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Sony Xperia M Review

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Sony Xperia M Review

Introduction


Can we have an Android device that is both compact, powerful and looks good? With high-end devices growing larger every year, the niche for a compact Android phone remains open and while the Sony Xperia M does not have the latest cream of the crop specs, it fits right in the compact paradigm with a good design and a modest 4-inch screen.

By specs, the Xperia M is a true mid-ranger that comes in both single and dual SIM versions (we have the single-SIM one for review), and its affordable nature has put a mark on its camera and display quality. Is it the mark of the devil, or can it still be taken seriously? Let’s find out.

Sony Xperia M Review
In the box:

  • User manual
  • USB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Headphones

Design


The Sony Xperia M is a looker, and that’s a bit of a rarity for an affordable device. Sure, it’s made out of plastic, and yes, it’s a bit screaky when you hold it tight, but on the other hand its nice soft touch plastic arced shell and the meticulously crafted buttons all speak of attention to detail that’s admirable.

The Sony Xperia M is a looker - Sony Xperia M Review
The Sony Xperia M is a looker - Sony Xperia M Review

The Sony Xperia M is a looker


Sony Xperia M
4.88 x 2.44 x 0.37 inches
124 x 62 x 9.3 mm
4.06 oz (115 g)

Sony Xperia M

Samsung Galaxy Core
5.09 x 2.66 x 0.35 inches
129.3 x 67.6 x 8.95 mm
4.37 oz (124 g)

Samsung Galaxy Core

LG Optimus L7 II
4.78 x 2.62 x 0.38 inches
121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm
4.07 oz (116 g)

LG Optimus L7 II

Nokia Lumia 520
4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches
119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm
4.37 oz (124 g)

Nokia Lumia 520

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Sony Xperia M Review
Front camera - Sony Xperia M Review
On-screen Android buttons - Sony Xperia M Review
 

Front camera

On-screen Android buttons


The Xperia M has a compact body that makes it perfect for single-handed operation. It’s light (115g) and relatively thin (9.3mm), and its size is similar to that of Apple’s iPhone 5, just a bit wider. The handset comes in a white, black, purple and yellow versions.

The Xperia M features no buttons on the front - Sony uses on-screen virtual buttons for Android navigation, and there’s a single stylish line-shaped LED notification light. All physical button are on the right side. There’s the signature Sony round metal power key, stylish and with nice travel to it. The volume rocker is also conveniently located on the side and its arc shape makes it easy to find and press. Finally, there’s a dedicated camera shutter key on the bottom.

Right edge - The sides of the Sony Xperia M - Sony Xperia M Review
Left - The sides of the Sony Xperia M - Sony Xperia M Review
Bottom - The sides of the Sony Xperia M - Sony Xperia M Review
Top - The sides of the Sony Xperia M - Sony Xperia M Review

Right edge

Left

Bottom

Top

The sides of the Sony Xperia M


Back - Sony Xperia M Review
Rear camera - Sony Xperia M Review
Loudspeaker - Sony Xperia M Review

Back

Rear camera

Loudspeaker




Display


The phone features a modest 4-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. It’s sharp enough to avoid nasty pixelization, and pixel density is good at 245ppi. We also ought to mention that 4 inches is a small display size, but it’s even smaller here since the Xperia M uses on-screen buttons that take up valuable screen space.

Putting its size aside, what we really care about is to understand how good this screen is. We’d say that it’s average - not great, but not too bad either. The biggest issue with it is that the screen is a bit dim and hard to read outdoors, and has poor viewing angles that introduce noticeable color aberrations when you tilt the device ever so slightly. Everything else is fine - color fidelity is generally accurate, just a bit on the cold side and the display is scratch resistant.

36 Comments
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posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:05

1. wicpromd (Posts: 266; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)


ohh
yes???
what????

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:31 12

3. PunyPoop (Posts: 714; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


PA you\'ve just proven that you love SAMSUNG.. LOL The Galaxy Core got 8 ratings? REALLY???

