Sony Xperia Z2 hands on (MWC 2014)

February 25, 2014
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MWC 2014 Coverage brought to you by: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus for Android.

Yesterday Sony announced the Xperia tablet Z2, Xperia M2 and the Xperia Z2 at MWC 2014. We managed to get our hands on the Xperia Z2 a bit earlier today, and here our our first impressions Sony’s latest flagship handset.

Design

The Sony Xperia Z2 follows the same design aesthetics that we know in love from its predecessor, which includes a slate-like appearance and sleek glass surface. While the Z2 is a little taller than the Z1 thanks to its .2-inch larger display, the handset actually is 12 grams lighter and is just 8.2mm thick. Moving past the dimensions and build materials, the Z2 feels very comfortable in your hands thanks to its lighter profile, and we are happy to report that the very rigid design has been toned down a bit.

Beyond that? We have to admit that the Sony Xperia Z2 looks very familiar, right down to the same iconic silver power button and the shutter button on the left side. Whether keeping the same overall design is a good or bad thing probably comes down to personal opinion.

Display

Although the Sony Xperia Z2 sticks to the same 1080p resolution as its predecessor, it does make one very noticeable change: gone is the TFT display that delivers less-than-impressive viewing angles, and instead we now are treated to a full HD IPS LCD.

In addition to the ditching TFT for LCD, Sony also increased the display size to 5.2-inches.

z2-9

Performance and Hardware

As with the Xperia tablet Z2, the next-gen handset makes the move to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU that is clocked at 2.3GHz. This probably isn’t going to deliver that much faster of an experience alone, but thankfully it is coupled with 3GB of RAM. For those interested in long battery life, you’ll also be pleased to know that the Z2 has crammed in a 3,200 mAh battery that should provide all day battery life without too much trouble.

Turning our attention towards the camera, the Z2 features a 20.7 MP Exmor RS image sensor like the Z1, but it does add 4K shooting and plenty of new camera apps to the mix to the mix. The Z2 may not feature OIS technology, but it does have SteadyShot software stabilization.

Music buffs will enjoy the dual stereo speakers found on the Z2. There’s also built-in digital noise-cancelling audio technology, which you can pair with Sony noise cancelling headphones to achieve substantial reduction in background noise.

As for storage space? The Xperia Z2 includes 16GB and can be further expanded via microSD.

Software

The Xperia Z2 features Android 4.4 KitKat and an updated Timescape UI that offers all-white status icons, and plenty of new features including glove mode, adjustable white balance, double tap to wake up, USB DAC support and a built-in answering machine app.

There’s also the previously mentioned new camera apps such as Timeshift video, Creative effect, Background defocus, AR effect, integrated Vine. If that’s not enough for you, Sony even adds the ability to install and use more camera apps directly from the viewfinder.

Additionally, you’ll find all the regular Sony apps you’d expect such as the Walkman app, PlayMemories, the Playstation app and more. As a bonus, the Xperia Z2 even includes six free movies downloads from Sony Pictures and a 30 day free trial of Music Unlimited.

Gallery

z2-4 z3 z2-9 z2-8 z2-7 z2-6  z2-2 z2-1

Final Thoughts

The Sony Xperia Z2 might not seem like a dramatic leap ahead of the Z1 at first glance, but if, you look deeper, there are certainly plenty of changes here that make the Z2 a very impressive device.

From the larger battery to improved software and a better display, there’s a lot to love about the Sony Xperia Z2 and we can’t wait until we’re able to get our hands on this one for an extended look and full review down the road.

Comments

  • Shark Bait

    Best phone of the show so far!

  • soufyane saidi

    Make a camera review!! give us some samples!!

    • Scott Ricketts

      This is going to be my deciding factor.

    • dhgdsg

      yep me too,if it beats the g2′s camera then am in.

      • yudi_hilmawan

        Z1 camera is already beat G2 camera just check DoxMark

        • Castor

          it’s next to the lumia 1020 so it already enjoys a great advantage. it still needs work on the noise and clarity, though. oh it actually has the same ranking as iphone 5s.

          sony still needs to improve their camera though photographyblog already said that they have a better camera than samsung’s, based on their different tests.

  • bdhd

    Z2 FTW

  • AndroidBoss

    People complaining about S5 looking the same; what do they have to say about this? Looks the same exact thing. People are just judging the specs and all, but still- those crappy screens, that glossy easily scratching back, and the ugly Sony UI are still here and haven’t changed. At least the S5 has an newer and better looking Touchwiz UI, a different material (like it or hate it), a camera with impressive technology, a fingerprint scanner (who cares), and is going to cost less. Not defending Samsung or their S5, but I’ve been seeing some very biased comments here. People aren’t looking at the pros and cons of the device, rather just looking at the cons. Meanwhile with the Z2, everything is going hyper about it where nothing changed except for the specs and the device is maybe a little thinner.

