While Chinese company is capturing the smartphone market in India, Sony seems to have distinctive feature and been adamant about its price, although, it’s worth investing in Sony’s product. The brand new Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual has lot to offer for its fans. We have scourged deep below the surface to see Sony could hope to stay in the game, and we have arrived at a surprising conclusion.
Look and Feel
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual is coated with plastic and glass, a distinctive look with a flat back and curved sides. The handset comes in white and coral pink, and black version. The right hand side of the body is broken by a silver brand logo, a power button. Although, it’s flat back is not comfortable to hold.
The device is completely sealed off and ports are externally accessible. On the upper right slots are for Nano-SIM slots while on upper left side of the device contains MicroSD card slot both is enclosed with rubber-lined flaps.
Interestingly, the device is waterproof that is rated IP65 and IP68, which means it, can withstand a 30-minute soak in up to 1.5m-deep freshwater and is resistant to damage from exposure to dust, even though without flaps over the 3.5mm audio port, which is on top of the phone.
The camera button is located on the right bottom of the phone and we experienced a nice touch and its perfect position is convenient to hold the phone up to use as a camera.
Software and Specification
The Smartphone is powered by Snapdragon 615 SoC coupled with 2GB RAM. The internal storage is of 16GB and external storage can be expanded up to 32GB via MicrSD card. The phone boasts 5-inch (720×1280 pixels) display although, less than full HD screen. However, it produces a sharp and quite good in terms of colour reproduction.
Connectivity options includes Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, A-GPS, FM radio and NFC and USB-OTG storage does not seem to be supported. Indian 4G networks can be accessed through both the SIM card slots. The phone is backed by 2,400mAh.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual runs on Android 5.0 with Sony’s proprietary overlay. Themes are also available and designed mostly by Sony branded movie or music tie-ins. In the homescreen dock, a Sony Liv icon and a row for Sony’s Music, Album, Movies and PlayStation apps are placed. Along with that a huge What’s New widget advertising the company’s media is also placed.
There are some pre loaded apps such as Line, Movie Creator, File Commander, Sketch, MobiSystems OfficeSuite, AVG Protection and TrackID are useful, whereas others such as Xperia Lounge and News from SociaLife are installed. Although very few apps can be uninstalled.
The smartphone also features TV SideView, a neat app that shows local TV guides and allows users to control a compatible Sony TV if it’s on the same network. Users are also allowed to share for media through DLNA network, and also “throw” content playing through Sony’s apps to compatible TVs, Bluetooth headsets and speakers. The handset features a support for “small apps”, little windows that are floating above whatever’s currently on screen. The apps are launched from a bar running across the bottom of the task switcher view that includes Eight small apps a calculator, timer and screenshot controller are available by default, if you need more, you can download.
The company claims that developers have to add this functionality to their apps, but anyone can do it and so more will be available soon. This is a feature we’ve seen from other brands, but it has typically been limited to a small set of apps.
The camera app of Sony allows third-party integrations along with AR Effect, Creative Effect, and the default Superior Auto, Manual, AR Effect, Sweep Panorama modes, it also allows you to download add-ons for a time lapse mode or more filters.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual has a good speed or responsiveness and easy to hold and use with one hand, apart from the awkward power button placement. The handset had a great call quality, and LTE worked well. Although, we faced an issue that the upper half of the rear of the phone became hot after just a few minutes of even ordinary use.
The Video playback ability was good, and had no problem with heaviest 1080p clips with clear sound and well balanced, surprisingly soft even at the maximum volume level. Battery life of the smartphone was quite impressive which delivered up to 9 hours and 58 minutes in our video loop test. Sony claims to get two days’ worth of usage between charges that will be accurate if users go really light on games and Web browsing. Even though, the phone last through a day of very heavy usage.
The Sony’s camera handled complex exposures quite well and the photos came out with a fair amount of detail intact and the compression and noise artefacts were well under control. The camera managed to produce better photos even in low light than we usually see.
Sony’s claims about the waterproof the Xperia M4 Aqua can withstand a 30-minute soak in up to 1.5m-deep freshwater. We have tested for 10 minutes in a shallow basin of tap water and result was the phone not only did it continue to run while submerged, but it showed no signs of trouble whatsoever after being patted dry with a towel. Although, the touchscreen doesn’t work underwater but the camera can be used, thanks to the physical button. It is worth noting that Sony’s waterproofing is a fantastic feature at this price level.
Our Final Verdict
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual cannot be compared with the formidable Oneplus One and the like in terms of specs alone. The smartphone has enough features to justify its price tag. Although, users aren’t getting the fastest processor, but there’s a lot of difference in terms of polish of the Sony’s latest product and its competitors.
However, the phone is not affordable albeit, it’s selling for slightly less than its launch price. So keep a watch on for deals. Sony has proven that it can put together a compelling package without jumping into the price war.