- 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."