Sony Xperia M2 review
Sony’s attempt at making its premium technologies available to the masses.
- Nice software
- Strong connectivity
The Xperia M2 delivers an enjoyable experience. The software is versatile and the hardware, although modest, is powerful enough to keep the M2 competitive. Unfortunately it can't compete against its rivals at this price point. We’re afraid Sony has priced themselves out of contention — by about $100.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
The Xperia M2 is Sony’s attempt at making some of its premium technologies available to the masses by slapping it with a budget price.
The ugly Xperia, Poor screen
The Xperia M2 is instantly recognisable as a Sony smartphone. Much of its DNA is a carbon copy of Sony’s famed Xperia range, but the fine details that make company’s premium smartphones desirable is missing. Thick bezels make it look dated, and the screen does little to elevate the experience.
The screen’s fondness of fingerprints takes the joy out of content
The screen stretches a 960x540 resolution over 4.8-inches, which ultimately gives the Xperia M2 a 229 pixel-per-inch density. At time the pixel grid will distract you, while the screen’s fondness of fingerprints takes the joy out of watching content.
Jelly Bean flavour, Quad-core power
Sony’s software is the big scoop on the Xperia M2, even if the smartphone ships with the now defunct Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Years of refinement has benefitted Sony’s Android overlay, imbuing it with a healthy balance of intuitive design and granular controls. The Xperia M2 might not look like a flagship on the outside, but on the inside it sure runs like one — and that’s in spite of its modest hardware.
Sony’s software is the big scoop on the Xperia M2
Working behind the scenes is a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Instructions are carried out quickly and rarely do you feel the smartphone is straining. Ideally more RAM would’ve suited the M2, even if it was like the Desire 816’s 1.5GB, but the included 1GB serves the smartphone well enough.
Sony has been more generous with the smartphone‘s connectivity features. The Xperia M2 supports 4G internet, dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11ac), near field communications (NFC), DLNA and GPS.
The smartphone has a non-removable 2300 milliamp-hour battery. Good Gear Guide used the smartphone to make phone calls, send text messages, surf the web, stream YouTube videos, watch movies and listen to music. Our testing revealed the smartphone would average a day of battery life, and it achieved these results without having its efficient ‘stamina mode’ enabled.
8MP camera, Full HD video
Sony is renowned for its imaging capabilities. Buying a Sony smartphone comes with the expectation that it will be able to take good photos and videos.
Landscape shots with the big blue sky or an evening sunset look great
Sitting flushed on the rear of the Xperia M2 is an 8 megapixel camera and a single LED flash. Usually captured photos look better when viewed on a smartphone screen, but the low resolution screen of the Xperia M2 doesn’t do it any favours. Viewing photos on a large screen monitor or television serves the camera justice.
There are telltale signs this is a Sony camera. Landscape shots with the big blue sky or an evening sunset look great as the camera can discern fine gradations in colour, but the lack of an HDR mode means detail in shadowy foregrounds will be lost.
Lighting is paramount in getting quality photos with this camera. Photos taken in conditions where lighting is complex or poor will result in too much image noise, while photos with sun glare will wash out colour.
Videos recorded with the M2 are disappointing, even though the camera supports Full HD recording. Most videos will look grainy due to the large amount of image noise present. The fact the flash can’t be enabled/disabled while recording is another deal-breaker.
The Xperia M2 has a VGA front facing camera that records video in 480p resolution.
Sony currently recommends retailers sell the Xperia M2 for $399, and at that price the smartphone can’t compete with , Motorola’s $249 Moto G, HTC’s $399 Desire 816 and especially not LG’s $399 Nexus 5. Compared to these rivals, its screen, hardware and camera all prove inferior.
It’s a shame because the smartphone delivers an otherwise enjoyable experience. The software is versatile and the hardware, although modest, is powerful enough to keep the M2 competitive.
Put bluntly: the Xperia M2 can’t compete at this price point. We’re afraid Sony has priced themselves out of contention — by about $100.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 4 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- New Samsung loyalty program hints that the Note line may not be dead after all
- Google's Pixel XL is much easier to repair than the Nexus 6P
- Google Keep adds app shortcuts, pinned messages in update
- New Windows 10 preview adds an iPhone Live Photos rival, Windows Ink improvements
- The Note7 will cost Samsung another US$3 billion in profit
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTXamarin DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior .Net Software EngineerVIC
- CCProject SchedulerSA
- CCTest Engineer - BankingQLD
- FTPortfolio ManagerVIC
- CCDigital Producer - 3 Month Contract Immediate Start!NSW
- CCAgile Iteration ManagerNSW
- FTNetwork Specialist - Palo Alto FirewallsVIC
- CCIteration Manager - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- CCNetwork and Security Design EngineerNSW
- FTDevOps EngineerVIC
- FTJunior Java DevelopersACT
- CCSAP Lumira ConsultantWA
- CCIT Senior Systems Administrator- Server Patching RemediationNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Manufacturing ConsultantNSW
- CCService Analyst (12-month contract)Asia
- CCDefence Opportunities - Baseline, NV1 or NV2SA
- TPFrontend DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Developer - C++/Perl/PythonNSW
- TPSenior Analyst|Progress ProgrammerQLD
- CCStrategy AnalystVIC
- CCTesting Business Analyst (Gold Coast based)QLD
- CCNetwork and Security ArchitectNSW
- TPDev Ops SpecialistWA