The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is another mid range smartphone from the Japanese brand. I have got to spend some time with the Xperia M4 Aqua, and was eager to share our first detailed hands-on impressions with the phone.
[Video Review is available at the end of the article.]
The dimensions of Xperia M4 Aqua Dual measures at 145.5 x 72.6 x 7.3 mm and weighs around 135 grams. It is available in three colors, white, black, and coral and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box.
Sony M4 Aqua Design
When you look at it from apart, it’s not hard to mistake the Xperia M4 Aqua Dual for the lookalike of more expensive, flagship Xperia Z3 model. But as you go up close, you’ll start noticing the differences. Rather than featuring a metal frame, the M4 Aqua sports a lighter, plastic bezel with plastic on the back as well.
On the right side of bezel, it has dual Nano-sim card slot, power key, volume rocker, and the dedicated camera key. Whereas on the left side of the phone bezel, Sony has placed MicroUSB port and MicroSD card slot.
The primary 13 MP camera along with LED flash is located at the top left corner of the back. And the secondary front facing 5MP camera is fitted on top right side just near to the Sony logo in the front.
I would say best thing about M4 aqua is that it doesn’t look like a mid range phone but has all the style and design traits which pulls off the premium look at half of the price of Sony’s flagship.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual Specifications
The Xperia M4 Aqua features a 5-inch display with a 720-by-1280 pixel resolution (pixel density stands at 294 ppi), and believe me at first sight it’s a fairly decent display when it comes to color reproduction.
Sony’s new mid ranger sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 system chip with an octa-core 1.5GHz Cortex A53 array. It’s a 64-bit chip and makes perfect use of the 64-bit support in Android 5.0 Lollipop. There’s also 2GB of RAM which is a welcome addition for such an affordable device.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual features dual nano-SIM cards which supports 4G/LTE network bands.
Internal storage is set at 16GB with the option to expand on this with MicroSD cards of up to 128 GB. Sony has even found a way to ditch the flap on the MicroUSB port on its waterproof phones.
The Xperia M4 Aqua is IP68 water and dust resistant, which means you should not be worried if your phone has sunk in water and can be rolled around in sand without worrying.
The edges have the same nylon covers as the Xperia Z3+, which means even a drop onto hard concrete should protect the chassis from dents and scratches. The outer rim looks like it’s encased in metal but it’s actually polycarbonate
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual Features
The screen is a 5-inch affair, with a 720p resolution. Sony has used its Bravia tech to cover up some of the fuzzy edges through enhanced color and contrast ratio, thanks to the IPS technology used in the LCD display. Side by side, the lower resolution is noticeable, but nothing that you wouldn’t expect for a phone that’s half the price of a flagship option.
The onboard camera duo is strong to a 13MP Exmor RS sensor on the back is given all of Sony’s tricks in terms of superior auto mode (designed to give you the best picture in all conditions) and augmented reality, which is fun for kids to play with. Though the camera is just OK and not having anything distinct feature.
The front facing camera has the same superior auto mode, and at 5MP should result in some decent selfies… if you’re into such things.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 at the heart of this phone doesn’t seem up to the task of taking photos at full speed. Lag in performance was experienced while playing games and Full-HD videos on the phone.
We experienced the phone is having frequent heating issues while playing games like Real Racing 3, Subway Surfer, and Clash of Clans. The heating issues stays up while using certain features of Camera as well, the phone heats up so much that it automatically closes the Camera app in order to cool down the phone. So, if you are an extensive user of phone camera, this is something which is not made for you.
We hope Sony will be able to fix these heating issues with future software updates.
The inbuilt 16GB of storage is a bit of worry here. Sony seems to think that it’s not a problem, as there is an option of expanding storage using MicroSD card.
While that will help with storing photos and movies, in reality most apps will want to install themselves to the phone’s memory. And with only just over 10GB available for user data out-of-the-box, that’s going to fill up quickly (especially as apps are getting ever larger) and Lollipop doesn’t like to let you move apps to SD card. It may not be a big deal but having few high power games it may ask you to delete some stuff to free up space.
It has 2400 mAh battery which can stay all day long on single charge, which it quite impressive. It also has stamina mode like Xperia Z3 Compact which shuts all its background applications, so you can easily get more time from it. Company claims you can talk up to 13 hours & 17 minutes on single charge.
Sony has made one more option to conserve the battery power, it’s the power management tool which disables Wi-Fi and mobile data automatically when the display of the phone is off.
- Dimensions: 145.5 x 72.6 x 7.3 mm
- Weight: 135 grams
- Display: 5-inch display (1280×720 pixels), 294 ppi
- Processor (CPU): 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, 64-bit Octa-core (Quad-core 1.5 GHz + Quad core 1.0 GHz), Adreno 405 GPU
- Memory and storage: 2 GB RAM, 16 GB expandable up to 128 GB via microSD card
- Primary Camera: 13 megapixel with auto focus, LED flash & 1080p video recording
- Front Camera: 5 megapixel, HD 720p for camera capture
- Connectivity: aGPS, Bluetooth 4.1, 3.5 mm audio jack, NFC, GLONASS, Miracast, Native USB tethering, Micro USB support, and Wi-Fi
- Networks: GSM GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS HSPA (3G), LTE (4G)
- Software: Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Battery: 2400 mAh
- IP68 Water Resistant
- Latest Software
- Connectivity Features
- Dual SIM 4G LTE
- Xperia M4 Aqua Dual Phone Unit
- Standard USB charger
- Micro USB cable
- Few manuals
- And getting started guide
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual Image Gallery
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual Video Review
Definitely, it is cheaper than the Z3 Compact, but the higher performance processor, PS4 Remote Play, and hi-res audio is missing. Sony is hoping that the Xperia M4 Aqua’s premium design will be enough to convince users they’re getting a premium device at a bargain.
The price of Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual is Rs. 24,990 which clearly makes it an overpriced phone.
Waterproofing, dual-SIM 4G LTE support, and decent screen tech might be enough to tip a few into purchase, but it’s hard to see a really solid reason to point to this phone if someone asks for a good choice without spending a fortune.
To summarize about this phone, it is as durable as good looking it is. Its innovative design protects it against water and dust particles so you’ll never have to put it away just in case. It has good battery, connectivity features, and design, but again price is on a bit higher end if you see other available options in market.