Sony is updating its mid-range Android smartphone line with the XPERIA M4, which is succeeding the XPERIA M2 (there won’t be an M3 handset, apparently). The announcement has surprised some observers, but the M2 was launched around this time last year, but it’s true that it was available for less than a year in many places. The XPERIA M4 will eventually replace it and has been designed to provide a “no-compromise” phone (Sony’s words) at about half the price of a high-end phone (299 Euros, no contract). As you have guessed: the Aqua name is a good indicator that the M4 is waterproof…
The XPERIA M4 Aqua has an IP65 rating, and is waterproof and dustproof. At 136g it is light, and the remarkable aspect of the design (in my opinion) is that it does not require any caps on the USB port to make the waterproofing work. This is very nice to anyone who has experience with previous water-tight devices such as the XPERIA Z3 or the Galaxy S5, both of which require dealing with a cap to charge. While this was understandable, it added enough friction to the charging process to be a bit annoying. This is now gone on the M4. Well done, Sony.
The XPERIA M4 has a 13 Megapixel main camera which is of course using a Sony EXMOR camera (Sony is the market leader for image sensors). The optics has an f2.0 aperture and can capture with a sensitivity of ISO 3200. Users will find an auto-mode that is modeled from Sony’s compact cameras, which we found to be reliable in the past. There are also many “scenarios” (presets) preloaded in the camera app: 52 according to Sony.
In the front, Sony has added a camera with a 88 degrees field of view which should allow a couple of friends to show up in the selfies without much efforts. Sony has added a Portrait Retouch features to help users make the perfect selfie, and there is also an abundance of possible effects, such as adding frames etc…
Sony has selected Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 processor which was designed exactly to address this segment of the market. It’s an octa-core SoC that also features an integrated 4G LTE modem built for an easy roll out worldwide. Of course, it won’t be as powerful as the Snapdragon 810 that equips phones that sell for twice that price (some models from China will sell for much less though), but it can get the job done for virtually every tasks except gaming and some heavy multi-tasking that the most demanding users may be picky on.