Sony Xperia Z2 Review

by Reads (10,400)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service, Warranty & Support
    • 9
    • Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Design
    • 9
    • Performance
    • 10
    • Value
    • 9
    • Total Score:
    • 9.20
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Great camera, takes fantastic photos with Superior Auto Mode, and has many manual options
    • Superb display
    • Excellent overall performance and battery life
    • Beautiful design with dedicated camera button
  • Cons

    • Some minor bugs
    • No option for 32GB
    • 20.7 MP photo option only available in Manual Mode
    • Weak speakers

Quick Take

The Sony Xperia Z2 is one of the best Android devices currently available, thanks to its excellent overall performance, beautiful design, and a camera that takes fantastic photos.

Sony’s Xperia flagship phones usually have the most up to date hardware and best designs, and the Xperia Z1 offered excellent performance and a stylish look. Unfortunately the camera on the Z1 fell short against other smartphones, and the TFT TRILUMINOS display looked washed out at the wrong angles.

The Sony Xperia Z2 shipped about six months after the Z1 launch, complete with identical camera hardware and slight improvements under the hood. The Z2 screen is also bigger, and it sports an IPS display, along with the latest Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM.

Will the Sony Xperia Z2 disappoint like the Z1? Let’s find out.

Build & Design

Sony Xperia Z2Like the Z1 before it, The Z2 is one of the best looking phones to date. In fact, there are no obvious changes from its previous design.

On the side of the Z2, a single flap covers the microSIM slot along with the microUSB port. The Z1 had two separate flaps.

On the right side of the Z2, there is another flap that covers the microSD slot, along with a power button, volume rocker switch, and a dedicated camera button. The camera button also pulls up the camera app even when the device is in sleep mode. Also, users can wake the Z2 by tapping the screen twice, though that feature must be turned on first.

The top houses the headphone jack and one of two of the stereo speakers

Finally, there is a microphone and a hole for a wrist strap on the bottom. There is also another speaker for stereo playback. Don’t expect to get HTC One-level sound quality, as the stereo speakers are weak, produce flat sound, and require maximum volume for acceptable playback. Hopefully this will be fixed in an upcoming update.

Much like the Xperia Z1, the Z2 features an aluminum frame resting between two pieces of tempered glass, making up the front and back panels. Perhaps after listening to customer feedback, Sony removed the screen protector and shatterproof tape found on the Z1, which actually made scratches and smudges much more apparent and was a hindrance for viewing.

Sony Xperia Z2 sideThe Xperia Z2 feels solid and has a premium feel, but the tradeoff is that it’s a bit on the heftier side. The Z2 weighs .36 pounds, which is actually lighter than both the Z1 (.37) and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (.37). It is however heavier than the Nexus 5 (.3), and slightly heavier than the HTC One M8 (.35).

The Sony Xperia Z2 is a larger-screen smartphone, and its 5.2-inch display accounts for its weight. Those upgrading from a smaller smartphone, like an iPhone, or even the Nexus 5, might find it a bit uncomfortable to hold and somewhat unwieldy.

Quick Specs

  • 5.2-inch, 1080×1920 IPS display (424 pixels per inch)
  • 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm (5.78 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches)
  • 163g (.36 pounds)
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Snapdragon 801 quadcore processor, 2.3Ghz, Adreno 330 GPU
  • 16GB Internal Storage with microSD Expandability
  • Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC Wireless Connectivity
  • IP58 certified, dust proof and water resistant over 1 meter and 30 minutes
  • 20.7 MP Camera, autofocus, LED flash
  • 3200Mah sealed battery
  • In box: charger, microUSB cable and white headphones

Display

The 5.2-inch 1080×1920 IPS display looks fantastic, especially in comparison the Z1, which looked blurry and washed out at all but the most direct angles. In fact, the Z2 has one of the best displays of any current smartphone, including the HTC One M8, LG Nexus 5 and the LG G2.

Even though the screen is .2-inches larger than the Xperia Z1, the Z2 still manages to have the same footprint as its predecessor because Sony has shrunk the bezels. Text, videos, and images look much sharper, and the colors are much more accurate than the Z1.

With the Z2, Sony continues to push the X-Realty engine, which is supposed to make display colors more vibrant. This feature didn’t work out too well on the Z1 as it made some videos look blurry, but with the new IPS display, there is definite improvement on this feature, though not enough. Testers at Brighthand noticed overly sharp images on some videos. Thankfully, users can turn off the feature, and should.


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