Anyone who’s been watching Sony recently must have noticed a new found fire in the belly of the entertainment and hardware giant. The company seems to have a new determination to slug it out where it counts, at the interface between cool content and the hardware that goes with it.
We’ve seen this with the aggressive Playstation 4 moves, and now we’re seeing it again with the new Sony Xperia Z2 Android smartphone. The new phone comes with a bunch of great tech, but once again, it’s wrapped up in a lovely looking package as well.
The first thing you notice about the Z2 is how incredibly solid it feels. There’s absolutely nothing plastic about this handset, from the chunky side panels to the glass rear, this is a real piece of real estate for the hand. But surprisingly enough, even though it has a serious sized 5.2 inch screen, it still feels easy to handle and operate. That’s a pretty impressive achievement.
The pack contains all the usual accessories, except for one nice addition. The Sony headset in the box is actually a noise reduction headset, which is a definite bonus, especially if you’re someone who travels a lot. The ability to listen at normal levels because your headset cuts out the noise around you, is very valuable on planes and trains. See the video below for our walkthrough of the features of the Z2 phone.
We’ve mentioned the pleasant handling, but this whole ergonomic thing goes one step further in our estimation. The placement of the buttons, as well as things like a hardware camera button, demonstrate that Sony really is trying to deliver a better experience to their customers in these areas. The Z2 is easy to navigate, as opposed to the Samsung Galaxy S5 – above – which we found to be rather clumsy with too many menus to wade through.
Both screens are equally impressive in the hand, with the Sony edging out the Galaxy S5 in our view, simply because it feels slicker in operation. Ostensibly the Samsung has the better specifications and performance (at least according to the benchmarks) but we felt that the Sony was a much easier product to use because of the well thought out menus.
The standout feature of the Sony for us though, is the battery life. The combination of that huge 3200 mAh sealed battery and some extremely clever power management, which really seems to work, really delivers some market leading battery life. We’re pretty sure this is going to be the future battleground of these uber phones, as features become more common, so it’s interesting to see where we’re heading. Two to three days of use is where, we think.
The camera, although good, surprisingly doesn’t impress us as much as we think it should, bearing in mind Sony’s very good track record in standalone DSLR and video cameras. The Z2 is good, but not as good as we’d expect with that 20.7 megapixel sensor. Strange.
Having spent some time with the phone now, we have to say it’s a gorgeous beast of a handset. The combination of top quality craftsmanship (eat your heart out HTC), simple Android implementation, blistering speed and excellent battery life, really make this a genuine stand out phone. It’s the first time we’ve really had to think hard about which is better, the Samsung Galaxy model or a Sony model, and we’ve got to say that the Z2 just edges out the past champion in some of the key areas. If you’re looking for a phone to replace your ageing Android or iOS handset, then take a look at the Sony, we think you’ll be very impressed.
[Thanks to Vodafone for the supply of the review unit]
Google Android 4.4 (Kitkat)
2.3 GHz Qualcomm MSM8974AB Quad-core
5.2” Full HD TRILUMINOS Display (1920×1080 )
Battery: 3200 mAh
20.7 MP camera (4K video)
Digital Noise Canceling Headset
microSD support (up to 128GB)
Waterproof (IP55 and IP58) – 1.5 meters fresh water for 30 mins
146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm
Galaxy S5 Sony Z2
Both sets of samples shot on default normal mode for the phone, with no touching up, just resizing.