The Sony Xperia M5 was never going to have an easy run, going up against the likes of the Google Nexus 5X and the Moto Z Play. Unfortunately, with the upper-middle price-range market squarely in its sights, the M5 seemed destined to disappoint.
First up, there’s very little not to like about the M5’s design in a visual sense – as is the case with pretty much every Xperia to come from Sony to date. The only downside in the case of the M5 being the overly-liberal use of plastic, which in turn makes it feel much cheaper than its price-tag suggests it should. Even if just to protect the plastic shell, you’ll be in need of a decent Sony phone case.
As for the display, it’s also true to say that this is an area in which Sony has consistently excelled over recent years. The M5 doesn’t disappoint in this respect, with a high-quality 1080p IPS LCD of 5-inches, which is brilliantly bright, colorful and performs with real flare.
Unfortunately, it’s when you take overall performance into consideration that things start to hit something of a downward spiral. On paper, the octa-core 2.0GHz MediaTek MT6795 processor with 3GB of RAM sounds every bit as solid as it needs to be. In reality, tests have shown it to actually perform at about half the pace of the Xperia M4 Aqua, not to mention about a third as fast as the Samsung Galaxy S5. When used to high-end gaming and multitasking advanced apps, the cracks soon begin to show.
Connectivity is great and the M5 supports a 256GB MicroSD card, but for this kind of money it’s just totally insufficient to provide 16GB of on-board storage space. It’s also somewhat surprising that the primary 21MP camera doesn’t deliver on expectations, either – images produces being somewhat poor in detail and lacking the kind of definition Sony’s devices usually deliver.
And then there’s the battery, which likewise comes in way below rivals with around nine hours of use from a full charge. Suffice to say, nowhere near enough for a device in this bracket.
If it wasn’t for the fact that the M5 currently sells for around the $275 mark, this wouldn’t be such a bad thing. But given the fact that you can get so much more for your money elsewhere…well, the smart thing to do is exactly that!