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Xperia M4 preview

xperia m4 aqua

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Xperia M4 preview

Sony might have disappointed by choosing not to bring its flagship Xperia Z4 to MWC 2015, but the Xperia M4 Aqua looks set to offer premium features to the mid-range market.

No, the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua doesn’t come with the best camera or the most supercharged processor around. What it does have though is good looks, a reasonable price tag and 4G LTE data speeds — and it won’t quit on you the first time you drop it in the bath.

Sony’s flagship Xperia Z3 was one of my favourite phones of last year, with a stunningly sleek design and completely waterproof construction. It did, however, come with an extremely high price tag. With the Xperia M4 Aqua, Sony has watered down the Z3 to create a much more affordable version.

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FEATURES

Android Lollipop is on board too from the off, with Superior Auto mode even stuck into the front camera for a more feature-rich way to take pictures of oneself, and it’s water and dust proof too (hence the ‘Aqua’ part of the name which Sony told us is due to the fact most people don’t know its phone are actually waterproof in the middle-tier) – with an exposed USB connector as Sony’s managed to work out a way to protect that one too.

DESIGN

The big win here goes to the design, as while it’s encased in plastic the phone itself looks like it’s made of metal – even when viewed rather closely. The M4 Aqua has clearly taken all its design cues from Sony’s glorious Xperia Z3. It has a glass front and back, with an identical rounded edging along the sides.

From a distance, it’s not easy to tell the phones apart. Up close, it does feel a touch less luxurious and it’s slightly fatter than the Z3 too, at 7.3mm thick. The new phone is noticeably lighter, weighing in at 136g  and the plain black design, minimalist Sony branding and sticking-out silvered power button are other elements the M4 borrows from the Z3.

Sony_Xperia_M4_Aqua_2

PROCESSOR AND RAM

Inside the waterproof frame is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor — that’s an octa-core chip, backed up by a generous 2GB of RAM. I haven’t been able to run my usual series of tests on the phone, but my hopes are high that it will handle the essentials with ease.

DISPLAY

The phone has a 5-inch display with a 1,280×720-pixel resolution. That’s not brilliant by any means, particularly when you bear in mind those pixels are scattered over such a large area, but the display certainly seemed adequately crisp and bright in my hands on time.

BATTERY

Sony reckons the battery will be able to keep going for two days of regular use. That’s a big ask for any smartphone, but I found the battery life on the Z3 particularly good, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the M4 can achieve. Of course, how much battery life you’ll get will depend on how much you use it.

m4-rearCAMERA

You’ll find a 13-megapixel camera on the back of the phone. It comes with a range of automatic shooting modes, and you can expect to see the usual array of burst modes and HDR features. On the front is a 5-megapixel camera, with a wide-angle lens to help make your selfies look better than ever.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

Sony hasn’t said exactly when — or where — the phone will be available, but has said it’ll be sometime this spring. The phone will go on sale for the reasonable price of 299 euros, which converts to around £220, $340 or AU$435, although expect final pricing to vary considerably.






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