Sony is a bit of an outsider in the mobile market at the moment, in spite of its history of success in other areas of consumer electronics. But that has not stopped it creating some of the most desirable and compellingly clever phones of the modern era. The Xperia Z2 is its current flagship smartphone, so here is a look at all that it has to offer.
The Xperia Z2 is an undeniably attractive device, with its large surface area being made up for by its slender chassis and reassuring weight. It is just 8.3mm thick, tipping the scales at 163 grams, so it can compete with the iPhone 5S in terms of its profile while offering a bit more sturdiness in the hand to help you feel as if you have spent your money on a true premium item. The Z2 is available in a number of colours, with variations being available from different retailers and network operators. There are also a number of phone cases from third parties on offer if you want to protect the device from physical damage. What makes the Z2 stand out from the crowd is that its chassis is actually waterproof and dustproof, just as it was on last year’s Z1. That means it can be completely submerged for up to half an hour without being damaged, as long as it is no deeper than a metre under the surface. This resilience is the kind of thing that helped Sony to stand out in 2013. And in 2014 it has contend with a similarly waterproof Samsung Galaxy S5, although users will realise that the aesthetic qualities of the Z2 help it to outdo most of its rivals without sacrificing durability.
Sony has made sure that the Xperia Z2 is on a level with other cutting-edge devices from a technical standpoint. And in a market, where consumers are very savvy about these facts and figures, this is certainly a good thing. Inside is the Snapdragon 801 chipset, which combines a quad-core 2.3GHz processor with 3GB of RAM to great effect. The Adreno 330 graphics chip is also found on board, with 16GB of storage space included as standard alongside a memory card slot which can accept cards with up to 128GB of extra capacity. Powering all this is a 3200mAh battery and because of the phone’s waterproof design, this cannot be removed or replaced by the user without the warranty being voided. The bigger battery benefits from hardware which is both more powerful and more efficient than the previous generation of smartphone tech, so users should be able to easily get to the end of the day with plenty of power left in the Z2.
While users will not see the elements within this Sony phone that make it so advanced, the most obvious technical asset it has to offer is its 5.2 inch screen. It uses an IPS LCD panel which has been adapted by Sony to deliver backlighting which is not just bright but also more evenly distributed than you might see on other devices of this kind. With a 1080p full HD resolution spanning this area, you get a pixel density of 423ppi. This is quite a bit higher than that of the iPhone 5S Retina Display, but a little lower than the similar 1080p panels of the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, for the simple reason that the Z2 is that little bit bigger. Such a big screen makes this phone come close to matching so-called ‘phablets’ in terms of size. But consumers should be used to large handsets such as this by now and there are definitely benefits to be gained, especially when it comes to watching video and playing games. Web browsing is also a breeze on a screen this big, because you do not need to do as much zooming and scrolling when viewing desktop sites. In fact, you might start to move away from mobile-optimised pages because they will look a little underwhelming when you have so much room to manoeuvre.
The power of the Xperia Z2 does not go to waste thanks to its camera, which not only has a 20.7 megapixel sensor for taking still shots, but can also be used to record 4K video clips. With four times as many pixels as full HD, 4K is the next big leap in home entertainment, and even if you do not have a compatible TV at the moment, you may do in a few years, at which point the videos you capture on this handset will really come to life. Sony has made sure that all of the hardware and software for the camera are the cream of the crop. So you get a G Lens which it builds itself along with the Exmor RS sensor technology that helps improve performance when ambient lighting is low. In short, the Xperia Z2 is one of the few smartphones that comes close to matching the Nokia Lumia 1020’s PureView camera for still image quality, while easily beating it in the video stakes.
Pros and Cons
The upsides of the Xperia Z2 are largely technical, because its powerful hardware, beautiful screen and high-end camera all help to put it right at the front of the pack. It is also well designed and should be commended for offering waterproofing at a time when this feature is far from universally available. In terms of downsides, the biggest one may be its size. It is undeniably large, with a 5.2 inch screen being hard to use one-handed for all but those with the biggest hands. It is also expensive as a result of its selection of bleeding-edge components, so those on a budget may only be able to glance at it longingly. But for anyone who wants an Android phone that is as well equipped as possible and does not come from Samsung or HTC, the Sony Xperia Z2 is the obvious choice.
Want the pros and cons of its fellow Android siblings? Take a look at our reviews!