Sony’s new flagship Z2 may capture all the headlines but the company also announced the more affordable Xperia M2 at Mobile World Congress.
The new mid-range replaces the Xperia M and, if we’re to believe Sony’s claims, has ‘the best smartphone technology in its class’.
The M2 is a slim, lightweight phone that’s available in black, white and purple. It doesn’t have the premium finish of more expensive, all metal phones, though it certainly doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy, while the 4.8-inch screen means you can use it comfortably with one hand. The M2 runs on the Android operating system (version 4.3) though as usual Sony has customised this with its own apps. Read on for more details about the phone.
Sony Xperia M2 – three key features
Affordable price tag – Sony hasn’t confirmed the exact price of the new M2 (which we expect to launch in April), however it has said that it’ll cost less than €220 – around £180. This means it isn’t a super cheap device (if you’re on a very tight budget then check out our First Looks of Nokia’s new X range) but instead is designed to compete with phones such as the impressive Motorola Moto G.
Mid-range specs – the M2 lacks the latest version of the Android OS (it runs 4.3 rather than 4.4) though this still offers all the key features and we expect Sony to issue a free update at some point in the future. The screen resolution (960×540) also can’t match that of the best smartphones, including the similarly priced Moto G (1280×720). However it trumps the Motorola phone when it comes to connectivity as it can access the faster 4G networks.
Lack of waterproofing – Other recent Sony phones such as the Xperia Z and Z2 have a special coating that means you can get them wet without destroying them. The M2 lacks this – presumably to keep the cost down – so think twice before using it in the bath.
Which? expert verdict – ‘the sub £200 smartphone market just got even more competitive’
We’re still waiting to see some of the big hitters here at Mobile World Congress (we’ll get our first sight of the new Samsung Galaxy S5 tonight) but so far it’s clear that manufacturers are paying close attention to the affordable phone market. It’s easy to see why. Sure, the latest super powerful processor or ultra high definition display excite journalists, but many people just want a decent smartphone at a decent price.
This market is expected to grow massively in the next few years and the M2 is Sony’s latest attempt to grab a slice of the action. How successful it’ll be will depend on how keenly they manage to price the handset. And they’ve got some stiff competition. We expect the phone to sell for around £180 on a pay-as-you-go deal. That’s certainly cheap when compared to the iPhone 5s or Apple’s ‘affordable’ 5c, but it’s still around £70 more than the impressive Motorola Moto G. That phone has pretty much set the benchmark for great value smartphones and I’m not sure many people will choose to stump up the extra cash for the Xperia M2 even if it does offer 4G connectivity.
Jon Barrow – Principal Researcher