Music probably is one big factor that many mobile phone users in India look for. There are many of us who travel everyday to college or office, swaying away to our favorite songs. Micromax has introduced the M2 which is targeted for such people who are looking for handsets with good music. Let’s find out whether the M2 brings us to the dance floor.

Design and Build Quality
The M2 is a candy bar mobile phone and there’s not much added to the looks of the handset. The dull-gray colour gives it a nice look and so does the metallic finish. There’s a 2-inch TFT screen with a decent resolution of 240 x 320 pixels and below the screen, you’ll find a click wheel which is quite similar to that of an iPod. There are two call buttons on the left for making calls from either of the two SIM cards, a power button and a back button on the right. The click wheel is designed to house a shortcut to music, with the left and right sides for previous/next track selection. Finally the bottom section of the click wheel is for stopping a song. Below the click wheel, the buttons are a tad small but nevertheless, easy and comfortable to use.

Slim and strong build

Slim and strong build

There are no other buttons on the M2 and although the * and # keys double up as volume keys, it would probably be a better idea to have a volume rocker on any side of the handset. The top section of the phone houses all the ports, including the hot-swap dual SIM card slots with protective flaps for each. There’s a 3.5 mm audio jack and a micro-USB slot as well. While the SIM card slots with two flaps are a good idea, there’s still a slight feeling that the SIM cards are a little exposed, especially to water.

All ports on top

All ports on top

One of the biggest turn offs of the M2 is that the phone doesn’t have any kind of an expandable memory. There’s 2 GB of inbuilt memory and that is it. The phone doesn’t support more than 2 GB and it seems to be quite pointless of not having a lot of memory on a music phone. The maximum that you can store on 2 GB is probably 500 songs or so. And that is without counting space for photos and SMS messages.

Features
Interface
The M2 uses a Java-based User Interface, which is quite plain and simple and does the job of providing users with a decent interface. The transition between menus is pretty regular, however the icons don’t look exciting, just plain Jane. We noticed that while playing music in the background, there was a slight lag when switching between the main menu and the home screen.

Media
One of the highlights of the M2 is its music capabilities. Users will be happy to know that they get a bundled pair of circum aural headphones. The handset also has SRS WOW HD equalizer settings with 9 presets but no custom equalizer settings. Anyway, the sound that the M2 can churn out is really appealing to the ears.

SRS WOW settings are helpful

SRS WOW settings are helpful

While the treble might feel a little low at times, the mids are quite easy to identify and sound really nice. Also for a mobile phone, the M2’s bass also has sufficient thump and boom which sounds great with the bundled headphones. Turning the volume all the way up however is not a good idea and the sound starts to distort.

Bundled Headphones, look and sound good

Bundled Headphones, look and sound good

The handset doesn’t support any video format apart from H.263 which doesn’t make it favourable to watch movies on the small screen. Of course you can check out small videos and clips, but that’s about it.

To sum up the audio playback, the M2 definitely gives us the kind of sound quality that it claims. Its not the best out there, but it definitely is a lot better than many mobile phones that come in this category or price range.
Connectivity
The M2 has very mundane connectivity features. There’s no 3G or Wi-Fi to boast of but there’s the usual GPRS and EDGE for internet connectivity. Users can also transfer stuff using Bluetooth or the micro-USB slot.

The handset gives a decent call quality and although the caller’s voice doesn’t sound too loud, the phone definitely has a good ability to catch signals in closed places where signal reception is not too high.

Misc. Features
Like most Java-based mobile handsets; the M2 has quite some miscellaneous features like Notes, Calendar, World Clock, Unit and Currency Converter as well. There’s FM Radio and the phone also has some pre-loaded games. You cannot expect from the M2 when it comes to miscellaneous features.

Camera
The 2 Megapixel camera throws some really poor indoor shots and the outdoor shots only go a notch higher. The colours as well as level of details are really bad, as you can see from the pictures. Although it’s not a camera phone, we still expected the phone to give us average pictures at least.

Indoor images lack detail and colour

Indoor images lack detail and colour

Outdoor images are just a little better

Outdoor images are just a little better

Battery Life
The handset has a standard 850 mAh battery which lasts for almost a day with the normal load of calls, texts and listening to music as well. A full charge will almost last you for the whole day and as long as you’re not using it heavily (even for music), the M2 will stay alive throughout the day.

Verdict
At a price of Rs. 3,500 (MOP) the M2 is a neat option for a music phone. The sound quality it offers cannot be classified as stellar, but is definitely very good for its price. However, one of the biggest reasons why this mobile phone is not recommended is because of its really tiny storage capacity of 2 GB. Also apart from the music, this phone doesn’t have anything better to offer.

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