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Sony Xperia M stands for mid-range, loves NFC, is out soon

This new mid-range Xperia that bags you Sony's signature style and all the company's gimmicky NFC gubbins for less than the Xperia Z.

Sony's new Xperia M is appropriately initialled -- this a new mid-range Xperia that bags you Sony's signature style and all the usual extra gubbins, but promises a lower price than its flagship Xperia Z. Unfortunately Sony couldn't tell me what that price tag will say here in the UK, but I reckon we're in Lumia 520 territory, probably sub-£200.

Sony absolutely loves NFC, with the touchy-feely, wavey-payvey tech built into all its phones and loads of accessories. Here's a video from Sony showing off the Xperia M's one-touch listening over speakers and easy TV mirroring. Warning: DUBSTEP.

Despite all the features -- and the weird power nubbin on the side -- this is no mini Xperia Z, with a ho-hum 1GHz dual-core processor and a 4-inch screen with a mediocre 854x480 pixels. That works out to 245 pixels per inch, which is rather less than the iPhone 4, but a little better than the Lumia 520.

It doesn't have any of the hardy Z's waterproof or dustproof survival skills either, with just a scratch-resistant screen to protect your precious.

The biggest corner cut is that there's just 4GB of internal storage, and only 2GB of that is available for storing apps. You can add 64GB in a microSD card, but the M's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software won't let you install apps externally.

Also disappointing is the 5-megapixel camera, which has auto focus but no optical zoom, and the front-facing camera is barely worth bothering with at 0.3 megapixels. No HD video calls on this, although the rear camera can record 720p video.

There's a dual-SIM version called the Mdual, but we may not get that here in the UK. Sony says that version has the newer Android 4.2 software, which doesn't sound right, so I've asked them to check.

The Xperia M is due out later this summer in black, white, purple and yellow versions. Are you minded to mull over the M? Or is it marginally too mediocre? Make your mark down in the comments, or on our marvellous Facebook page.