Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Review
A waterproof phone at a mid-range price? Seems unlikely, yet here we have the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua, Sony’s first waterproof handset outside its premium Z series. Let’s see if the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua sinks or swims…
At a casual glance it’s easy to see that the M4 Aqua has taken design inspiration from its premium range cousins in the Z series. It shares the all glass front and back and although the outer band is plastic instead of metal, it certainly gives the illusion of a premium piece of kit. It also makes use of Sony’s OmniBalance design meaning it is (theoretically) optimised for use vertically or horizontally. So ergonomics wise there’s not much to fault, it’s easy to hold and large enough to be functional without being too big. Perhaps the main selling point of the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is its IP68 waterproof rating – this means it’s protected against complete, continuous submersion in water. The charging port doesn’t even require a flip cover, which avoids frustrating fiddling.
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua sports a 5” display with 1280x720px resolution. Images are clearly displayed but – while we wouldn’t classify the display as poor – it has to be admitted it’s not the brightest display out there.
Under the hood we have a Snapdragon 615 processor, while the handset OS is Android Lollipop. Performance is good, nothing spectacular, but quite acceptable for a phone of this price range. The unit is powered by a 2400 mAh battery. Sony state it should last two days, but we’d err on the side of caution if you tend to use a lot of high energy absorbing apps. WiFi, Bluetooth, etc , are (or should be) a given these days, but not all mid-range smartphones sport NFC, something Sony seem to have realised this, having included it both on this and its mid-range stablemate the E4g. Memory is expandable up to 32GB by means of a MicroSD card.
As is almost expected now, the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua comes with a 5MP front facing camera lens as well as the primary one. The main unit is 13MP, which is quite respectable for a mid-range handset (and consider that the iPhone 6 only sports an 8MP unit). Photographs are by no means astonishing, but if you like the gimmick of taking underwater snaps and swimming-selfies then you can have a lot of fun with this. 1080p Full HD video can be shot too. The camera button is conveniently accessed via a dedicated button, as obvious a feature as this seems it’s surprisingly rare enough on handsets.
So what can we conclude about the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua? It’s not perfect, the screen could be better for instance. But for a mid-range smartphone it’s got a lot to offer, premium feel sans premium price, decent camera, pleasing performance, not to mention its IP68 waterproof rating. This may be its main selling point, and while it’s by no means a handset to manage a company with, if you’re looking for something affordable for your kids or even a basic smartphone for your employees on the road you could buy a lot worse. The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is fun, affordable and gives you a sample of premium quality without paying a premium price.
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