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Sony Xperia M5 Initial Impressions: What the M4 Aqua Should Have Been

Sony Xperia M5 in the flesh
Sony Xperia M5 in the flesh

Unboxing the Sony Xperia M5

Dubbed as the “Elite Mid-Ranger”, the Sony Xperia M5 set high expectations when it was initially announced several weeks ago. The combination of water resistance, competitive specifications, Xperia omni-balance design, camera capabilities, and a not-so-ball-busting price tag gave the device a lot of buzz in the global tech community. However there were some reservations given the performance of it’s predecessor, the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua.

We finally got our hands on a unit and we’ll be putting this through the paces in the coming days as our daily driver. For now we’d like to share with you guys our initial review and unboxing. To kick things off, here’s a refresher on the specifications of the Xperia M5:

Sony Xperia M5 Spec Sheet

  • 2.0GHz 64-bit MediaTek Helio X10 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5-inch, full HD display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 21.5-megapixel rear camera with hybrid AF, F/2.2 aperture, flash
  • 13-megapixel front facing camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2600mAh battery
  • SRP: Php21,990

Let’s dive right into the unboxing!

Unboxing and Package Contents

Sony Xperia M5

The Xperia M5 comes in the standard flat square packaging of Sony. Glossy product shot up front and all the details and features highlighted at the back. We popped the lid open from the back and we were immediately greeted by the Sony Xperia M5 wrapped in plastic. The other carton compartments around it held the various accessories such as the USB to micro USB chord, wall charger, and earphones.

We were hoping for a gold unit (since that was the color on the front of the box) but it turned out we got a white one. Not complaining though because the phone just looks gorgeous! It’s hard to believe that mid-range devices can now compete head-on in the aesthetics department with flagships.

Sony Xperia M5 j

Sony Xperia M5 i

Anyway, nothing special inside in the box other the the standard fare.

Initial Impressions

Now let’s get to the juicy part of this post — our initial take on the Xperia M5.

Sony Xperia M5 c

The Sony Xperia M5 feels and looks like a flagship. It’s incredibly thin and it’s very solid and compact in the hand. It doesn’t give off the vibe of a mid-range phone at all! Heck, it’s actually hard to tell the difference between the Xperia M5 and the earlier Sony flagship, the Z3+/Z4 unless you have both units in your hands.

The distinguishing mark though is obviously the gigantic lens of the front-facing camera on the Xperia M5. It kinda sticks out like a sore thumb but it’s big for a reason. That’s a 13.0-megapixel shooter that you have there. It’s definitely going to be a kick ass selfie machine.

Perhaps if there’s one critique that we have, it’s the size of the bezels. We still find them quite big especially considering most devices are going almost borderless these days.

Sony Xperia M5 g

Along the sides we have the usual buttons and ports.

Sony Xperia M5 f

The tray for the SIM cards and the micro SD card can also be found along the sides of the device. It’s good that Sony decided to keep the expandable storage. It’s something that we’re terribly missing with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

There’s no cover for the micro USB port at the bottom. Sony already has the technology to keep it water resistant even if both the headphone jack and the micro USB port don’t have covers.

Sony Xperia M5 e

As for the performance, the Xperia M5 definitely is much smoother compared to the M4 Aqua. We also didn’t experience the heating issues that we had before. Take note though that we’ve only spent a day with this phone so we can only give you an accurate read on the over-all performance after a week or two when we do the full review.

Full Review Coming Soon

Sony Xperia M5 h

As far as initial reviews are concerned, we’re definitely impressed with the Sony Xperia M5. There’s a lot of indicators showing that this can live up to the promise of an “elite mid-ranger” and we’re definitely going to use and abuse this like crazy to make sure that we see all the issues before we give our final recommendation.

Check back in a week or two for the full review.

The Sony Xperia M5 retails locally for Php21,990.

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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    1. Kakabili ko lang ng m5 2 weeks ago. Walang problema, walang stutter or overheating. 1 and a half days sa normal internet dependent activities. Hindi on par sa mga flagship ang camera pero malinaw na para sa price bracket ng m5. Ganyan din sabi ng mga review sites na alaga ng apple at samsung, panget daw ang xperia z5 at z5 compact para madiscourage ang mga tao na bumili ng snapdragon v2 device.

      1. 2 friends got the M5. Within a matter of days both phones nagloko na (auto shutdown). One is on his 3rd (brand new) replacement unit while the other asked for a full refund. I suggest Mr. Ople to thoroughly review the M5, and better yet, hold on to the unit for a few more days.

        1. may nabasa ako na solution sa sony forum na kelangan daw naka turn off ang lte..gsm lang ang gamitin para masolve ang problem..

  1. uu nagshshutdown sya kahit 30 to 49 percent ang battery kaso di muna basta maisasauli yun mahirap iproof yung una ko bili sira yung front camera…maganda sana sya kaso may mga defect

  2. to the guys experiencing the auto shutdown problem, try setting the phone to “gsm only” or “wcdma only”,per the forums i’ve been to the issue probably lies in a firmware bug related to the phone’s network switching utility,causing the phone to shutdown when it automatically switches to whatever network mode had the most signal at the time (3g or 2g). users have noticed their phone shutting down when entering areas with poor network like elevators, underground parking, etc.

    to unbox: please try testing if this really is the issue, and if so lets hope sony pushes a firmware update, sayang ang phone na to ganda sana.

    1. Sony’s days are numbered. It’s only a matter of time before HQ pulls the plug on this non-performing subsidiary.

        1. No, not a paid troll. I used to own the ff: P800, P900, P910 and Xperia Ion. At last count over 5 dozen M5 units have been replaced. I’m just waiting for the review to come out.

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