Several days ago we got our first look at the new flagship phone from Sony, the Xperia Z2. After a week now of use, we now have our full and comprehensive review of this outstanding phone.
The first thing you notice when you get your hands on the Experia Z2 is its size. Its big. Similar in dimensions to a Galaxy Note 3, it measures up at 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2mm. This makes it marginally larger than the previous Z1, and considerably larger than other flagship devices from other manufacturers, such as the LG G2 and the HTC One M8. While this size makes it somewhat unwieldy, especially for users with small hands, its weight (163g) is not excessive.
The case itself is made up of a high quality glass screen, as well as a black glass backing. This is surrounded by a band of brushed aluminium, continuing Sony’s trend of using luxury materials as a point of difference to Samsung. What sets this casing apart however, is its IP55/58 rating - meaning that it is fully waterproof, not just water resistant like the Galaxy S5.
As a flagship phone, the Z2 sports lots of power under its hood. Running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 which clocks in at 2.3GHz, it has comparable processor speed to its direct competitors, the One M8 and the Galaxy S5. Furthermore, it comes equipped with an ample 3GB of RAM, which enabled it to run high-graphics games without any stuttering in tests which we carried out.
In terms of storage, the phone has an inbuilt 16GB of internal space, which can be expanded with a MicroSD cards through a port on the side. Additional peripheral ports include a waterproof headphone jack and a MicroUSB slot.
While many people complained about the lacklustre display built into the Z1, Sony has made a great improvement with the Z2. In terms of resolution, the phone still features a 1,920x1,080 pixel Full HD display, however Sony has much improved its ‘Triluminous’ screen technology, enabling it to show much greater color contrast, as well as much deeper blacks. Additionally, with this improvement the Z2’s viewing angles are much wider than its predecessor.
As with the processor, Sony has not skimped when it comes to providing buyers with a top-of-the line battery. Its 3200mAh lithium-ion battery provides solid performance with a reasonable charging speed. In tests undertaken by Versus, the battery was sufficient for a full days regular use, and was comparable to its main competitors, in terms of total life. The only downside is that this battery is not removable, possible due to considerations of a reduction in waterproofing from such a feature.
One of the main selling points of Sony with the Z2 is its camera. Coming in with a massive 20.7MP back facing camera, it has the ability to take high quality shots in both daytime and low-light conditions. Picture quality is indeed so good, that this phone could easily replace a point-and-shoot camera for users who don’t need optical zoom. However, the downside is that Sony’s automatic mode is not so well calibrated, often producing washed out and cold shots, which means users will have to be willing to manually adjust focus settings. In addition, it is equipped with a 2MP front facing camera, which can be used for video calling.
As well as in still photography, the Z2 also shines in the video department. One new feature is the ability to shoot 4K video, however, given the low proliferation and high cost of 4K displays, this is a rather superfluous feature. More interesting is the camera’s ability to shoot at 120fps, enabling it to create slow motion video footage.
While in the past Sony has been loath to give users the latest Android version with its phones, we are pleased to say that this is not the case with the Z2. Running the latest 4.4.2 ‘KitKat’ version of Android, the phone sports less of the so-called ‘bloatware’ that plagues its rival the Galaxy S5. Despite this, there remain a few unnecessary additions to the Android software by Sony, including an irritating ‘What's New’ application that serves only to promote Sony content.
In short, the Z2 is everything a high-end luxury smartphone should be. It features a lighting-fast 2.3GHz processor, a generous 3Gb of RAM and a greater-than-HD 1,920x1,080 pixel 5.1 inch screen. This is all encased within a high end metallic and glass outer shell, which sports the unique ability of being completely waterproof. Of course for a luxury product such as this, the only downside is the cost.
[All Images: Sony ]
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