    Watch how the HTC One will be the best of the two smartphones.

    • Shubham Singh

      Bro problem with samsung is that people have much higher expections on them as they are android fronrunner.

      • AndroidBoss
      • AndroidBoss

        People going hyper about just some improved specs on a Sony phone. If Samsung did this with their S5, there would be way more complains. But with Sony, it’s ok to keep that same UI and the same looking build quality, everyone is cool. And it’s the BEST DEVICE OF THE YEAR, and SONY FTW!@!#!

        • Cole Raney

          To be honest, touchwiz was fine when the S3 released. Now I think it looks uglier and less convenient. Especially the settings, they made the settings clunkier.

        • Ivan Budiutama

          dude, you again? Really?

          In spite of I’m sure S5 will be a great device. The thing is, Sony has been much much better, the OS updates are best currently. First because they release with the latest version of Android. Second, their update milestones includes mid-range older devices which doesn’t happen to Samsung. UI comparison is really personal references but I know this, Sony’s current UI is the closest to Nexus with low modification and lighter than most stock UIs/ROMs. Touchwiz forces too much Samsung stuff, which left the device with heavier and less free storage while some can’t live with it, some choose not to be bothered and the rest get rid of Touchwiz in favor to Cyanogen, AOSP, etc.

        • Shubham Singh

          Buddy people are not happy the Samsung because of many reasons I personally dont prefer a Samsung because of the poor built quality. (though i love note series)

          • AndroidBoss

            Yes, I’m not saying Samsung is all that. But it’s a matter of preference for Sony. Not everyone likes their designs, I mean I like the front and everything- feels sturdy and stuff. But the back easily catches smudges and scratches. Not hating on Sony, just saying people don’t have to be biased.

      • MY

        Agree on this indeed and not that they can’t overhaul at least a bit the Galaxy suite ;-) Well maybe the S6??

        By the way is it me or #androidauthority website has gotten really cluttered and busy. It’s like there are sooooo many things and everything seems like in a little box. I find the website not breathing at all?? Is it me???

        • Shubham Singh

          Buddy what i think people at AA did to make you get more stuff while you read a single article you get a lot more interesting stuff on the same page but i still pefer the old ui.

    • Shark Bait

      I think the difference is the original sony was nice, they didn’t need a radical departure

      • AndroidBoss

        Yeah if the S5 had the same design as the S4 (just with thinner body like how the Z1 is different from the Z2), then people would be crying, whining, and complaining even more about it. However just because this Z2 has good specs, then it’s the best Android phone of 2014. Dumb logic, reminds me of the iPhone.

        • lito

          Lol dude like what shark said, Sony design is flawless so it’s fine for them to slightly change the design, same goes for Apple.

          Now look at Samsung, pure crap from the beginning. Their fan bois have always liked their products because of their specs and features. But now people wants design!

          • Shark Bait

            You totally got me!

          • AndroidBoss

            Yeah dude I totally agree with you!
            No seriously, Sony phone designs are ugly. I have a Sony Z Ultra, it’s basically a troll device from Sony. Anyways, it has this hella glossy back (like all Sony phones and tablets) that is almost impossible to remove the smudges caused by your hands. It’s basically a smudge magnet, way more than the actual screen. When I use a cloth to remove the smudges, the device ends up being scratched. So in other words, it’s a scratch magnet as well.
            In conclusion, I totally agree with you, Sony phones have the best designs and the Samsung phones are crap. Like if the back gets scratched or messed up like on the Sony phones, you can just replace it with another back cover. Totally crap right?

          • Clarence Alvarado

            Thanks for coming that up. And I backread again the article.

            Are we talking about Z Ultra here? Foolish.

          • AndroidBoss

            Thanks for restating what he just said.

    • Egnimatic_Foolishness

      I’m assuming that most of the hype for Sony, was the updates on all the problem areas from the Z1.

      Washed out screen updated!
      bad viewing angles, updated!
      Bigger battery, updated!
      That screen protector that nobody liked, updated!
      Camera with bad software, updated!
      Released with older os, updated.
      Weak speakers, updated!

      Availability in the states, rumored t-mobile, Verizon and maybe AT&T.

      So in other words, while a lot of things were incremental updates, they were almost all focused on improving where they were weak before, instead of just improving things to be improving things a La Samsung.

      So this is a pleasant surprise, whereas Samsung was just more of their usual update.

      • AndroidBoss

        Most of those problems you listed are still there. Nice try.

        • Egnimatic_Foolishness

          So out of that list…… Exactly which ones are still there? Are you sure you’re not confused with the m2 instead?

          Literally almost every single thing I’ve listed has been upgraded. Maybe you haven’t read anything yet.

