Sony Xperia M2 review
|Review: May 2014|
In a nutshell: The Sony Xperia M2 is a mid-range smartphone with high-end looks, an impressive 8 megapixel camera, fast quad-core processor and 4G LTE support.
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The original Xperia M proved underwhelming, but Sony has now brought out the M2 - a significantly better phone for the same kind of price. First impressions are good, so let's take a closer look.
Mid-range price, smart looks
Although it's positioned fairly and squarely in the mid-range sector, the Xperia M2 is a smart-looking phone with some high-end design features. It's quite a large phone, with a big 4.8 inch screen - the largest for a mid-range Android phone by some margin. It's not a HD screen, but with 960 x 540 pixels it's sharp, and only the Motorola Moto G can match it at this price.
The phone is quite large because of the big screen, and it's weighty too, but nice and slim at just 8.6mm. The design features straight edges and a flat profile. It's perhaps not the most ergonomic phone, but the rounded corners make it quite easy to pick up and hold. The M2 borrows some of the styling from the flagship Xperia Z2 phone, such as the aluminium power button, but it's not waterproof and the build is more plastic, less metal. Already it's clear that Sony has raised its game and the the M2 is a phone worth taking seriously. It's available in a choice of Black, White or Purple.
Android Jelly Bean
The phone runs Android Jelly Bean (version 4.3). We expect this to be updated to KitKat, although Sony hasn't made any promises. There are plenty of pre-installed apps, such as Facebook, YouTube and Google Hangouts. Sony's Walkman app is the main music player and Google Chrome is available for web browsing.
Audio quality is good, and the phone is equipped with HD voice and noise suppression technology.
8 megapixel camera
Photographers will like the fact that the Xperia M2 has an 8 megapixel HDR camera with Sony Exmor RS sensor. This is capable of capturing nice, detailed images even in low lighting conditions. The camera is equipped with touch autofocus, 4x digital zoom, and a bundle of features such as red-eye reduction, smile shutter and image stabilisation. It can also record video at Full HD 1080p resolution.
A front-facing VGA camera is available for selfies and video chats.
Quad-core processors are now appearing in mid-range and even entry-level smartphones, so it's good to see the M2 keeping up. The Qualcomm Snapdragon processor runs at 1.2GHz and is accompanied by an Adreno 305 GPU for 3D graphics support.
The onboard RAM is 1GB and there's 8GB of memory plus a microSD card slot that can support cards up to 32GB.
The Xperia M2 is a 4G phone with up to 150 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speeds. It also has support for fast HSPA data networks and Wi-Fi (with Wi-Fi hotspot support), Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, DLNA, NFC, screen mirroring and ANT+. GLONASS and aGPS are here too.
This is a real strength of the phone. The 2330mAh battery is the largest in any mid-range Android phone and is enough to power a full 12 hours of talking. STAMINA mode can make the phone last for days in standby if you don't play with it too often.
The mid-priced smartphone sector is generally unexciting and the Xperia M2 is the standout phone if you're looking to spend around £15 per month on contract or up to £200 on PAYG.
For your money you get a smart, well-designed phone with a large display, impressive camera, fast quad-core processor with adequate memory and excellent battery life.
The cheaper Motorola Moto G offer most of the same features but is much more of a budget phone in looks and is lacking LTE, NFC and a microSD card slot. The similarly-priced HTC Desire 601 is similar to the Sony and includes 4G but the camera can't match the Xperia M2. If your budget can stretch a little higher, then the Samsung Galaxy S3 with its outstanding HD display is a good choice.
Sony Xperia M2 features include:
- Operating system: Google Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
- 8 megapixel HDR camera with 4x digital zoom, autofocus, face detection, smile detection and LED flash
- HD 1080p video camera with video light
- VGA front-facing video camera, video chat
- Display: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 960 x 540 pixels (4.8 inches), 16 million colours
- Walkman music player with album art, TrackID, dynamic normaliser
- FM radio with RDS
- Clear Audio+, Clear Bass, Clear Phase and Clear stereo, xLoud experience
- aGPS and GLONASS with Google Maps for Mobile with Street view and Latitude
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, email, conversations
- 3D games, motion gaming
- Vibration alert
- Processor: 1.2 GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor
- Memory: 8GB flash memory plus 1GB RAM plus 32GB microSD card slot
- Internet: HSPA, GPRS, EDGE, YouTube, voice search
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA, NFC, WiFi hotspot support, ANT+
- 4G LTE Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, quadband UMTS/HSPA/GSM
- Size: 139.6 x 71.1 x 8.6 mm
- Weight: 148g
- Battery: 2330mAh
- Talktime: 12 hours
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Sony Xperia M2 user reviews
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Average rating from 24 reviews:
Reviewed by :)
on 17th Jan 2016
A lot of people in the review section complain about things that are completely un reasonable or not even the phones fault. Ive had this phone for over a year and not had a single problem. This is a mid range phone, not a flagship, so things like a lower resolution screen are to be expected. Ive found it fast enough, and to have great battery life, and i have taken a few good photos with the camera. People buy this phone as if it is a flagship, and then complain when they realise it isnt. It is a great phone for the little amount of money you have to pay.
