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Sony Xperia M2 Review

Sony Xperia M2 5

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Interface and functionality

Sony's signature Android skin is still among our favorites.

In typical Sony fashion, the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (pending KitKat) operating system driving the Xperia M2 has been thoroughly skinned. That's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you consider Sony's design approach – the overlays are simple, uniform and easy on the eyes. If the default theme is not to your liking, you have some choice in terms of personalization – whether it's different themes, a different wallpaper for your lockscreen, or adding additional quick toggles in the pull-down notification panel.

The Xperia M2 also comes pre-loaded with a few apps, most of which courtesy of different Sony services. For example, Sony Select is a small, curated apps and themes market, and Socialife News is a news reader with an ultra-simplified (but laggy) design. Apps like Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, and even PlayStation Mobile can also be found on board, and there's even a custom Navigation app courtesy of Garmin present with a free, 60-days trial available.

Processor and memory

Speedy processor ensures frills-free operation.

The now trendy quad-core, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 chip by Qualcomm found itself a new home with the Xperia M2, and along with its trusty Adreno 305 GPU makes operating the handset very pleasant. Of course, that 1GB RAM stick sure also helps with that.

In our time with the M2, we stumbled upon no situations where lags or just general sluggishness reared their ugly heads. Navigating the interface is speedy and no signs of hiccups were noticed, and load times for apps are acceptable. In fact, even sophisticated, graphics-intensive games (think Asphalt 8) ran solidly, with no noticeable drop in frame rate.

As for internal storage, there are 8GB to be found on board, and only 5GB of that is available for use. Thankfully, up to 32GB more can be added through a microSD card.

Performance benchmarks

Higher is better
Sony Xperia M2 8688.6
Motorola Moto G 8512
Motorola Moto X 8509
Google Nexus 5 8455
Higher is better
Sony Xperia M2 17470.6
Motorola Moto G 17014
Motorola Moto X 18483
Google Nexus 5 26340
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Sony Xperia M2 556.3
Motorola Moto G 499
Motorola Moto X 749
Google Nexus 5 1166
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Sony Xperia M2 2000.3
Motorola Moto G 1933
Motorola Moto X 2412
Google Nexus 5 1524
Lower is better
Sony Xperia M2 1569.2
Motorola Moto G 1223.8
Google Nexus 5 723.9
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Sony Xperia M2 6.9
Google Nexus 5 9.4
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Sony Xperia M2 284.3
Google Nexus 5 891.3
View all

Internet and connectivity

Chock-full with connectivity options.

An extension of the relatively potent hardware configuration, the browsing experience with the built-in Chrome browser on the Xperia M2 is a smooth affair. Even heavier, image-based websites load up quick, and navigating them puts no noticeable strain on the processor.

Connectivity options are plentiful, too. There's LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz Wi-Fi, NFC, DLNA, A-GPS (with Glonass support), and even MHL compatibility for streaming the M2's screen onto a bigger monitor.

  • Options

posted on 15 May 2014, 03:34 1

1. itsjustJOH (Posts: 162; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)

Those photos look really bad, though I think it deserves a 6-6.5 at least.

posted on 15 May 2014, 03:51

3. boosook (Posts: 1188; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

I think that 5 is even too much! :) The only good thing of this phone is the battery. The rest... well... image quality is awful, worse than the worst chinese clone. Sony should be ashamed to put its name on such crap. Sound quality is bad, and again, what's the point of buying a Sony if there's no guarantee of a good image and sound quality? Weren't they famous for picture and sound quality? Why am I paying more, then?
The phone is big and heavy, bigger and heavier than the nexus 5 which has a larger screen. The other hardware is on par with the Moto G, which costs much less. The price they ask is ridiculous: do they really think users are so stupid? This is Samsung's style, and Sony should not follow Samsung in the wrong footsteps.
There's so many people that have been so much disappointed with the quality of the camera in the M, L, SP and other low and midrange Sony phones that they swear they won't get a Sony again... and now this M2...

posted on 15 May 2014, 04:27 3

8. PRoChandra (Posts: 6; Member since: 08 May 2014)

My Brother owns this phone and I can confirm that the quality which it has is nowhere near as bad as this... Camera is actually pretty good and a miles better than what PA showed here. Even Display and call quality is much better that PA ratings, I have experienced it at my own..... Seriously PA the device you got is faulty, check another one !

