SONY Xperia Z2 Review

Launched shortly six months after its predecessor’s release, the Sony Xperia Z2 is Sony’s newest flagship priding itself on having the world’s best camera and camcorder in a waterproof smartphone. So what makes this premium smartphone from Sony standout from the rest of its flagship competitors? Read our review below.

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Design and Construction
At first sight, you wouldn’t notice much difference on the Xperia Z2’s design except for silver sides. On top of the display surrounding the SONY logo are the proximity/light sensor, speaker and front camera lens. The speaker incorporates charging/notification light that indicates battery status, new messages or missed calls. Below the display are the navigation keys and just underneath are the speaker and microphone.

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On top of the smartphone is another microphone and the headset jack. At the back you can find the camera and flash. Just below (covered) is the NFC, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth antenna area.

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The micro-SIM and USB port are now located on the same area, on the left of the smartphone just above the charging dock. The micro-SIM and USB port now has a single cover as opposed to two separate covers on the Z1. Likewise, the strap hole can now also be found on the bottom left side. The memory card slot, power key, volume/zoom keys and dedicated camera key are on the opposite side.

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The Z2 feels nothing short of premium and its slightly rounded edges makes it easier to hold the smartphone in one hand. Removing the SIM card slot can be challenging specially with a short fingernail. Additionally, the micro-SIM card holder is thin and looks flimsy. As with the Z1, the dedicated camera button provides convenience when opening the camera especially when the phone is locked.

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Display and Multimedia
The Xperia Z2 has the same Full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution but has a slightly bigger display and pixel density at 5.2 inch and 424ppi. Additionally, the Z2 now uses an IPS display providing better image quality over the previous TFT display. SONY says that the Z2 offers the brightest and most vivid viewing experience with its Full HD TRIILUMINOS Display for mobile with Live Colour LED and X-Reality for mobile. Indeed, the Z2 provided a more vibrant and crisper display when placed side by side with other flagship smartphones.

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Apart from the impressive display, the Xperia Z2 also has a good set of speakers. The Z2 is also the world’s first smartphone equipped with digital noise cancelling technology. The Z2 provides a number of other audio enhancement features such as Clear Phase, xLOUD and ClearAudio+ technology, all providing a clearer and quality audio. Overall, the Z2 provides a pleasing multimedia experience whether you’re watching movies, listening to your favorite music or playing games.

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Aside from the WALKMAN app, the Xperia Z2 also features an FM Radio, Quick remote for your TV, Audio Recorder, TrackID and Movie Player. One of my favorite features on the Z2 is the Movie Creator which allows me to Trim the video and set its speed to slow motion (x1/8, x1/4, x1/2).

OS, UI, Apps
The SONY Xperia Z2 is one of the first smartphones to carry an Android 4.4 KitKat OS straight out of the box. The Z2 provides a clean and straightforward home screen and UI which can hold up to seven home screen panes. Below the display are the Back button, Home button which also doubles as shortcut for What’s New and Google Now apps and Task Navigation key which opens recently used apps and small apps bar as well as favorites bar.

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The Notifications and the customizable Quick Settings can be displayed by sliding down your finger from the top of the screen. Sliding from left shows options for arranging the apps and shortcuts on your home screen.

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Aside from turning off the phone, the power button also provides shortcut in setting the smartphone on airplane mode as well as a more convenient way of taking screenshots.

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The Xperia Z2 features various Themes and Wallpapers for personalization as well as a Simple Home launcher/home screen for Android smartphone newbies.

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The Z2 comes pre-installed with Sony apps including What’s New app, Sony App, PlayMemories Mobile, Xperia Connectivity, Smart Connect, Sony Select, Xperia Care, Xperia Lounge and Xperia Transfer which provides latest info, updates and apps for your smartphone

Camera
The Xperia Z2 is equipped with 20.7 MP Exmor RS for mobile image sensor and G Lens along with BIONZ for mobile image-processing engine. The Z2’s large 1/2.3 “œ image sensor combined with its 27 mm wide angle lens with F2.0 aperture provides faster autofocus and shutter speed and superior images and bright shots even in low light.

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The Z2’s camera also offers an array of pre-programmed scene settings, capturing mode settings and camera effects including background defocus that lets you blur the background or foreground, creative effects and AR effects which adds animation to your photos. A couple of the Z2’s camera features that I find useful are the Timeshift burst and Timeshift video. The Z2 now also allows you to capture brilliant 4K videos.

See sample photos and videos taken by the Xperia Z2 below.

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Sample videos

 

Performance and Benchmark

Overall, the Z2 is fast and responsive. The bumped up Snapdragon 801 Quad Core 2.3 GHz processor combined with the upgraded 3 GB of RAM provided unspoiled performance on everyday apps and both for casual and heavy gaming too. Screen transition is smooth, no game lags and no camera delays. Check out below for benchmarks.
Antutu Benchmark ““ 33,822
Quadrant Standard ““ 18606
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited ““ 18588
Vellamo Browser – 2759
Vellamo Metal ““ 1440
Vellamo Multicore ““ 1718

Battery
The Xperia Z2’s 3200 mAh non-removable battery delivers around 8 to 9 hrs of average daily usage before battery is depleted; with data on, casual gaming, internet browsing and checking social media accounts from time to time. The Z2 also provides power management / battery saving modes (Stamina mode, Low-battery mode, etc.) for an improved battery time.

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Conclusion
The Xperia Z2 certainly shines with its stunningz 5.2″ Full HD TRILUMINOS display and feature-packed 20.7 MP camera. While nothing much has changed design-wise, the Xperia Z2’s improved IPS display, the camera’s 4k video support and the upgraded processor and RAM may probably be good enough reasons to upgrade for some.

Good
Brilliant display
Upgraded RAM
Feature-packed high-resolution camera
Waterproof and Dust-resistant

Bad
Virtually the same design as its predecessor

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