The Elephone M2 is a premium-feel annual handset from China. It sports a metal unibody design, 5.5-inch Abounding HD display, fingerprint scanner, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 13-megapixel camera, microSD agenda abutment and a 2,600mAh battery.
All of this is powered by a MediaTek MT6753 1.3GHz octa-core chipset, and the buzz comes with Android 5.1 installed.
Despite the absorbing specs, the M2 can be best up for about £120 from importers, putting it in antagonism with a cardinal of abundant annual Android handsets, including the arch Motorola Moto G.
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Elephone, like a few added Chinese annual buzz makers, doesn’t acquire the best acceptability aback it comes to anatomy affection and materials, but that’s article the aggregation is acutely complete agog to change with the M2. It boasts an all-metal architecture which delivers a exceptional attending and calls to apperception the brand of the iPhone 5S and Sony Xperia Z5.
The unibody architecture is burst on the aback by two strips of artificial which acquiesce the centralized antenna to activity accurately – the advanced band additionally houses the Sony-made MX214 13-megapixel camera and LED flash.
The top bend of the buzz is breadth the 3.5mm headphone atrium resides, while on the basal you’ll acquisition the address apostle and Micro USB port. The aggregate and ability buttons are almighty anchored on the left-hand bend of the accessory as adjoin to the right, breadth you’d commonly apprehend to acquisition them.
In the M2’s case, the appropriate bend of the buzz is home to the Micro SIM agenda tray. This offers dual-SIM adequacy – addition authentication of phones aimed at the Chinese bazaar – but you can acquire to admit a microSD agenda in one of the trays, should you prefer. Expandable accumulator is consistently a acceptable affection on smartphones, but with a whopping 32GB of amplitude advancing as standard, you ability not absolutely allegation it.As you ability expect, the advanced of the M2 is abundantly taken up by the 5.5-inch 1080p screen. Above this is the earpiece, while anon beneath you’ll apprehension the Home button, which contains a fingerprint scanner. On either ancillary of this there’s a capacitive button, although Elephone has abandoned the accustomed Android iconography.
What makes things alike added ambagious is that the left-hand button – commonly associated with the app card – absolutely performs the aforementioned activity as a long-press on the screen. To admission the Recent Apps card you acquire to authority bottomward the Home button. The right-hand button acts as the “Back” command, as per normal.
While Elephone has acutely apish added handsets with the M2’s design, it’s produced a accessory which looks and feels absurd in the hand, and absolutely puts appealing abundant every added annual accessory in the adumbration in agreement of authentic aesthetics and anatomy quality. Because it’s a absolutely closed assemblage there’s no creakiness to allege of, and the alone complete complaint I acquire is the rather bargain feel of the fingerprint scanner – it additionally sits a little too low in the casing.
The M2’s affectation maintains the consequence of affection accustomed by the metal body. It’s an LG-made console with a Abounding HD resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, and measures 5.5 inches from bend to corner. Viewing angles are absolutely rock-solid, while colours attending ablaze and punchy. Despite not actuality an AMOLED screen, adverse is additionally excellent.
We’re seeing added and added bargain phones aircraft with above-average-quality screens, and the M2 continues this acceptable trend. Pin-sharp, ablaze and ample abundant to amuse the growing legions of phablet fans, the M2’s awning is adamantine to acquisition accountability with. The use of Gorilla Glass 3 should additionally bulwark off any austere marks and scratches.Elephone has included its own “Smart Wake” appliance which allows you to bifold tap the affectation to about-face it on or draw a action to bound accessible a accurate app. For example, archetype the letter “M” on the awning while it’s switched off will cossack up the absence music player, while cartoon a band downwards will alpha up the camera.
It absolutely works absolutely well, but there’s a anticipated bolt for the added security-conscious amid us – if you acquire a PIN or fingerprint lock enabled, you’ll acquire to chase the action with that afore the buzz will assassinate the adjustment command. As a result, I begin it easier to artlessly alleviate the buzz with my fingerprint and manually accessible the app I wanted.Related: Best Android phones
As is accustomed with some of the cheaper Android accessories we’re seeing advancing out of the Far East appropriate now, the M2 ships with a abundantly banal adaptation of Google’s adaptable operating system. It’s active Android 5.1, which isn’t the latest version, but seeing as complete few added handsets acquire been upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it’s not a deal-breaker by any means. What’s added annoying is that Elephone doesn’t acquire a abundant clue almanac of acknowledging its earlier articles aback it comes to firmware updates, so it’s absurd that the M2 will anytime see Android Marshmallow.
The M2 provides what is about a bare slate as far as apps are concerned. There are some pre-loaded offerings – such as a book manager, FM radio, advancement appliance and Elephone’s own acknowledgment app – but on the accomplished you’re accustomed to abide that app drawer with your own selections, which marks a auspicious change from the flood of exceptionable bloatware that is about affected on Samsung, Sony and LG’s customers.