posted on 15 May 2014, 05:29

10. boosook (Posts: 1188; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

All right, but even if it's true, even if they tested a faulty M2, why the heck:
1) Sony gave a faulty phone to a reviewer without even checking it?
2) is it that easy to get a faulty sample? How would you feel if it was yours and you had spent $350 on it?
They rated the phone according to how it was performing. It is the manufacturer's task to ensure that quality control stops faulty products *before* they are shipped, and to double check phones that are sent to reviewers!

posted on 15 May 2014, 11:38

17. PRoChandra (Posts: 6; Member since: 08 May 2014)

It isn't always Sony that sent in the device..... And even if thats the thing and I get such device (Which I got "Xperia Z" with two dead pixels, very negligible fault which is barely visible at this insane pixel density) Sony did replace me without even arguing !!!

Also PA has a record of using Pre-production units for reviewing.....

posted on 20 May 2014, 01:27

20. Chris.P (Posts: 355; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

PRoChandra, you're misleading readers with incorrect information.

Whenever we have a pre-production unit for review, that's specifically pointed out in the review itself. The manufacturers themselves request that.

Having used the phone myself over the last week, I feel confident that we didn't get a lemon. The phone functioned perfectly normal. This review represents reality as we know it. No hidden agenda here.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 22:12

24. nuphoneseeker (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Jun 2014)

i'm sorry, i ain't good speaking in English, but may i ask you something about Xperia M2 bad camera result, cold side of screen, and other sleek performance like phone quality, etc?
Do the kitkat sofware update has a possibilty to fix this problem ?? if yes, may be it will be somehow worth to buy because In my country it price around 270$ for non LTE Phone. Thanks PA -))

posted on 29 Aug 2014, 03:56

31. nidarg (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Aug 2014)

Actually, right now you are misleading the readers with your outdated review. Everyone agrees that the camera performance has increased dramatically since with the kitkat update. I don't know about the call audio quality but it would be nice if someone could check if it has been improved since as well, patching can do wonders!

It's not like you're expected to do a new review this late in the game, every phone changes with patches. But you could at least put down a footnote that states that the camera quality improved with kitkat. This phone is still being bought and reviews in my opinion isn't a bookmark in time, they should be kept as relevant as possible.

(Yes, I know that your post predates M2 kitkat)

posted on 15 May 2014, 03:50

2. pwnarena (Posts: 1008; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

terrible camera!
sony ericsson phones with 5MP sensors from the past produced much better photos.

posted on 15 May 2014, 03:52

4. SonyPS4 (Posts: 281; Member since: 21 May 2013)

Camera seems bad. Even my old Xperia Ray looks better. Battery is just amazing.

posted on 15 May 2014, 03:53

5. khuonggau (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 May 2014)

I think it should have the same score of Moto G, but now it is the same score of Xperia E1
can not imaging

posted on 15 May 2014, 04:19 1

6. royalsovereign (Posts: 37; Member since: 01 Mar 2014)

5 isn't acceptable,it should be at least 6.5, very bad review from pa,as always,that's why people prefer gsma for reviews,just look at e1 review in both sites and see the defferince,I read no more review on pa,

posted on 15 May 2014, 04:26

7. boosook (Posts: 1188; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Do you think that camera is acceptable in a phone whose price ranges from $330 to $400? Isn't Sony mocking its users? I also prefer gsma because their reviews are more accurate, but it is also true that gsma never bashes a phone, even when it deserves it...

posted on 15 May 2014, 05:48

13. Looser99 (Posts: 59; Member since: 10 Nov 2013)

I am also a Sony fan so i understand your frustration but you gotta learn to accept bro. PA is not biased. They provide justified review. Look at the T2 Ultra score : 8.8 with quad core procesor and 1 gb ram whereas Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo got score : 8.5 with its 6 processor and 2 gb ram. The real fact here is Xperia M2 sucks at everything except battery life :(

posted on 15 May 2014, 05:03

9. royalsovereign (Posts: 37; Member since: 01 Mar 2014)

No the camera is not acceptable from SONY, neither the screen,but 5!!! It's questionable,you shouldnot give a mark based on all factors,cup,battery,storage are good the screen is good if not amazing in its price range,but it deserves 6.5_ I'm olso disappointed by m2 I had high expectations from it.

posted on 20 May 2014, 01:31

21. Chris.P (Posts: 355; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

The main downer with the M2 is the price really, especially in the still many regions without LTE. The phone otherwise would have been perfectly justifiable, just not at this price point.

