Given the critical success of Sony's Xperia Z2 flagship it is vital that the Japanese mobile firm maintains momentum with a strong showing in the mid range market, exactly where the Xperia M2 rolls up.
The design of any phone will always be entirely subjective but I am a big fan of the way Sony has taken its flagship Omnibalance design and carried that down to the cheaper end. The curved sides make the Xperia M2 easy to hold, and the plastic chassis felt fitting of the lower price tag.
The battery was also really impressive. It could be a mixture of a bigger battery and lower screen resolution but to beat the Moto G by almost double in the standard battery test is outstanding.
Gaming tests also showed a minor drop. I'd feel very confident that I'd not miss a thing due to dead batteries with the M2 in my pocket.
Finally comes a shout to Sony's UI, complete with the impressive camera and media apps. Each manufacturer puts its own stamp on Android, with Sense and TouchWiz both being impressive in their own rights but Sony's UI feels very polished. Its minimalist approach will appeal to many, feeling far subtler than others. All it needs now is a catchy name.
One of my biggest fears with the Sony Xperia M2 is just how easy it seemed to scratch the back of the handset. Despite not being thrown around, with just the one drop off the arm of the sofa onto a carpeted floor and being kept in my pocket, a number or minor scratches have appeared. It's by no means a deal breaker but a brand new phone shouldn't be this scuffed.
The speaker should also get a look at. Sony did so well to move the base mounted speaker on its Xperia Z2 handset but it hasn't changed this design flaw on the Xperia M2. It makes watching movies feel very disjointed and when holding the M2 in portrait I found that I was all too often covering it up.
Finally is the camera. I heaped a lot of praise on the app itself because Sony has clearly taken a lot of time and given a lot of thought to it. However, the sensor behind it doesn't back it up. This is a real shame as it is a complete let down to the phone. The front facing sensor is also a massive let down; VGA just doesn't cut it anymore.
Sony has launched its Xperia M2 handset into a very crowded market, one populated with ageing flagships and some already impressive new handsets. Can it build upon the success that the Xperia Z2 has brought though?
In short, yes, but that is the really short answer. I can't help but feel that Sony's impressive flagship offering sets a very high standard, and will leave consumers expecting a little more from Sony's midrange offering.
Strong competition from the cheaper EE Kestrel in the UK and the slightly better equipped Moto G will leave many looking elsewhere but Sony has given the Xperia M2 more than enough to warrant a second look, especially if you're going to be signing up to a two year contract.
First reviewed: June 2014