Water resistance isn’t something that graces every phone, but Sony wants this to be a feature on more than just the top-tier models, as it delivers an IP rating and a hint of ruggedisation to a new mid-range model.
Another phone is about to join the several smartphone strong listing that Sony currently occupies, and this time, it’s not just another entry level model made for a budget.
Rather, this week Sony is dropping by with the M4 Aqua, a model that tells us it’ll be mid-range thanks to the “M” moniker, with lots of new technology, some appearing to have trickled down from the Xperia Z models we’ve seen in the past.
First you’ll find a 1.5GHz eight-core Snapdragon processor, a chip not even the Z3 features, which is paired with 2GB RAM and either 8 or 16GB storage, the latter of which is upgradeable via a microSD slot. Google’s Android 5.0 “Lollipop” also runs here, providing a fairly recent version of the mobile operating system out of the box.
The screen on this handset is a good 5 inches, and while it isn’t a high-grade Full HD display, it does offer the 1280×720 HD resolution used in the Z3 Compact, which should result in roughly 294 pixels per inch, only 30 or so off of Apple’s “Retina” grade screens.
This is a mid-range device, after all, but Sony wants to make it seem less mid-range than ever thanks to the camera technology packed into this device, and with a 13 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front-facing camera, we can see why it would appear that way.
Mobile connection options arrive with 4G LTE on the M4 Aqua, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1, and even a dash of Near-Field Communication in case you like your phone to do your wireless setup with NFC-compatible headphones and speakers for you.
But while these are neat features, they’re not the pièce de résistance, because that is the ruggedisation built into the phone.
Rather than worry if your phone will survive a chance encounter with the pool, heavy rain, or heaven forbid a big beverage falling on your phone during happy hour, Sony is throwing in a hint of water resistance, with support for IP65/8, a rating that tells us it can survive water jets sprayed at the phone as well as immersion for up to one metre, which means your phone will be safe if you decide to watch a movie under water (why you would do this, we couldn’t say).
“Sony has a renewed focus on its mid-range tier of products and the Xperia M4 Aqua is the perfect representation of this new wave of competitively priced handsets, with no compromises,” said Sony Mobile’s John Featherstone.
There’s no outright pricing on this one yet, but we are chasing, and representatives for the company have told GadgetGuy that this should be available in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile if you can’t wait and need a mid-range water-resistant phone now, you’ll find the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua at Optus stores this week for $0 on a $40 My Plan Plus over two years.