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

Given Sony's impressive background in media, Betamax aside, it should be no surprise that the Sony Xperia M2 has a rich media centre built into it.

Sony Xperia M2

Before I move onto the apps that Sony has provided, I feel it's important to quickly point out the hardware on offer here, the first of which is that 4.8-inch screen that dominates the front of the Xperia M2.

As I have mentioned a few times, the screen delivers a decent performance but is by no means the best screen on the market. The Moto G comes packed with a 720p screen that easily bests the Xperia M2 thanks to a much higher resolution.

Secondly is the position of the speaker. This is something that I commented on earlier as it suffers from the exact same problems that beset the original Sony Xperia Z.

With the Xperia M2 sat on the side blasting out audio it isn't a problem, but fire up a movie and with all the sound reaching one ear it is very off putting.

Hold the handset in portrait to play a few games and the L shape I make with my thumb and index finger to support the M2 perfectly cover up the speaker.

Sony Xperia M2

Playback through the external speaker also offered a few problems, suffering quite badly from a lack of bass. ClearAudio+, located behind a settings menu, helped a little to solve the problem and I was a little surprised to find that it wasn't turned on by default.

Looking at the apps and it's a different story. Just like the camera app, Sony has clearly given the media apps a lot of thought. They are, again like the camera, perhaps the best native apps found on a smartphone.

Within the Walkman app there is a rather obvious push towards Sony's own media services, the Music Unlimited app coming built in rather than operating as a standalone app.

This might prove a little annoying to users that just want to be able to fire up the app and select their music but I didn't find it too intrusive.

A small icon in the lower right of the tile denotes the Music Unlimited services. For those that really don't want to see them, a quick look in the settings menu allows you to hide these tiles.

DLNA streaming is also available, allowing you to "throw" media to an enabled device such as a smart TV.

Sony Xperia M2

The movies app has also had a decent look although there is a lot less emphasis on Sony's Video Unlimited app, something that baffled me a little bit.

One of the greatest features of the app is that it plays a small snippet of the last video that you were watching. It's only a small touch but the movement makes the app feel a lot more interactive and alive. Sound settings can also be toggled.

For gaming, the majority of games can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Sony is keen to push the PlayStation connection thanks to a PlayStation mobile store, although strangely I found that there wasn't a single app or game on the store. Hopefully this is just a glitch with the review handset rather than the store as a whole.

The PlayStation store connection is also furthered with the ability to connect a DualShock 3 controller, the same one found on the PlayStation 3, in order to get a better mobile gaming experience.

This isn't something I see being used a lot, although could really take off given a decent variety of apps and TVs to connect to.