Reviewed by goatman
on 30th Jun 2015
The m2 model is really really bad, so many built in apps taking up way to much space, they're pretty much running all the time so the battery is pretty bad, but it would be good if there wasn't so many apps.
Reviewed by l222esa
on 18th Jun 2015
Had since march... in for repair twice, apparently only needed software upgrade! !!! Back 2 days, not holding its charge, now just will not switch on... nothing. phoned my mobile Number its active but no sighs of life.. so so frustrating.
Reviewed by Kati
on 16th Jun 2015
This is definitely a no-go. I got mine 4 months ago and this is the second time it just won't power on. The worst thing is that the phone had to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair in both cases, which takes approximately 2 weeks. (!!) I had another, smaller issue with it after I encrypted my data in March, which messed up some of the settings.
This phone is just really unstable and unreliable, it is highly recommended that you stay away from it, unless you want to spend your lifetime waiting for warranty repair.
Reviewed by paul fyfe
on 15th Jun 2015
great phone only problem is mine is three months old and as had to go for repair now going on a second time turns off and doesn't come back on would advice to buy a another phone.
Reviewed by Steve
on 15th Jun 2015
I've only had this phone for 5 days and now it has died on me, it won't turn on or charge. I am more or less house bound, so the phone has never left the house and has spent most of its short life on my desk or on a bedside cabinet. It has not been dropped or abused but treated with TLC, in order that it doesn't get the shinney back scratched. I never had it long enough to try out many of it's functions. RIP SONY XPERIA M2.
Reviewed by Sharon
on 14th Jun 2015
I am very frustrated with this Sony phone, my new upgrade will be a Samsung!!
Reviewed by a
on 7th Jun 2015
Sony m2 I had it 3days it work fine at first today day 4 it cant charge or turn on I am not happy with it.
Reviewed by Raj
on 29th May 2015
I've had this phone for over a year now and I simply hate it! The camera is slow and really bad, the battery keeps running out, the screen is so prone to scratches! The updates have already stopped! Need I say more? At this price the moto g is a great buy !
Reviewed by Tony Howells
on 2nd May 2015
Had this phone for little under a year and can't run a single thing anymore. I click on messages and it comes up with Google. I click on Google and it comes up with one of my games. Nothing works. Camara is awful and front camara needs enough light to blind someone to actually see anything. All in all. Terrible phone. Don't recommend.
Reviewed by lee
on 18th Apr 2015
had three sony phone's won't touch any other make, m2 is very good all round phone ,fast easy to use phone.
Reviewed by jashan
on 17th Apr 2015
It's a useless phone. Bought last week. The pixel density is very low nd can't recognise. The person. The camera is useless. Even 2 mp camera would be better than this. Wasted my money.
Reviewed by wizzo
from uk London
on 9th Apr 2015
Awful awful awful.. I really wish I went for HTC Samsung or apple. The software of this fones rubbish. Constant neva ending bug from day 1 but I was hohoping Sony will sort it as time goes on. This fone has put me off Sonys fones. A mate warned me when I got it that he had thesame and he switched to iPhone coz all he Eva did was send the fone for repair all the time. This is why I switched from windows fone to andriod coz all I Eva did with ma lumia is send it for repair. Now sony m2 too.. No more mid range fone for me.. N am switching to iPhone.
Reviewed by Gabrielle
on 15th Mar 2015
So far it has been ok but the front facing camera is awful. It also randomly does not unlock and the screen is just blue for hours unless I re set it but that should not be the solution. It keeps saying all of my apps are not working and the camera button on the side does not work for me. I would say buy a differrent phone I have had numerous problems and have only had this phone 3 months and the back scratches very easily.
Reviewed by Maurice
on 11th Mar 2015
This phone goes down on a lot and there are few good points in my opinion as a consumer.
On the positive. Large screen, tough Gorilla glass, and external SIM and MicroSD ports. Dedicated camera button on side of phone and volume control button.
On the negative:
1) Out of the box: There is no organiser which is shameful for this type of phone, just a calendar and some time-consuming configuring to be down before an alarm sounds.
2) There is a lot of subscribing to various things in order to get features to work, which involve some serious privacy issues regarding data collection.
3) The messaging system falls down heavily on many fronts and is totally different than what would be expected. There is no specific in-box or outbox, just a list of the recent contacts and small little arrows. No "message sent" notification popup went sending. Many M2 buyers will be in for more than a few surprises here. Very poor here and messy. You also have to focus on whether you are on the messaging page or the phone page, because they are coloured the same.
4) A recent and time-consuming upgrade just produced the added effect of having a note padówow!
5) No dedicated microphone app, just a Google voice microphone recognition for web pages. Voice recordings must be done in message mode when sending a attachment. Then it is recorded in to a list or recordings.
6) Micro SIM card will not press in and lock with finger, you must use a pointer or go to your retailer to have it inserted to get it in a lot further before it will retain.
