Sony Xperia M Review

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.

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.

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.

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.



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


15. buccob

Posts: 2978; 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.

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: 892; 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: 2978; 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


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 is wrong with you

27. buccob

Posts: 2978; 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...


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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