And that's not a "good" screen. It's an okay one (for its class). It's super-cold (and noticeably blue), and it's reflective, which ought to discourage a few people, especially now that summer is behind the corner.

It's easier to judge from the sidelines, but do keep in mind that these scores need to reflect the phone's targeted market and its competition there, along with (very important!) price. In a world where you can get an LTE Moto G, why would you settle for the much more expensive M2?

posted on 15 May 2014, 05:39

11. Looser99 (Posts: 59; Member since: 10 Nov 2013)

I'm afraid this is what this phone deserves. I even said so to myself when i first saw the specs. 2014 is gonna be a very bad year for Sony if they are gonna release loser phones like M2 and E1 for their mid range-low range segment. Ignore us middle class consumers and Sony is looking straight to a bad financial quarter because we middle class people are who brought success to Sony... I am very very disappointed in Sony this year. Had some high expectations...

posted on 15 May 2014, 05:47

12. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3667; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Moto E costs half and a its better overall package.

posted on 15 May 2014, 06:25

14. Planterz (Posts: 1403; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

If the call quality is so bad you'd rather text, then you can hardly call it a phone. I'm guessing those who are demanding a higher rating haven't experienced the call quality.

If even if call quality was perfect, the price is still a bit high compared to other phones, really high compared to the upcomming Moto G LTE, and WAY to high if you make the somewhat unfair comparison to the OnePlus One (which isn't just a spec monster, but a size monster as well, and not everybody wants a monster in their pants - giggity).

posted on 15 May 2014, 07:07

15. vishalaestro (Posts: 65; Member since: 08 Dec 2013)

This review is totally bad there is something like what human eye can see and hear technical testing will not be equal to a device tested by human by using it regularly as his daily driver. Guys just watch this video and you will clearly understand how this phone performs in real life scenario. Just watch the YouTube video for Sony Xperia m2 full review you will find only one person who has done that which is geekyranjit and you will understand what this phone is actually is

posted on 15 May 2014, 07:24

16. antonioli (Posts: 197; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)

Crap. It's a shame.

posted on 15 May 2014, 11:52

18. ryq24 (Posts: 574; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

I think it's expensive coz it has LTE and NFC something you don't usually see on other midrange phone.

posted on 15 May 2014, 13:35

19. Odiin (Posts: 330; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)

Again same old 'famous' display with qHD resolution? Crappy Camera?
Sony why you are copying Samsung mid'ranges?

posted on 25 May 2014, 04:42

22. Christ (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 May 2014)

I have plan to buy Xperia M2, i really love the design , but after read many reviews, i really confused.
I read many complains about this phone.
Camera and video quality very disappointed, and often overheat.
Do you think is this a software problem ? Or bad hardware ?
Can Sony just fix it with update ?

posted on 19 Jun 2014, 19:10

25. Indradawardhani (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)

I think really bad software, because the camera gave me inconsistent result. may be sony gives kikat to fix it like xperia m

posted on 31 May 2014, 06:38

23. alumoyo (Posts: 258; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)

Here is what GSMARENA had to say about call quality:

Receiving and making calls on the Xperia M2 was nothing short of pleasing. There is noise-cancelling options that is on by default, but you can turn it off from Settings. There is also a Slow Talk option, which will actively slow the speech of the other calling party. You can even apply equalizer settings to the voice call sound, but you can choose only between Normal, Bright and Smooth.

Phonearena says NOTHING about equalizer for calls - so maybe they had bad settings?

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:42

26. izprve (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Jun 2014)

