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Sony Xperia M review

We can't see why you'd choose the Xperia M over its rivals

Sony might be pitching the Xperia M as a fully-featured smartphone at an affordable price, but this entry-level effort doesn't hit the mark convincingly on either count.

Its 4-inch display isn't quite large or sharp enough for the modern Android OS, and the phone suffers from a critical lack of storage space. With the vastly superior Motorola Moto G available for less money, I just don't see where the £175 (around $200, AU$220) Xperia M fits in.

We liked

Buying Guide
Best Android phone which should you buy
Best Android phone

It's oddly refreshing to have an 'iPhone-sized' 4-inch smartphone running the Android OS, and the Sony Xperia M is a lot lighter and more compact than most of its peers.

The Xperia M is a solidly built phone with a well though-out set of physical controls - including an all-too-rare camera shutter button.

There's also no denying that the Xperia M is extremely affordable, making it the ideal entry point to those particularly enamoured with Sony's design work, or those who want an Android phone with iPhone dimensions.

We disliked

The Sony Xperia M would probably have felt like reasonably good value had it been launched at the end of 2012, though even back then its specs would have been underwhelming.

With the staggeringly good value Moto G now on the scene, low-end smartphone standards have been raised to an extremely high level, and the Xperia M just cannot compete.

Regardless of this, the Xperia M's compact display is simply not sharp or vibrant enough in this day and age, and its lack of storage means that you'll need a substantial microSD card just to be able to use the phone as intended.

What's more, unlike the rest of the Xperia range, the M can't fall back on a decent camera as a stand-out feature.

Verdict

You have to feel a little sorry for Sony. It produces a perfectly solid Android smartphone with a handful of neat features, all for a low price tag, only to see it completely undermined by the Moto G.

Even taking such an exceptional competitor out of the reckoning, though, the Xperia M finds itself flanked by high quality low-end rivals like the Nokia Lumia 520 and the Huawei Ascend P6. In such company, the Sony Xperia M simply doesn't provide enough distinctive bangs for your bucks.

Unless you're specifically looking for a cheap Android phone that matches the iPhone's dimensions, we can't see why you'd choose the Xperia M over its rivals.

First reviewed: January 2014

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory4 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS, HSPA+
SAR Value0.86 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXperia M
Cellular Generation3.9G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time10.30 Hour
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution480 x 854
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)115 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density245 ppi
Front Camera Resolution300 Kilopixel
Height124 mm
Width62 mm
Depth9.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time552 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXpeira M Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon S4
Product LineXperia M
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number1274-3060
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing InformationDiscover the magic touch to share

Love connecting with the people around you? Then say hi to Xperia M. With NFC-based one-touch functions, this magical smartphone lets you easily share everything from photos to movies, all with the help of a simple touch. Xperia M comes with a large 4" high-quality display that gives you an incredible viewing experience. What else makes this smartphone stand out? Well, how about its carefully selected design details, that are held together by an innovative slim and sleek skeleton frame. Customisable illuminations make this smartphone even more unique, notifying you of incoming calls, Facebook updates and more.

Package Contents
  • Xperia M Smartphone
  • Charger
  • Media Cable
  • Screen Protector
Standard Memory1 GB