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)

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




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.

FEATURED VIDEO

36 Comments

1. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

ohh yes??? what????

3. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

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

5. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

I prefer this over galaxy core any day.

8. taikucing unregistered

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

12. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.

14. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

NVM..

15. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 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...

18. yudi.nemesis unregistered

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

2. ortax123

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 11, 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

4. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

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

6. sri_tech

Posts: 188; Member since: May 21, 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?

7. ortax123

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 11, 2013

When you add video of review?

9. artealis

Posts: 98; Member since: Dec 15, 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

23. Kalevro

Posts: 56; Member since: Sep 11, 2011

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

10. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 884; Member since: Dec 05, 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...

11. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 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...

13. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 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...

16. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

This is surprisingly unbiased and well-reviewed.

21. AnukulVcool unregistered

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

22. ortax123

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 11, 2013

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

24. DukeX

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 28, 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.

34. Santi05

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

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

39. Amosthecoolboy

Posts: 9; Member since: Feb 14, 2013

it is dual core

25. hms2407

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 25, 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

27. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 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.

26. Apian

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

Want this Phone...

28. BASKARAN

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 26, 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.

29. rajesh.a

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

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

30. Apian

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

Galaxy Core Very Nice

31. Santi05

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

The latest, Android Kit Kat available for Sony Xperia M ?????
Xperia M
  • Display 4.0" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 4 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1750 mAh(9h 3G talk time)

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