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Sony Xperia M review – a decent budget choice?

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £99.99
inc VAT

Bargain-basement specs let down this well-made compact smartphone


Android, 4.0in 480×854 display

The Xperia M comes with Sony’s various multimedia services installed, including Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited. Price and the depth of content on offer is on a par with most other digital stores, but if you’re already embedded in another ecosystem such as Google or Amazon, there’s no compelling reason to switch to Sony’s services.

Sony has put the spotlight on NFC technology in its Xperia line, with its NFC music playing functionality taking prime placement in the product’s promotional material. For this to work you need to buy a Sony-branded speaker, so it seems like more of a gimmick than anything. However, NFC is becoming increasingly popular for mobile payments and ticketing systems, so having it as standard on a cheaper device is a big plus point.

Sony Xperia M

The 5-megapixel camera on the back of the Xperia M is a disappointment. Outdoor images appeared washed out and lacked any kind of definition. Its only saving grace is its performance with close-up objects, where the autofocus works very well. We do like the dedicated camera button on the side of the device, which is useful for quick capturing of unplanned photo opportunities.

The Sony Xperia M is a generally a fine budget handset. It ticks the boxes for build quality and demonstrates satisfactory performance, and on a good value contract would be a prime choice. However, its mediocre screen and poor camera are both drawbacks, especially when you consider how competitive the circa £100 price bracket is. For similar money you can get an excellent 4G Motorola Moto G, Moto E or a Nokia Lumia 630. If you can pick one up for cheap second-hand, though, it’s a perfectly capable handset.

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Main display size4.0in
Native resolution480×854
CCD effective megapixels5-megapixel
Internal memory4096MB
Memory card supportmicroSD
Memory card includedN/A
Operating frequenciesGSM 900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless dataGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA


Operating systemAndroid
Microsoft Office compatibilityPDF viewer
FM Radioyes
Accessoriesstereo headset, charger, USB cable
Talk time10 hours
Standby time55 days

Buying Information

SIM-free price£150
Price on contract0
Prepay price£100

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