"Sony Xperia M2 Aqua": technical specifications, comparison with competitors and reviews
Recently, Sony has become one of the leading manufacturers of waterproof smartphones. A few years ago, all-weather mobile phones were big, bulky and looked like construction equipment. "Sony Xperia M2 Aqua" - a completely different offer. There is nothing that shows its strength and reliability. And this is good. In addition, Sony has managed to make the phone more affordable. Water resistance is no longer a privilege of devices whose price is not inferior to the cost of an inexpensive car. The secure version of the Xperia M2, a fairly cheap 4G smartphone, has already proven itself. Although Aqua does not solve the key problems of the prototype, and waterproofing increases the cost of the phone, nevertheless it remains a good and cheapest offer among waterproof models.
“Sony Xperia M2 Aqua”: description
Some characteristics of the M2 Aqua can even be attributed to the high class. The 4.8 ”screen and design have much in common with the more expensive phones of the manufacturer. The model is distinguished by balance and symmetry, but the attention of most users is primarily attracted by the power button. Round and silver, it is placed in the center of the side panel so that it can be easily reached with your thumb.
The smartphone is very similar to the top model Xperia Z2. This is an angular black rectangle with completely flat front and rear panels. But the glass and metal Xperia Z2 are missing - the model is made of a glassy material. The front is Gorilla Glass 3, and the rear is textured plastic. The chassis is also plastic, not aluminum.
In the opinion of users, the Sony Xperia M2 Aqua phone differs from its prototype in other details. If the standard model has a shiny plastic that is similar to glass, the Aqua version has a transparent top layer similar to the textured material from which high-class notebook trackpad is made, such as the MacBook Air. Such a finish is pleasant to the touch and seems to be a better choice than the glossy style of the Xperia M2.Matte finish usually hides scratches, providing a good appearance of the smartphone.
Dust and moisture protection
But the main difference of the model is the increased degree of protection of its shell. The phone “Sony Iksperiya M2 Aqua” characteristics of dust and moisture resistance meet the standard IP68. This means that it is completely impermeable to dust and can be under water indefinitely without any consequences. However, the actual performance is not quite perfect. The manufacturer should get rid of annoying stubs. The Sony Xperia Z2 headphone jack does not need separate protection, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is even equipped with an open waterproof Micro-USB port. However, the solutions used in this case cannot be called modern. A micro-USB plug is installed on the left, a headphone jack on the top, and a Micro-SIM and Micro-SD slot on the right. The concern is that if only one stub is moved, then all the praised IP68 will be nullified.
On the other hand, this type of waterproofing makes the sides of the Sony Iksperia M2 Aqua very clean and simple. Ugly holes and sockets are not visible. However, after the appearance becomes familiar, which will take a maximum of 5 minutes, practical questions will come to the fore.Every time, to connect headphones or charge a smartphone, you must deal with plugs. This is very annoying. In addition, it should be remembered that the phone uses a capacitive touchscreen, which does not work under water. However, Sony took this into account by equipping the device with a physical camera shutter button. Therefore, underwater photos still make it possible. True, not at sea. The smartphone can only be used in fresh water, probably because seawater can quickly ruin rubber seals.
So why is this phone more waterproof than any other? Smartphones usually have an IP67 protection class, and this model is IP68-certified. If the first can be submerged under water for no longer than 30 minutes, then the M2 Aqua will last longer. But in reality, the user will not feel any difference if he is not going to live under water.
The 4.8 ”IPS screen is not too large, and the angular shape does not make the smartphone thin, although the phone is 8.6 mm thick. Like the Xperia M2, one of the weak elements of this model is the screen. According to user feedback, in general, it is not bad, but it is inferior to the displays of cheaper phones.Its resolution of 960 x 540 provides a low pixel density of 229 tons / inch. A variety of mobile devices with 720 p-screens are cheaper than $ 200, such as Motorola Moto G and ASUS Zenfone 5, and the difference in display quality is very significant. The smartphone Sony Ericsson M2 Aqua screen specifications do not provide the clarity that is expected from the models of the middle class. And the increased cost of the model makes this drawback even more noticeable.
In addition, according to user feedback, the IPS screen appears to be located slightly below normal. This reduces viewing angles, causing a loss of brightness, and, more importantly, reduces visibility in the open air. The display is very reflective of surrounding objects. And although high brightness allows its use outdoors, visibility does not reach the level of the Nexus 5. Image quality is one of the most important factors, and even the base-level models have enough power to provide it. According to users, the display of the smartphone is a rather offensive compromise.
Some other minor omissions in the design of the Sony Xperia M2 Dual Aqua smartphone are also noticeable.There is no infrared transmitter that turns the phone into a universal remote, and its internal memory is limited to 8 GB. True, hardly anyone really uses the IR transmitter, and there is a slot for a micro-SD card on the right side, which allows you to increase the memory.
The rest of the list of features is typical for a middle-class smartphone. In the presence of mobile Internet 4G, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0. Not enough ac-wi-fi, but many would not have noticed the difference without an ac-compatible router, which provides higher speed and range of wireless communication.
"Sony Iksperia M2 Aqua" works on the Android 4.4 platform with the same neat interface as the Xperia M2 and Z2. He is deprived of many unnecessary elements that are available, for example, the Samsung TouchWiz. The on-screen keys are used, and there are no lines and fields in the application menu, as in previous versions of the interface. In this model, Sony has reached maximum simplicity.
