Japanese brand Sony has been failing steps in the smartphone business. Most of its smartphone models do not become mass hysteria when it comes to market response. And, the reason of that is Sony’s hypocrisy in self-believe of being a premium brand. Sony Electronics still live in an era of 90s when the Japanese technology was setting benchmark in electronic gadgets innovation. Today, Sony gadgets are failing to impress user as there are many good alternatives are available in Indian market that too at much affordable price.
To explain Sony’s problem, I have a small story. I can recall an article statement – the writer had given a better narrative of mass media and common user’s attraction. There was a time when Indian express was setting agenda for urban English readers. And, the subscription of the Times of India was uncounted. However, slowly the Times newspaper start picking up and became the most popular English newspaper in India. The writer explains, the Times of India had kind of “Namak” that got a better appreciation among young readers than the Indian express, which had more focus towards investigative journalism.
I have mentioned this article just to explain where Sony Xperia is losing ground. I am a big fan of Sony Smartphone as it renders solid craft assembled with the best technology in display, sound, and camera. But, Sony does not add “Namak” to its smartphones to attract many users. I am having a suggestion for Sony: continue with solid craft, stick to default Android and Windows operating system and cut prices by 50% at least. I am sure; the entire so-called new breed of mass sellers that is basically cheap smartphone makers will run away from the market.
Today, we have Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual 16 GB available at a perfect price tag of 23650 rupees. This is one good smartphone with dual SIM feature and some extra in terms of display, camera, and sound output. In this review article, we are going to have a frequently asked question section. Also, we will dig deep whether this phone has a tickle to attract user based on the assembled set of features for Gaming, Multimedia, Camera and Certainly Multitasking.
Before, we process to the review of the M4 Aqua Dual SIM; I would like to mention here though the smartphone is a new avatar of Sony to answer all cheap options available in 25000 rupees category. At this website, we rate it, one of the best smartphones with real value for money and above all waterproof features for Indian conditions.
In fact, I would not be wrong calling M4 Aqua one good choice in 25000 rupees price range. And, the same is certified with the award of “Best of MWC 2015”. Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is an awarded smartphone. MWC is a short form of Mobile Word Congress.
Sales Box Content
The hard bond good looking sales box contains Aqua M4 smartphone with a built-in battery, Wall Charger, Sony Earphone, USB Cable and some instruction manual.
Build and Design
The M4 Aqua Dual reflects Sony’s signature design language. Here, Sony has copies the design algorithm of Xperia Z3 with minor customization in body material. However, the metal body of Xperia Z3 has been replaced with a premium quality plastic possibly polycarbonate that gives an undoubted feel of metal craft. It is hard to guess that it is plastic until you hold in hand.
Sony M4 features a unique composition of glass and plastic. At the front and back, it features glass panel whereas rest of the body in nicely shaped with premium plastic. According to Sony, panel glasses are scratch proof and durable against a sudden strike.
Coming to the measurement, Sony’s new mid-budget flagship is measured in 145.5 mm in length, 72.6 mm in width, and 7.3 mm in thickness. Yes, you have read correctly, this is one ultra-slim smartphone with just 7.3 mm slim body under 25K budget from Sony. Including battery, the gross weight stands at 140 gram that is moderate. It is neither too heavy not too light. 140 gram is a regular and acceptable weight.
Now I reveal an elegant feature of the design that certifies it for better covenant for its price tag in India. Yes, you guess is right, I am talking about the waterproof and dust proof roughness, which makes it my favorite choice. I have been waiting for a year almost to choose a smartphone with all ultra-premium features with dual SIM. Although my problem has been that all desired specifications with a Single SIM architect.
Now let’s see about input and output accessories placement. At the top, we are seeing a 3.5 mm audio jack alongside a microphone. Coming to the rear, we find a 13 MP primary camera, and its right below is a super LED single flash. Sony brand logo is at the center of the rear.
Moving into the right side, following top to bottom order : SIM tray, power button, volume rocker and camera key. Yes, this smartphone has a dedicated camera button as well. On the left side, an SD card port allowing to increase memory on board. At the front, the smartphone features LED notification light, sensors, call speaker, mouth piece around the display. Noise cancellation mic with the main speaker is at the bottom of the phone. It is better to have the main speaker at the bottom of the phone than to the rear.
Left Side: Micro SD card port and USB port
Right Side: Dual SIM tray, Power button, Volume rocker and Camera Button
Bottom: Noise cancellation Mic and Main speaker
Top: Microphone and 3.5 mm Audio Jack
Front: Selfie Shooter, Display, LED notification, Sensors, Call Speaker, Mouth piece, and control touch buttons.
