Sony is clearly hoping to make a splash with its latest handset, the Xperia M2 Aqua. Launched on Tuesday, it is not only the world’s first affordable water-resistant handset, it is also the first phone ever to achieve an IP65 rating. That means it can survive being submerged in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
Until now, water-resistance was a feature reserved for flagship handsets. Therefore it’s little wonder that Sony is hailing the handset as a milestone product.
“It is a smartphone that lets customers take the best of Sony technology and entertainment with them wherever they go -- come rain or shine -- and we are excited to bring it to market,” said Calum MacDougall, Director of Xperia Marketing at Sony Mobile.
And by the best of, MacDougall is referring to the company’s camera and battery technologies.
The M2 Aqua has a great 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, capable of capturing up to 31 shots in 2 seconds and passing those images through a premium image senor for the best stills or video results. As well as great hardware, Sony is adding more and more camera apps to help users make even more of its smartphones’ imaging capabilities -- everything from live filters to annotations and the ability to shoot directly to a social media account. And of course, you can shoot underwater with it.
To ensure that the smartphone’s battery can keep up with all of this imaging, the M2 Aqua has a stamina mode that can intelligently stop apps from running in the background or stop everything except from messaging and voice calls to ensure there’s enough juice available until you get home or within a few meters of a power socket. Sony says the battery is good for 8 hours of HD video playback, 12 hours of talk time or 37 hours of listening to music.
Sony will confirm pricing when the Xperia M2 Aqua officially goes on sale later this year, initially in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe, and let’s hope that it starts a trend. Just like fingerprint scanners, water resistance should be a feature that’s standard on all handsets.