According to user feedback, the only drawback of the interface is the low screen resolution. Application names and even watches suffer from small pixelation. Although the basic interface is very beautiful, Sony has installed a large number of programs that will not always be in demand.They offer digital services to companies such as music and movies, and even social apps. A simple interface and a huge amount of software may seem like a strange combination, but at least partially this can be fixed. Not all applications are removable, but some can be replaced by more useful ones.
The smartphone is equipped with the popular 4-core 1.2-GHz Snapdragon 400 processor used in many mobile devices, ranging from EE Kestrel worth £ 99, to the Sony Xperia T3 priced at £ 300. The CPU supports 1 GB of RAM. This is enough, but no more. The smartphone "Sony Iksperiya M2 Aqua" chipset performance is not very high, but the overall performance is quite satisfactory. The interface reduces latency to a minimum. Due to the rather low resolution of the screen, gaming performance is decent, even in more spectacular 3D. The frame rate is normal. In the Geekbench 3 test, the M2 Aqua scores 1,133 points, which corresponds to phones with a similar specification and corresponds to the performance of devices costing 100–300 pounds.
Like the Xperia M2, Aqua is equipped with a battery with a capacity of 2,330 mA ∙ h, which cannot be replaced. It is safely hidden inside the phone. This capacity is quite normal in its class.Thanks to a fairly efficient processor, a smartphone can be used all day. In normal operation, in the evening, 35–40% of the charge remains, which is enough until the next day’s lunch.
According to user feedback, a continuous video playback test with a resolution of 720 p in MP4 format at full brightness for 90 minutes only discharges the battery by 20%. This is 3% more than the M2, but still good, as competing models lose up to 30%, and the display brightness is quite high.
The loudspeaker of the “Sony Xperia M2 Aqua” phone is not highly rated by customers, so it’s impossible to enjoy your favorite music. He lacks the power of Xperia Z2. The sound is not very sophisticated, and mid-range distortion is sometimes heard at maximum volume. Reducing the volume corrects the situation a bit.
"Sony Iksperiya M2 Aqua" photo- and video shooting is ambiguous. As with other Sony smartphones, there are many entertainment modes. But real shots suffer from fairly significant problems with image quality.
By default, the phone takes off in automatic mode. In this case, the camera independently selects settings for a specific scene, allowing only to indicate the focus point.Those users who want to control the shooting process a little more or remove several HDRs should switch to manual mode. This is all the same "Auto", which provides greater access to controls. The remaining modes - entertainment and filters. For example, you can create augmented reality when visual 3D effects are added to your photos, from fish to small elves. Children should like it. Other advanced features are image filters, panorama and portrait retouching, which allows you to overlay visual effects on selfies. It is possible to download additional photo applications.
“Sony Xperia M2 Aqua”: a review of the camera
Smartphone photo ambitions become apparent in the real world. First, he has a not very fast camera. Focusing is too slow for a middle class phone - there’s a big pause between shots. With the shooting of fast-moving objects smartphone definitely can not cope.
Camera hardware doesn't seem so bad. It has an 8-megapixel main sensor with an f / 2.4 lens. This is neither good nor bad. However, the camera is disappointing in action.In addition to the slowness, the dynamic range of images is not very large. It determines the detail of dark and light areas of high-contrast photographs. For such scenes, you need to use the HDR mode, which artificially increases the range by combining several exposures. Shooting HDR takes more time than regular shots, so the camera of a smartphone really requires patience.
"M2 Aqua" very poorly copes with intense light sources. There are many halos when bright areas spread to the neighboring ones, clouding them. High contrast areas are accompanied by a large amount of purple color noise. Therefore, objects often have a purple outline or at worst become completely purple when they should be black.
In low light conditions, the quality of shooting the camera of the Sony Xperia M2 Aqua smartphone is rated by users negatively. A more expensive model has a convenient turbo mode, which, with a lack of light, greatly increases sensitivity, making even very dark scenes clear. But in “M2 Aqua” they become even darker, and there are no visible details.Even lighter scenes taken without flash are difficult for the camera, and the colors are usually too cold, which spoils the photos. At the same time, with a flash, the color temperature rises significantly, even if the object is too far away to affect anything.
In general, the camera shoots unsatisfactory. But with enough light you can still make some decent shots. A beautiful sunny day with a blue sky above your head allows you to achieve a level of detail that exceeds the capabilities of the 5-megapixel camera.
Water resistance means that you can safely drop your smartphone into the bath without worrying about its safety. While the user does not forget to close all openings, the way it is. The Sony interface is one of the cleanest and most attractive user analogs. If you do not take into account that there are too many applications installed, it is easy to use and fast. The design is not so far from the more expensive Sony Xperia Z2, and the Sony Iksperia M2 Aqua makes a good first impression that can cause surprise to others.
Waterproof phones are great for peace of mind, but the Sony implementation is very uncomfortable. It is based on rubber seals, and not on specially treated ports, which, according to the owners, makes the use of a smartphone inconvenient. And for the money spent on a smartphone, you can buy models with a much better screen. IPS-display is not bad, but it has a low resolution and high reflectivity. The camera does not cope with different lighting conditions. High contrast or a strong light source is too tough for her.
Although the waterproofing model is not perfect, another phone, which would meet the standard IP68 and cost less, is not found. If someone is considering the acquisition of Xperia M2, then you can pay attention to his Aqua-fellow.