Sony Xperia M4 Aqua vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

News

Waterproof phones have come a long way in two years.
by
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

Sony has used its impressive waterproofing skills to create the mid-range Xperia M4 Aqua. But how does this new phone stack up against an older, but still extremely powerful, watertight smartphone – the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active.

Sony Xperia M4 AquaDesign

These are two very different looking phones. On the one hand, you have the rugged Galaxy S4 Active with its chunky reinforced body and physical navigation keys, and on the other hand you have the slim M4 Aqua that looks like any normal modern smartphone.

Sony has pulled off a really impressive trick, squeezing water-tight seals into a phone that looks completely normal. But the M4 Aqua is actually slightly taller and wider than the S4 Active, although it is thinner, so the Sony has had to create a bit of extra space for its waterproofing.

One of the great things about the M4 Aqua’s design is that it’s more waterproof than the S4 Active. It’s rated IP68, meaning it’s protected to a depth of 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes. The S4 Active is rated IP67 so can only go to a depth of 1 metre.

Screen

Both phones have big 5-inch LCD screens, but they’re not equal. The S4 Active has an impressive Full HD resolution that makes everything look beautifully sharp. It’s also a really bright and colourful screen, which is great for games.

The M4 Aqua, by comparison, only has a HD resolution. It’s sharp enough, but not as eye-popping as the Galaxy. However, while the resolution might be lacking a little, the colours and brightness are really good.

Samsung Galaxy S4 ActiveCamera

As both these phones can be submerged, you can use their cameras under water thanks to physical shutter buttons. The S4 Active even has an Aqua Mode in the camera settings that makes sure colours still look as vibrant as they do normally.

But it’s the M4 Aqua that has the advantage in general picture quality. Its 13MP Sony-made camera takes fantastic photos that are a step ahead of the 8MP ones you can shoot with the Samsung.

And it’s the same story with the front cameras. The 5MP selfies you can take on the Sony look much clearer and brighter than the 2MP ones you can take with the S4 Active.

Battery

Batteries have come a long way in the last two years, so even though the M4 Aqua’s is slightly smaller than the one in the S4 Active, it’ll last longer. The official figures say the Samsung will give you an extra four hours of talk time, but the Sony will last more than twice as long on standby.

In real world use, the M4 Aqua could keep going for about two days from a single charge, while you’ll probably need to charge the S4 Active every night.

Speed

Both of these phones are fast. If you’re looking for raw speed to run the best games smoothly, the S4 Active is probably the one for you. Its quad core processor has an impressive top speed that the Sony can’t match.

But with eight cores, the M4 Aqua is much better for multitasking as is a lot more efficient. So if you like to jump from app to app, and want to be sure you won’t run out of battery before the end of the day, the Sony is perfect.

Verdict

Sony’s new mid-range phone is on a par with Samsung’s flagship from two years ago. If you’re after a waterproof and tough phone that’s great for gaming, get the S4 Active. If you’re looking for a Jack of all trades with a top camera and long battery life, go for the new M4 Aqua.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
We asked one of The Lowdown’s reviewers to hand over their smartphone and see what it’s like to live
If you're looking for a new smartphone and want to make your hard-earned cash go further, this lot m
To make the new Samsung Galaxy S7 water resistant, it's used these very clever design features to wa

25 July, 2017
Microsoft has partnered up with Johnson Controls to create a smart thermostat. Cortana,...
21 July, 2017
A long-awaited update to Transport for London's Oyster card app is coming in August,...
21 July, 2017
If you think you might have missed any of the latest tech news, help is at hand....
19 July, 2017
If you're looking for a tablet to take on your travels, you're in luck. We've rounded...
18 July, 2017
Tidal, the high fidelity music-streaming site owned by Jay-Z, is still dragging behind...

25 July, 2017
Microsoft has partnered up with Johnson Controls to create a smart thermostat. Cortana,...
21 July, 2017
A long-awaited update to Transport for London's Oyster card app is coming in August,...
21 July, 2017
If you think you might have missed any of the latest tech news, help is at hand....
30 June, 2017
Samsung has just unveiled the Galaxy J5 (2017), its latest affordable mid-range smartphone....
22 June, 2017
Nintendo has enjoyed a lot of success recently with its mobile titles including Super...
21 June, 2017
iD launches its new pay monthly plan with the help of #WeGotThis - iD Mobile’s new...
15 June, 2017
As of today, 15 June, there are no more charges attached to travelling or holidaying...
13 June, 2017
Huawei are back with a new set of smartphones, the P10 and P10 Plus. Both devices...
1 June, 2017
Got a new Android smartphone, and can't wait to get started with it? Using Tap and...
18 May, 2017
Google's annual I/O conference always has some great surprise announcements, and...
17 May, 2017
Samsung have just launched Samsung Pay in the UK. Here's everything you need to know...
20 April, 2017
HTC may have only just released the U Ultra and U Play, but it looks like the company...