Sony Launches Xperia M5 And Xperia C5 Ultra, Both Focused On Camera Performance

Sony announced two new mid-range phones, the "super mid-range" (as Sony called it) Xperia M5 (the successor to the Xperia M4 Aqua) and the "PROselfie" Xperia C5 Ultra (successor to the Xperia C4).

The Xperia M5 is close to Sony's Z-series in both style and specs. It comes with the same "OmniBalance" design language, a 21.5 MP camera on the back, a 13MP camera on the front (one of the highest-resolution selfie cameras right now) and a Mediatek Helio X10 (MT6795) SoC.

The Helio X10 has a 64-bit octa-core CPU that can go up to 2 GHz in clock speed and a PowerVR G200 GPU clocked at 700 MHz. The chip can also support both 4k decoding and encoding at 30fps.

The Xperia M5 brings a 5" 1920 x 1080 display, 3 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage with microSD expansion support (up to 200 GB), LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, and a 2,600 mAh battery, which Sony claimed will give the device "up to two days of battery life." Many of these features were seen on Sony's flagships not too long ago.

The highlight of this "super midrange" device is most definitely the high-end rear and front cameras. Sony seems to have finally put a major focus on its cameras, which is something it should've done a long time ago considering its sensors are some of the very best in the smartphone industry, and most of the other major mobile OEMs use them.

“We are pleased to present two new products that highlight Sony's advances in camera technology," said Tony McNulty, Vice-President, Value Category Business Management at Sony Mobile Communications. “We understand that camera capabilities are important to smartphone users, so we ensured that Sony's existing camera brilliance was once again surpassed in the new Xperia C5 Ultra and Xperia M5 without compromising on other features across design and performance."

However, Sony has been outpaced by its own customers so far when it comes to overall picture quality from their phones' cameras, so we'll see just how well this new smartphone performs.

The rear camera brings a "hybrid" autofocus system (Phase Detection AF for faster shutter speed and Contrast Detection AF for higher precision), which cuts down the autofocus time to one quarter of a second, and an f/2.2 lens that supports 3200 ISO, making it better in low-light environments. The front-camera also comes with autofocus support and a filter to smooth the skin in selfies.

Last but not least, the Xperia M5 is dustproof and waterproof thanks to its IP65 and IP68 ratings.

The Xperia C5 Ultra is a new offering from Sony's lineup of mid-range mobile devices that puts a strong focus on the front-camera and on taking great selfies. Sony calls it the "PROsefie" smartphone.

The device comes with a 13MP camera on the back and one on the front. Both have Sony's Exmor RS sensor and support HDR for both pictures and video. The front camera also brings a 22 mm wide-angle lens to capture a bigger frame in the picture. Both cameras support 1080p video recording.

The Xperia C5 Ultra comes with a larger 6" screen with Full HD resolution, an octa-core 1.7 GHz processor (Mediatek MTK6752) with the Mali-T760 MP2 GPU, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage along with support for up to 200 GB microSD cards, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, FM radio with RDS, LTE (not available in all markets), and a 2,950 mAh battery, which Sony also claimed it lasts up to two days on a charge.

Both devices will run Android 5.0 out of the box, which is one version behind other smartphones at this point in time, and they will come in single-SIM as well as dual-SIM variants. The two devices will be available in "selected countries across emerging markets" starting in mid-August.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.