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:33 13

5. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 618; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


I prefer this over galaxy core any day.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 06:01 11

8. taikucing (unregistered)


sssshhhh... don't tell anyone. PA is paid by Samsung

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 08:19 3

12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7361; Member since: 14 May 2012)


If a phone has terrible call quality when that's the MAIN function of a PHONE, I have little to no sympathy for the score it receives.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 08:32

14. PunyPoop (Posts: 714; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


NVM..

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 08:46

15. buccob (Posts: 1307; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


why do you even bother being in this specific review? you have no sympathy for Sony whatsoever... go read Apple, Samsung, LG news...

I have heard "bad quality calls" before I experience a good call first handed... and that also depends on you country's network operators... So this midrange phone is still better than many at this price point...

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 11:22

18. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


This site can do better review than PA and they said Xperia M has good call quality.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Sony-Xperia-M-Smartphone.101196.0.html

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:29

2. ortax123 (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)


I have a few questions for your review of Sony Xperia M:

1.What is the firmware version?

2 What is the version of the phone? C1904 or 1905? Which is a variation: the PM-0490-BV AAA or PM-0490-BV AAB (the information is on the phone under the battery)

thaks

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:32 1

4. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 618; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Its a nice device but those bezels are too huge... Back looks better than front.
still not a bad look though....

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:47 1

6. sri_tech (Posts: 187; Member since: 21 May 2013)


Sony devices looks great and this one has much better specs than many other phones for the price.

But they need to get good displays on these phones. I dont care about viewing angles but all their displays look washed out and very dull. Its the same with Xperia L, SP and even Z.

Also, why only 4GB internal memory when much cheaper Lumia 520 has 8 GB?

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:47

7. ortax123 (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)


When you add video of review?

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 06:21

9. artealis (Posts: 98; Member since: 15 Dec 2010)


what about the wifi signal strengh? most of xperia line up have bad wifi signal reception like xperia SP. PA you should add wifi signal strengh too in your review

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 15:11

23. Kalevro (Posts: 56; Member since: 11 Sep 2011)


Dude it has dual band wi-fi connection. Read the thing

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 07:27

10. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 627; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


PA.. Dont compare mid & low end phones to high end phones. You compare it directly with high end devices & rate then low. Consider the price point at which a device is being sold. As far as I am concerned, this phone has only one con-- limited storage for apps. Other than that I dont expect them to give an awesome screen at this price point. I can easily give it 8-8.5...

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 07:41 1

11. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2337; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Atleast this time PA reviewed fairly and that's why it got 7.3, thanks to Victor. Otherwise I was thinking about 6 before clicking on this title. Sigh...

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 08:28 1

13. buccob (Posts: 1307; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


I agree, this author is a bit fair unlike the other Sony reviewer... Anyway the rating was ok, specially if the Call quality is like the article says...

My mother is looking for a new phone in this price range and this is definitely the first that comes to my mind... and maybe the Galaxy S3 Mini...

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 09:31 2

16. itsjustJOH (Posts: 74; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)


This is surprisingly unbiased and well-reviewed.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 12:37

21. AnukulVcool (Posts: 116; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)


regarding call quality I would like to add that there is a equaliser for it too, change it to bright and it will be much better

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 14:43

22. ortax123 (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)


WHEN YOU ADD A VIDEO WITH REVIEW OF SONY XPERIA M ?????

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 17:05

24. DukeX (Posts: 327; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


Should have increased the clock rate to 1.5ghz. It's no excuse for low end to midrange phones to have anything lower than that now. The antutu score would have been better.

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 11:36

34. Santi05 (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)


for it being 1 GHz.. does it really lay an impact on its performance?
for instance, being slow.. or hang?

posted on 21 Jun 2014, 04:33

39. Amosthecoolboy (Posts: 6; Member since: 14 Feb 2013)


it is dual core

posted on 12 Sep 2013, 01:07

25. hms2407 (Posts: 94; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)


Oh come on PA,you gave xperia l 6.5 which has a bigger screen,better cpu,higher res camera and more storage and you gave this a 7.5....wtf is wrong with you

posted on 12 Sep 2013, 10:57

27. buccob (Posts: 1307; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


different reviewers with different opinions and different standards for rating...

that is what is wrong with them...

