Sony Xperia Z2 review

Sony Xperia Z2 review

T3 4
  • An update to the brand's flagship to compete with the HTC M8, does Sony's latest offer enough? Find out in our Sony Xperia Z2 review

    The Sony Xperia Z2 is an interesting proposition, firstly it’s the sequel to the Sony Xperia Z1, which was first launched less than a year ago which begs the question, is it worth the update? Secondly, it arrives amidst a wave of next-gen flagship smartphones like the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5. Can the Z2 hold its own against such lofty rivals?

    Sony Xperia Z2: Size and build

    We’re going to get this out of the way first - the Z2 feels big, which is odd, because on paper it’s actually a leaner machine than the original Z1.

    The square body is still present and that’s fine by us - Sony has nailed that design language although it does come with a few unique problems.

    The Z2 doesn’t feel natural to hold with one hand – this is despite it being thinner than the HTC One M8 at 8.2mm.

    A lot of this is down to the square design which feels inherently more suited to two-handed use forcing us to use the Z2 in this way for most of the time we spent with it.

    WATCH: Sony Xperia Z2 unboxing and first impressions video

    The build quality is Sony’s standard level of exemplary, the Z2 feels sturdy, well-built and completely reliable. We’re still not entirely sure that covering a phone in glass is going to be the best in the long-term but it certainly looks good.

  • Sony's new flagship Android smartphone has an improved camera, completely waterproof body and 4K video capture. Check out our Sony Xperia Z2 hands-on review

    The Sony Xperia Z2 has been unveiled as the brand's new flagship Android smartphone at the MWC show in Barcelona. Sony claims it to have the "the world's best camera and camcorder in a waterproof Android smartphone".

    Launched alongside the new Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and the mid-range Sony Xperia M2 phone, the new handset will replace the current range-topper - the Sony Xperia Z1.

    As well as a new waterproof chassis, it also sports a very slightly bigger screen plus 4K video capture. Article continues after the video.

    Sony Xperia Z2: Size and build

    Crafted from a solid piece of aluminium, the new handset sports a similar design to its predecessor - the now-familiar Xperia style. Like the Z1, it's quite a large phone for small hands, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and LG G2, though obviously not as large as the likes of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

    The phones comes in black, white or purple.

    Sony Xperia Z2: Features

    As we've already mentioned, the Z2 is now totally waterproof (to IP58 standard). This is an improvement on the Z1, which was resistant to water, but not entirely waterproof.

    The Z2 also packs built-in digital noise cancelling - the world's first in a smartphone, according to Sony. This works to great effect with Sony's compatible earphones, which will be bundled with the UK version of the phone. The noise cancelling wizardry won't work to full effect with other headphones other than those provided, which is a bit of a shame.

    Sony Xperia Z2: Screen

    The new handset sports a 5.2-inch full HD screen, which is only very slightly larger than the Z1's 5.1-inch display. Sony has made the frame around the screen thinner so that the space is used more effectively.

    Like the Z1, the screen boasts Sony's Triluminos and X-Reality technologies, ported over from its TVs. The new phone also features a new version of Live Colour LED, which is designed to boost the colour range of the screen even further. IPS has also been added to the mix, which gives the the Z2 a far better viewing angle compared to the Z1. It also means the new, more vibrant colours keep their punchy hues even when you're not directly in front of the screen.

    Sony Xperia Z2: Camera

    The Z2 has some neat additions to its camera, including a new creative effects mode, plus a background defocus mode for taking those effective shallow depth of field shots.

    Sony has also taken time to perfect the video capture, porting across a few features from its Handycam camcorder range, including its SteadyShot image stabilisation. In our hands-on with the phone, this tech worked especially well.

    The Z2 also features 4K video capture. To see the full benefit, obviously you'll need to view your footage on a 4K TV like the Sony KD-65X9005A, rather than on the phone's full HD screen. However, it does mean that it'll still look extremely sharp on a full HD display.

    Sony has also added a timeshift mode, as found on the iPhone 5s, and its ridiculously fun AR mode - which enables you to add dinosaurs and other stuff to your images - can now be used on video as well.

    Sony Xperia Z2: Performance

     

    The Z2 runs Android KitKat (4.4) and comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor on board, so it runs as smoothly as you'd imagine. We had a play with the UI and there was no noticeable lag when navigating around the onscreen menus.

    Sony Xperia Z2: Verdict

    The Sony Xperia Z2 looks set to be a worthy successor to the Z1. We like the improved screen and we were also particularly impressed by the boosted video capabilities. The addition of 4K video capture, while it may not be that useful at the moment, is a statement of intent and also a neat piece of futureproofing from Sony. Stay tuned for a full review.

    Sony Xperia Z2 release date: March 2014

    Sony Xperia Z2 price: TBC

    Hands-on review by Libby Plummer

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    • Video
      Sony XPERIA Z2 specs hands-on

      Sony's Z1 gets a follow-up with the Xperia Z2, here are all the details

    • Video
      Sony XPERIA Z2 tablet specs hands-on

      What specs make this tablet from Sony beat the rest?

    • Video
      Sony Xperia Z2 rumours round-up

      We take you through all the latest release date, specs and price rumours

      01:57
  • Sony Xperia Z2

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