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A smart phone for smart chicks

A surprisingly good model for a lower mid-range prize point

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The Sony Xperia M is a chic looking Android phone that offers a smooth and fast experience while offering all the essential requirements that a smartphone should have _ without having to dig deep into your wallet. 

It's a very good entry point for people who want to jump on the smartphone-generation bandwagon.

This gizmo is one of the few Android phones that have girls around this office wow at its good (and girlish) look. It has a modern, stylish feel to it; I can imagine most teenagers would find it attractive. Its 4-inch screen is exactly the same size as the iPhone 5S (which is still not coming here officially), and that's just the right size to operate with one hand, as claimed by Apple.

There are several colours (white, black, yellow and purple) to choose from. It also boasts a dedicated camera button which is good to have and can be very convenient for taking photos in a hurry.

Personally, I think Sony's user interface is one of the very few cool, well-built and highly customisable UI among the huge array of Android devices. Their UI displays smooth transitions, nice looking boot animation, together with special live wallpapers and quite a number of themes to choose from. Once again, this aspect of the phone will endear it to girls and people who like eye candy gimmicks. Even for those like me who prefer a straightforward minimalist look, I admit that Sony has done a very good job customising the Android OS to the point that it looks extremely fashionable and ungeeky.

The screen projects very bright and crisp images while responding quickly to touch input and I have never felt any lag while insanely swiping my meaty fingers to show off the smoothness of the screen transitions to my nerdy gang during lunch breaks (about 10 or so tried it as well and all were impressed by the responsiveness).

This phone is very light in weight compared to most smartphones I've used and tested. Even my not-so-strong mum thinks it is light.

There are few exclusive built-in features such as power management "stamina mode" which can extend its stand-by battery life for another 10 hours or so, and smiley-face-detection for taking photos of crazily cheerful people without the need to press the shutter button.

This phone is very open to a lot of unofficial (and sometimes unlawful) customisations because it is very root friendly (you only need to run a certain .APK file to root it). For people who don't know what "root" is, it is a way to unlock your Android phone to do all sorts of software and hardware adjustments, such as making the phone faster by over-clocking the CPU or totally changing the phone's UI to resemble something like a James Bond gadget.

Hardcore mobile gamers won't like the fact that this phone has only 2GB of usable internal memory to install applications, which means that some huge games (such as Horn and N.O.V.A. 3) cannot be installed and played. But most games will not face this problem because as long as the game is no larger than 2GB, it's OK to run.

Another thing is that the screen doesn't go very dim even when set to its dimmest. This can be distracting when it's being used before going to bed with the lights out because it's still a bit too bright for your bleary eyes.

And this phone takes only decent quality photos, so if you're looking for something that will take real-life quality photos, look elsewhere.

SPECS

CPU: 1Ghz dual-core
RAM: 1GB
Screen: 4 inches
Internal memory: 4GB
Camera: 5 megapixel (special features: face detection, red-eye reduction, sweep panorama, touch focus)
Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Price: 6,690 baht

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