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Sony Xperia M2 Aqua Review: In Depth


The Good

  • Now loves the water
  • Solid performance
  • Feature-packed camera

The Bad

  • Screen still not as sharp as rivals

The Sony Xperia M2 Aqua adds water-resistance to the original mid-range mobile, without bulking it up. Check out our full review.

We've already reviewed the Sony Xperia M2, and we liked it. For a mid-range phone it packs a lot of great features, including a solid 8-megapixel camera that crams in all the modes of the more premium Xperias.

Sony Xperia M2 Aqua review, the new waterproof phone from Sony

The Xperia M2 Aqua is essentially the exact same phone on paper, except now Sony has added full water resistance, a feature found on the Xperia Z2 flagship. You can dunk the Xperia M2 Aqua in up to 1.5 metres of freshwater (not sea water!) for up to 30 minutes.

Other than that, the specs are all identical, and the only other change is the OS - the Xperia M2 Aqua comes with Android 4.4 KitKat, while the original Xperia M2 made do with 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Sony Xperia M2 Aqua design

To make the Xperia M2 Aqua water-resistant, Sony has made a few changes to the look and feel of the phone. At first glance, it's still the same Omnibalance design. Not everyone will like the rectangular build, but we found it was reasonably comfortable to hold and operate with one hands. And there's enough heft to make it feel like a quality handset.

From the front the Xperia M2 Aqua looks just like the original handset, but now the micro USB charging port is covered with a flap to keep water at bay. Thankfully the flap is easy enough to prise open, and slots firmly back into place without much fiddling.

Sony Xperia M2 Aqua review, the new waterproof phone from Sony

The headphone jack up top has also been covered up, while the hard camera button on the right edge is now a smidgen shorter for some random reason.

Flip the Xperia M2 Aqua over and you'll see the original glossy plastic surface has been replaced too, with a soft-touch strokeable backing. It doesn't soak up smudges and fingerprints like the plasticky back, which is definitely a good thing, and so far the M2 Aqua's soft rear seems quite resistant to scratches.

Sony Xperia M2 Aqua review, the new waterproof phone from Sony

We chucked the Xperia M2 Aqua into a sink and it survived a blasting from the tap, while being submerged gave it no grief either. However, as with earlier water-resistant Xperias, the phone still acts up in the rain. As soon as the screen gets wet, the handset goes completely mental, zipping through menus and calling up apps even when you're not prodding the display.

Perhaps one day we'll have a phone that can be used naked in the rain, but for now we can only dream.

Sony Xperia M2 Aqua review, the new waterproof phone from Sony

Sony Xperia M2 Aqua specs and features

As for the innards, the Xperia M2 Aqua is identical to the Xperia M2. You still get that brilliant 8-megapixel camera packed with Sony's usual range of features, a quad-core processor for slick budget performance, and 4G plus NFC support.

Our only real bugbear is that 4.8-inch screen, which can only manage a meagre 221 pixels-per-inch. It's bright with decent viewing angles, but rivals such as the Motorola Moto G still pack sharper screens which are better for enjoying HD content.

For our full thoughts on the Xperia M2 Aqua's specs and features, including performance and battery life, check out our Xperia M2 review. And for good measure, here's our video review too:

Sony Xperia M2 Aqua verdict

With water resistance and Android KitKat on board, plus no downsides compared with the original phone, there's no reason to pick up the plain ol' vanilla Xperia M2 any more. If you want a mid-range mobile with a solid camera and a good-sized screen, the Xperia M2 Aqua is a damn good choice.

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