Sony hosted a small gathering of about 50 journalists to launch its all-new Xperia smartphone, the M4 Aqua, in New Delhi on Tuesday. During the event, Sony executives including Product Marketing Head Mukesh Srivatsava explained various features of the Xperia M4 Aqua.
Dubbed as the first water proof smartphone in the mid-segment, the M4 Aqua offers decent specs and comes bundled with many exclusive features.
At the event, we were able to get our hands on the Xperia M4 Aqua and here's what we think of the handset.
Sony hasn't tinkered with the basic design, keeping the traditional aesthetic look intact in the Xperia M4 Aqua. The handset features a slim unibody with necessary slots for microSD and SIM card. The round panel around the handset gives a comfortable feel in hand. The rear side has a glass finish to give the handset a premium look, in line with other Xperia flagship smartphones.
On the rightside of the handset is a dedicated camera button for taking photos quickly, in addition to a power button and volume rocker keys. On the other side, there is an open, phone-charging slot right beside the microSD slot, covered with a flap. On the top, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack summing up all the physical elements of the handset.
Sony spent quite some time explaining about how Xperia M4 Aqua boasts of an advanced waterproof build. Even with an open headphone jack and a charging port, the M4 Aqua survived water immersion in a live demo. This shows how the handset is ideal during regular outdoor activities.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua boasts of a 5-inch HD display and delivers what can be expected from a 720p panel. Sadly, the handset does not come with Gorilla Glass protection; instead it uses a tempered glass. While using the handset, we found smudges appearing on the display quite often; the smudges were clearly visible when the screen was off. For those who like to see their handsets shining all the time, this could be a letdown. But it is not a complete turn off, as the display offered great view from different angles.
Sony smartphones offer exceptionally great cameras; after all they provide sensors for a wide range of flagship handsets across the industry. Sony never shies away from giving the best camera experience on its Xperia smartphones. The Xperia M4 Aqua has a great camera. Sony showed us how M4 Aqua's camera is better than most rivals and the subsequent hands-on experience wasn't disappointing.
According to Sony, camera is one of the three major highlights of the M4 Aqua. The 13-megapixel primary shooter with Exmor RS sensor improves the image quality, especially during low light conditions. In order to prove the image quality, Sony showed us a dark box demo where M4 Aqua captures an image inside a dark box without using flash. Interestingly, the handset captured what was in the box while its competition returned a black screen.
On the front side of the handset, Sony packed a 5-megapixel shooter with super wide angle lens to capture good selfies and even group selfies. To snap unique photos, there are different modes that can be used, such as AR fun, AR effect, Sound Photo, Multi camera and lot more.
Under the hood
If you are too hung on the specifications of the device, they touch a decent mark. The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset coupled with 2GB RAM and 16GB onboard storage. The handset supports dual SIM and high-speed 4G LTE bandwidths on one of the SIM cards. You will see the handset run on Google's Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box but Sony's UI makes it hard to find the difference on the menu screen.
During the entire hands-on session, we did not find the handset lag or fail to respond to launching apps or waking up from sleep. However, the demo handsets were prone to heating as we could feel it while using the handset for long duration. Benchmarking results will give us a clear picture, but we are not betting on a great score.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua runs on a 2,400mAh battery. Sony bets the handset to last for days, thanks to the STAMINA Mode 5.0. It remains to be seen how well the battery saver mode works on a mid-range handset. We can comment on it when we get our hands on the device shortly.
Price and Availability
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua launch price is set at ₹24,990 and availability started immediately after the product launch on 26 May. The handset comes in three colours: White, Black and Coral.
Sony Xperia handsets have a unique appeal. The Xperia M4 Aqua looks and feels good. The handset has advantages such as the impressive battery, waterproofing build and good camera. If these features are appealing enough, M4 Aqua makes for a good choice. But Sony has a great competition ahead of itself. With a price tag of ₹24,990, Sony is unlikely to stand against handsets like OnePlus One, Xiaomi Mi 4i. In the absence of competitive pricing, Sony has to rely on its faithful fanbase for sales.