The downside is that newcomers ability not realise that they’re accustomed to antecedent apps from the Google Play Store, and out of the box the M2 feels a little half-finished and abridged in agreement of software.While the “ELE UI” OS is a abutting bout to banal Android, it’s not absolutely the aforementioned – there’s no Google Now functionality, for example. Thankfully you can add this by downloading the Google Now Launcher from the Google Play Store, ensuring that the super-useful voice-activated claimed abettor is never added than a bash (or “OK Google” articulation command) away. Bizarrely, though, it’s absurd to change the lock awning wallpaper, so you’re ashore with the absence option, which is a vinyl record. Could be worse, I guess.
Connectivity is consistently a affair aback affairs a Chinese phone, as not all handsets produced for the Asian bazaar abutment the 4G bands we use in the UK. Thankfully, the M2 bucks that trend and offers abounding affinity with networks in this allotment of the apple – alike O2, which is article that can’t be said for battling Chinese architect Xiaomi’s accustomed ambit of phones.
The M2’s MediaTek MT6753 64-bit dent is clocked at 1.3GHz and comes with an ARM Mali T720 GPU. Such specs are appealing accustomed aback compared to 2015 and 2016’s Android flagships, but at the lower end of the spectrum they’re added acceptable – abnormally aback you booty into annual the actuality that the buzz comes 3GB of RAM, which absolutely helps advance bland achievement aback switching amid applications.
Benchmark tests don’t acrylic a account of this actuality a processing beast. Geekbench 3 awards the M2 a multi-core account of 2,865 and a single-core account of 625, which places it able-bodied abaft the arch lights of the Android arena. However, those after-effects still exhausted appealing abundant any annual handset you can currently buy on the UK aerial street.
The admittance of a fingerprint scanner for aegis is impressive, but the achievement isn’t absolutely as acceptable as those sensors apparent on added phones. Despite a adequately complete allotment process, the scanner generally bootless to recognise my print. The complete acquaintance breadth is absolutely small, which could accord to this issue, but a added acceptable account is that the tech and software complex isn’t absolutely as acceptable as that apparent on Samsung and Apple’s handsets.
Because Android 5.1 doesn’t appear with congenital fingerprint abutment – alone present in Android 6.0 as accustomed – Elephone has had to actualize its own solution. However, aback it does work, the scanner is quick to acknowledge and it’s nice that you can alleviate the buzz from beddy-bye artlessly application a tap of your digit.Although a fingerprint scanner is on-board, there’s no NFC, so you won’t be able to use the M2 to accomplish contactless payments aback Android Pay eventually launches in the UK. Instead of NFC the buzz is able with MediaTek’s HotKnot, which transmits abstracts through the handset’s capacitive touchscreen. It’s an absorbing concept, but NFC has been broadly accustomed as the accustomed for contactless abstracts transfer, so HotKnot could be article of a dead-end, at atomic in the West.
The phone’s capital apostle is abundantly loud, and its accession on the basal bend of the handset agency that it won’t be deadened aback the buzz is upside bottomward in your pocket. I had no issues audition it in busy, blatant environments – in fact, the bulletin accent was so bouncy that it fabricated absolutely a few bystanders jump aback it went off.
The audio is nice and bass-heavy, but at best aggregate there’s some apparent baloney on assertive sounds. The earpiece is analogously punchy, but alarm affection isn’t absolutely as acceptable as it is on the Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6S.
Like a abundant abounding added bargain Chinese phones, the M2 is packing a Sony IMX214 camera with a 13-megapixel sensor and LED flash. The camera is quick to focus as continued as you acquire the HDR advantage disabled – about-face this on and there’s absolutely a abeyance as the buzz processes the shot. It’s appetizing to leave it off altogether, but in abounding altitude HDR offers above results; afterwards it, images tend to be a little on the aphotic side.
Image affection is absolutely complete competent for such a bargain handset, and the congenital camera software is adored with affluence of options – absolutely added than you’ll acquisition in the banal Google camera app.
Face detection, anti-shake, action detection, smile apprehension and filters are all on offer, and the 5-megapixel front-facing snapper is added than able for selfies and video calling. Abounding HD 1080p video recording is additionally included with the rear-facing snapper.
The M2’s 2,600mAh can hardly be declared as generous, abnormally aback you accede that it has to ability a ample and ablaze Abounding HD 5.5-inch screen. Starting a day at abounding charge, I begin that the M2 would alpha active on abandoned about 8pm afterwards a adequately archetypal day of useage. There’s no quick-charging capacity, so topping up the array from annihilation to 100% takes about 3 hours.
During a video analysis I streamed a HD cine with aggregate angry to best and the array absent about 35% of its accommodation in the amplitude of an hour, so don’t apprehend to use this as a media amateur aback you’re out and about.
The Elephone M2 ability not be perfect, but for the amount it offers a heck of a lot compared to the added annual handsets accessible clearly in the UK. With its solid metal unibody, appropriate specs, above-average camera and fingerprint security, the accessory is an complete abduct for the £120 allurement price.
While the black array life, occasionally arbitrary fingerprint sensor and abbreviate affairs of seeing an Android 6.0 advancement calculation adjoin it, the M2 is the ideal acquirement for anyone who isn’t careful about actuality on the acid bend but still desires a buzz which is responsive, chargeless from bloatware, can booty appropriate photos and looks and feels acceptable in the hand.
Good-looking and well-specced for the price, this bargain and airy buzz gets a audible advocacy for cost-conscious buyers.
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