Sony Xperia M2 Aqua review: Cliff diver

GSMArena team, 1 September 2014.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Sony Xperia M2 Aqua has a second-generation Snapdragon 400 with a quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 processor, Adreno 305 GPU and a lowly 1GB of RAM - all on par with its predecessor. The one thing that's most notably changed is the software - we tested the Sony Xperia M2 running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean but the Xperia M2 Aqua has 4.4.2 KitKat - that should bring some improvements to benchmarks, especially in the HTML 5 and JavaScript performance.

First off, we focus on the CPU and overall benchmarks we have in our arsenal. GeekBench 3 shows the Sony Xperia M2 Aqua as a middling performer, a little better than its predecessor. AnTuTu 4 shows a good result, only topped by the Xperia T3 (which has the same chipset). Basemark OS II gives an overall CPU score and finally breaks down the single and multi-core performance of smartphones. The CPU gig a fine job, besting the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini and even doubled the poor score of the Xperia M2. The Cortex-A7 cores inside the Snapdragon 400 of the Xperia M2 Aqua didn't show good scores in the single and multi-core tests, though.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • HTC One mini 2
    1526
  • Sony Xperia T3
    1373
  • LG G2 mini
    1123
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    1123
  • Motorola Moto G
    1120
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1106
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1074
  • HTC One mini
    887

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia T3
    20282
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    18829
  • HTC One mini 2
    17883
  • Sony Xperia M2
    17808
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    17753
  • LG G2 mini
    17362
  • Motorola Moto G
    17214
  • HTC One mini
    11434

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Motorola Moto G
    559
  • Sony Xperia T3
    535
  • HTC One mini 2
    517
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    452
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    419
  • Sony Xperia M2
    298
  • HTC One mini
    257

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia T3
    1465
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    1353
  • HTC One mini 2
    1304
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1164
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1131

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia T3
    5759
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    5283
  • HTC One mini 2
    5182
  • Sony Xperia M2
    4927
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    4887

Moving on to graphics-intensive tests. GFXBench has two tests both running on 1080p resolution for the offscreen test, the onscreen one naturally uses the 540 x 960 resolution of the Xperia M2 Aqua's display. The Adreno 305 is too low-powered to show any serious framerates in these tests - the only significant score being the 15.5fps on the onscreen 2.7 T-Rex test. The rest of the results are pretty low and overall don't reach smooth 30fps territory. Still the Sony Xperia M2 Aqua reached fps about on par with its competition.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    6.7
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    6
  • Sony Xperia M2
    5.9
  • Sony Xperia T3
    5.9
  • LG G2 mini
    5.8
  • HTC One mini 2
    5.8
  • Motorola Moto G
    5.6
  • HTC One mini
    5.6

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    15.5
  • Sony Xperia M2
    15.4
  • LG G2 mini
    14.9
  • Sony Xperia T3
    11.2
  • HTC One mini 2
    11
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    9.3

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.9
  • Sony Xperia T3
    1.8
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.7
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.7

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia M2
    6.9
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    6.9
  • Sony Xperia T3
    4.2
  • HTC One mini 2
    3.8

Finally, we come to JavaScript and HTML 5 performance where we have Mozilla's Kraken 1.1 and Rightware's BrowserMark 2.1. JavaScript performance seems improved on the Aqua compared to the Xperia M2 but HTML 5 performance is about the same (a little worse). Overall we see comparable scores again.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Sony Xperia T3
    13738
  • HTC One mini 2
    15684
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    15885
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    16129
  • Sony Xperia M2
    18047

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia T3
    978
  • HTC One mini 2
    945
  • Sony Xperia M2
    903
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    883
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    861

The Snapdragon 400 seems to be the maker's favorite chipset when creating midrange devices but is starting to show its age now and we're starting to look forward to better SoCs like the 64-bit Snapdragon 410 to make mass appearance on the midrangers of tomorrow.

The Sony Xperia M2 Aqua didn't rock the leaderboards but it did an okay job nonetheless and we can hardly complain about its real-world performance.