Xperia (e)xcellence: Sony’s Xperia Z2 reviewed
4.8Overall Score
Price (RRP): $759 Manufacturer: Sony

The smartphone race in 2014 is heating up, and with both flagships out from Samsung and HTC, the time is right for Sony to show what it’s been working on in the form of the Xperia Z2, a smartphone boasting a big screen, lots of power, a massive battery, and an updated camera. Can this best the other flagship juggernauts, or does it lag behind?

Features

A new Xperia for 2014, the Z2 is Sony’s latest effort to produce an industry leading handset with high-end specs enough to impress customers keen to own something that they can feel confident in for the next year or two, which is how long most smartphones last for.

In this handset, Sony has evolved the body of the Z1 and updated the insides, as well as changing a few button placements.

First up, you’ll find slightly different insides, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked sat 2.3GHz working alongside the Adreno 330 graphics processor, and paired with 3GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. Upgrading this last part is easily possible thanks to a microSD slot on the side which can take up to 128GB microSDXC.

Google’s Android 4.4 runs here, making it one of the few handsets released with Google’s latest edition, also known as “KitKat.”

Wireless connection options are catered for in every way most people will want them, with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Near-Field Communication, GPS, DLNA, and mobile connectivity through Category 4 4G LTE rated for up to 150Mbps downloads (network dependent). Wired is also here, with a microUSB port and a 3.5mm headset jack.

Regular point and shoot cameras are beginning to die, and they have smartphone cameras to thank for that, with Sony’s Xperia Z2 adding to this with its 20.7 megapixel rear camera with LED flash. Video support goes beyond Full HD for a change, with Ultra HD’s 4K capture included here, too.

Front-facing camera support is also provided in the form of a 2.2 megapixel camera capable of recording Full HD 1080p videos.

This all sits under a 5.2 inch Full HD 1920×1080 screen, showing a pixel clarity of 424 pixels per inch, and protected by strengthened glass to help when you drop the phone. The screen forms one side of the phone, while the other side — the back — is another piece of strengthened glass, with as frame of the phone in aluminium.

Two small speakers sit on the front, just at the top and bottom edges, with an LED light built into the top speaker.

Sony’s Xperia Z2 is also reasonably ruggedised, rated for a metre of water resistance for up to 30 minutes, and is totally dust-proof. Ports and slots are covered by flaps that hang on the side of the phone, and when sealed make the phone water and dust resistant.

These ports include one on the left edge covering the microUSB charge port and the microSIM card slot, while the one on the right covers the microSD slot for expanding the storage.

Buttons are few on this handset, as all soft buttons are built into the screen and reliant on Android’s on-screen software-based soft buttons. That said, you will find three buttons on the right edge, with a power button just above the middle, with a volume rocker below this, and a camera button at the very bottom.