Well, it’s been more than 3 weeks since I have got my hands on the Sony Xperia Z2, current flagship smartphone from Sony which has a huge load of extremely high-end specification which begins from the outside and ends in the inside. In this review, I will be covering most of the parts that other reviews did not put much attention into it and as usual if you love the way I write about the Sony Xperia Z2, please buy me a cup of coffee by sharing this post with you friends especially Sony lovers. Here we go…..
Eye-Candy, Pure Class
I know most of Sony smartphone customers tend to buy mainly due to its branding itself which is Sony and yes it is pretty classy with my own experience where the very moment I take out the phone from my pocket, my friend will be like ” Dude! It’s a Sony! Can I have it?” Seriously this happened most of the time I meet up with my friends and Sony is a well known brand which makes it much easier to be one of the best selling brands in mobile phone industry.
The Sony Xperia Z2 has a front and a back made out of glass fitted nicely into a solid looking aluminum frame which definitely looks perfect from my point of view. Starting from the top of the aluminium bezel, you will find the 3.5mm earphone jack which is genuinely waterproof and you don’t need a flap to cover it and safe enough to swim with it. Beside it, you will notice the noise canceling mic placed nicely and looks bigger than any other noise cancelling mic’s that I have seen before on any other smartphone, which would perform far much better by cancelling extremely noisy background sound and providing the other party which is the person who is on call with you a comfortable and crystal clear conversation.
On the left side of the phone, you will see a huge flap which covers the micro sim slot and the USB data/charging port. Below the flap, you will notice the docking connector which is made available to use separately with the magnetic charging dock that you have to purchase separately. This is quite useful and handy to have as you don’t have to keep on opening the flap in order to charge the phone. All you have to do is dock it to the magnetic charging dock, and you’re good to go. This also extends the flap’s shelf life from spoiling quickly.
On the right side of the Sony Xperia Z2, you will find the flap which covers the micro SD card slot. Below that, you will notice the trademark power button from Sony which is designed to give a different class to the outlook of the Sony Xperia Z2, with the volume rockers placed right below it. Last but not least, you will find the camera shutter button! Yes, a physical camera button which allows you to snap photos quickly without having to even touch the screen.
IPS Display Finally. Gorgeous!
During the time when Sony Xperia Z1 was launched, many was complaining why is there a green tint on the screen and when they compare side by side with the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, the Ultra’s screen looked much greater due to its IPS technology which missed out during the process of inventing the Z1. However, to ensure that Sony is listening to their consumers voice, they have added IPS screen to the Sony Xperia Z2 which gives a wonderful and super crisp clear display even from 90 – degree viewing angle, it surely looks very much clear without much distortion nor blurriness. The display size on the Sony Xperia Z2 is set at 5.2-inch measuring a ppi count of 424 giving you an extremely clear image without any visible pixels, or shall I say not visible to human eyes. 😛
High-end processor? RAM? It’s a bundle!
A major selling point for the Sony Xperia Z2 is that, it is powered by none other than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 ( MSM8974AB ) clocked at 2.3GHz while for the graphics performance, you have Adreno 330 GPU which is capable of handling all the latest games available for the Android platform. During the usage period, I did not face any Force Close nor lack in performance even while loads of applications running on the background. Sony’s TimeScape UI is also designed to be as simple as possible simply to provide users a much haptic feedback without much delays where some UI’s will have huge transition delay which could be restless at times, although you can still turn that off.
Oh wait, not just because of the processor solely you get such performance and smoothness during your usage but it is also because of the dedicated 3GB of RAM which gives enormous processing power to the processor itself and with such huge amount of RAM, you will barely reach 3GB/3GB even with loads of applications running simultaneously. Do take note that there are still smartphones being offered only with 2GB of RAM even though it is a flagship device, extra juice yo!
To top it all off, the Sony Xperia Z2 comes with 16GB of ROM or you call it internal storage and with the micro SD slot option which is present with the smartphone, you don’t have to worry about running out of storage space as you can expand the capacity up to 128GB, if you have a micro SD card for yourself of course.
Camera and Video Recording at it’s best.
” The Xperia Z2 combines 4K video capture with a large 1/2.3” 20.7 MP Exmor RS for mobile image sensor, Sony’s award-winning G Lens and the intelligent BIONZ for mobile image-processing engine. This unique combination means the Xperia Z2 has the same quality and performance as a real compact digital camera. The result is images that are delivered with a superior sharpness, clarity and brightness – always.”
The camera on the Sony Xperia Z2 is set at 20.7MP, which is absolutely huge in Android standards. You have the aperture set at F2.0 using Sony G lens which is present in most Sony’s high end cameras. With Exmor RS technology, you get much reduced noise on the photo that you take and at the same time maintaining the resolution of the photo. The Superior Auto mode is extremely good compared to any other auto setting found on other smartphones.
It adjusts’s automatically according to your condition of lighting or environment where it can be outdoor, night, sports and even macro shots. The bright F2.0 aperture of lens and high sensitivity sensor enable you to take photos with a higher shutter speed. The BIONZ for mobile-image processing engine has Motion Detection which chooses a higher shutter speed to capture blur-free images when your subject is moving. All you have to do is Google for the images taken from Sony Xperia Z2, and get amazed guys! As for the low-light photos, the Sony Xperia Z2 is actually pretty good too as most details are still captured despite lack of lighting but hey, with the huge amount of Megapixels, you get a pretty decent photo in the end.
