Sony Xperia M4 Aqua: Camera
We live in an age where Instagram likes are an important social currency, so getting the camera right on smartphones is important for both manufacturers and selfie-fanatics alike.
Fortunately, we were impressed with the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua camera set-up, and were more than happy to peddle our snaps on social media.
The rear-facing camera uses a 13-megapixel sensor, which means you’re getting photographs that contain plenty of pixels. That means that unless you blow the photos up to full size, images taken with the M4 Aqua look sufficiently detailed. Enough for Facebook, anyway.
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As most M4 Aqua owners will be using the Superior Auto Mode for taking their photos, that’s how we took the majority of our pictures. We wouldn’t exactly called the resulting images “superior” ourselves, but they weren’t bad for a £200 phone. Colour was accurately recorded, and the camera captures an impressive amount of detail close up.
This detail drops off in the distance, but it’s hard to notice unless you zoom in. The autofocus was quick for a mid-range phone even in low-light, although flagship handsets like the iPhone 6 or the LG G4 will outpace it significantly.
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We do have some complaints about the M4 Aqua camera however. The phone is a little slow to take pictures, which makes it easy to blur photos. If you’re completely still then your images will look fine, but for those of us that don’t have the unshakable nerves of a monk, any hint of motion will ruin a picture completely.
Pictures were also slightly dull; even naturally bright objects lacked vividness. That may jar with those of you who are used to saturation-happy flagship smartphones.
The front-facing camera uses a 5-megapixel sensor, which is also respectable for a mid-range phone. You won’t want to be uploading pictures of your face with this thing, because detail seriously sucks. But it’s more than good enough to video call with, and you’ll probably get away with a heavily filtered Instagram selfie.
As with all Xperia phones, you get a good selection of camera modes, although most are gimmicky. The AR Fun mode is great if you want to superimpose a cat face onto all future selfies, but we have a hard enough time getting social approval as it is. There’s also a dedicated camera button. It’s not incredibly useful, although it does mean you can take pictures underwater – trying to use the touchscreen while the phone is submerged is very frustrating.
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.