It has just been two months since Sony announced its latest waterproof mid-range beauty and now it is gaining some notoriety. At least the 8 GB version of Xperia M4 Aqua. Xperia Blog reports how Sony has, intentionally or not, practically crippled the more affordable model of the two versions, leaving less than 2 GB of usable storage space out of the 8 GB total storage found inside. And the culprit? Nothing less than the smartphone user’s favorite source of headache: pre-installed apps, a.k.a. bloatware.
8 GB for a low to mid range smartphone isn’t exactly uncommon. Naturally, you can’t expect to have all 8 GB available for use, as some amount is naturally meant for storing the operating system. On the Xperia M4 Aqua, that technically should only take 4 GB or so of space for Android 5.0. Sony, however, has made it almost feel like a WIndows computer, leaving very little room for users to wiggle in, much less add new apps.
Only 1.25 GB of space was left free out of the box. So where did the more than 2 GB of space go? The apps that Sony has seemingly pre-installed on the smartphone. Considering this is a budget device, the OEM should have been a bit more conscious of which apps it included in such small a space.
To add insult to injury, much of these apps are actually baked into the firmware, meaning they cannot be uninstalled. Those that can, like Facebook and Kobo, only freed up around 500 GB of space. Installing more essential like Dropbox and Evernote would nullify that. Owners of this model are left without recourse other than to install a bloat-less custom ROM, which isn’t something most users would want to go through, or live with the restriction.
The one saving grace of the Xperia M4 Aqua is that it has a microSD card slot that can support up to 32 GB more. That might be fine for files and media, but apps, especially those that can’t be installed on external storage, are a different story. Sony has also launched a 16 GB variant of the smartphone, which seems like an implied admission of the 8 GB model’s flaw, though It boggles the mind why Sony would knowingly put out such a crippled smartphone in the first place.