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Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G: The Android smartie that can take its drink

Beerproof flagship lookalike topples Moto G from its perch

Snap decisions

The M4 has a 13MP camera to take pictures and record video (at 1080p and 30fps max) and a 5-inch 720 x 1280 IPS RGB-matrix display to view them on. That's exactly the same spec as the new Moto G that we reviewed recently.

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G Android Smartphone

Video maximum resolution is 1080p at 30fs

There's not much to choose between the two devices on either front. If pushed I'd say that the Moto G's screen is a tad more colourful, the M4's brighter. The M4's camera sharper, the Moto G's faster. There's equally little to choose between the 5MP forward-facing cameras both handsets are fitted with.

If you abuse your phones, it's worth remembering that Motorola uses genuine Gorilla Glass 3, while the M4 Aqua uses the same no-name scratch-resistant glass as other Xperia devices. In everyday use and at this price point, I’m not sure this is a distinction worth losing much sleep over.

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G Android Smartphone

Featuring a Sony 13MP Exmor sensor, the camera is sharp and clear. Click for a larger image

The Mk 2 Moto G packed stereo speakers above and below the display. The new model looks as though it does too, but it's a trick of the light. There's only the one, below the screen. It's not a bad speaker, but the M4's, built into the bottom edge, is louder and easier on the ear.

The Moto G again trails home in second place when it comes to performance. Sony offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC to Motorola's 410. Neither chipset gets me particularly excited, but the 615 is noticeably more capable across the board. That should come as no surprise, since the 615 has eight cores (four 1.5 GHz and four 1.0 GHz, all Cortex-A53) to the 410’s four (1.4 GHz Cortex-A53).

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G Android Smartphone

Respectable AnTuTu score for a budget device, but you won't be taking much video with only 1.2GB left unless you get a micro SD card. Click for a larger image

In benchmark tests, the M4 Aqua beats the Moto G into a bloody pulp every time. Some of that is down to Sony also offering 2GB of RAM out of the box. If you want the same in a Moto G you have to cough up for the £209 16GB version.

Yes, sad to say that at the entry level Sony, like Motorola, only offers a paltry 8GB of storage, which equates to around 1.2GB after system requirements. That's going to cause you problems when you try to install large games. Even if you aren't a gamer, you'll be clearing out the cache with monotonous regularity to free up space.

Next page: Pick a card...

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