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Sony Xperia M2 review

The M2 looks good, but once you delve under the hood its capabilities don’t justify its price tag.

Screen shot 2014-08-22 at 11.36.17

Sony’s latest smartphone, the Xperia M2 is a nice looking handset. It has a relatively big screen at 4.8 inches, and it sports the trademark Xperia design, which is distinctive and liked by many. The handset comes in white, black and deep purple. We were sent the latter for review, and it is rather stunning.

Design-wise then, this is a really attractive phone. The monolith block appearance is now distinctively Xperia, and the silver round power button in the centre of the right edge is a distinguishing feature. The non-removable backplate is also a trademark feature, and the back is so shiny and reflective that you could easily use it as a mirror. Be warned though, that unlike the higher-end glass backed Xperia X2, this handset has a plastic back that will likely get scratched in your pocket or bag if it is not protected with a case.

micro SIM and micro SD cards live under a long flap on the right edge of the handset. This is not a sign that the Sony Xperia M2 shares the waterproofing credentials of more expensive Xperia handsets. It doesn’t. There’s also a volume button and a camera button on this edge, so it is quite busy to look at. The bottom is clear, headset slot on the top. The power and charge connector sits on the upper-left edge.

In the looks department, then, the Sony Xperia M2 impresses. But under the hood things are not quite so hot. The screen resolution of 960 x 540 pixels is poor and you notice this most when you are reading text. It is not awful, but if you like reading ebooks on your handset then your eyes probably deserve better.

The 1.2GHz processor is the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core as found in the Moto G 4G, and the 1GB of RAM is the same too. There’s 8GB of internal storage. NFC is here and we’ve already noted this is a 4G handset. Sony skins Android 4.3 and adds a lot of apps to the Android standards. As usual, newcomers might find the net result a little difficult to get to grips with at first, but there is some decent stuff on offer.

The eight-megapixel main camera shoots fairly good photos: good enough, anyway, for sharing through social media. The front camera is a real disappointment though, as it is stuck at VGA resolution. Selfie fans won’t like that at all.

Retailing for £180, the Sony Xperia M2 sits at the top of the budget category, verging on mid-range, and in that position it inevitably comes up against comparisons with the Motorola Moto G 4G as both are 4G handsets. Sadly for Sony, the Xperia M2 doesn’t really do enough to justify its higher price.

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