The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua isn’t the newest or most popular phone but, as a resilient and waterproof piece of tech that does everything I need it to, it is definitely a key part of my lifestyle.
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua was released in 2015 and I got mine pretty soon after that (not because I’m some sort of obsessive Sony fangirl, but rather because of a small leaving-on-a-cruise-ship incident with my previous phone). It hasn’t really left my side since. I use it almost as obsessively as I do my ipod. I love it. But what’s so good about it? And, as I rapidly approach my upgrade date, what would I want to improve?
For a mid-range phone, the waterproof and dustproof M4 is pretty great. Emphasis on pretty – it’s gorgeous! Slimline, curved edges, and just perfectly shaped for rapid texting, it also has a sizeable 5 inch, 720p display with a 295ppi density. Basically, that means that the M4’s display is not quite as good as some of the other phones on the market, and it’s just a tad too big for your average female jean pocket, but it works for me. I love how it looks and I haven’t noticed any significant detail loss compared to my previous phones. The M4 also has 2GB of RAM, meaning that it can handle most things without lagging, but it unfortunately also has a paltry 8GB storage.
I’m usually pretty careful with my phones for the first month or so but then I get lazy. That’s part of the reason I avoided going for an Iphone again – they are rather well known for their easily smashed screens and I didn’t want to deal with that issue if I could help it. A phone that was waterproof and dustproof seemed like a good option (even if I was still concerned about how quickly I would end up breaking the screen).
Almost two years later and I can safely say that my concerns were unfounded. Phone covers for pretty much anything that’s not an Apple phone are apparently not a thing but, even so, my M4 doesn’t have a scratch on it. I have dropped it down stairs, accidentally thrown it in the high street, and left it for several hours in the snow. I’ve handed it off to toddlers (a mark of true confidence!) without any worries. Apart from a few fingerprints, it looks just as it did coming out of the box.
I haven’t fully tested the waterproofing, which is supposed to protect the phone for an hour while submerged up to one metre, but the few times it has been in watery environments hasn’t killed it. I can drop it in the sink. It doesn’t mind a bit of rain. Most importantly, I can use it in the bath. What better way is there to block out the world than to shove on a bit of Downton Abbey without worrying about getting your phone wet?
Phones tend to have multiple jobs nowadays and taking a good photo is one of the most important ones. The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua has a camera in the front and one in the back as well, perfect for filming whatever is going on around you and for upping your selfie game. The rear-facing camera is the stronger of the two at 13 megapixels but I will admit that I don’t notice a huge difference in quality between that and the 5 megapixel front-facing camera. I’m happy with anything as long as my selfies look good and I can take an awesome sunset shot! I’ve also found that it is significantly better at night time shots than my sister’s iPhone (always a bonus).
The biggest negative point with the M4 is its lack of storage. 8GB seems like an acceptable amount until you factor in that the android system itself takes up half the space. Then there is the bane of my existence: pre-loaded apps. They take up more than 2GB. Most can only be disabled rather than deleted, meaning that they will still take up your limited storage space, and I can’t imagine using at least half of them. Even worse, Sony apparently made the bizarre decision to have two app suppliers – Google and Amazon – and they double up on nearly everything. You want a calculator? Have two! Music? Two players! News? Actually, I’d rather downlo- Three of those! It’s really frustrating because you can’t delete the doubles, they endlessly update, and take up so much of the M4’s limited room.
With the android system and the pre-loaded apps taking up all your space, you have almost 2GBs of space to play with. This is not enough. You can add an SD card to up your storage but quite a number of apps won’t let you move them over. It is my biggest annoyance with my otherwise lovely phone. The Xperia M5 supposedly has 16GB so it would perhaps be a good option for someone who needs more space.
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is a decent phone and it can do pretty much anything I want it to. It looks good when streaming, makes me look good in selfies, and it puts up with my endless flicking between various apps. It is also ridiculously durable and waterproof – something that works well for someone as accident prone as me! It’s just a shame that it has too many pre-loaded apps and not enough storage. I’d definitely be willing to go for a similar phone when I next upgrade but I will pay way more attention to the storage provided.