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Sony Xperia M - Battery Life, Call Quality, Speaker Quality and Verdict

Michael Sawh

By Michael Sawh

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Sony Xperia M - Battery Life

Behind the Xperia M's removable cover lies a 1750mAh capacity battery more than capable of giving you two days plus play time with careful use. Sony also includes its Stamina and Low Battery features to disable battery-draining features and helps keep the impressive battery life going even further.

In more extreme testing conditions running the downloaded film Ice Age on maximum brightness with sound on, the Xperia M manages 9-9.5 hours before running completely out of life. That's also without dipping into the power management modes. The Xperia M is also a quick charger picking up around 15 per cent battery from a 30-minute charge, starting from critical battery level (below 10 per cent).

Sony Xperia M review 8

Sony Xperia M - Call Quality

Like the Xperia L, the Xperia M suffers from some distortion on both ends of the call and things can struggle to come out exceptionally clear. There are no signal dropping issues and the inclusion of Sony's HD Voice no doubt helps eliminate background noise. Inside a packed pub we still needed to move away from the crowd to take the call. Things do improve when you are using the speakerphone, but clarity far from impresses.

Sony Xperia M review 12

Sony Xperia M - Speaker Quality

While call quality is not up to scratch, the rear speaker actually does a decent job particularly when watching films. The Xperia Z and Z1 suffer from bad speaker placement so it's nice to see Sony get it right on the Xperia M. Situated on the lower part of the removable back, there's very little chance of cupping the reasonably sized speaker.

Dialogue in video comes out loud and clear however it's more of a strain for music. It lacks the punchy bass of HTC's BoomSound speakers but then that's a problem for most smartphones. For a sub-£200 phone, it's one of the better speaker performers we've heard.

Should I buy the Sony Xperia M?

For £180 SIM-free, there is a lot to like about the 4-inch Sony Xperia M. It retains some of the design elements that make the top end Xperia phones great to look at and you can forget you are actually holding a budget Android phone. It's got really good battery life and the dual-core CPU is good match for the features on board. It's only until you take a look at the screen and take a picture that you know what you are dealing with.

For the around the same money the Android-running LG L7 2 (£169) has a bigger 4.3-inch screen with better viewing angles, an 8-megapixel main camera, but significantly worse performance. If you are willing to consider a Windows Phone 8 handset, the 4-inch Nokia Lumia 520 is cheaper at £115. The screen is about the same in terms of quality, and it's definitely a stylish alternative to most Android phones below £200.

If you are looking for a cheap Android phone that can play high end mobile games, offer good battery life and has a decent enough screen for watching films the Xperia M is a good shout.

Check out our round-up of the best mobile phones

Verdict

The Sony Xperia M at £180, is an Android phone with good looks and a decent all-round performance to make up for the shortcomings in the screen and camera department.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Calls & Sound 7
  • Camera 7
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Screen Quality 7
  • Software 8
  • Usability 8
  • Value 8
Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

guest1456

October 16, 2013, 4:04 pm

I'm looking for a cheap ish Andriod phone for my Mother, wondering if it's worth paying the extra and going for the Samsung S4 Mini? Any advise?

rito

October 17, 2013, 7:52 am

very good detailed review. I saw this after buying the phone. Found to be trustworthy

jocu

October 17, 2013, 9:24 am

considering you can buy the Motorola RAZRi for £150 (plus £15 top-up) for an unlocked phone which has significantly better features (e.g 8GB onboard storage; 4.3" screen - 960x540, 2 GHz single core processor, 2000 mAh battery, 8MP camera capable of shooting 1080p video) it's not such a good deal. Only downside of the RAZRi is that i runs JellyBean 4.1.

jocu

October 17, 2013, 9:24 am

on the 3 network......

surya pratap

October 24, 2013, 5:14 pm

My xperia M is showing system update 15.1.c.1.17 . can any one give me suggestion how to update? Is there any need to make backup?

guest1234

October 30, 2013, 3:42 pm

I think this phone is ace and better than the iphone5 and the samsung galaxy SIIII Mini

szfph

November 6, 2013, 2:06 pm

everything is fine but main disadvantage is dual standby... if one sim card is in use no data(net) can be used on another sim card. however this is avialable with cheaper phones by samsung...

Bhumin Vadalia

November 7, 2013, 2:31 pm

yeaah...
Quite a Detailed Review which i was looking for this Hand-Set..
Nice..

One Thing, Xperia Z and Z1....should nt be compared with this...they are of different type..

LindaS

November 14, 2013, 10:23 am

Thinking of changing from IPhone G3. Xperia M looks great price. Can I still get iTunes?

Akilan

December 11, 2013, 4:47 am

Suffering with the worst battery backup with this duel sim stylish phone. I wish I had bought two phones of Rs. 1000/- each instead of this.....

Ezekial Meatt

December 17, 2013, 5:44 pm

My wife bought one of these recently to replace broken Samsung Galaxy S2....Wi-Fi on it is garbage. Continuously dropping the wireless network while other devices have no problem what-so-ever...might as well have been a run-of-the-mill flip phone :/ Not at all impressed.

Adrienne

March 22, 2014, 3:22 am

This phone is terrible! I wish I had never bought this phone! It has a front camera on it, but I can't use it because it is WAAY too dark and you can't see ANYTHING!

Prasad

April 21, 2014, 8:07 am

I have purchased Sony Xperia M 15 days back and it stopped charging from third time . I have spent 2 hours at the service center and no idea when I will get it back

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