Review: Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
3.8Overall Score

Price (RRP): $TBA; Available on plans from Optus;
Manufacturer: Sony

Sony’s phones frequently dabble in water proofing, but it’s usually only in the high-end. What happens when Sony brings water resistance to the mid-range?

Features

One of the most competitive places for smartphone makers to play is in the mid-range.

It is here that device manufacturers can come to play hard, producing devices that reach a solid middle ground for specifications and performance, attracting customers who don’t necessarily want to spend that usually necessary arm and leg prerequisite that they might have to with another brand.

Sony’s “M” range generally sits in that space, with that capital letter generally saying it all, making something for the middle part of the market (and we’re not even trying to use an excess of “M” words).

But the M4 Aqua is a little different, and tries to show difference with a design feature few phones sitting in the top tier — the performance part of the market — generally include.

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Let’s start with the specs, though, because in this handset you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 eight-core processor, running two sections with a quad-core clocked at 1.5GHz, with another quad-core section sitting at 1GHz.

This chip is paired with 2GB RAM and 8GB storage, the latter of which can be upgraded with a microSD card. Google’s Android is the operating system of choice here, running Sony’s own overlay.

If you were expecting a couple of cameras here, you’re in luck, because there’s a 13 megapixel rear camera with flash and autofocus, while the front camera is a 5 megapixel selfie camera. Both cameras can capture video, with 1080p Full HD supported with this phone.

Connections are fairly standard here, par for the course for a mid-range device, with 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with A-GPS, and Near-Field Communication, as well as 4G LTE technology for mobile broadband.

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All of this sits under a 5 inch 720p HD display, which provides a pixel clarity of roughly 294 pixels per inch, around 30 shy of the Apple iPhone 6.

Ports are relatively normal for an Android phone, however, with both a microSD slot and nanoSIM slot, the former on the left edge and the latter on the right side, while the only two ports on the phone are a microUSB port on the left edge and a 3.5mm headset jack up top.

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Buttons can be found on the Xperia M4 Aqua, too, with a volume rocker, a circular power button, and a camera button, all located on the right edge, while Android’s back, home, and multitask buttons are all digital and soft, found on-screen and only when the phone is switched on, similar to other Sony Android phones.