Sony Xperia M2 review, rating and the UK's best deals and latest offers
The Sony Xperia M2 pulls off a quite remarkable trick right from the word go. It has you believing that it's a premium flagship smartphone, so much so that it is hard to tell it apart from Sony's Xperia Z2
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Large 4.8 inch touchscreen
8 megapixel camera with HDR
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by Mike Leader
Sony's trick of producing a midrange phone that thinks it's a premium handset owes much of this to the fact that it looks the same as the Xperia Z2. In fact it's almost identical.
It is fractionally smaller and lighter, but shares the same glass front and back, and aluminium sides as the premium Z2.
The only way you can tell them apart, at least with the screen off, is to actually place them side by side.
Large screen for a mid range handset
However, it is there that the similarities end. The M2 still has a larger screen than just about every other mid range phone although this drops 0.4 inch from the top model to 4.8 inches, and has a lower pixel density of 229 pixels per inch
While it will not disappoint it is clear that the savings have been made here and it falls well short of the premium screen of the Z series.
We would have preferred a slightly smaller screen in exchange for a slightly higher resolution, but having reviewed a number of high ends smartphones recently, perhaps we are being a little picky and expecting too much.
On it's own merits it is an excellent quality screen which you will enjoy.
8 megapixel camera with flash and HDR
The 8 megapixel camera is up to Sony's usual first class standards, producing crisp, clear images with a myriad of features including geotagging, which records the location of your shots, face and smile detection, panoramic mode.
HDR enhances the brightness of your photos when taken against a bright backlight so is useful for avoiding "silhouette" pictures where your subject is all but blacked out by the backlight.
HDR ensures you do not get a silhouette effect if, for example, you take a photo with the sun behind your subject.
Image stabilisation and touch to focus are also commendable features, and you will find Full HD 1080p video recording here too, as well as autofocus, an LED flash for those darker places and a front facing videocalling camera
Active Noise Cancellation
No stereo speakers here but you do get stereo Bluetooth and sound is excellent, whether listening to your own music or the built in FM radio via a headset the 3.5mm headphone socket or a wireless Bluetooth set.
Call clarity is superb too with crystal clear conversations thanks to active noise cancellation technology via a dedicated microphone which helps cut out background noises
Global Positioning System
GPS is included too for use with sat nav apps and geotagging, while an array of sensors include a digital compass, proximity detector, which cuts off the screen to avoid accidental touches when held close to your face when you are on a call.
An accelerometer automatically rotates the screen from landscape to portrait mode. This can be disabled if you prefer.
Near Field Communication
NFC - Near Field Communication - is a method of transferring small files to another device in close proximity, so you can transfer such as a photo to another phone simply by touching them together.
This is the technology used for contactless payments. As the NFC aerial uses very little power the function can be left on permanently. DLNA is also included which allows you to stream your content wirelessly to another screen or Home Theatre system
4G connection for fast download speeds
This is a 4G handset too, which means you should be able to stay connected and enjoy fast download speeds and watch streaming media even if you are nowhere near a Wi-Fi hotspot, all nicely powered along by am ample quad core 1.2 GHz processor.
On board memory is set at 8GB but you can add a MicroSD memory card with up to 64GB capacity
Sony have done a superb job of catering for those who want a top class smartphone but don't want to shell out over £500 for Sony's premium offerings such as the Sony Xperia Z1 or Z2. There's no waterproofing here but that won't concern most of you.
What you do get with the Sony Xperia M2 is a phone that looks like it's flagship stablemate and performs perfectly well despite costing almost a third less than the top model while looking almost identical.
We would have preferred to see a slightly higher resolution screen but it won't be a deal breaker, and this is a very likeable handset which looks and feels a lot more expensive than it actually is.