Back: Primary camera, LED flash, and Sony branding
Water and Dust Proof
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual has been awarded the best IP certifications in the smartphone category. It has proved awesomeness against dust with IP65 rating and durability against water with the IP68 rating.
This means – one can keep this phone in 1.5-meter deep water for approx 30 minutes. In a lighter note, suppose the smartphone with your trouser is poured into a washing machine, and then it would survive there up to 30 minutes.
Based on dust and waterproof protection feature, I would highly recommend this phone for homemakers having a small baby. You do not know when you naughty baby will through the smartphone in a dustbin or water bucket. Also, I would suggest this to sales executive as they get highly affected from sudden raining.
Buyer has an option choose between black, pink and white. Currently, I am looking at a test piece that is in black color. For my female readers, pick color model is most valued whereas the regular buyer might be confused between black and white models. If the look of the phone is essential, then choose White model as it looks classier than the black one. The white M4 Aqua White comes with a glossy golden touch that renders an excellent beauty to this device.
The Sony M4 Aqua runs on the latest Android Lollipop 5.0.2 and upgradable to the next version of Android. Yes, I am talking about Android M. I cannot confirm, but we have off the record update – the Android M will be rolled out on this smartphone.
Sony has developed a new user interface that is simplistic than its predecessor; optimized, user-friendly and above all it does steal resources too much. I am seeing a big transformation at the core of Sony smartphone engineering. I guess, all recruitment from 90s have given a relaxation and new breed of designer and software developer has taken the charge.
Yes, the Sony M4 Aqua comes with freshness in its user interface. We have been to each and every in built applications and that all seems to be simple, better arranged and easier to set and operated.
IPS LCD HD Screen
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua features a mind-blowing screen with the latest technology in the display world. This is a 5 inches screen wherein the display is a IPS LCD panel with HD resolution measuring in 720 by 1280 Pixels. Pixel distribution is believable 294 PPI. According to the official website, the phone has an impressive 65.2% of screen-to-body ratio. A better ratio is 72% or more. Thus, Aqua M4 disappoints in terms of better utilization of available screen size.
Since it happens to be the Sony display, we cannot complain much about its generic features. Yes, you will get a great viewing angle, nice color reproduction with better saturation. This is a real HD display showing a uniform experience during video play or gaming. This is the best display one can have in a smartphone in today’s time.
Is all HD display is really HD as most of the low budget smartphones claim? Just mere mentioning in specification sheet does not make a smartphone display to an HD display. However, here Sony has been quite realistic and fair in putting out details of display orientation and pixel distribution.
Before, I begin with the real specification sheet; I would like to mention here though this is a new era and new approach by Sony in its Smartphone business. The Sony Aqua M4 comes with the best chipset that gives ease in the regular performance. Here, user is going to get the best out of a smartphone in terms of processing power. Though it is not new, a smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 615 chipset, but the same in a Sony smartphone is good news.
This is Sony’s first smartphone with Octa-core Processor in mid range budget. The Sony M4 Aqua is powered by a combination of dual chipset wherein each having four core. The first chipset leads with an optimum clock speed of 1.5 GHz whereas supporting chipset comes in foray during multitasking or gaming with a clock speed of 1.0 GHz. Chip set belongs to Snapdragon 615 family and variant is MSM8939. This chipset is a successor of 415 family and better flaunt in terms of 4G operations. 2 GB RAM along with Adreno 405 graphic user interface is well enough for playing all the latest action or arcade games.
User gets full power from the processor for multitasking and gaming. Since the new user interface of Sony does not demand more of processor resources – overall gross performance of the phone is quite pleasing. In comparison with Sony's other mid-budget budget smartphones, too, the M4 Aqua offers the best performance in terms of productivity, gaming and multimedia usages.
If you own it, you would never honor it with a bad title for its sluggish working. I am just emphasizing the underline fact that the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is an absolute fire power. When it comes to delivery, the end users would always have the best. Full mark for processing power of Sony M4 Aqua.
Benchmark Test Result
The M4 Aqua Dual gets a score of 33219 at the reputed AnTuTU benchmark.
I would love to mention here some preinstalled apps that are more to increase productivity of this smartphone. LINE, Movie Creator, Sketch, Office Suite, File Commander and AVG mobile antivirus are some worthy application. TV Sideview app allows you to connect with Sony TV on the same local network.
Sony leads smartphone camera lens market. In fact, most of the smartphones with better camera performance evidently use Sony Exmor lens. The M4 Aqua is a camera phone with better photography and perfect selfie.
The primary shooter is a 13 MP camera with Exmor-R CMOS sensor. In addition, it features some of photography and output enhancer. Face detection, Geo tagging, High Dynamic Range mode, Red-eye Reduction and Touch to focus are some cool feature in the camera application. Its better photography feature calculates superior photo from 52 available scenes. Whether indoor or outdoor, day or night, natural light or low light, user able to secure some of the great photographs from this 13 MP rear camera. Images are filled with natural colors and background detailing is great too.
