Sony Xperia M2 review
A well-balanced phone that's a little on the clunky side

The camera app is one that Sony has given a lot of attention, perhaps because of the massive sensors that are packed into the high-end Xperia flagship devices like the Xperia Z2.

When it comes to camera apps Sony's is one of, if not the best, app currently sitting on a smartphone. Samsung has undoubtedly put a lot of effort into its camera app, but Sony trumps it here thanks to a variety of impressive features.

The auto mode focuses fast, easily recognising the level of focus needed for each particular shot. This means that for general day-to-day snapping you won't have to fiddle throughout the various settings menus, although that option is there for those that want to take a little more control.

Unfortunately I can see those that will want to take a little more control opting for a different camera phone.

This is in part due to the fact that the Sony Xperia M2 only comes packing an 8MP camera. Although it is important to remember that the Moto G, EE Kestrel and Galaxy Ace 3 all come with 5MP sensors.

Sony Xperia M2 review

Selecting a different mode from the button in the bottom right gives the option to select a few different apps. These include the Social Live app, Timeshift Burst, AR effect, Picture effect, Sweep Panorama and Portrait retouch. You can even add more apps from the Sony Select store by tapping the plus icon.

Of these, Social Live is perhaps the most interesting although the one that I see being used the least. It allows you to broadcast live video on Facebook, holding a live web chat that allows interaction with your friends.

Timeshift Burst is far more useful. This allows you to swipe through a whole raft of photos taken when you've only snapped the button just once. The Xperia M2 starts to record photos before you hit the shutter allowing you to go through and choose the one that is most in focus, helping to negate effects of motion blur.

Sony Xperia M2 review

AR and Picture effects are less useful although more fun and will certainly appeal to a younger audience. That's not to say an older audience won't enjoy them though, with Sony phones fast becoming known as the dinosaur amongst friends thanks to the dinosaur AR mode.

The Xperia M2 layers different scenes or image effects over your images, with the picture effects being the ones that are likely to populate Instagram or Facebook. Portrait retouch is also there to help produce better selfies, although the real time effects it produced were less than negligible.

Sony Xperia M2 review

This could possibly be attributed to the poor camera that has been placed on the front of the Xperia M2. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but a VGA camera just won't cut it in the modern smartphone market, especially amongst younger users that have taken to Snapchat as a primary means of communication.

Things are a little better round the back, with the 8MP sensor dwarfing the aforementioned 5MP sensors on the current competition.

Motorola, Samsung and Huawei can breathe a little easier though as the photo quality of the Xperia M2 is nothing short of abysmal.

For those that have read the Xperia Z Ultra review, this shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Despite its 8 million pixels, the Xperia M2 only operates well in perfect lighting conditions. Taking the M2 into a small walled garden in overcast conditions really left the camera struggling.