7) Does not come with MicroSD card. This must be bought separate.
8) Some apps upgrades can only be downloaded through WI-FI. This is stated clearly when trying to upgrade.
9) Tool app is poor. Includes basic calculator, no conversion app and expensive Mega-byte eating update app. Neo reader and backup app.
Overall, this is a very clumsily phone to set up. E.G. No Gmail or Browser app on home page. They have to be taken and moved from the settings page and more. Hardly impressive. Despite having a dedicated PC software, the M2 requires that certain upgrades happen out of the phone's credit, not through a PC! A Nokia Xpress Music 5310 would be ten times better if it had a bigger screen. It was released as far back as Feb 2007. The M2 can hardly be considered a step forward in over half a decade, where other phones have surpassed it on usability and set up.
Reviewed by Jenny wood
on 25th Jan 2015
Don't like this phone at all. Wish I had stayed with my Galaxy. The camera on this phone is absolutely rubbish!!!
Reviewed by Ruth brown
from England and Ireland
on 29th Dec 2014
When I first got this phone I went from an Xperia U which was dying to an M2 it was a definite step up. I have had this phone for a number of months now and here are the problems so far :
The camera especially the front one is rubbish can't be used at all really.
The glass back scratches very very easily on both the black and white models.
It was a great phone but now is showing it's age much better handsets are now available for the money.
Reviewed by Dami
on 15th Nov 2014
Sony Xperia M2 WITH 4G
I have to say that this phone is one of the best mid range phones ive used in a while. I mean the Motorola Moto G may have a better screen but the Xperia M2 just does it better and has everything better than any other device. The phones screen is not the sharpest and i aint denying that but it does mean that the phone will last longer and with that 2300mAh battery. The Moto G cant say that with its non-removeable 2070mAH which means that those heavy users may have to charge their phone everyday. The camera on the Xperia M2 is just impressive and i have to say sometimes it does beat the S3. The quality is just unique and is one of the best. Sony is also known for their camera and the M2 doesn't disappoint with their 8MP Back and VGA front cameras. The phone has 8GB memory and this is good as apps are squeezed down so that they can run better and faster but also memory is larger. The phone is running 4.4.2 and its great as it is one of best updates from Android but im hoping that the 5.0 update will be here soon. The phone is just great in terms of social activity you haver Social Live which replaces The Timescape which existed on the Gingerbread and below. Its so good though as you get updates from News, Facebook, Twitter and Weather at once and when they come eventually. The phones call quality is great and is loud specially with its super clear sound speakers. Sometimes they can be a little hollow but the quality is excellent. The Xperia M2 is again one of the best if not then the best mid range smartphone that has come out. It has everything you need and also theres so many powerful features and the design is simplistic like the Z and Z1 phones but also it is cute, simple and great. Most other phones in the level the M2 don't come close to this phone. In fact the only device which comes near is the Desire 610. And this phone has 4G
Top 5 Features
8MP Sony camera with 1080p FULL HD and VGA front camera
4.8' screen with 540 by 960 pixel screen. PPI of 229
8GB Memory and expandable memory up to 32GB
Simple design but its also stylish at the same time
Its got everything but at a nice and affordable price with 4G
Reviewed by redfitz
on 20th Oct 2014
I got this phone as lost my moto g and fairly happy with it my screen on my moto g was better but not by loads sony should of give this same resolution screen as moto g then I'd give it 5 stars as it's not I'm giving it 4
Reviewed by tom
on 30th Sep 2014
This phone is dire, for an 8 megapixel camera, the pics it takes are terrible and for night shots, forget it. Low memory and average screen resolution make it one to avoid. Save up your cash and buy the z1 compact instead.
Reviewed by TCP
on 28th Sep 2014
My other half has this phone and I must agree with gabgab. Most of the phone's features are fine except the camera which is dreadful. All images look very grainy and there's no obvious way to remedy this. Otherwise though a good bit of kit for the price
Reviewed by jack b
on 25th Sep 2014
Worst phone I've ever had cost me £200 and after 1 month of having it the amount of problems I was having with it was unbearable it constantly vibrated even when I had no notifications I dropped it on my carpet and the screen just started to go mad flickering on and off. Just an awful phone if your looking for a good phone in the same price bracket go for the HTC desire 610. Also if anyone knows how to fix these problems or knows why there happening please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by chris peacock
on 4th Aug 2014
good looking phone ,nice features , loads of sony stuff (just uninstall all the stuff you don't need to make more room , camera is ok takes abit of getting used to with all the features , only negative about this phone is its hard to see the screen in strong daylight , all in all i'd recomend this phone especially around the £15-18 mark for a contract,if the screen was clearer in daylight it would be 5 stars
Reviewed by Gabgab
on 1st Jul 2014
I don't know how this phone was rewarded 5 stars. On paper, all the specs look impressive. In reality, the screen is good, much better than I expected. The phone is reasonably fast, no hiccups. But the camera is rubbish. I mean rubbish.And my other issue is that this phone is very quiet when I use the earphones.