Sony continues the series of launches for its 2013 line-up with the Sony Xperia M, the cheapest model launched so far. The new smartphone follows the OmniBalance design language introduced with the launch of Sony Xperia Z, but unlike the flagship device, it comes in more body colors.
Sony claims that it tried to keep the premium characteristics of the Xperia line-up, but in the same time aiming to another customer segment and setting a new low in terms of price.
When it comes to technical specifications, the Sony Xperia M is situated at the border between the low-end and the mid-range smartphones. This year’s Sony Xperia line-up includes the flagship handsets, Sony Xperia Z/Xperia ZL, the rugged Xperia ZR, the Sony Xperia SP mid-ranger and the smaller display version Xperia L.
Compared to the aforementioned smartphones, the Sony Xperia M can be placed below Xperia L, because it comes with an even smaller display. Still, the rest of technical specifications are making it an interesting option for the customers in search of a smartphone with medium performance.
Sony Xperia M sports a 4-inch display with FWVGA resolution while being powered by a dual-core processor clocked at 1 GHz. The affordable smartphone features 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage expandable using microSD cards, and a 1,750 mAh battery.
The rear-facing camera of the Sony Xperia M is a 5 megapixel unit capable of recording HDR photos and videos. The smartphone leaves the factory gates equipped with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, running Sony’s proprietary Xperia UI.
If M stands for mini, it seems that a 4-inch display is considered small in 2013. Sony as fitted a TFT screen on the Xperia M, which comes with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels (a pixel density of around 245 ppi), capable of displaying 16 million colors. Unfortunately, the Sony Xperia M isn’t packing the Mobile BRAVIA image processing engine which could have increased the quality of the display. Still, Sony claims that the display is bright and covered with premium glass. The glass is scratch resistant, just like the one of Xperia L, but is not Gorilla Glass.
Sony Xperia M is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8227 platform, also used by Nokia for models like Lumia 520 and Lumia 720. The chipset includes a dual-core Krait CPU clocked at 1 GHz and an Adreno 305 GPU. Even though it can’t raise to the performance delivered by the quad-core models, Xperia M should be powerful enough to run most of the apps and games currently available in Google Play Story. As well, the amount of RAM should be enough for a fluent experience.
Even though it only comes with 4 GB of internal storage, of which only 2 GB are available for the user, Xperia M comes with support for microSD cards of up to 32 GB, which should be enough even for those who wish to store large multimedia files.
The primary camera features the 5 megapixel Sony Exmor RS sensor, coming with LED flash, 4x digital zoom, autofocus, face detection, image stabilization, and support for 720p video recording. Next to these, Sony also integrated its proprietary One-Touch function, which allows the user to share pictures via NFC. The front-facing camera is a VGA unit, which is decent-enough for video calls.
Sony Xperia M is compatible with the 2G and 3G HSPA+ networks, thus there shouldn’t be any major problems with the internet download speeds. The smartphone will also be available in a dual-SIM variant called Xperia M dual, without any other modifications compared to the base model.
Being an affordable smartphone that aims to the young public, Sony sought to enhance the audio capabilities of the Xperia M. The handset comes equipped with the ClearAudio+ technologies, xLOUD and 3D Surround Sound, while the Walkman app has a lot of customization options, including a manual equalizer.
Sony Xperia M also comes with Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, microUSB and WiFi with WiFi hotspot support.
The 1,750 mAh battery can be replaced by the user and it should provide, according to Sony’s estimations, up to 489 hours of 2G stand by time and up to 454 hours in 3G mode. The talk time is estimated to up to 10 hours on the 2G networks, and up to 9 hours over 3G. Just like other Xperia models, the Xperia M comes with the STAMINA mode, which should be capable of improving the batter life at the expense of performance.
Xperia M is 124 mm tall, 62 mm wide, and 9.3 mm thin and has a weight of 115 grams. The dual-SIM variant will be available in black, purple, and white variants, while the base mode will also come with a yellow case.
Sony said that they will set a new price point with the Xperia M, therefore we are expecting the smartphone to go on sale at a price below the one of Xperia SP. Since the later one has a price tag of $349, the Sony Xperia Z should be priced around $279.
Summing up, the Sony Xperia M is the smallest model in the company’s line-up for 2013. The Japan-based phone maker tried to keep the design elements of the more powerful models of the range and fitted Xperia M with a platform which is capable of bringing it among the mid-end models. If Sony Xperia M has an affordable price just like Sony suggests, it will become a successful smartphone, preferred by the customers who want a daily driver.