With the Xperia Z4 smartphone nowhere to be seen at MWC 2015 (even if its tablet cousin is knocking about) it falls to Sony's Xperia M4 Aqua to carry Sony's phone concerns at the show. A mid-ranger, it's got a few solid features worthy of your attention.
For starters, Sony's confident that the 5-inch Xperia M4 Aqua will last two full days from a single charge. While only having a 720p display to power probably doesn't hurt, a "STAMINA Mode 5.0" setting should mean that the 2400mAh battery isn't crying out for a recharge every time the sun goes down.
Waterproofing is also a key feature. Not only is the handset safe up to IP65/IP68 specifications, it's also got a capless USB charging port. Where previous waterproofed Sony handsets have required that you insert a fiddly cover over the power socket before submerging them, the M4 Aqua can go for a swim commando-style.
A 13MP camera (f/2.0, ISO 3200) sits on the back and a 5MP one around the front with a super-wide angle 88-degree field of view lens. There's a dedicated shutter button on one edge, letting you fire up the camera button even from sleep. It's a nice touch, though the button is a little stiff to press and there appeared to be a slight delay between pushing the button and the camera app starting up, which lessens its usefulness a tad.
All considered, it's an attractive handset. Weighing 136g and measuring 145.5mm x 72.6mm x 7.3mm, the phone is powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core processor that sees it nip around Android 5.0 Lollipop without a stutter, backed by 2GB of RAM. 8GB of storage is onboard with microSD expansion, while there's also NFC connectivity slipped in too. Comfortable in the hand with its curved sides, Sony's now-established Omniphone look is still a looker, if a little plumper here than with the flagship Z series devices.
Out in the Spring, the Xperia M4 Aqua will be available in four colours: white, black a "Coral" red and in selected markets a silver shade too. At $US330, it's a very affordable handset. The mid-range market can be a killer, but if that two-day battery life lives up to the claim, paired with the waterproofing it might just do enough to stand out.