The front-facing selfie shooter is a 5 MP camera with super wide angle lens for a perfect selfie of you alone or in a group. We had some quick selfie moment with the M4 Aqua. We are giving full marks for selfie shooter performance.
Sony is allowing third party apps integration to the camera application for output improvement. Some camera application, which is preloaded on this phone:-
Movie Creator: Make a movie by compiling photos and videos.
Portrait retouch: With this application, you can beautify your selfie or photos.
Sound photo: This is my favorite application. You can capture some image and now add some voice input as an introduction or detailing of this image.
With the 2400 mAh in-built battery, Sony assures 2 days of backup on regular usages. According to the official website, user will get 7 hours of HD video playback or 64 hours of music playback. Use Stamina mode to improve backup and save battery in a critical situation.
Built-in walkman feature and FM tuner with RDS is part of multimedia booster. You can enjoy HD video playback up to 7 hours that is equal to watching 3 movies back to back. We have given full marks for the multimedia value addition on the M4 Aqua.
Sony is a market leader in Sound technology. That is why we are seeing some of the premium applications to make audio output best in the class.
Sony 3D Surround Sound technology (VPT)
Clear Audio Plus to improve Sound clarity
Clear Bass Technology to enhance music bash
xLoud Experience application will make to believe that you are in Cinema Hall
Audio recording, supported file formats: 3GPP, MP4, AMR
Audio playback, supported file formats: MP3, 3GPP, MP4, SMF, WAV, OTA, Ogg vorbis
In terms of connectivity and frequency band support, it is much better than any other competitor in market. 1G network frequency band support starts at 850 MHz that is the radio wave length in use at Aircel, BSNL and Uninor Tower in rural India. Having 4G band 2300 MHz TD-LTE ensures that the M4 Aqua will work with current Airtel and upcoming Reliance Jio 4G network.
In 16 GB model, approx 11.5 GB is free after the first boot. You can increase the gross memory up to 128 GB by inserting a microSD card.
- Very good calling quality
- Dedicated Camera Button
- Strong battery life
- Wide range of frequency band support
- Awesome Display
- Lag free processing power
- Enough memory on board
- Best built and design
- Indian 4G support
- This is an Awarded smartphone
- It has the best dust and Waterproof certifications
- Lacks display protection
- Glossy craft translates into finger print noise
The Sony Xperia M4 Dual SIM is a Paisa Vasool smartphone at a mid-budget under 25000 rupees.
Q: Is this the best smartphone to choose below 25000 rupees?
Q: Is this overpriced?
A: No. First time in a review of a Sony smartphone, I can confirm that it is not overpriced. I support the current price tag of 23650 rupees.
Q: Does it support Indian 4G?
Q: Does this smartphone work in rural or village?
A: Yes it has a support of 850 MHz spectrum
Q: Can I buy this phone for Camera?
Q: Can I buy this smartphone for gaming?
Q: Does this smartphone get heat up on regular gaming or hard core multitasking?
A: Yes, but should not be a concern. Basic heating is acceptable
Q: Does this smartphone hang during play of HD games?
Q: How much is battery backup?
A: According to Sony, two days of active full usages. However, for us it was around 36 hours on medium usages. Medium usages include listing music, playing HD game, network browsing, Facebook, Gtalk, Google Hangout and watching HD video. This is all activities executed like a normal human.
Q: Should I be concern about battery backup?
Q; Can this camera be useful for marriage video recording?
Q: With Sony M4 Aqua, Will I able to do better photography?
Q: Is review writer is satisfied with multimedia experience here
A: Very much
Q: Is this a right time to buy this smartphone?
A: Weight 10 to 15 days for price stabilization.
Q: If I want to buy now, the price tag 25650 is justified as per given features and specifications?
|Network||Dual, Nano SIM, GSM, 4G/3G/2G/1G|
|Operating System||Android Lollipop 5.0.1|
|Screen||5.0 Inch, IPS LCD, HD, 294 PPI|
|Processor||QC, 1.5 GHz, Cortex A53 + QC, 1 GHz, Snapdragon 615|
|Memory||2GB RAM, 16GB Memory, 128GB SDcard Support|
|Camera||13MP[P], 5MP[F], FHD Recording|
|Battery||2400 mAh, Non-Removable|
|Body||140g [W], 7.3 mm [Th]|
|Connectivity||OTG, NFC, DLNA, MHL, 4G, 3G, BT, Wi-Fi, GPS, USB|
|Buy||Sony M4 Aqua|