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Device Review: Sony Xperia Z2

xperaiz2reviewThe Xperia Z2 (D6503) is the successor to last year’s Xperia Z1/Ultra/Z. The Z2 is Sony’s current flagship device, though rumors are starting to buzz about the Z3 already. If you are familiar with the Z1, you will be very comfortable with the Z2′s design. The main thing you will like about the Z2 is that the Sony has fixed the viewing angle issues that plagued the Z1/Ultra/Z. The device sports a decently sized 5.2” display, with a now-average 1080p resolution, as well as a quad-core 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. All of this combines into one of Sony’s best mobile devices yet.


 

In the Box:

  • Sony Xperia Z2
  • Headphones (not Noise Canceling model)
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Mains Charger with US plug converter
  • Sony Dock
  • Documentation

IMG_6527 edited

Hardware

The phone packs the quad-core 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC. While aging by today’s flagship standards, it still more than holds its own in any typical task. The device weighs in at 5.75 ounces. The Z2 features a 5.2″ 1080p screen, which equates to approximately 428 ppi.

Device Specifications:

      • Quad-Core 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
      • Adreno 330 GPU and Krait 400 CPU
      • 5.2” Screen 1080×1920
      • 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm (5.78 x 2.89 x 0.32 in)
      • 163 grams
      • 3 GB RAM
      • 16 GB storage options (also includes a Micro SD expansion slot up to 128GB)
      • 3200 mAh battery
      • 20 MP Rear Camera
      • 2.2 MP Front Camera
      • Android 4.4.2 Jelly Bean
      • Bluetooth 4.0
      • NFC
      • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, WiFi hotspot
      • Network Support
        • GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
        • HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
        • LTE 700/800/850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100/2600

Over the course of 3 weeks of testing, the battery demonstrated impressive longevity. On average, it lasted a solid 1.5 days with heavy use, and could go over 3 days with light to moderate usage. The phone feels great, with a premium build feel. The dual speakers were very nice, but are not as impressive as those on the Find 7 or the HTC One M8. This is likely due to the waterproofing membrane that protects the device. Overall, the phone is very well built and should provide a great experience when holding and using it on a daily basis.

IMG_6525 edit

User Interface

The phone runs Android 4.4.2 with the Sony Xperia UI on top. The overall experience of the UI is very similar to stock Android. You have soft buttons for navigation and a very minimal interface with the Z2.

Multitasking on the Z2 is done with the addition of Sony small apps that can float on screen. This allows you to run more than one at a time. After using the device for a few minutes, you get comfortable with the UI, but if you wish to change the launcher, it is as simple as going to the Play Store.

The camera software is one of the main reasons people will want to get this phone. You have a 20-megapixel sensor on the back, with a very impressive suite of tools to help you capture the pictures you want. One drawback is that to get the cool effects with the camera you end up downgraded to 8MP resolution. While this won’t be a deal breaker for most, it is something that should be noted. You can also download more camera functions from the PlayStore.

IMG_6529 edit

Design

The Z2 shows its Xperia lineage, with many design traits similar to those seen on the Xperia Z1/Ultra/Z. The one main change is that speakers are now stereo and front facing. You have a dedicated camera button on the left, as well as power and volume on the right.

The phone’s dimensions are 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm (5.78 x 2.89 x 0.32 in), and it weighs in at 5.75 ounces. The magnetic charger on the side makes so that you never have to open the covered port on this device when used with the included dock.

IMG_6528 edit

Closing Thoughts

The Xperia Z2 could be considered big phone, but screens of this size are quickly becoming the norm. I came to the Z2 from a Note 3 and HTC One M7, and I notice the increased power under the hood here. I certainly wish Sony would improve upon their history of slow updates, and keep the device up-to-date at least until Android L.

At $599 on Swappa, it’s even cheaper then most unlocked phones other than Nexus devices or the OnePlus One. However, there are no cut corners here–other than the 90-degree angles on the edges. Sony definitely has a great device with the Z2, and hopefully it will be more readily available in the US soon.

 

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