          Check the preview on the verge where they literally describe almost everything i listed in the first 3 paragraphs

          • AndroidBoss

            Washed out screen, bad viewing angles, and battery problems (have it on my Z Ultra).

          • Pham Nhat Cuong

            The screen has certainly been improved and battery is better (not sure how it will perform in real life, though). FYI, Z Ultra and Z2 are two different phones.

          • AndroidBoss

            FYI, I’m talking Sony displays in general.

          • 8894

            TROLOLOLOL

          • Vincentius

            WTF now you dodging your own comment, lololololol

          • arcwindz

            Lol, really, egnimatic points out why people are excited about z2 In response to your “z2 is bad” and you complaint about sony in general.

          • pritish

            Then you gotta change your alias to “AndroidCLERK”

          • Egnimatic_Foolishness

            Let’s try this again…..

            In the comment that you’re replying to, it says the screen is improved, in the very article that you’re reading, it says improved screen, in the verge’s hand on http://tinyurl.com/SonyXperiaZ2BrilliantDisplay or Android Central’s hands on http://www.androidcentral.com/sony-xperia-z2-hands

            All saying that the display is much improved with much better viewing angles.
            As far as the battery. Z1 was a 3000mah battery running 4.3 while Z2 is a 3200 battery running the power sipping 4.4 Kitkat.

            Soooo once again, the majority of people’s complaints (including yours, it seems like) have been upgraded with the Z2. Which is why more people are impressed with Sony drastically improving their shortcomings, while Samsung didn’t really improve many of the things people were unhappy with.

          • Ivan Budiutama

            Z Ultra and Z1 both use TFT, this Z2 use IPS LCD which address much of the complain caused by TFT bad viewing angle, Depends on your taste, IPS LCD IMHO is a much better screen than AMOLED with more natural and good viewing angle.
            The Camera, well see the video, at least I am impressed, don’t know about you.

          • AndroidBoss

            I agree, always preferred the LG LCD over Samsung’s AMOLED. But with Sony things were mixed up…

          • yudi_hilmawan
          • pritish

            He surely doesn’t, @yudi_hilmawan

    • yudi_hilmawan

      Lol… another blind hatter, try find some info about Z2 before you talk to much BS.

    • pritish

      But the real deal is that a Samsung user who is not a noob and is satisfied with an Iteration of Galaxy S is something unheared of. P.S. Samsung (at large) has not payed attention towards improving the user experience. They just add a myriad of useless features each year.
      On the other hand, Sony has genuinely Fixed the 3 major issues of the Z:
      1. Viewing Angles fixed
      2. Speaker Loudness fixed
      3. Headphone Jack Flap no longer required

    • Dont be a fanboy

      If it ain’t broken don’t change it dumbass. Samsungs design and software needed change and they made it worse. Sonys ui and design was brilliant so they kept it that way. For fuck sakes man.

  • hoggleboggle

    why, oh why do you still insist on sticking your USB port on the side Sony? idiots….

    • Memphis May [S]unjay

      Why not?

    • yudi_hilmawan

      Because its better than on the top or bottom side of the phone.
      If the usb port is on top or bottom side of the phone you will get some trouble when you using your phone in the landscape mode with 2 hands like playing games and charge your phone in the same time

  • Scott Ricketts

    It’s really down to this and the new HTC One.

    • AndroidBoss

      HTC One for sure.

      • Scott Ricketts

        I have the current HTC One and love it. I’m holding off to see how the camera gets improved this year.

        • AndroidBoss

          Yeah, I’m sure the camera will be great.

  • guest

    It is quite strange to see the false information that are often given here concerning display technology. Stating Sony dumped a TFT screen for an IPS display is nonsense. An IPS screen has a TFT layer, and so does every display technology. Getting rid of the TFT layer would truly be a remarkable achievement from Sony.

  • Alphere

    Can someone answer me if it still has that built-in screen protector that is very easy to scratch?

    • 8894

      No, they decided to remove it because of too many complaints…

  • shin

    Sony addresses the issues from older gens.
    Sony’s glass design became classy iconic for who they are just as what HTC one and Iphones have created for them.
    Although updates might not be on par with competitors but hey timescape ui has been pretty smooth since 4.1.2 and this is a weakness that we can hope to see sony improve on

  • Ed

    Good bye xperia ZL you served me well, Z2 here we come

  • turboguy

    When,I first saw Z1 I was like “Damn… I Wanna buy this”.So, I start saving money and when I have enough money, they release Z2 . Me like”Omg..I’m Gonna Buy this !” .Obviously going to need more money for that! I just hope they don’t release Z3 soon or else I might not have a decent mobile for the rest of my life.

  • legoman101

    Is there a huge difference in picture quality between TFT (Z) and IPS screens?
    mobile bravia engine and x-reality engine, any huge difference?

  • turboguy

    The polls say