Sony unveiled its first flagship for 2014, the Xperia Z2 smartphone. It revamps last year’s Z1 with a bigger screen, 4K video recording, stereo speakers, a lighter body plus a number of changes under the hood.
We got a chance to handle the device at the MWC grounds.
The Sony Xperia Z2 closely resembles the Z1 (which is to say it’s a looker), but it has a larger screen – a 5.2″ Triluminos display. The display has 1080p resolution, despite all the rumors of QHD screens at the MWC. The sharpness is great though and Sony has used the same tech for the screen as it does for its TVs.
5.2″ Triluminos screen
The camera features a 20.7MP Exmor RS sensor and now Sony has enabled 4K @ 30fps video recording (aka 2160p). You can use digital zoom during video recording, but it remains to be seen if it’s as good as Note 3′s.
Other new camera modes include 120fps slow-motion (at 720p resolution) and Background Defocus, plus Vine is pre-installed.
The Xperia Z2 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sony’s customizations, which have gotten a reputation of minimal but functional changes to Android. More interestingly, Sony uses Qualcomm’s brand new Snapdragon 801 chipset – a faster version of the already fast 800.
The Xperia Z2 little narrower and thinner than the Z1
Previous Sony Z phones didn’t have the loudest speakers (the price to pay for water-proofing), but the Xperia Z2 features stereo speakers, so it should perform better.
Sony continues to use its long process of taking an aluminum slab and machining most of it off to create a thin, light chassis. The Xperia Z2 is 12g lighter than its predecessor. Here are the steps of the process:
Creating the Xperia Z2 body is a lengthy process
The larger screen led to a slight increase in size but that’s only in the vertical dimension, the Xperia Z2 is 2.4mm taller than the Z1, but a hair narrower and thinner. As before, the body has an IP58 certification, so it can go as deep as 1.5m for half an hour.
The Sony Xperia Z2 comes with 16GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot. The slots and ports are covered by flaps to prevent water damage.
Speaking of ports, the microUSB 2.0 port features MHL and can output 4K video – now all you need is a 4K TV to watch the videos you’ve shot in their full glory.
Xperia Z2 camera samples
The Xperia Z2 camera uses the familiar recipe from Z1 and Z1 Compact – 20.7MP Exmor RS sensor, 1/2.3″ big, Sony G Lens (f/2.0, 27mm wide angle). We couldn’t take the phone outside, but we still captured a sample photo:
Sony Xperia Z2 camera sample
And we recorded a 4K video too. Here it is uploaded to YouTube. Keep in mind that your computer and video player need to be able to handle 4K video. If not, at least you can view the YouTube video at 1080p.
Xperia Z2 benchmarks
We had just enough time with the Z2 to run several of our usual benchmarks – this is our first encounter with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, so we didn’t know quite what to expect. The Xperia Z2 chipset is clocked at 2.3GHz and has 3GB of RAM, so it should do well against other flagships. It’s worth pointing out the device is still a month away from store shelves.
Running benchmarks on the Xperia Z2
We will repeat the benchmarks once we get more time with the Xperia Z2, but the GPU performance is quite impressive. The processor didn’t top the charts, but performance is still very good.