Sony is no stranger when it comes to mass cloning their flagship phones. Look at the entire recent Xperia line up and they all look pretty much identical. Compared to Samsung (who also loves doing the same), Sony’s offerings have better aesthetics though, due to the inclusion of glass with plastic. Even the mainstream phones, which lack glass, have a similar look and feel.
The Xperia M2 Dual is Sony’s answer to the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2, Oppo Find 5 mini and the lot. It’s a beefed up version of the M Dual, which sits down south in the price range. Let’s see if this is any good.
Design and Build
There’s not much new we can see with regards to the M2’s design – it looks and feels like pretty much any other budget Xperia phone. We count that as a good thing though. It feels sturdy to hold, has pretty good ergonomics and isn’t too large which is what we liked the most.
The 4.8-inch TFT display has really slim bezels on either sides which makes single-handed operations relatively easy. The resolution is not much (960 x 540 pixels) but then again, the low pixel count isn’t a real deal breaker. Plus, the display has good brightness levels and is quite vivid, unlike past Sony TFT displays.
Everything apart from the microUSB port is covered by flaps. The phone is not waterproof but the flaps give it a neater appearance. We also have a dedicated camera shutter button like most Xperia devices.
Around the back, we have an 8MP camera sensor, LED flash and spot for connecting devices via NFC.
The Sony Xperia M2 Dual comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box. There’s also confirmation about the 4.4.2 KitKat which is scheduled to arrive sometime this month. Sony’s refreshed Xperia skin is also present. Overall, the phone functions extremely smoothly without any glitches at all. Over the years, we’ve noticed Sony and HTC are the two companies that can skin their phones really well without impacting performance. Other notable mentions include Asus and Oppo.
The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset, just as the Moto G. We also have 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. Apps and games run perfectly smooth with no issues and the phone doesn’t really heat up much either except for a small spot below the camera.
The stock Walkman player is adequate for music playback. There’s a lock screen widget as well for easy access. Audio quality is good through earphones and the loud speaker has ample volume for alerts. Music or movies don't sound great through the mono speaker as it lacks the stereo setup of the Z2. The 5GB usable storage can be expanded further up to 32GB.
The phone can playback up to 1080p video and there’s FM radio as well, for your commutes.
The M2 Dual supports quad-band 2G and single-band 3G. We also have Wi-Fi ‘n’, Bluetooth v4.0, NFC, GPS and GLONASS. You also get Miracast and USB On-the-go functionality. The phone comes pre-loaded with a host of Xperia apps and other utilities that we’ve seen in the past.
The 8MP snapper does a decent at macros and daytime shots. Low-light is not the best but it’s still passable. You can choose from various apps like Social Live, Timeshift Burst, AR Effect, Picture Effect, Sweep Panorama and Portrait retouch. You can always add more apps via the Play Store. Video recording is limited to 720p, which is a shame.
The M2 Dual packs in a sizeable 2300mAh battery. Coupled with the low density screen and the efficient Snapdragon 400 SoC, we managed to squeeze out about a day and half worth of usage on 3G. After sailing through the 8-hour loop test, we had about 26 percent battery remaining.
Verdict and Price in India
The Sony Xperia M2 Dual is available at Rs 19,000, which is a good pick in this price range although it would make a killing at something like Rs 16,000. The M2 is good premium alternative to the Moto G. It’s got slightly better features and a better design. The Galaxy Grand 2 is also retailing currently for a similar price and if big screen phones are your thing then you’re better off with that.
Sony has yet another very compelling offering in the mainstream segment. We didn’t find any major fault with the M2 which would sour the deal. It’s a good all-rounder with better aesthetics than the Grand 2 which makes it highly recommendable.
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