Sony Xperia Z2 Review Scoring Summary
| Style & Handling
|Lots of power
|| Can get hot
The Sony Xperia Z2 ticks all the boxes a powerhouse flagship should and then some. It’s overly familiar and could do with a design rethink but otherwise this is a great phone.
Sony Xperia Z2 Full Review
The Sony Xperia Z2 is the latest and greatest Sony handset, at least until the Xperia Z3 comes out, which knowing Sony could be in a matter of months. Still, for the time being this is as good as it gets in Sony land and with a powerful processor, class leading camera, premium build, great screen and long battery life you couldn’t ask for a lot more anyway. But are there any chinks in its armour? Read on to find out.
Sony has clearly put a lot of effort into delivering a premium smartphone experience through and through and that starts with the physical build of the handset. Unfortunately this is one area where Sony has only been semi successful.
The Xperia Z2 has a glass back and metal frame, giving it a classy, high end look. Unfortunately it’s also very rectangular and feels a bit blocky and bulky. It’s also a design which is almost entirely unchanged from the last two Xperia Z’s, so any wow factor has long since gone.
At 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2mm and 163g it’s on the large size but not exceptionally so and while the overall look doesn’t impress us as much as we’d hoped it’s solidly built and is IP58 certified water and dust resistant, so it’s one of the more resilient smartphones around.
With a 5.2 inch 1080 x 1920 IPS LCD display the Sony Xperia Z2 is one of the larger flagships around, but it doesn’t sacrifice any quality in the process. It has a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch and it produces rich, vibrant colours that remain natural throughout.
The size makes it incredibly immersive too and the phones speakers produce some decent audio to aid in that immersion.
One thing we did notice though is that it’s quite reflective in direct sunlight, so used outside or even by a window on a sunny day it can be harder to see than many of its rivals.
The Sony Xperia Z2 is packing a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM which puts it at the very top tier of smartphones. In fact until the OnePlus One was announced this was the fastest phone around, edging out even the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8).
Though in real terms all these phones are so closely matched that you won’t notice a difference unless you use them side by side and even then it will be negligible.
With 4G on board the Xperia Z2 is also lightning fast at mobile web browsing, which coupled with its powerful processor makes it ideal for streaming media and online gaming on the move.
A 20.7 megapixel snapper is responsible for most of the photography on the Sony Xperia Z2. That’s an impressively high megapixel count and it translates into real world performance. The camera is capable of some seriously high quality photos and it comes with all the trimmings, such as various scene modes, along with customisable white balance, exposure and more.
The Xperia Z2 can also shoot 2160p video at 30fps which is a big win for the three people who have 4K televisions. However in practice we found that it would quickly pop up a warning that it was overheating when we used this mode, so if you have dreams of shooting a 4K film you might be disappointed. Stick to shooting for no more than a few minutes at a time though and you should be okay.
Rounding out the camera features there’s a 2.2 megapixel snapper on the front, which can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.
Sony’s interface isn’t far from stock Android. The icons have had a redesign but most of the functionality is the same. This is good as it makes it easy and intuitive to use. Sony does give you a little extra though, for example there’s a Walkman app which is a full featured music player and of course there’s access to games on PlayStation Mobile.
Underneath Sony’s skin the Xperia Z2 is running Android 4.4.2 KitKat, so it’s bang up to date.
Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity
The Xperia Z2 has a 3200 mAh battery which Sony quotes for up to 740 hours of standby time, 19 hours of talk time or 120 hours of music playback. While we weren’t able to fully test its standby claims they all seem more or less in line with what we experienced. This thing certainly keeps going for a long time, with over a day of moderate use being the norm before it needs a charge.
If you’re running low and are miles from a charger there’s also a Stamina mode, which reduces background activity on the phone to conserve battery life.
The Xperia Z2 comes with 16GB of built in storage along with a microSD card slot supporting cards of up to 128GB, so while you’ll likely need to invest in a card, once you do there’ll be no shortage of storage space. The phone also supports 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
The Sony Xperia Z2 is a brilliant phone that barely puts a foot wrong. The overheating problems when recording 4G video are troubling and limit the usefulness of that feature, but nothing else seemed to cause the phone to overheat. We also wish Sony would rethink the build and design a more elegant Xperia Z3, but those two fairly minor issues aside this is a stunning handset.
It has one of the best smartphone cameras we’ve ever come across along with bucket loads of power, a big, high quality screen, good battery life and a slick interface. And while we’re not in love with the design of the handset it’s still one of the more premium looking phones around, plus it’s dust and water resistant which is a huge bonus.
Ultimately there are very few reasons not to buy the Sony Xperia Z2 and while the HTC One M8 for example has more wow factor and is maybe a little easier to love this is every bit its equal in most of the ways that count.
|Dimensions : 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2mm
Weight: 163 grams
Screen size: 5.2” FHD IPS LCD (1920 x 1080)
Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 424
Processor: 2.3GHz Quad core application processor
RAM: 3 GB
On-board Memory: 16GB (microSD support)
Camera: 20.7MP (rear) 2160p@30fps 1080p@60fps, digital image stabilisation
Operating system: Android 4.4.2
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes/ Yes
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ Yes
Battery capacity: 3200mAh
Colours: Black, White, Purple
Launch Date: 1st May