I do not usually participate in discussion such as this one, but i have to make an exception (you are not doing »justice« to this device). I am using Sony Xperia M2 now for some time and i have to say in my personal opinion it is positioned well in the market. You can purchase the device for reasonable 200€ or 270$. It is a midrange device and it is 2.5 times cheaper then its big brother Xperia Z2. I have to say, mostly i agree with the review done by PhoneArena but there are couple of points i believe they were to tough on. But first is first, lets start with design of the device. It is great! Sony, have to say, now has the range on of the best looking devices on the market. The build quality is also ok, It is not made of metal but nevertheless the feel of the phone in the hand is good and firm, solid. One of the best features is users interface design. It is simple, fluent and easy to work with. It is stated in the review »it is easy on the eyes« - couldn't agree more! Its hardware is more than sufficient for normal usage. I have to say, so far had no problems with overheating the device. Mostly i am only running apps such as Endomondo, RunKeeper, SnapChat, Facebook, etc, and a lot of browsing...(no gaming-use computer or Ps4 or Xbox or Nintendo ) Onced i had the chance of using Xperia Arc S and it was heating by only using the phonebook  or trying to surf the net... Also i am not experiencing any lag, so thumbs up! But the true winner of this phone is its battery (Stamina mode rocks). Going through the day with no charging is something normal to expect. Non the less if you are »normal«  you can use the phone for two days straight with no recharging at all... Now to discuss the things that are not so good. The camera is a joke haha it really is. During the day when the light is ok, pictures are »fine« (you have to use manual mode and set it up to 8 megapixels), but at night when the light is weak the performance is just bad. Capturing the light even with flash is.....haha. Furthermore three years old Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S (january 2011) makes better photos. No one can convince me that this is because of implementing cheaper (or worst) camera in the device... In my personal opinion they hat to make it worst because otherwise the price difference between M2 and Z2 would be to great versus what you get for your money... (in economy this is called the fear or market cannibalism-google it) Probably they could fix it with a simple camera update.... (What do you all think?). Discussing the phone call quality is a waste of time. Experiencing absolutely no problems and the sound of others is completely normal (at least for me it is...). Even more, for the last few days i was discussing with my contacts how they were experiencing the phone call and they reported no problems and the sound quality was ok on their side as well.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:44

27. izprve (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Jun 2014)

Moving on to screen. Yes it is glossy and if the light is heavy (on the sun) you cant rely see anything but yourself (no problem if you look good haha) but so what, look closer or move into shadow... haha (it is not that bad). Phone also has LTE 4G and NFC (don't know what to use it for, but anyway ). I believe it is the best device for your money right now. DO REPLY (OR SHARE)

posted on 21 Jul 2014, 08:41

28. midomansour (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Jul 2014)

I just bought this m2 and the call quality has issues, no like serious issues, i thought pa may had a faulty model or didn't set the call eqaulizer settings right but unfortunately i was wrong, the call quality is more than very bad you hear noises sqeaks that can hurt your ear while using headphones,though the screen resolution isnt that bad,battery is record setting never seen any phone lasts this long o singke charge,, sony "should" better fix this call quality issue in the kitkat upgrade (i hope) otherwise i dont recommend this phone to anyone, sony pkease do something about that

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 07:30

29. Indradawardhani (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)

I don't mind about the speaker provided they had higher tessitura such as female voice, but if they were male i call it crap....

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 12:24

30. 79cmj (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Jul 2014)

I recently upgraded to this phone and thought everything was great, until I rang someone. The call quality was terrible, but I thought it must be a bad line so I rang a couple more numbers and had the same problem. The ear speaker was crackly and distorted as the ringing tone was sounding and when the person on the other end answered I could not honestly tell what they were saying! It was really distorted and just sounded nasty. Frustrated I took it back to the Virgin Mobile shop where it came from. They were very apologetic and swapped it for another, no questions asked. I am pleased to say that the new one works perfectly, really clear call quality! Perhaps Sony need to make quality control better to stop this sort of thing happening as I obviously does. Anyway the phone is fantastic, loads of good features. Yes the camera really isn't that great but I can put up with that as its a budget phone.

posted on 05 Sep 2014, 19:07

32. FroYoBro (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Sep 2014)

I really think this review needs updating. The bad call quality they experienced is a known bug with jb that they should have known about from basic research before they even touched the phone. I can understand bugs are hardly a way to get positive review points but to at least mention your second biggest complaint was a known bug that would be fixed with a later build would have been nice. The camera, most users agree, has improved dramatically with kitkat. That's the two main issues out of the way. That leaves the dpi of the screen as the only issue left standing. If they were to review it now it would probably score at least a 7.5.

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Sony Xperia M2

Sony Xperia M2

OS: Android 4.4.4 4.4.2 4.4 4.3
view full specs
Display4.8 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (229 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, Quad core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7 processor
1024 MB RAM
Size5.50 x 2.80 x 0.34 inches
(139.6 x 71.1 x 8.6 mm)
5.22 oz  (148 g)
Battery2300 mAh, 14.2 hours talk time

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