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Sony Xperia M Review

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Interface and Functionality


The Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top. Our experience is very positive with this Android skin, and we love the work Sony has done on enriching the stock look, feel and even functionality. Still, it feels like Sony could have released this with at least the newer Android 4.2.

The lock screen features shortcuts to the camera and music apps. A quick and intuitive up or down swipe gesture unlocks it with a neat shade-like animation. This kind of animations appear throughout. Sony’s UI comes with a selection of great high-resolution wallpapers and colorful themes so you don’t have to go far to start customizing the looks of a handset. The overall looks with silvery gray accents strike the right balance - not too serious, but nor are they childish and cartoony like the ones in say Samsung and LG devices.

Once you’ve unlocked the device, you get a multi-panel home screen. Swipe down for a notification shade with five toggles for quick access to settings like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. We wish there was a brightness slider, but it’s missing. Adding shortcuts and changing wallpapers happens as you long press an empty space on the home screen. From there you get a convenient card-like live preview of the changes you make to appearance.

The Sony Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top - Sony Xperia M Review
The Sony Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top - Sony Xperia M Review
The Sony Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top - Sony Xperia M Review
The Sony Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top - Sony Xperia M Review
The Sony Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top - Sony Xperia M Review
The Sony Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top - Sony Xperia M Review
The Sony Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top - Sony Xperia M Review
The Sony Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top - Sony Xperia M Review

The Sony Xperia M runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own skin on top


Sony’s skin is all about the little things. Having the option to arrange your app drawer by most used items is great, the transition animations are neat, and Sony has bundled in a bunch of ‘Small Apps’ that work on top of your existing applications. These include a calculator, voice recorder, timer, and a notes app, so you can jot down notes while you’re watching a video for instance.

The phonebook is also custom made and it comes with four tabs that you can conveniently swipe between. When receiving a call, you can also reject it with a custom text message, useful when you’re say in a meeting and cannot reply right away.

Phonebook - Sony Xperia M Review
Phonebook - Sony Xperia M Review
Phonebook - Sony Xperia M Review

Phonebook


The Sony Xperia M is not the perfect device for texters. Sony’s messaging application is a fairly simple and well done app, but the on-screen keyboard will make you break a sweat as it’s hard to hit the right letters in portrait mode - we mistyped way too often, and could not get used to it even after a week of daily use. Typing in landscape mode is a bit easier as the keys are larger, but still not perfect.

Messaging - Sony Xperia M Review
Messaging - Sony Xperia M Review
Messaging - Sony Xperia M Review

Messaging



Processor and Memory


The Xperia M works like a charm with no lag and a buttery smooth performance throughout. And that’s no surprise - it features a fairly snappy for its class Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus chip, the same that you’d find on Windows Phone rivals like the Lumia 720 for instance. It is the Qualcomm MSM8227 system chip with a 1GHz dual-core Krait processor. The chip is manufactured on 28nm LP process, and features Adreno 305 graphics. Additionally, there’s 1GB of RAM, more than the average for this class, and this vast amount of memory allows for quick multitasking.

The handset might not have the largest display out there, but it handles most games and even the latest graphical masterpieces like Real Racing 3. It’s a fairly good performer for its class, here’s how it did in benchmarks.


Quadrant Standard AnTuTu GFXBench Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Sony Xperia M 4254 11629 2918 / 26 fps 1772 / 427
Samsung Galaxy Core 3054 7470 1028 / 9.1 fps 1328 / 421
LG Optimus L7 II 2823 6674


One of Xperia M’s bigger flaws is the fact that it comes with merely 4GB of internal storage, of which only 2GB are available to the end user. Luckily, that storage allowance is expandable via microSD cards of up to 32GB.


Internet and Connectivity


You can easily access the web via browsers like the built-in mobile Chrome, or any of other alternatives like say Firefox and Opera from the Play Store. Browsing is zippy on Chrome, and scrolling around and zooming in and out happens almost without a stutter. The handset supports 3G connectivity with downlink speeds of up to 21.1Mbps.

It also comes with dual-channel Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0.

The Xperia M features NFC connectivity that is well integrated with other Sony products like its TVs for instance. You can easily share images wirelessly by just tapping a Sony TV remote to send the images to the large screen. Similarly, you can share music, photos and other media by simply tapping the phone and another NFC enabled handset or notebook. Screen mirroring to a TV is also very easy with DLNA support and the built-in “Throw” app.

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: 741; 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: 982; 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: 8840; 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: 741; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


NVM..

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 08:46

15. buccob (Posts: 1543; 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 1

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: 982; 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: 188; 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: 659; 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: 2809; 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: 1543; 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: 101; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)


This is surprisingly unbiased and well-reviewed.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 12:37

21. AnukulVcool (Posts: 132; 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: 7; 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: 1543; 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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