So impressed was I from the Sony Xperia Z3, that I wanted to try everything else that Sony had made, and that reminded me of the phone. In a surprise turn of ‘extremes’, I went for the absolute budget option from the Sony range from Vodafone, trying the Xperia M2 Aqua. It brings some of the features of the Z3 with it, being waterproof (hence the Aqua) in the name, the same suite of apps and a similar finish and feel to the device. There is a lot that isn’t the same though, but for a device that costs just over a £100, it is good.
Lets have a look at some of the specs:
- 140 x 72 x 8.6mm, 149g
- Android Kitkat 4.4
- 4.8inch TFT multi touch Capacitive touch screen
- Display resolution: 540 x 960 pixels
- 8MP camera
- 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Quad Core
- Internal memory: 8GB, microSD up to 32GB
- Waterproof up to 1.5m for 30 minutes
There is a lot of good in this phone that you don’t get from any of the other budget phones out there:
- The name aqua says a lot, it is waterproof at a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes. That means you can hang out with this at the beach, or take it with you in the shower or the bath. As I always say, using a wet touch screen is not very practical, so be aware.
- The price, is definitely great for the finish and the looks you get. It definitely looks like a younger brother of the Z3, and while it isn’t as shiny, that isn’t a problem for this price.
- A reasonable 2300mAh battery.
- The 8MP camera is pretty reasonable in good lighting (more on this in the ‘bad’).
- The Sony suite of software/apps, if that is what you like.
Interestingly, much of what makes it good also features in the bad.
- The camera was probably the first bad I noticed. It was my own fault really. It is hard not to compare this to the Z3, so I went out and about taking photos with this, at night. Nope. The camera just can’t cut it at night.
- What I struggled with the most is the low resolution of the display. It wouldn’t be a problem, but the calendar widget that Sony provide means I can only see three letters of my appointment if I span it half the screen across. Not very useful!
- I had some signal issues with this, but I live in an area where Vodafone can be a bit temperamental. Z3 was better though.
- The storage space. With only 8GB onboard memory, you get very little left to play with or install your own apps. About 5GB after you have installed a few basics.
Anything else vs the Z3?
Well, if you ask, yes. The headphone socket has a cover on it, which the Z3 didn’t. So yeah, you can’t plug in your headphones while you’re swimming. OR pop them out. I don’t know. If you’re really that serious about under water acrobatics, maybe spend a bit more money.
Okay, I may have come across a bit harsh in the ‘bad’ area, but it is only because it is hard to test this phone without thinking about the Z3. Maybe I should have given it some time. Anyway, the overall experience isn’t bad. Yes, it isn’t as responsive or fast as the Z3, but it won’t be. It costs a mere one fourth of the other device! A good bright display, despite the low resolution works. And you can adjust your widgets as you like. The Sony Android skin isn’t that bad either, though you may end up deleting a lot of the what you find on your home screen to begin with. Will this become my main device if I had the money to buy a more expensive device? No. Will this become my main device if I had a budget of a 100 or so pounds? Yes. Definitely.
It isn’t the best in the Xperia range by a stretch, but in the race for the best budget phone, it finds itself in a good spot!
More information on the phone can be found at Vodafone’s Sony Xperia M2 Aqua pages.
It retails for only £125 on Pay as you go:
Or you can get it free from only £12.50 a month on Pay Monthly: