By Anirban Ghoshal
If there is one smartphone brand that is adamant for sure, that brand would be Sony. In spite of several Chinese handset-makers entering India and offering phones with better specifications at lower prices, Sony is bent on releasing phones that are a tad overpriced and offer a wee-bit upgrade in smartphone experience in comparison to the Chinese brands. We got our hands on the recently released Aqua M4 dual, priced at Rs.19,500 and here is what we think of it:
What is good?
The phone is lighter than most smartphones and its USP is that it is water proof but not water-resistant. A user can dip the phone under water and take a picture with it but this facility is only limited to a certain depth or time (IP68 certified – dust and water proof up to 1.5 metres and 30 minutes).
The 5.2-inch scratch-resistant screen comes with 294 pixels per inch (ppi) and supports a 1280 x 720 pixels resolution, enabling users to enjoy HD content. Also, the audio experience on the phone is one of the best we have seen in the price-band.
The phone’s system-on-chip (SoC) comes in combination with a 2GB RAM and a 64-bit 1.46 GHz octa-core processor that is capable of handling most heavy tasks and apps. The phone did not lag under heavy usage. Heavy games were also better on the phone, although it did show some lags. The Aqua M4 enthralled us with a good, fun smartphone camera experience. The camera is as good as the one in C4. The front unit is a decent five-megapixel performer but has no flash as in the C4 dual.
The phone also comes with a ‘partyshare’ app that lets users simultaneously share music and photos with a host of people.
In addition, the phone comes with two 4G LTE compliant nano-SIM slots and a 16 GB internal memory slot which can be expanded to 128 GB using a microSD card.
What doesn’t work for the phone?
As is the case with all Sony smartphones, there has been no change or innovation in design. The phone comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 and hence gets heated up easily draining battery during use. Gaming on the phone becomes difficult as it quickly gets heated up.
Strangely, while charging via the USB, the phone showed that its battery was draining faster than it was charging which was discomforting. Still, the phone’s 2,400 mAH battery only lost seven percent while kept charged for three days in standby mode without a SIM card.
There is also no innovation on the interface of the phone which provides a dull experience.
Verdict: The phone seems to be a good value for money option but Sony should actively look at solving the heating issue with firmware upgrades. Minus the heating issue, the Aqua M4 is a good buy as it is water-proof, comes with decent processing power and a powerful camera.
Full specifications: Full HD 5.2 inches | Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core 1.46 GHz Cortex-A53 with Adreno 405 GPU | 16 GB up to 128 GB | 2 GB RAM | NFC | DLNA |Bluetooth | Wi-Fi | GPS-A with GLONASS | Android 5.0 Lollipop | 2,400 mAH battery.
(Anirban can be contacted at [email protected])