The Xperia Z2 is one of the most expected smartphones of 2014, introduced by Sony in the MWC 2014, at the same time with the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8. However, it was not until May that this product finally made its way to the market. The manufacturer from Japan confidently priced it around $600, a little bit higher than the other brands.
Several tests show that the Xperia Z2 is a nice blend of design, performance expected from a true Android flagship. This definitely a worthy upgrade from the old Xperia Z1 but is not really perfect in some aspects.
The Xperia Z2 is a charming phone owning a design that is slim and sharp down to every detail. The front and the back both have flat and sturdy layers of glass with the thickness of 8.2 mm. Except from the two colors black and white, the violet Xperia Z2 can melt a girl’s heart.
The Xperia Z2 and the Xperia Z1 seem completely identical from the outside, but they have different specs. The new Z2 has the size of 146.8mm x 73.3mm instead of 144mm x 74 mm like the Z1. Despite that fact, the Z2 feels slimmer and lighter being 8.2 mm thick and weighing 163 gram white the other device has the specs of 8.5 mm and 170 gram. This makes a huge difference.
The Xperia Z2 and the Z1 also has one more tricky feature that can make us think they are thse same: the Z1 has the borders made of complete aluminimum while the Z2 has its edges as a combination fo aluminimum and plastic. This is a feature that comprises the water-proof feature of the phones, which on the white Xperia can cause some unwanted dirt.
The layer of glass of the Xperia Z2 is positioned quite shallower than the edges, which does not have on the Z1. The Z1 give us a better feel. That is a difference but it does not seem to downgrade the awesome Xperia Z2.
The OmniBalance design of Sony is beautiful and stylish. From the power buttons to the volume keys, everything is taken with utter care and precision. Being elegant and simultaneaously assured to be sturdy not being damaged by dust or water. And you have to make sure that all the ports are complete closed.
The screen of the Xperia Z2 so is a big step forward compared with Xperia Z1. Giving it a Full HD screen instead of a QuadHD 2K one, Sony increases the size of the screen by 0.2 inch instead of leaving it 5 inch just like they did on the Z1. Therefore, the three buttons does not interfere with the display. The borders around the screen are simpler as well.
When put side to side, the screen of the Z2 are significantly improved better than that of the Z1. Featuring IPS LCD technology, the screen also adopts two display technologies which are Triluminous from Bravia TV and X-Reality Mobile.
However, the big pro is the Live Color LED that makes the IPS screen seem more realistic. With a lot of depth and detail, the Z2 brings to us a whole new experience watching videos.
Moreover, the screen supports glove mode that can be used when it gets cold. This is another great addon to the abilityof the Z2 to withstand harsh environment.
Taking a look at the specs of the Xperia Z2 and the Xperia Z1, you can say there is not much difference between these two in terms of camera. They both have the same advanced camera with G Lens, Sony BIONZ image processor, Sony Exmor RS1/2.3 inch sensor, f/2.0 aperture and 20.7 Mpx.
However, the Xperia Z2 is proven to be enhanced and better. Xperia Z2 reacts to focusing blazingly, produces photos with right contrast and saturation. The f/2.0 aperture also results in beautiful bokeh. Additionally, the Super Autorior of the device works better the other Xperia Zs. The photos captured are longer blurry when in a beginner’s hands. But in this mode, the HDR functions turns out not really good.
Sony has brought their experience on digital cameras to this phone and results in the fact that you can shoot photos in Manual mode and adjust settings just like those of a DSLR. Sony also give this device 4K recording making every frame of the video much better and more realistic than Full HD does.
The Xperia Z2 can record video in slow-motion with 12fps or create some unique effects with Creative mode as well. Photo modes include Sweep Panorama, Timeshift Brust and AR effects. There is an intersting feature, Social Live, letting you broadcast video to social networks. In addition, Info Eye lets you search for information just by scanning the object via camera and Background Defocus gives you the bokeh effect just like on a DSLR.
However, what is disappointing about the Xperia Z2 lays not in its quality but in the performance. When being heavily used (e.g. recoding 4K videos) not for too long, but the body of the phone gets hot and the camera app will shut down and cannot be used until the body gets back to normal. This is being solved by Sony and will get fixed soon.
The Sony Xperia Z2 approach the audience by making everyday functions better. After the screen and its camera, the other highly scored feature is the sound quality. First, let’s talk about the speakers. Even though that it can’t compete with BoomSound of the HTC One, the ‘S Surround’ speakers positioned on the front is powerful enough to produce amazing quality. Whether you watch movies or listen to music on this Xperia Z2, you do not have to worry about the quality of the sound.
Aside from the speakers, the sound of Xperia Z2 is also enhanced when you plug in the earphones. Walkman supports lossless media and song info updating. Several audio enhancers are integrated: Clear Stereo, Clear Phase, Clear Bass, S-Force Front Surround, xLOUD or Surround Sound with the aim of making everything better but close to the original.
A great new upgrade of the Z2 is the new Hi-Res Audio allowing you to export high quality music via USB cable to DAC or Headamp. We did some tests and found out that there is a huge difference with and with out Hi-Res Audion. The only letdown is that it only supports Walkman and is not available on three party softwares.
Software, Performance and Battery
The Xperia Z2 runs on Android 4.4 KitKat and the familiar Xperia UI. With that being said, this high-class smartphone of Sony is ready to satisfy all kinds of customers. The number of apps preloaded by Sony is huge, enough to use without having to download those Google Play Store. Xperia UI is still a go-to interface on Android these days having elegant, smooth performance and mutitasking.
At a higher price than the other Android phones, the features of Xperia Z2 give way to those of Korean manufacturers but are better when standing next to the M8 of HTC, the iPhone and the Windows Phones. Sony supply it with enough features to run, not too many like on the Galaxy S5. The phone is loaded with tons of ways of connection like Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct… that can be easily shared via other devices, especially Sony Bravia. The phone unfortunately does not support cable charging. But instead, it has magnetic charing that can be easily waterproof as well as connected to docks.
The Xperia Z2 is one of the most powerful flagships with the 2.3 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, RAM 3GB. The internal memory is avialable at 16 GB and the phone supports an external memory up to 128 GB. One frustrating thing of the Z2 is quick to be heated up, especially on the back and the screen when using camera. Being waterproof, it can be put in water to cool off and taken out for good use again.
However, we are totally satisfied with battery. A 3.200 mAh battery gives you 1 or 1 and a half day with regular connection to Wi-Fi and 3G. Fast charging and battery saving are also worth complimenting.
If we have to compare it with the S5, the M8 or the G3, the Xperia Z2 is a flagship that combines all the features seamlessly. Its downsides are the high price and the short availability as the Z3 is getting ready to be put out.
- Nice design, water- and dust-proof
- Great performance as well as great battery life
- Multifunctional camera, crisp photos
- Great sound quality
- Beautiful screen
- Highly priced
- Easy to be heated up.
- The cover does not have a good feel like the Z1.
In comparison with the Samsung S5, the HTC One M8 or the LG G3, the Xperia Z2 is a flagship that has got the best of everything: design, camera, screen, sound, battery life and more.