The contacts app uses a tabbed interface, consisting of Contacts, Favorites and Groups. It is no longer bundled with the phone app, but you can still quickly jump to it from the dialer. The contact list has a dedicated search filed plus it offers a very nicely animated alphabetical scroll bar.
If you are using two SIM cards, every time you want to make a call you'll be asked to choose which SIM card to use.
Editing a contact is pretty straight-forward and the Xperia offers a wide variety of additional fields you can append to your acquaintances.
Linking contacts is available, the quick contact feature is here too.
The Sony Xperia M5 was able to hold onto signal very well. Calls remained uninterrupted and the sound quality was okay. Voices came out loud enough. Clarity was also quite good.
The dialer supports smart dialing, so you can seamlessly search for a number or a name using the corresponding keypad buttons.
The noise cancelation system is also pulling its own weight ensuring pretty good background noise suppression, as reported by the other side.
The Sony Xperia M5 isn't particularly loud and scored a Below Average mark in out loudspeaker tests. The score was achieved with Sony's Clear Audio optimization turned off, as it does take away some of the loudness.
On a positive note, however, the speaker is conveniently located on the bottom frame of the phone, so accidentally covering it shouldn't be an issue.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
Messaging hasn't really changed and is the same familiar Xperia experience (yeah it does sound weird), but now with a prettier Material design interface. Text messages and MMS use standard thread layout. Adding multimedia (photos, videos, sounds, etc.) will convert the message automatically into an MMS.
Naturally, the Gmail client and the default Email apps are onboard. Gmail can sync only with (multiple) Google accounts, while the generic Email app can handle POP and IMAP and offers a Combined inbox.
As for text input, the Xperia M5 offers a customizable full QWERTY keyboard. You can choose a different layout (keypad, QWERTY, QWERTY with extra symbols), add/remove the coma and period button, the smiley and voice input buttons and also enable things like bilingual word suggestions if you have more than one language enabled. Different keyboard skins are available too.
You can also try the so-called Gesture input if hitting those keys individually doesn't give you the desired typing speed. It's similar to what Swype offers, and even if you've never used a Swype-like input before, you'll quickly get used to it.
Single-hand size keyboard is available too. If enabled, it squeezes the onscreen keyboard to the left or right side of the screen so it gets more comfortable for single handed text input.