Devices – September 2014

This month we have two mid range devices which are both scaled back versions of flagship models. The HTC One E8 and the Sony M2 are not going to wow the top tier mobile phone enthusiasts but they both boast impressive specs for a reasonable price. Could this be the year HTC and Sony dominate the mid range market? Find out below!

HTC One E8 

HTC have decided to veer off course with the E8 by putting design down the list of priorities, way down. The device is modelled on the flagship M8 and when it comes to the inner working of the device there isn’t much to pick between them. The Snapdragon 801 chip, 2600mAh battery, a Full HD 5-inch Super LCD3 screen, a microSD can all be found in the E8. So what is the point of this device? It’s cheaper, a lot cheaper! Word on the street is that the device will come in around the £350 mark (making it 30% cheaper than HTC One M8!).

So what is actually missing from this device that we could get in the M8? As I mentioned previously the design, and build quality, isn’t patch on the M8 model. The main reasons for this are the new plastic casing which also makes it feel lighter in the hand. There is no infra-red port, a few functions are missing from the new camera but generally there isn’t a lot else missing!

This phone could have a big impact on the mid range market if the price rumours are true. It would be a heck of a lot of bang for your buck and almost leaves me thinking why would anyone go for the pricier big brother version. Let’s hope they don’t sell the two devices side by side in shops because customers are going to have a very tough decision on their hands! In the business world I think the E8 will win hands down.

Sony Xperia M2

Sony has done well to get itself back in the mobile race which has mostly been down to the quality of the Z range. The M2 is aimed at the mid market and when looking at the specs it looks as though it could be a compelling offering. Quad-core processor, 8MP camera, 4G LTE support, 4.8 inch screen and with room for a SD slot comes in for a respectable £230.

Like the HTC phone reviewed on this page the M2 is also a cut down version of another phone (Xperia Z2). It would seem the biggest sacrifices have come with the camera sensor which has seen the 20MP camera in the Z2 replace with a mere 8MP in the M2…but unless you are a true camera enthusiast then I think you will happily live obliviously to the fact.

Battery life is impressive with the M2, thanks to the 2300mAh battery. I managed to get about a day and a half of pretty heavy use across the apps, videos, camera, emails and calls. Anything over a day these days is usually pretty decent. Aside from that Sony have stamped their usual minimalist approach to the Android operating system which I think gives it a nice clean feel.

I think some may bit a bit disappointed with the M2 purely because the flagship device is just so much more refined. There is also a lot of stiff competition in the mid tier and I fear Sony aren’t standing out enough with this device. The one thing Sony do have is a safe pair of hands, it won’t thrill you but it will get you there.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine