The Xperia Z2 represents Sony’s magnum opus when it comes to the Xperia line of phones. As a larger, more powerful version of previous Xperia models, the elegant Z2 represents the best of Sony-designed Android technology.
The design of the Xperia Z2 sets it apart from other Android smartphones. Not content to have the curves of a Samsung Galaxy phone or the sharp edges of a Nokia Windows phone, Sony opted for the best of both worlds. It offered a design that highlights both ruggedness and the comfort of a curved design. This is a welcome innovation and allows the Z2 to be one of few Android phones to readily compete with the iPhone.
With a 1920 x 1080 pixel 13 centimetre touchscreen, the Z2 is ready for visual action. Although the specs are impressive, the true superiority of the Z2 is revealed through its real-world usage. The vibrant screen makes it great for watching movies, taking videos, or browsing the web.
In addition to the stock Android OS, the Xperia Z2 retains Sony’s proprietary software. While there are several useful features such as various Sony-specific media and social applications, it also introduces unnecessary clutter into what should be a clean OS. The user should decide whether the trade-off between a clean interface and better usability is worth the upgrade.
The Xperia Z2 features the same 20-megapixel camera as the Z1. While it falls short of reaching the picture quality of the Lumia 1020, this phone still provides classy pictures that closely parallel what you would expect from a mid-range point-and-shoot.
If the raw photos do not suffice, the built-in camera app offers a wide range of features, including a background-focus effect and several other adjustment tools for contrast and brightness. This does not ultimately amount to more than a gimmick for serious photographers, but casual photography fans might appreciate these features.
While the Z2 camera is suitable for photos, it does not translate into high-quality videos. The videos are only useful for services such as Instagram, Facebook, and Vine. For professional videos, the Z2 cannot even compete with low-end consumer camcorders.
With blotches of colour in certain frames, grainy video under certain lighting conditions, and inconsistent focus, the Xperia Z2 won’t become your next portable camcorder.
The Xperia Z2 has a high-performance battery with extended longevity. While the phone can last for about 13 hours under heavy load, it retains significant battery life in standby mode. Under normal load (i.e. moderate video and gaming use), the Xperia Z2 can certainly last an entire day without requiring extra charge.
There is a downside to the faster Snapdragon processor. During intensive game play and other taxing activities, the phone can get rather hot to the touch. This isn’t a significant problem, but it becomes annoying for long stretches of gaming.
The biggest concern for smartphone users centres around device performance. With consistent use, a smartphone must function at a fast and efficient rate. The Xperia Z2 is no slouch in this regard.
The new Snapdragon 801 processor excels far beyond most Android smartphones on the market. While it doesn’t quite match the high-end HTC M8 for certain gaming benchmarks, it runs more quickly and efficiently than the older HTC smartphone.
In addition to processor performance, the Xperia Z2 also excels with signal quality. The Z2 does well with LTE, 4G, and HSPA+, and it also succeeds with maintaining top speeds and a consistent connection.
The Z2 takes an immense leap forward with its unique design and high-quality performance. It is phone that takes what was superior about previous Xperia devices and adds a few new things in an elegant package. While it is not without issues, the phone still represents one of the best examples of Android phone technology that can be found online.