SONY ANNOUNCED the Xperia M2 Aqua on Tuesday, a mid-range smartphone boasting IP68 certification.
Looking to challenge more expensive rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Sony Xperia M2 Aqua boasts IP68 certification, the highest waterproof rating available, which means the handset can survive submersion beyond 1m depth indefinitely.
Sony Mobile director of Xperia Marketing Calum MacDougall said, "The popularity of Xperia M2 showed us that there was a huge demand for premium Sony features at an affordable price-point.
"Following consumer feedback, we\ve now taken this a step further by bringing our waterproof expertise to a mid-range smartphone for the first time with Xperia M2 Aqua. 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."
Beyond its rugged credentials, the Sony Xperia M2 Aqua is nearly identical to its Xperia M2 predecessor. There's a 4.8in 540x960 resolution screen at the front, which is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, and 4G support. Unlike its Xperia M2 sibling, the Xperia M2 Aqua will ship running Android 4.4 Kitkat.
The handset also touts an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 2,300mAh battery, 8GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card and built-in NFC support.
Sony promised that the Xperia M2 Aqua will be at a price point "suitable for everyone" but failed to disclose how much it will cost when it launches in Europe this autumn. The original Xperia M2 retails for around £150 in the UK.
The announcement of Sony's Xperia M2 Aqua comes just hours before HTC is expected to unveil the HTC One W8, a Windows Phone powered variant of its HTC One M8 smartphone. µ