updated 01:03 am EDT, Thu May 15, 2014
Sony Xperia Z2 picks up where the Xperia Z1 left off
It was only late October last year that we reviewed what was Sony Xperia Z1, which was then Sony's flagship handset. Fast forward six months and Sony is already shipping its successor, the Xperia Z2. If you already have the Xperia, you needn't fret too much as the Z2 brings with it a few, but useful, enhancements. However, it does highlight just how competitive the Android smartphone market is and just how quickly the pace of development is taking place as companies seek to gain any advantage in trying to capture a bigger slice of the multibillion dollar smartphone market.
The Xperia Z2 continues with a very similar design to the Xperia Z1, although it does actually come in an all-new body that is slightly taller (5.78-inches 5.69-inches) , but also slightly thinner (0.32-inches v. 0.33-inches) than last year's model. Despite the increase in height and slightly higher capacity battery (3200mAh v. 3,000mAh), the Xperia Z2 sheds 7 grams in weight, taking it down to 163 grams. Even just 12 months ago, we would have been calling any 5-inch smartphone a 'phablet,' but as smartphones have increased in size, 'phablets' are seemingly now devices carrying 5.5-inch displays or larger. As it is, the Xperia Z2 pushes this envelope as far as seemingly possible, with new 5.2-inch 1080p display.
The new display is one of the two most notable upgrades to the Xperia Z2. While it drops from 441ppi seen in the 5-inch Xperia Z1 to 424ppi because of the increase in display area, the new panel is actually a noticeable improvement over its predecessor. Although both feature Sony's Triluminos quanton-dot technology, only the newer Xperia Z2 also enjoys the benefits of IPS technology, for wider viewing angles. The Xperia Z1 display tended to wash out much earlier than we would have liked, but the Xperia Z2 finally addresses this long-standing issue with Sony's recent flagship smartphone efforts.
The second most notable upgrade over the Xperia Z1 is the camera sensor. Although both cameras feature larger than average 20.7-megapixel sensors with large f/2.0 apertures, only the new Xperia Z2 can shoot in 1080p as well as 4K Ultra HD. As such, it shoots much higher resolution video camcorder footage, but you will only truly be able to appreciate this if you have upgraded your TV or computer monitor to a similar 4K resolution. Regardless, as 4K is where video technology is undoubtedly headed, it does make it a handy upgrade to have.
In terms of processing performance, there is not much to distinguish betweem the Xperia Z1 and the Xperia Z2. The Snapdragon 801 powering the Xperia Z2 is only a slightly higher clocked version of the chip inside the Z1, although its Adreno 330 GPU has been given a much more useful performance tweak that will help it run games at higher frame rates. Multitasking gets a boost, though, with an additional 1GB of RAM, taking the total to 3GB. Talk time on the Xperia Z2 is up a couple of hours as the larger battery combined with better multi-CPU core management helps to more than offset the additional power requirements of running a larger display. As with the Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z2 continues with Sony's market leading waterproofing technology.
We will be running the Xperia Z2 through its paces ahead of a full review in the coming days as well as separately pitting it head-to-head with the HTC One (M8]el.
By Sanjiv Sathiah