Things are heating up in the midrange arena as heavyweights Sony and HTC have each unveiled 4G equipped smartphones with quad-core processors and reasonable price tags. They’re certainly similar on paper but one of them is more deserving of your hard earned money than the other. Which is it? Read on to find out.
The Sony Xperia M2 has a plastic construction like most midrange handsets, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally lacking in style. It has the same look about it as the flagship Xperia Z line, with harsh angles and a distinctive power button. At 139.7 x 71.1 x 8.6mm there’s not a whole lot of wasted space and while it’s not the slimmest handset around it’s far from fat either.
The HTC Desire 610 has a glossy plastic body a bit like the iPhone 5C, while the design of the phone is closer to the HTC One as it inherits that handsets dual front-facing speakers. On the one hand it looks cheaper than the Xperia M2 but on the other it feels more solid. Though for better or worse that feeling extends to the dimensions, which at 143.1 x 70.5 x 9.6mm make it quite a lot fatter than the Xperia M2.
Ultimately there’s little to choose on the build quality front but we’d say the Sony Xperia M2 edges it for the win.
The Sony Xperia M2 has a 4.8 inch 540 x 960 display with a pixel density of 229 pixels per inch. It might be mid range but its screen is actually pretty big, larger even than the 4.7 inch HTC One. But quality is what matters and it’s here that the handset is somewhat lacking as it’s fairly low resolution.
The 4.7 inch HTC Desire 610 isn’t much better though. It has the same 540 x 960 resolution in fact, but due to being slightly smaller it has a marginally higher pixel density of 234 pixels per inch. We’d give the HTC Desire 610 the edge as we’d take the bump in pixel density over screen size, but again there’s little to choose.
The two handsets are identically matched in the power stakes, as both have a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM. That’s about the sort of power we’d expect from a midrange phone, but bear in mind that while they’re quad-core they’re clocked at quite a low speed and they’re using a Snapdragon 400 chip, which is inferior to the ones used by high end phones.
That said, they’re both reasonable performers but there’s no real difference between them when it comes to power.
Both the Sony Xperia M2 and the HTC Desire 610 have an 8 megapixel main camera, but one of them is a lot better than the other.
The Xperia M2 uses an Exmor RS image sensor which improves low light photography. It also features digital image stabilisation to counter the effects of camera shake and it can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.
The HTC Desire 610 doesn’t feature any of that fancy tech, so while the megapixel count is the same it fares far worse in poor lighting or when used with shaky hands. Plus it can only shoot video in 720p at 30fps. It also has a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, but Sony is yet to reveal the spec of the M2’s front facing camera so it’s not possible to fully compare that aspect.
Still, on the strength of the main shooter the Sony Xperia M2 is far better as a camera phone than the HTC Desire 610.
The Sony Xperia M2 has a 2300 mAh battery which Sony claims can last for up to 633 hours on standby, 14 hours and 36 minutes of talk time or 58 hours and 25 minutes of music, giving it above average battery life overall. The HTC Desire 610 has a slightly smaller 2040 mAh battery and while HTC hasn’t released any usage stats for it the almost identical spec of the two phones suggests that they’ll consume a similar amount of battery, in which case you can expect the Xperia M2 with its larger power pack to last slightly longer.
Both phones come with just 8GB of internal storage but that can be boosted with a microSD card. The Sony Xperia M2 supports cards of up to 32GB while the HTC Desire 610 can hold cards of up to 64GB.
The big connectivity feature in both cases is 4G LTE. Not so long ago that was reserved for high end handsets but it’s increasingly possible to get it on a budget. Aside from that both phones support Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and 3G, but the Sony Xperia M2 also supports NFC.
The Sony Xperia M2 and the HTC Desire 610 are remarkably similar handsets. Their screens are the same resolution and almost the same size, they have exactly the same processors and the same amount of RAM as well as the same number of megapixels on their cameras and they both support 4G.
But while there’s not a vast amount to choose between them there is enough to pick a winner. The Sony Xperia M2 has a substantially better camera overall, plus it has a marginally nicer design and it supports NFC, which is enough to crown it the winner.
That said the HTC Desire 610 has an ever so slightly sharper screen and more storage potential, so it’s a very close second. If you want 4G on a budget you can’t go wrong with either of them.
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