Sony unveiled the Xperia M today, a new low-to-mid range Android smartphone that offers fairly competitive performance and functionality at a price point far below the company’s flagship Xperia Z handset.
The device packs a 1 GHz Qualcomm dual-core processor, a 4-inch FWVGA display (854×480 pixels) with Sony’s OmniBalance design, and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. The latter is fuelled by an Exmor RS sensor and up to 4x digital zoom, as well as 720p video recording set at 30 frames per second.
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A front-facing camera is on offer for making video calls and so-called “selfies”, although Sony is yet to disclose the resolution. The Xperia M comes with 1GB of RAM out of the box, alongside 4GB of flash memory and a microSD card slot for up to 32GB of additional space.
The device runs Android version 4.1 (Jelly Bean), coupled with Sony’s custom Android skin and a deluge of its exclusive apps. It also comes pre-loaded with a bunch of Google’s best Android applications, including Google Chrome, Voice Search and Maps, saving users a bit of time rummaging around the Google Play store.
The Xperia M is also a bit of a looker. Continuing the design language of the Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z, it offers a slim profile, just 9.3mm thick, a polished aluminium power button and highlighted camera ring.
The handset features a small strip just underneath the display for illuminated alerts, which the user can customize for notifications from different apps.
The Xperia M will be sold as both a single SIM and dual-SIM variant, suggesting that the handset will be targeted at consumers in emerging markets, or those with inconsistent network coverage.
The device also packs Sony’s ‘STAMINA’ mode for improved battery life. The battery model is yet to be confirmed, but a product page on the company’s site claims that standby time can run up to 552 hours. Talk time – usually a far more accurate metric – is capped at 10 hours and 18 minutes for the device, however.
The handset will be sold globally in the third quarter of 2013. The single SIM and dual-SIM version will be available in black, purple and white, although the latter will also come in an exclusive yellow color variant.