailing or contacting the file host or using a dedicated forum

  35. Bappa Das says:

    Thanks for the the reply Josh, I solved my problem. I just tried to play this type of game in Airplane Mode, and it worked.

  36. Real Friend says:

    Hi Guys,
    Is there a way (rooting or another way around) to make the external Micro SD memory of Xperia M C2005 accepts the 64 MB size?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Usually this is possible by formatting the card once it is installed in the phone.
      With card installed, go to Settings > Storage and there will be an option under the SD card features to format

  37. Josh Bethell says:

    Hi Sandeep you should be able to connect to a PS3 controller.
    To check, go to Settings > Xperia and see if there is an option for DUALSHOCK Controller.
    If there is then you can connect. You will need a USB OTG cable to make the initial connection between the phone and the controller

  38. Hi Josh, does M Dual have GLONASS support for handsets are being sold in India.
    Thanks!

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Yogi, I don’t see GLONASS on the specification list for the Xperia M I’m afraid.
      It might be there but not according to the information I have.
      You may want to check locally to be certain

      • Thanks for reply Josh.
        Actually I, also, am confused because it is not given in M(C1904/05)’s White Paper. Obviously, Sony sells only two model of M across world & White Paper for both is same with some asterisk(*) meaning, features subject to availability in different markets and GLONASS is NOT there in complete WP. But as SoC manufacturer(Qualcomm) of M promises, GLONASS should be in all Snapdragon(S2,S3 & later) processors. I am confused a lot. Please let me know if you get further info.
        Thanks!