Sony Xperia M2 review: Dial M for midrange
The Sony Xperia M2 has pretty much the same controls as most of the Xperia smartphones released over the past year or so.
Above the screen we find the VGA camera, a couple of sensors, the earpiece and a small status LED.
The bottom features a short LED strip that lights up when you are watching a video or you are checking out the photos in the gallery. The LED strip matches the color of screen's content but it's really too short to make a difference in the user experience.
The uncovered microUSB port is a loner on the left, while the micro SIM and micro SD slots are under a plastic lid on the right, followed by the signature Xperia power/lock key, the thin volume rocker and the camera shutter key.
The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top, as usual. The bottom of the Xperia M2 seems empty, but in fact the primary microphone and the loudspeaker are hiding behind a fine grille. The lanyard eyelet is also around.
The Sony Xperia M2's glossy back has the 8MP camera lens along with a single LED flash. The secondary microphone is right next to the LED flash too.
Sony has put a 2300mAh battery inside the Xperia M2, up from 1750mAh in the previous version. We ran our battery test routine with the battery-saving STAMINA mode off. It scored 64 hours, which means you can count on just shy of 3 days if you do an hour each of talk-time, web browsing and playing video per day.
The Power Saver - now part of the settings menu - helps you extend your battery life by toggling things like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth screen brightness, auto sync and background data on and off automatically when the battery charge falls below a certain user-defined threshold. You can also turn off the Wi-Fi if there is no saved Wi-Fi network in range or turn off mobile data when the screen is off, and more.
The Sony Xperia M2 is available in single and dual SIM versions. The single SIM variety has three distinct versions for different markets. Here's the list of supported bands by model:
- Quad-band GSM (across all models)
- Dual-SIM (D2302)
- 3G: 850 / 900 / 2100, 21 Mbps HSDPA (D2303)
- 3G: 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100, 21 Mbps HSDPA (D2306)
- 3G: 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 21 Mbps HSDPA (D2302, D2305)
- LTE: 700 / 1700 / 2600, Cat3 with 100Mbps download (D2306)
- LTE: 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600, Cat3 with 100Mbps download (D2303)
The dual-SIM-enabled Xperia M2 supports dual stand-by and is one of the few phones that allows you to talk on one SIM and still receive calls on the other. You can even put the first call on hold and then answer the second incoming call.
Dual SIM smartphones come with many advantages. They allow you to separate work from play and handle your calls more cost-efficiently. Plus, with our new dual SIM feature, you can keep both SIM cards active at all times - so you can talk on one SIM, and still receive calls on the other, instead of getting a voicemail. This gives you the option of putting the first call on hold while answering the one coming in. And as a result, you'll never miss a call. You activate the dual SIM feature when you set up your phone. If you add your second SIM card later, you can always access the setup guide from the Settings menu.
The rest of the connectivity features available across all models include dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Wi-Fi Direct. There is also support for Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS, plus an FM radio with RDS.
There is also NFC connectivity with support for Android Beam for sending files to other Android devices.
There is also the ultra-low power ANT+ connectivity protocol, which is usually used for connecting to various sports accessories such as heart rate monitors or bicycle speed & cadence meters.
There is a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data connections. Media transfer mode is supported for accessing the phone's built-in memory and microSD card over the USB cable.
The microUSB 2.0 port can also be used in USB On-the-go mode for connecting USB peripherals such as pen drives, keyboards or real USB hard drives.
The microUSB port doesn't have any TV-out functionality, but if own a compatible HDTV, you can output your phone's screen wirelessly via the Miracast protocol.