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Sony Xperia Z2 review

8.6/10 AVG.
RATING



8.6/10
Informr score
The Sony Xperia Z2 currently has an Informr score of 8.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 34 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Vivid, bright display with excellent viewing angles
  • Snappy processor performance
  • Water and dust resistant
  • 4K video recording

What's bad

  • Some images look unnaturally vivid
  • Not worth upgrading from Z1

The Sony Xperia Z2 was released only several months after the Xperia Z1, but many critics view the latest update to Sony's flagship phone to be markedly better than its predecessor. Design-wise, reviewers can hardly tell the difference between the Z1 and the Z2 except for its weight and thickness. The Z2 is 7 grams lighter than the Z1 weighing in at 163 grams and 0.01 inches thinner at 0.32 inches. As with the Z1, the Xperia Z2's body is constructed from an aluminum frame and tempered glass front and rear panel. Sony also boosted the device's ruggedness by upping its IP certification to IP58, allowing it to be dust resistant and water resistant for up to 30 minutes in 1 meter of water.

Despite its lighter weight and thinner body, the Z2 manages to pack additional features. At 5.2 inches, the Z2 beats out its predecessor by 0.2 inches. With that being said, most critics could barely tell the difference not only in size but quality as well.

The LCD display offers the same HD resolution of 1080 x 1920 and a pixel density of 423ppi. Sony has improved upon the display by adding IPS technology and proprietary color technology called Live Color LED which adds red and green phosphors to widen the color gamut. According to Sony, the technology allows users to boost colors without oversaturating. In real life testing, critics were impressed with the vivid colors, contrast and excellent viewing angles though Expert Reviews states, "some example photos we saw looked unnaturally vivid."

Running the smartphone is a 2.3GHz quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM. PCPro describes the performance as "exceedingly snappy" though they go on to mention that the gaming performance remains the same as the graphics chip has not been updated from the Z1. Generally, however, fast speed was enjoyed and there was no noticeable lag even when utilizing more processor intensive apps. The device also comes equipped with 16GB of internal storage and a 3200mAh battery.

Despite all of these improvements, Sony opted to keep the same 20.7 megapixel camera from the Z1. In addition to many of the same camera apps, it also offers SteadyShot image stabilization. When tested, experts did notice a significant reduction in visible camera shake. Much of Sony's focus went more into video recording as evidenced by the Z2's ability to record 4K video and new Timeshift Video feature that enables users to capture 720p video at 120 frames per second.

As a whole, most critics were impressed with the Z2. Expert Reviews states, "Sony appears to have listened to its critics and genuinely improved its flagship smartphone for the Xperia Z2." KnowYourMobile adds that the new display and faster processor has made "a great handset even greater." Tech Radar, on the other hand, is a bit more reserved about their praise noting, "…it's too much like the Xperia Z1 – albeit a better version."


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.3 GHz
Screen Size
5.2"
Camera
20+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TrustedReviews

The Xperia Z2 is a great phone in most respects. It has a very good camera and outlasts the competition without compromising the experience. However, it is a bit awkward to use at times and gets hotter than the other top phones when under strain.

- Andrew Williams, TrustedReviews
GreenBot

I really like this phone. In fact, had I not recently purchased the G3, and the Z2 was available on AT&T, it might be in my pocket. I can live with the big port covers and the sometimes finicky camera, as the whole package is still very appealing. Of course, if it were in the market this second,...

- Blake Stimac, GreenBot
What Mobile

It may not have evolved much, but the Xperia Z2 is still a powerful smartphone that can match its rivals in terms of power and usability. The lack of design innovation and similar specs may put off owners of the Z1and the large size may not appeal to fans of smaller devices, but ultimately this is s...

- Saqib Shah, What Mobile
Coolsmartphone

I really liked the Sony Xperia Z2, having been disappointed with previous models I was really pleasantly surprised with the Z2. Yes the launcher might be a bit iffy and yes the overall size of the device compared to the screen size is huge, but I really liked it. The overall speed of the device, a g...

- James Pearce, Coolsmartphone
TechSpot

While the Xperia Z2 is a rounded, capable smartphone that’s solid across nearly every area, it lacks a killer feature that makes it stand out from the crowd. Honestly, we couldn't find a single thing that the Z2 couldn't handle with aplomb, but at the same time it doesn’t do anything sig...

- Tim Schiesser, TechSpot


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Sony released the Xperia Z2 on March 24, 2014.


The Xperia Z2 price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Sony Xperia Z2 prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sony Xperia Z2 user manual here.


Sony backs up the Xperia Z2 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Xperia Z2 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
5.2"

The Sony Xperia Z2's screen size is 5.2 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.3 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8974AB Quad Core 2.3 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow) operating system (OS).

Camera
20+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 20+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3200mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3200 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 1140 minutes.

