Sony Xperia M5 is yet another victim of Sony’s ridiculous pricing. If they had priced it fairly the phone would have been a big hit. But now nobody is even going to consider it not until its price comes down at least. Such a sad fate for such a good phone.
Sony is calling Xperia M5 a ‘Mid range flagship’. And at-least build quality wise i can confirm that. It is certainly built like a flagship phone. Very solid and feels really premium in hand. It is only 7.6 mm thick and weighs around 142 grams.
It has a metal frame which makes it very sturdy from the inside and the colour i got, white one comes with polished metal finish. Although not all of the outer frame is metal, some parts are made of plastic(you can see more about that in review video below) but still it looks very elegant in person. And it does comes with a notification LED and a dedicated camera button.
Oh and one thing i compltely forgot to mention in the review video is that this phone is waterproof and dust tight phone up-to a certain limit.
Sony’s displays were always good the only problem was viewing angles since they were using TFT type LCDs before but since they use IPS LCD displays even that problem is gone. Xperia M5’s full HD IPS LCD display is no exception either, its very good in colour reproduction and viewing angles especially while watching videos and playing games. And its not overly bright. It’s just bright enough. Which also helps in saving the battery life. Its sunlight readability is good too.
Sony Xperia M5 comes with 21MP camera with a lot of features. Like 4k recording and slow-motion video. By default or in ‘superior auto’ mode the camera is set to take photos at 16MP resolution if you want to capture images at full 21MP resolution you have to use the manual mode. And sometimes it doesn’t focus properly in full 21MP resolution mode if the camera is too close to the object.
Quality wise, well in good lighting conditions it takes extremely good, detailed and sharp photos but in low light though the photo becomes a bit grainy. Even though it comes with features like HDR and high ISO up-to 3200 but the thing about those features the more digital features you use, chances are the worse your photo will come out to be. If the camera couldn’t pick up light itself properly in low light condition then no software features could fix that.
Its front camera is of 13MP and overall is pretty good but again this camera too doesn’t pick up that much light and hence the photo comes out a bit dark. In comparison to Xperia C5 Ultra’s camera you can say that it isn’t that bright. Its front camera also supports full HD recording.
Image quality or IQ wise both the front and rear facing cameras are very good its just the lighting that is a bit of an issue with this phone. You can shoot video and take photos simultaneously by the way something i forgot to mention in the review video.
A little about 4K video, this feature uses a lot of storage for example it takes up more than 100 MB of storage for a video that is not even a minute longer. And the phone heat up pretty while recording in 4K resolution. Sometimes the video does not work either in phone or on the computer, in the phone all you will see is a green corrupted pixels like error on top of the video and on the computer without proper codecs it won’t even play and sometimes even with proper codecs some players will only play the audio.
Another feature of this phone that is flagship worthy is its music quality. Its music quality in earphones is extremely good. Its very punchy and extremely clear sounding. Just use decent quality earphones you will see what i am talking about. The speaker is fairly loud and clear too. And it has a little bass itself. Because of its powerful chip-set this phone is capable of play 4k resolution content natively without any help of apps such as MX player.
Sony Xperia M5 aqua comes with Android version 5.0 Lollipop with Sony’s own Xperia UI on top and it runs buttery smooth with no slowdowns or anything thanks to its 3GB of RAM and you will get a little less than 1GB free to use of that 3GB by the way.
The flash storage of this phone is 16GB out of which you’ll get around 10GB free which you can further extend through micro SD card up-to 200GB. The phone supports move to SD but you can not install games and apps on the micro SD card. It also supports USB OTG but a little bit differently which you can see in the review video. Different as in it’s not always on or on by default. If you want the phone to recognize your USB device you have to use a certain toggle in notification area every time you connect a USB device to it.
This phone is a full on performance multimedia device but be careful if you use it as that it won’t even last you five hours. It performance is still not exactly like of a flagship phone. But it’s close enough. The Mediatek 6795 inside this phone is a very powerful chip-set. It consists of 8 Cortex A53 cores all clocked at around 2.0 GHz and Power VR Rogue G6200 GPU which is a completely different beast in itself.
Even though it performed very badly in benchmarks for some reason, its real performance test was the gaming performance and it didn’t disappoint at all in that regard. Some phones performs really good in benchmarks but falls short when it comes to actual performance like in games and power hungry tasks like 4K recording but Sony Xperia M5 did exactly the opposite.
This phone does heat up if you keep playing games on it continuously at maximum settings and also while using the camera or shooting 4K video specifically. During normal use it doesn’t that hot.
Xperia M5’s performance is very good but because of its MRP its price to performance ratio is very bad. But that’s not this phone’s fault so lets not talk about that or else i will feel even more sad for this phone.
Sony Xperia M5 is a well connected phone. And the audio quality of both its earpiece of and mouthpiece or mic is very good and clear. It is a 4G phone and the dual variant which is the one i have takes two nano sims. Some other connectivity features are Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi direct, GLONASS, NFC.
Battery life of Xperia M5 is if not bad i would say is decent. Because its mostly depends on how you use it. Since it is a pretty powerful phone nothing can stop you from playing graphic intensive games or watch 4K videos on it, you do that and the battery won’t even last 5-6 hours.
To give you an example while i was making my gaming video i played games on it continuously with WiFi on and brightness set at a little lower than maximum for more than an hour and a half. The battery came down from around 70% to 30% in that period of time. So if i had played an hour and a half more i would have lost another 30%- 40% that means 0% in a little under 5 hours give or take.
Sony is advertising 2 days battery life with this phone but that’s not going to happen under any normal or moderate use unless you only use it occasionally. The only way to get 2 days battery life out of this phone is to use it under stamina or ultra stamina there’s no other way.
Its battery capacity is 2600 mAh and Sony is also advertising an approximate talk time of around 11 hours on this phone which unlike 2 days battery life is actually possible even without using stamina mode, if you use the phone and conserve your battery properly.
If you have decided to buy this phone and have the money for it, buy it i won’t stop you. Because it is that good of a phone. But it is still not worth 37,000 Rupees(approx $560) or anywhere close to that i will just say what i said in my review video. If anyone could spend that much on a phone then why would that someone buy this phone and not add a little more to it and buy an actual flagship instead of this ‘mid-range flagship’ from Sony.
Anything below 30,000 Rupees is a good price for this phone. So you can either wait or buy from a site like eBay with seller warranty, choice is up-to you. And Sony, you make really good phones. Just price them fairly and you won’t have to worry about your mobile division anymore.