Anyway Xperia L should be also a close 7.5... it has a less lasting battery and the size of the phone is too big for a 4.3" screen... Also the Xperia M supposedly has MHL whereas the L does not.

posted on 12 Sep 2013, 02:15

26. Apian (Posts: 8; Member since: 12 Sep 2013)


Want this Phone...

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 05:10

28. BASKARAN (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)


Galaxy core entered and sold good in the market before the Xperia M entry. But the moment M entered the market, the Galaxy core's sales is nothing but just hampered. The Phone with low call quality, 7.3 rating is not available at any outlets in the city whereas awesome phone with 8 ratings are there for nobody to buy. PA just rocks with your review. Come on guys, i expect please put ratings for samsung models 11 for 10 in the future...10 out of 10 for being samsung and extra 1 for the payment you received from samsung.

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 03:40

29. rajesh.a (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


hi help me to choose between sony xperia M and galaxy core... which is best i want to buy ..pls help me

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 08:21

30. Apian (Posts: 8; Member since: 12 Sep 2013)


Galaxy Core Very Nice

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 15:52

31. Santi05 (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)


The latest, Android Kit Kat available for Sony Xperia M ?????

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 03:31

32. AGSUPER (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Oct 2013)


I am stuck between Galaxy Core and Xperia M. I am in marketing job and customers often twist what has been discussed and agreed over phone. Thus my tie breaker will be call recording quality. Which one of these two record better calls? Whether the voice of the person on the other side is clear? Whether the person on the other side of the call comes to know of the recording... i mean.. is there any beep sound? Need help. Pls suggest. I want a dual sim phone with best call recording.

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 09:18

33. Ankit12 (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Oct 2013)


Hi,
I am confused between the phones sony xperia M and Samsung Galaxy Core. Both looks to have the same features expect internal memory and screen size ( 4' vs 4.3'). The price difference between the 2 phones is 1500 rs. But i am stilling doubtful about the camera quality of sony. The earlier experince of Sony xperia J was not nyc. I did compare the phones on flipkart. Please suggest

posted on 20 Oct 2013, 02:29

35. Ankit12 (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Oct 2013)


Finally i bought Samsung Galaxy Core and looks to be very good in all the aspects except battery life...good buy in that range.....

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 03:47

36. kumarmanish (Posts: 2; Member since: 22 Oct 2013)


Hi,
I am confused between the phones sony xperia M and Samsung Galaxy Core. Both looks to have the same features expect internal memory and screen size ( 4' vs 4.3'). The price difference between the 2 phones is 1500 rs. But i am stilling doubtful about the camera quality of sony. The earlier experince of Sony xperia J was not nyc. I did compare the phones on flipkart. Please suggest

posted on 26 Oct 2013, 03:43

37. kumarmanish (Posts: 2; Member since: 22 Oct 2013)


i am stilling doubtful about the camera quality of sony. Please suggest

posted on 17 Nov 2013, 12:06

38. JaiSagar (Posts: 2; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


Hi All

I am using this Sony Xperia M Dual (WHITE) for the last 1 month and so far feeling good in major aspects design, looks, technical working, speed, processing etc.
A few things that needs attention:
1. The data cum charger cable is too short, could have been a little more longer.
2. Restart option is not present, every time have to shutdown and then start manually.
3. Camera quality front and back has made me more sad. SONY the brand has failed to keep the quality of camera.
4. Limiting of applications is absent, as in Samsung and LG one can limit the number of applications this helps the life of battery and processor to be more faster.
5. Any application in the handset doesn't get closed even after the exit. But remains on at the back end and one has to manually end it one by one by going to recent open app.
6. After 99% of battery charge the 1% takes huge time.
7. Tried to register the mobile on website, says invalid serial and product number. Customer service asks to go to service center for every query that can be easily handled then and there over the phone.
REST ALL GOING GOOD SO FAR

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Sony Xperia M

Sony Xperia M

OS: Android 4.3 4.1
view full specs
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 854 pixels (245 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8227, Dual core, 1000 MHz, Krait processor
1024 MB RAM
Size4.88 x 2.44 x 0.37 inches
(124 x 62 x 9.3 mm)
4.06 oz  (115 g)
Battery1750 mAh, 10.3 hours talk time

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