- James Rogerson , TechRadar
The Sony Xperia M5 has a gorgeous screen and is a competent phone in every other way, but its a small, expensive upgrade.
- IP68 Rating for water resistance and dust proof
- Sharp and vivid full HD display
- Good battery life
- Excellent pictures in good lighting
- Shoots 4K video
- Poor sunlight legibility
- Loss of detail in low light settings for camera
- Lag during graphics-intensive games
- Heats up quickly
Less than a year after the release of their mid-range phone the M4 Aqua, Sony ups the ante with the Xperia M5. Like its predecessor the M5 comes with IP68 rating, which means it is water resistant for up to 1.5 meters for around 30 minutes. While it looks practically identical to the M4 Aqua there are some small differences. For one, it is slightly heavier at 142.5 grams and just a tad thicker. This actually worked in its favor as the additional weight and thickness gave reviewers a better grip. In terms of build quality, they actually found the M5 to be slightly sturdier thanks to the addition of glass coating on its plastic back.
The most noticeable improvement is in the 5-inch display. While still an IPS LCD panel, it now sports a full HD resolution of 1080p for a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. For the most part, experts were impressed with its excellent viewing angles and accurate colors. Sunlight legibility was its biggest downfall with many finding it difficult to read in direct sunlight due to its relatively low brightness.
Packed with a 2.0 GHz octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM, the M5 is no slouch in terms of performance. During day-to-day activities like checking email or browsing the web, reviewers were able to breeze through without a hitch even when multi-tasking. They only really started to notice any lag when they played more graphics-intensive game, and only when they had it on the higher settings. What worried them wasn't the lag, but how uncomfortably hot it became even when performing light tasks. Luckily, they note it cools down relatively fast as well. In order to power the high resolution display and powerful processor, Sony has opted for a 2,600mAh battery. For the most part critics were able to get around a full day of moderate use.
Sony didn't skimp out when it came to the cameras. The M5 sports a 21.5MP rear camera complete with phase detection autofocus and stabilization technology. For the most part reviewers were impressed with the accurate colors and detailed images they were able to capture in good lighting. Unfortunately, in low light settings, they noticed the quality quickly dips as the noise suppression technology removes a lot of fine detail. The biggest draw of the M5's camera, though, is its ability to shoot 4K video. Critics call the videos "gorgeous" stating that it is fit for a flagship let alone a mid-tier smartphone.
For the most part reviewers consider the Xperia M5 a worthy upgrade especially for people who already love Sony phones. India Today states, "It's safe to say that you will get a flagship package – or close to it – at a mid-range price…" Digital News Asia adds, "The Sony Xperia M5 brings a lot to the table in the premium mid-range category…you have a good contender for one of the most well-balanced price and performance smartphones out there."
Reviews (5.8/10 Avg. rating)
Not very good at all
The Xperia M5 really is a let down. The exterior and display are very tempting at first glance, but once you get into the details a lot of key specs are lacking. Sony seems to have splurged all the budget on the design, display, and front-facing camera, leaving the Xperia M5 severely lacking in processing power when compared to similarly priced and even cheaper rivals. On top of this, the rear-camera isn’t going to impress many and the battery life is quite bad for this price class. The long and the short of it is despire an appealing outer shell, do not be fooled, you can do a lot be... Full review
More storage, more power, more megapixels – for a lot more money
Middle class problems
It's complicated to classify the Xperia M5 and appraise it accordingly. Sony appears to want the M5 to occupy the same market space as the Xperia Z3+. The older device looks almost identical to the M5, but it has weaker cameras and has received criticism for its overheating problems. The Xperia M5's performance is well below that of similarly expensive smartphones, and its cameras, despite being highlights, do not provide exceptional results. 2015 flagships, such as the LG G4 are now available for similar prices, and provide more bang for your buck in several key areas in key places (batter... Full review
Performance is well below that of similarly expensive smartphones
A selfie specialist
Ultimately, though, the Xperia M5 struggles to distinguish itself from the similarly-priced Nexus 5X and Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo. Its large front-facing camera and copious selfie modes will no doubt be enough to sway some, but those after a more general mid-range handset are better off looking elsewhere. Personally, I'd pick the Nexus 5X thanks to its plain version of Android, faster internals and its great camera, but the S5 Neo also makes a compelling case with its incredible battery life, expandable storage and equally brilliant camera. Either way, the Xperia M5 is left feeling distinctly... Full review
Very well-made and durable
The Sony Xperia M5 is not called Aqua anymore most likely because it doesn't need any extra labels to set it apart from the rest of its midrange siblings. And the M5 is definitely taking the "M" family in a new direction. If this is where the new midrange is going, we can't argue. FullHD screen resolution, a high-res camera on each side, 3 gigs of RAM and a potent chipset. Even if not everything is picture-perfect, the Xperia M5 is good news. Except that it won't be available as widely as the M4 Aqua. Which may even be considered as good news as well - but only by recent Xperia M4 buyers. W... Full review
Darn, there are no reviews yet for this phone.
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Manuals / User Guides
- Sony Xperia M5 Manual (PDF)
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