Sony Xperia M Review: Morning Show: Connectivity, Web Browser, Organizer

By 07:20 Fri, 13 Aug 2021 Comments

Decent connectivity

The Sony Xperia M has quad-band 2G and up to quad-band 3G connectivity depending on your regional model. Mobile data speeds can hit the impressive 21 Mbps of HSDPA and 5.76Mbps HSUPA.

Local connectivity is covered by dual-band Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) a/b/g/n with DLNA and Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) Direct, so you can easily share content from your phone on a DLNA TV or music player. If a media app supports the Throw function (like the video player), you can utilize the Smart Connect app for DLNA functions (sharing screen, etc.).

There's also Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and ANT+, both of which can be used for low-power accessories (e.g. sports trackers), and NFC.

MicroUniversal Serial Bus (USB) handles the charging and Personal Computer (PC) connectivity, and there's also Universal Serial Bus (USB) On-the-go so you can attach external flash drives.

Media Remote isn't preinstalled on the Xperia M but you can acquire it off the Google Play Store for free. It will serve as a remote control for DLNA-capable BRAVIA TVs and Sony DVD/Blu-ray players too. There are a few versions of the interface ranging from simply changing the channels to moutilize input and viewing disc history. This sort of a remote only works over the Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) connection.

The Xperia M comes with Sony's Smart Connect app, which replaces the former LiveWare manager, although the functionality remains basically the same. With Smart connect, you can set your device to do a variety of things, like launch an app or set an alarm, whenever you connect an accessory, e.g. a headset or a charger, or at a preset time. It doesn't work with NFC though, which is very disappointing.

Smart Connect manager can, for example, launch the music player as soon as you connect a headset

In fact, there's no app to handle the NFC functions out of the box, which is strange considering Sony took the time to install a QR code reader app, which will see a lot less use. Luckily, there are plenty of capable NFC apps in the Play Store.

Finally, there's Xperia Link, which shares the phone's Internet connection over Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi. All you have to do is utilize the capturing camera to scan the QR code generated by the app on the tablet or computer. If you have the Xperia Tablet Z, the app will also display notifications for incoming calls and show full text messages.

Xperia Link shares your phone's Internet connection with a tablet or Personal Computer (PC) over Bluetooth

Google Chrome is the sole web browser

The Sony Xperia M comes with Google Chrome as the default web browser out of box instead of the generic Android browser. The minimalist interface hasn't changed since Chrome launched on Android.

At the top there's an URL bar with a refresh/stop button next to tabs and settings. You can switch between tabs with a wide horizontal swipe in either direction.

Opening the tabs area reveals a list of tabs which can be closed, again with a left or correct swipe. The animation accompanying this action is neat, too.

Browsing with Chrome

Chrome is running on the WebKit rendering engine, so underneath the minimalist UI it's basically the same as all Android stock browsers.

Of course, one of Chrome's strengths is its ability to seamlessly sync with the desktop version, using nothing but your Google account. This allows you to open an article on your Personal Computer (PC) and finish reading it on your mobile phone. It also syncs your bookmarks and favorite sites.

Google Chrome is generous with settings as well. You can control almost every aspect of your web browsing from choosing what content you want to allow to load like JavaScript, images, cookies and pop-ups.

Switching between tabs • an incognito tab

A brand recent setting is called Reduce data usage and does what it says - Google servers compress the webpage (using Google-developed tech like SPDY and WebP) and sdiscontinue them to the phone. You can check the graph to see how much data you've saved. Unlike Opera Mini, this mode keeps the full functionality of web pages. Also, secure connections bypass the Google servers, for privacy reasons.

Also, haged in mind you can utilize the Small app browser, but that doesn't work that remarkable on a 4" screen. Plus there's no easy way to switch from Chrome to the floating browser.

Small app browser

Organizer and apps

The Sony Xperia M comes with the older version OfficeSuite 7 viewer. OfficeSuite 7 lets you view Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Portable Document Format (PDF) along with plain text files. Just view them though, you'll have to buy the Pro version if you want editing capabilities as well.

OfficeSuite 7 handles all your documents

The calendar has three different types of view - daily, weekly and monthly. The lower section of the classy screen is reserved for a list of upcoming events. Adding a recent event is quick and easy, and you can also set an alarm to act as a reminder.

The organizer centerpiece - the calendar

The Calendar also pulls info on upcoming events from your Facebook account. Facebook events appear just like regular calendar entries, except that you can't edit them from the app.

There's a Notes app that comes with the Xperia M. It's pretty simple to utilize - you can select the color of the note and just start typing or doodling. There's also Evernote integration.

The Notes app



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