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.

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.


Sony Xperia M

Sony Xperia M

Dimensions

4.88 x 2.44 x 0.37 inches

124 x 62 x 9.3 mm

Weight

4.06 oz (115 g)

Samsung Galaxy Core

Samsung Galaxy Core

Dimensions

5.09 x 2.66 x 0.35 inches

129.3 x 67.6 x 8.95 mm

Weight

4.37 oz (124 g)

LG Optimus L7 II

LG Optimus L7 II

Dimensions

4.78 x 2.62 x 0.38 inches

121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm

Weight

4.07 oz (116 g)

Nokia Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 520

Dimensions

4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches

119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm

Weight

4.37 oz (124 g)

Sony Xperia M

Sony Xperia M

Dimensions

4.88 x 2.44 x 0.37 inches

124 x 62 x 9.3 mm

Weight

4.06 oz (115 g)

Samsung Galaxy Core

Samsung Galaxy Core

Dimensions

5.09 x 2.66 x 0.35 inches

129.3 x 67.6 x 8.95 mm

Weight

4.37 oz (124 g)

LG Optimus L7 II

LG Optimus L7 II

Dimensions

4.78 x 2.62 x 0.38 inches

121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm

Weight

4.07 oz (116 g)

Nokia Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 520

Dimensions

4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches

119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm

Weight

4.37 oz (124 g)




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.





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.

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