Mobiles & Tablets

Sony Xperia Z2 review

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on March 12, 2018

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technophile

The Sony Xperia Z2 is the latest version of the company’s flagship. Does it give us enough reason to get excited?



While other smartphone makers such as HTC, Samsung and Apple are taking a full year to launch a sequel to their respective flagship devices, Sony has taken an approximately half-yearly path – the Xperia Z was launched globally around February last year, and the Z1 popped up by September. And now, the Z2 is already in the market.

The debate about whether this gives the Sony loyalist enough time to spend with one flagship before upgrading to the next does exist. But we’ll keep that one for later. The one thing that Sony has stuck to, in all the editions of its flagship smartphones, is making their USPs better and better.

We have been playing around with the Xperia Z2 for nearly a week now, and it has often met the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 in a three-way match in different arenas. But first, let’s take a look at how the Z2 fares on its own.

Design and build

It has been established that a uniform design across subsequent editions of smartphones promotes a sense of familiarity for loyalists when they upgrade to a newer device. And we appreciate that because we like seeing a good design being carried forward. The Z2 is no exception as it bears a strong resemblance to the Z1. Furthermore, Sony has cleaned up the design a bit more with more straight lines and a strong, aluminium chassis. This complements the IP 55/58 dust proofing and water resistance, and makes the Z2 a smartphone to own in diverse weather conditions (yes, we did keep it submerged in a jar full of water this time as well to see if it really works).

When it comes to the Z-series’ design characteristics, there’s shatter-proof glass on the back and front – we still wish Sony moved on to Corning Gorilla Glass though. While the glass back panel looks extremely beautiful, it’s also a smudge magnet and you have to keep wiping the back clean if you like keeping your device spot-free all the time.

However, it takes some time to get used to the design of the Z2. The screen has grown in size by about 0.2 inches, and that adds a bit more bezel at both top and bottom. It also feels a little wider, and combined with the angular edges and completely flat design, single-handed usage becomes a bit of a bother. If you’ve used an Xperia Z or a Z1 before, you might adapt to this design a little better.

Features and performance

The tech specs of the Xperia Z2 are quite impressive – something that you would expect on a device priced at nearly ₹50,000. It is powered by the new Qualcomm Sanpdragon 801 processor that clocks 2.23 GHz (the same chipset, however, is tuned to be faster on the HTC One M8). But Sony has been generous by doling out a massive 3GB RAM unit. However, you still feel the typical Sony lag that comes with the heavily customised UI skin overlaid on the Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS. Moreover, the heating issue prevails, although the device does come with an app to monitor and manage the overheating.

The Z2 continues Sony’s dominance in terms of display quality. It gets an improved IPS panel (the last one was a TFT), and also a size bump. The Full HD display is bright, vibrant and colourful, and does justice to HD media consumption. And this time around the pair of front-facing speakers also makes a strong case for the Z2 as one of the best smartphones for multimedia around.

Going by the way Sony upgraded the camera on Z1, we expected something spectacular on the Z2. However, Sony has packed in the same 20.7MP sensor from the Z1 and the single LED flash – the camera is undoubtedly a great one, but then you don’t need to upgrade from the Z1 to the Z2 if taking photos matters a lot. That being said, you do get new camera tools such as Timeshift Video, which basically is a slow-motion tool, Background Defocus that gives a DSLR-like effect and 4K movie recording.

Verdict

The Sony Xperia is definitely a great phone for multimedia consumption and for those who like taking their home videos on a smartphone. With a physical camera button, you can now take photos and videos underwater as well. Also, the battery life is very good and lasts for an entire day in spite of all the heavy media consumption. There’s a SmartBand bundled along, and the phone itself comes with active noise cancellation. In short, it’s a box full of multimedia goodies.

However, as an upgrade to the Z1, there’s not much of a difference apart from the basic specs and the bigger screen. Maybe the next time around, Sony could take a little more time to pack in more USPs in its next flagship.

₹49,999

Love – Great screen; Weather resistant; Brilliant camera

Hate – One-handed usage is difficult; UI gets slow

Published on May 21, 2014

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