The Xperia Z2 continues the Sony tradition of packing the latest hardware into its flagship phones, this time with the Snapdragon 801 2.3Ghz quad-core processor with the Adreno 330 GPU, and 3GB of RAM. What does that mean? The Z2 will take any graphic-intensive game you throw at it with ease. It’s top of the line, at the time of review
The Z2 can also handle multitasking well, thanks to the 3GB of RAM, which exceeds what is found on other Android flagships. Users will be able to launch apps all day without fear of lag.
Overall battery performance is very good. BH testers went through a full work day with the Xperia Z2, with moderate to heavy use, including making calls, emailing, web browsing, social media, and some video watching. The Z2 remained unplugged for a little more than 14 hours, with 3 hours of screen. Brightness settings were at about 80% to 90%, with both auto brightness and stamina mode turned off.
Sony’s take on Android is as close to stock as it gets, which is a really good thing. It’s quick, simple, and responsive. Though, there are some Sony preinstalled apps, including Walkman and Xperia Lounge, which are easy enough to ignore.
One thing to note, BH testers found a quirk with Exchange email. For some strange reason, Xperia devices running KitKat 4.4.2 requires a PASSWORD, and not just a PIN code for the security policy. It’s very frustrating that the requirement for the password is a minimum of 4 letters, plus a number, AND a special character. This issue is not on any other device such as the Note 3 running KitKat or the Nexus 5. This issue is relevant only if you want to use the built in Sony email application for Exchange. You can get around this by using another Exchange email app such as Nine (highly recommended), or the stock Android KitKat APK mail app (easily found via Google search).
The Sony Xperia Z1 camera was awful and the Z2 has the same hardware. It’s shocking how much better the Z2 is compared to its predecessor.
Let’s compare some photos. First, photos taken with the Z1:
And now, let’s take a look at the Z2’s camera:
The Z2’s camera is definitely much better with indoor lighting, likely thanks to software improvements to the focus and ISO.
Here is a photo taken in Superior Auto mode:
Pictures at night also look great:
The camera app itself is very well executed. Users can activate the camera directly from the dedicated shutter/camera button, even with a locked Z2. PIN-locked smartphones will take the photo, but users will have to enter the code to view the pic. That’s not the case with the iPhone. One thing to note, while the camera is capable of taking 20.7 MP photos, this options is only available in manual mode, and the default is set to 8 MP in all modes.
The Xperia Z2 also has several camera modes from which to choose:
Some of these modes are really interesting. The background defocus is similar to a HTC One M8 feature. With it, users can blur the background of a picture to make it appear out of focus, which creates a DSLR-like effect.
There’s also an Augmented Reality effect, which overlays themes, including both dinosaurs and under the sea. It’s silly and fun, and kids will likely love it.
In Manual mode, users can adjust several settings, including ISO and white balance. The Z2 will take fantastic photos with the right setting depending on the situation. However, most camera photographers want to just pull their phone out and take a decent photo without having too much thought and effort put into it in, and that means relying on Superior Auto mode.
To date, the iPhone 5s has been the most reliable smartphone for quick and easy photography. Many flagship Android phones were either hit or miss, and many forced compromises. The Sony Xperia Z2 compromises almost nothing, and while the iPhone 5s and Nokia Lumia 1020 may be able to outdo the Z2 in some areas, it is still a serious contender.