The "1-Minute" Review
- Weak camera
- Tricky waterproofing flaps
- Lackluster display
Sony has been overhauling some of its previous models recently and it seems its time to reboot the M2. The M2 Aqua now sports an impressive IP68 waterproof rating and a few minor tweaks, but is this enough to remain competitive in a quickly growing mid-tier market? Let’s check out what the reviews have to say.
At first glance, the M2 Aqua looks just like its predecessor thanks to Sony’s Omnibalance design. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that means you’re either going to love or hate the way the phone looks. Reviews were generally positive, noting that the matte finish on the rear of the phone was great at deflecting scuffs and scratches. Unfortunately, a lack of treatment on the glass on front found many reviews complaining about fingerprints and smudges.
Behind the glass is a 4.8-inch IPS display. Certainly on par with the current trends in larger displays. However, the resolution on the screen is 960-by-540. A stat that many reviews were quick to point out is rather low for today’s mid-tier market. GSM Arena called the screen “decent, even if hardly spectacular” while Wired UK said that the screen looked “a tad out of place” with the design of the phone.
The phone relies on a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 with 1GB of RAM to keep Android KitKat running smoothly. Performance reviews are generally positive with Wired UK saying the experience is “consistently smooth and it never seemed to lag unduly.” and GSM Arena noting the phone does “an okay job” with both gaming and daily tasks.
While 8GB of storage space might not offer a ton of room for your apps, movies and music, microSD support allows you to affordably add up to 32 additional GB of storage if you wish.
Thanks the the Aqua’s firmly mid-tier specs, it pulls respectable battery life from its 2300mAh battery pack. This is good as the battery is non-removable, unlike many other Sony handsets. Reviews found a full day’s use with mixed usage on a single charge and even better life when taking advantage of Sony’s Stamina mode and other power saving features.
Unfortunately, not everything is pristine for the device. While it touts an IP68 water and dustproof rating, the rating hinges on an array of flaps and plugs. The headphone jack, microSD slot, SIM slot and charge port all have rubber flaps to keep them sealed. TechRadar described it as “flap-tastic.” They also pointed out that if one flap is loose, the IP68 rating is irrelevant. So if you plan to take your phone for a swim, be sure to check your flaps. Recombu found another issue with the waterproofing. The capacitive screen doesn’t play well with water. They noted, “As soon as the screen gets wet, the handset goes completely mental.”
Finally, the 8MP rear-facing camera with dedicated shutter button received mixed reviews. While the camera app offers the usual bounty of Sony options, TechRadar called the camera’s image quality and performance “quite disappointing” and “a bit slow.” On the other hand, Beta News though that “in general the camera copes well.” This was similar in other reviews, with some noting issues and other applauding the camera.
In the end, this same mixed feeling was found in many review verdicts. While TechRadar called the Aqua a “decent value,” Wired UK thought the handset “just doesn't seem all that attractive.” In the end, it appears that if you’re looking for a waterproof mid-tier smartphone, the Aqua offers a dependable choice, albeit with a few tradeoffs in performance and display quality.
What the Critics Are Saying...
Prices (Where to Buy)
Sony released the Xperia M2 Aqua on September 30, 2014.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sony Xperia M2 Aqua user manual here.
Sony backs up the Xperia M2 Aqua with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Xperia M2 Aqua has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.