Sony Midrange Phone Review

Sony has done a cracking job of turning around their brand in the last year.  Ever since their split with Ericson, they’ve had more control over the design and manufacturing of their phones.  They’ve delivered some excellent phones to the market, not least the Sony Xperia Z, which really has captured the imagination of the public and done very well so far.  The designs are becoming iconic and this phone—the Sony Xperia M, is the sixth phone in the Xperia range to have been released this year.

The Xperia range is growing fast and is undoubtedly an extremely attractive set of phones throughout.  The manufacturer from Japan has, in this phone, produced a premium looking phone at a mid-range price.  This article will look at the details of the device so you will understand a bit more about what it is and what it’s got going for it.

The Design

The Xperia comes in four main colours—a black, white, lime green, and deep blue.  It is reminiscent of the premium phone, the Sony Xperia Z, if not as good build quality.  In the mid-range market, there are some very good looking phones and this stands up to the competition very well. 

On the front, the display is 4 inches boasting 480 x 854 pixels.  The screen is mid-range but it does a good job of producing crisp and clear pictures comparable with what you will find elsewhere in this price bracket.

The Features and Internals

It comes with a reasonable 5 megapixel camera on the front and a 0.3 megapixel camera front facing.  The main camera can take 720 pixels videos, which is fairly reasonable at this price point.  The processor is dual core and 1 GHz, and it comes with 1GB of RAM as well. 

One downside of the phone is that it has just 4GB of internal memory, however, it does benefit from the addition of a micro SD card slot so that you can expand the memory by 32GB. This will be plenty of memory for most people.

In this price range another bonus is the support of NFC—the near field communication technology that’s used for instant payments through your phone.  You of course get FM radio and it does support HSPA+ as connectivity technology.  It does not support data through LTE however.

The Versions

This telephone is available in two different versions.  It has a Sony Xperia M with one sim slot and a Sony Xperia dual which has two sim card slots. 

Why would you need two sim card slots?

The dual sim options are used frequently by those who travel to different countries, or those overseas who require several networks in order to get good coverage in multiple locations.  When networks are less stable, it is possible to switch between different operators and therefore ensure better coverage from time to time when we’re making our calls.  Additionally, dual sim makes it possible to have separate numbers for your home and your work and therefore separate your lives but you use the same phone.

The single sim Xperia M arrives with android 4.1 and the dual sim handset with android 4.2.  The 1750 mAh battery that resides in both handsets has a theoretical possibility of 18 days time for standby and 9 hours of talk time.  It won’t achieve this in the real world but it is a decent battery to get you through the day.

The phone weighs 124 grams which is very respectable and comes in at 124 x 62 x 9.3 mm.  It isn’t the thinnest but it certainly feels comfortable enough in the hand. 

The Necessities of the Sony XPeria M

The telephone does have WiFi and GPS, plus all that you would expect on an android.  Sony has added their standard extras in terms of interface and their own apps. The phone is certainly very attractive and something a bit different from many of the other phones in this price bracket, such as the HTC and the Samsung ranges.

Pricing of the Sony Xperia M

When it comes to new phones, we never know exactly how much they will cost, but this product is likely to come in somewhere around the £200 price point. 

Other New Phones Coming to the Market

The phone world never stands still and every manufacturer has new phones scheduled for release over the next few months. Some of the new phones that we’re going to see include the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, a waterproof version of the standard S4.  We’ll also see a Samsung Galaxy S Mini which is in reality a less powerful phone rather than just a mini version of the S4.  The HTC Desire 600 dual sim will also be arriving soon as another dual sim option. 

We are also going to see the Blackberry 10 based Q5, which will be the phone to take over from the Blackberry Curve.  We have already seen a lot about the Nokia Lumia 925, which is a skinnier version of the 920, and which is going to be another cracking Windows phone coming on to the market.

Alongside all of these phones we’ll see the Sony Xperia ZR, Nokia Asha 501, the Samsung Galaxy Core, the Nokia Asha 210 messaging phone, and a couple of Samsungs in the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 and the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8. These last two are more Phablets than phones in reality.

All these new phones signal a really interesting time for the smartphone market, with lots of different niches being tackled by different manufacturers.  Consumers are getting more and more choice in terms of screen size, cost and power, and it’s an exciting time to be delving into the smartphone market for a new phone.

Bargain Smartphone from Sony