NOTE: This model is discontinued and may no longer be available to purchase new. See the latest mobile phones or compare used prices.

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua review

6.8/10 AVG.
RATING



6.8/10
Informr score
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua currently has an Informr score of 6.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 14 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • IP68 and IP65 waterproofing and dustproofing without rubber flaps
  • MicroSD card support
  • Price

What's bad

  • Plasticky feel
  • Lower resolution than many competitors
  • Small internal storage capacity

With waterproofing, the familiar omnibalance design and a quad-core processor, Sony is looking to make a splash in the mid-range market with the Xperia M4 Aqua. While it might not be a flagship device, the spec list looks quite nice. But how does it perform when put to the test? Let’s dig into the reviews.

If there was one thing that reviews were on the fence about with the new handset, it would be the materials used to make the phone. While it keeps the omnibalance design, with stereo speakers and the aluminum power button in the center of the phone’s edge, it swaps the glass and metal construction of the Z series with a plastic shell and polycarbonate chassis with a nylon scuff-resistance coating. Trusted Reviews handled the device and found, “There was no undue bend or flex in the body and construction felt strong.” However, all reviews agreed that the phone felt cheaper than many competitors in its price range.

Housed within the shell is a 5-inch 720p IPS display. In a market where 4K phones are looming on the horizon, this resolution is certainly behind many of the competitors. However, thanks to some tweaks from Sony’s Bravia Engine, the reviews of the display are decent. Digital Trends noted that it “looks better than it sounds.” One area of concern many reviews noted was with text clarity. Otherwise, color, contrast and brightness were all applauded.

To keep performance snappy, the phone includes a octa-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM. While the RAM might limit multitasking abilities with heavy apps or games, reviews found no issues with general performance, launching apps or playing the latest games. Trusted Reviews called the M4 Aqua “a strong device at a wallet-friendly price.” It ships with the latest version of Android (Lollipop 5.0) with minimal changes from Sony.

The processor also touts improvements in battery efficiency, which will be important with a 2400mAh non-removable battery. Sony claims that a single charge will net two days of mixed usage and that their STAMINA power saving mode can power the phone with basic functionality for up to five days.

The only area where reviews indicated that performance lagged was taking pictures. Which is a shame, as reviews of the camera are generally positive otherwise. TechRadar said the handset “doesn't seem up to the task of taking photos at full speed.” As long as you’re not taking quick action shots or catching spur-of-the-moment memories, the 13MP rear-facing camera performs well, even in low-light. If you’re a fan of selfies, the 5MP front-facing camera includes a wide-angle lens to make it easy to cram you and your friends into the shot.

Lastly, the phone includes 8GB of internal storage with roughly 4GB available after Android and pre-loaded apps are installed. Fortunately, it also supports microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity. If you plan to download many games or store music or video on your M4 Aqua, you’ll probably want to invest in a microSD card to add a little more freedom in how you use your phone.

In all, the mid-tier handset receives outstanding reviews. Digital Trends declared that it offers a “level of quality and a lack of compromise that’s rare in this category.” Summing up the reviews well, iDigitalTimes states, “While the plastic build does make the device feel cheap, the trade off of a good camera, battery, display and snappy performance, at a great price point is more than worth it.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
5"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Pocket-lint

We love the look of the M4 Aqua and how, despite being predominantly plastic, it offers much the same design as Sony's flagship Xperia devices. It's a charming smartphone, especially in the coral colour as reviewed here, which almost tricks you into thinking it's part of the flagship line thanks to...

- Britta O'Boyle, Pocket-lint
Tech Advisor

The mid-range smartphone market is always tricky, especially with budget devices getting so good. If you are looking for something around this price, the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is a solid choice although the Honor 6 is worth a look for extra features. It offers flagship-like design, a great camera and...

- Chris Martin, Tech Advisor
Mobile Syrup

With the exception of the M4’s screen, Sony has created a phone that is, by all accounts, an excellent entry into the mid-range market. As with any device in this price range, there are compromises. But, for the most part, the company has packed in features that many different types of consume...

- Igor Bonifacic, Mobile Syrup
Notebookcheck

So if you are looking for an inexpensive mainstream smartphone with IP certification and can live with the mentioned issues, then you should consider the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua.

- Michael Moser, Notebookcheck
The Indian Express

If you want a waterproof smartphone, then buy it. Having said that keep in mind that you are paying a premium for the waterproofing and this means the specs of the phones are not at par with other brands in this price range.

- Debashis Sarkar, The Indian Express


Prices (Where to Buy)





Resources


Manuals / User Guides Helpful Links Share / Embed

Maybe one of your friends will find this review helpful? Please help us spread the word.


Quick view

Screen Size
5"

The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua's screen size is 5 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
8/16 GB

Internal memory is 8/16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2400mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2400 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 797 minutes, 420 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Xperia M4 Aqua Specs

Overview
Release date June 12, 2015
Regions available Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/800/850 /900/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
variations
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa core 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 8/16 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.19 W/kg
Body: 0.82 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 2 Years
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2400 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 417 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 420 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 797 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 28.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White, Coral, Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.6 x 7.3 x 0.7 cm (5.8 x 2.9 x 0.3 in)
Weight 136 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Pixel density 294 pixels
Size 5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Panorama, Red-eye reduction, Self-timer
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
4x digital
Additional Front Camera Info
HDR, Scene recognition
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, OGG, WAV
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Google Chrome, Facebook, Google Hangouts, Twitter, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony E2303, E2306, E2353

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Reviews
Where to buy Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
Suggest a correction