Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Review
In the earpiece, sound quality is clear, but a bit on the quiet side. On the other end of the line, we have a similarly clear sound, which is also loud enough, which is great. Some amount of digital distortion is audible on both sides, but that is a very minimal amount.
Sony promises up to two days of battery life, but our experience showed that daily charging would be necessary for most people. Re-charge times are also painfully slow with the built-in charger.
While the Xperia M4 Aqua looks nearly identical to the top-tier Sony Xperia Z4, the two differ a lot when it comes to battery capacity. The M4 Aqua features a 2,400mAh battery, while the Xperia Z4 trumps it with a much larger, 3,100mAh juicer. This does not stop Sony from promising up to 2-day battery life out of the Xperia M4 Aqua, a claim printed right on the box of the handset.
In our experience using the phone, we find it very hard to squeeze two days out of the battery. Modest use would drain the phone battery in a little over a day, while more intense usage will require you to charge your phone daily, so no big surprises here.
We also take how much time it takes to fully re-charge the phone from dead to a 100% battery. In the case of the Xperia M4 Aqua, we have a 5V/0.85A charger that handles the task painfully slowly - it takes a whopping two hours and 52 minutes to fully recharge the phone.
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua features one of our favorite designs for an affordable phone: it’s slim and stylish, and while it’s all plastic, it has the looks and feel of a more expensive gadget. This, however, would not mean much if the phone could not perform well. Luckily, that’s not the case, and the device handles the daily Android grind quickly and mostly stutter-free.
Looking at its price, it sits right in the middle of the market: the full retail price of the Xperia M4 Aqua is around $350 (280 euro), about on par with the Samsung Galaxy A5, its main rival in this segment. Both phones feature great design, with the Galaxy A5 having an advantage in the camera department, but lacking that water resistance. Naturally, there are a bunch of competitors at the same price point from China - phones like the Xiaomi Mi 4 are currently available for the same price, and the Mi 4 in particular comes with the advantage of a sharper, 1080 x 1920-pixel display, as well as a feature rich MIUI software.
The two big downsides of the Xperia M4 Aqua are in the camera department and the limited amount of built-in storage. The 8GB of storage issue can be fixed simply by getting a microSD card, but the slow-to-start and focus camera with middling quality are there to stay. Ultimately, the M4 Aqua is not a bad device, but it’s hard to give it a heart-felt recommendation with those two issues.