Shooting from a distance? The 3x Clear Image Zoom with high resolution sensor allows you to take a tele-like 81 mm optical zoom. The combined higher resolution of Exmor RS for mobile and by-pixel super resolution of BIONZ for mobile work their magic. Zoom in and enjoy sharply detailed picture without even noticing a single distortion or noise level in the photo. This only applies during the 3X Clear Image Zoom only, once it goes to normal digital zoom you can notice the noises starting to appear slowly. I barely use the zoom feature when it comes to smartphone cameras, so capture wonderful landscapes and important moments clear and crisp with the Sony Xperia Z2 by just using the default mode or better known as the superior mode.
When it comes to front facing camera, you get a decent 2.2MP to take nice selfies or you can use it as a mirror too as the quality is still good and clear. If there is any room for improvement, they only specification that lacks for the price you’re paying, it is the front camera as nowadays you have already 5MP cameras commonly while 8MP and 13MP front facing cameras making their ways slowly. Well, in this case I will just take selfie using the rear camera. 😛
Camera Software with loads of goodies!
Are you bad at editing videos and stuff like that?. Timeshift video is the perfect way to slow down the moment and create unique clips to share with friends and it is a quick video editing method which allows you to shoot video at 120 frames per second in HD 720p. Once you’re done recording a video, just select the parts of the clip you’d like to slow down, playing back the section at quarter speed. Mark them on a graphical timeline and Timeshift video will do the rest.
IP (Ingress Protection) rating of Water and Dust
“IP 55/58 – what does it really mean? IP rating is a certification testing to measure a device’s resistance levels to both dust and water. The ﬁrst digit in the two-digit IP rating indicates the level of protection against solid objects, including tiny dust particles. The second digit indicates how resistant the device is to water.”
With the waterproof feature on the Sony Xperia Z2, you can take pictures with the best phone camera while swimming in freshwater for up to 30 minutes. You can even dive up to 1.5 metres with it. That is the specific reason Sony decided to maintain the physical camera shutter button which allows you to take photos in swimming pools, etc without having to touch the screen – just activate it by long-pressing the physical camera button, press a little to focus properly and press all the way down to capture a wonderful shot of you inside the swimming pool. Just remember that all the covers for the micro USB port, the micro sim slot and the memory card slot must be firmly closed.
Bad sound quality? We now have Dual Front Facing Speakers!
The Sony Xperia Z2 has two speakers placed at the both top and bottom of the Sony Xperia Z2’s front glass. This also shows that you’re paying such a huge amount for a smartphone with valid reasons as not much smartphones has front facing speakers and if they do exist, they’re not iP58 rated right? Its either you have a smartphone which is restricted to not get touched by water or you can dive into water without having to worry of water entering the speakers. Some say that the output coming out from the speakers are quite bad and despite being front facing speakers you expect it to be fairly loud. Well, Sony pushed some updated recently whereby fixed some of the audio issue where the output is much louder compared to before.
There is this option to enable ClearAudio+ inside the wonderful trademark music application from Sony, the Walkman which amazingly makes the audio level higher and louder for a pleasant movie session where you will enjoy the awesome stereo sound when it takes place. On top of that you still get to manually play with the sound enhancements by adjusting the levels according to your preference.
You know, there is a reason why the standard audio output from the Sony Xperia Z2 speaker to be slightly softer than any other phones. It is simply due to its water proof ability as the speakers are barely visible if you look closely as it is covered with a special material which could be costly as well.
3200mAh Battery Capacity?
Yes, the battery capacity is actually quite high too and sometimes it is hard to believe that you can get all this luxurious package in just a single smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z2. Roughly with heavy usage, I can reach about almost 5 hours of screen on time by using it continuously for web browsing only. That is actually very good as some phones can only last maximum 2 hours of screen on time and they usually slack when it is used mainly for web browsing. So in this case, Sony did a very good job in optimizing the battery life usage during browsing the web.
Do I love the Sony Xperia Z2?
Absolutely! It is one of my favored smartphone of the year 2014 and the more I use it, the more attention I get from people that I meet everyday. It is a wonderful device with great built quality, decent speakers and pleasurable while watching movies, fantastic camera as I didn’t know I could actually take great photos with great quality by just using a smartphone, great performer overall with the latest CPU and GPU topped with delicious Android KitKat, what else do you need? The Sony Xperia Z2 also provides great battery life whenever I am travelling abroad and there is once where I traveled to Fuzhou, China for 3 days, and survived with just a 2500mAh powerbank. That’s how little I used the extra power source.
For the price tag of RM2399, you get all the latest up to date specification from both hardware and software with the Android L coming soon and for sure you will be the first to get in a Sony smartphone. Oh, almost forgot about another major selling point of the Sony Xperia Z2 is the LTE connectivity which is present on this gorgeous smartphone. It is a Cat.4 LTE which is supported in Malaysia and works flawlessly with all the mobile operators which I specifically tried was on Maxis and Celcom with speeds averaging about 20-30Mbps around the area that I live. So, what do you say? Would you spend your cash on the Sony Xperia Z2 or rather get some other flagship phones from different manufacturers within the same price range?