Xperia Z2 Specs

Overview
Release date March 24, 2014
Regions available USA, Canada, UK
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
variations
SIM card Micro-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.4 KitKat (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8974AB Quad Core 2.3 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.34 W/kg
Body: 0.82 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery, Headphones, Data Cable
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3200 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 600 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1140 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 30.8 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black, White, Purple
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.7 x 7.3 x 0.8 cm (5.8 x 2.9 x 0.3 in)
Weight 163 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 58
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 424 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capaciitve touch screen, Triluminos display
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB)
PC Synchronization OTA, SyncML
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
20+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
8x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, HDR, Scene recognition, Metering
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, ASF, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
Self-portrait
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, ASF, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony D6502, D6503, D6543

Additional Sensors
- Game rotation vector
- Geomagnetic rotation vector
- Pedometer
- Motion detector
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia Z2 Reviews
Where to buy Sony Xperia Z2
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Critic Reviews


TrustedReviews

Great phone in most respects

from TrustedReviews

The Xperia Z2 is a great phone in most respects. It has a very good camera and outlasts the competition without compromising the experience. However, it is a bit awkward to use at times and gets hotter than the other top phones when under strain.

Read full review

The Xperia Z2 is a great phone in most respects. It has a very good camera and outlasts the competition without compromising the experience. However, it is a bit awkward to use at times and gets hotter than the other top phones when under strain.

Read full review

Less

GreenBot

A powerful smartphone wrapped in Sony style

from GreenBot

I really like this phone. In fact, had I not recently purchased the G3, and the Z2 was available on AT&T, it might be in my pocket. I can live with the big port covers and the sometimes finicky camera, as the whole package is still very appealing. Of course, if it were in the market this second, I'd struggle with buying the Z2 and waiting for the next Xperia flagship, coming this fall...

More

I really like this phone. In fact, had I not recently purchased the G3, and the Z2 was available on AT&T, it might be in my pocket. I can live with the big port covers and the sometimes finicky camera, as the whole package is still very appealing. Of course, if it were in the market this second, I'd struggle with buying the Z2 and waiting for the next Xperia flagship, coming this fall.

There are a few caveats to purchasing a Z2, and they have little to do with the phone itself. With IFA right around the corner, there's a very good chance that Sony might unveil the Xperia Z3.

The other elephant in the room is the fact that the Z2 is only available online, unlocked, and unsubsidized, for $700. That's a hard pill to swallow. Of course, this is how much smartphones actually cost, allowing you to live a real contract-free life, and not some "on-contract" carrier payment plan that locks you in for a couple years.

Overall, if you like Sony's style and have the money to burn for an unlocked phone on T-Mobile or AT&T, the Z2 should be on your list to check out.  

Read full review

Less

What Mobile

An immaculate high-end smartphone

from What Mobile

It may not have evolved much, but the Xperia Z2 is still a powerful smartphone that can match its rivals in terms of power and usability. The lack of design innovation and similar specs may put off owners of the Z1and the large size may not appeal to fans of smaller devices, but ultimately this i...More

It may not have evolved much, but the Xperia Z2 is still a powerful smartphone that can match its rivals in terms of power and usability. The lack of design innovation and similar specs may put off owners of the Z1and the large size may not appeal to fans of smaller devices, but ultimately this is still a crowd-pleaser. Add to that its superior imaging features, powerful processor and GPU and you have a device that excels in all the right places.

Read full review

Less

Coolsmartphone

Great overall flagship spec

from Coolsmartphone

I really liked the Sony Xperia Z2, having been disappointed with previous models I was really pleasantly surprised with the Z2. Yes the launcher might be a bit iffy and yes the overall size of the device compared to the screen size is huge, but I really liked it. The overall speed of the device, a great camera, an amazing build quality and a feeling of invulnerability around water really makes the Xperia Z2 feel like a special phone. In my opinion it’s possibly the nicest Android phone around at the moment...

More

I really liked the Sony Xperia Z2, having been disappointed with previous models I was really pleasantly surprised with the Z2. Yes the launcher might be a bit iffy and yes the overall size of the device compared to the screen size is huge, but I really liked it. The overall speed of the device, a great camera, an amazing build quality and a feeling of invulnerability around water really makes the Xperia Z2 feel like a special phone. In my opinion it’s possibly the nicest Android phone around at the moment.

As to what I’d improve upon, I’d have to say the size more than anything, which leads me to think that the Xperia Z2 Compact if it ever happens will be an amazing phone. 

Read full review

Less

TechSpot

Sony’s best and most well-rounded smartphone to date

from TechSpot

While the Xperia Z2 is a rounded, capable smartphone that’s solid across nearly every area, it lacks a killer feature that makes it stand out from the crowd. Honestly, we couldn't find a single thing that the Z2 couldn't handle with aplomb, but at the same time it doesn’t do anything...More

While the Xperia Z2 is a rounded, capable smartphone that’s solid across nearly every area, it lacks a killer feature that makes it stand out from the crowd. Honestly, we couldn't find a single thing that the Z2 couldn't handle with aplomb, but at the same time it doesn’t do anything significantly better than the rest of the high-end pack. The Z2's design is great, but the One M8’s design is better. The display is great, but the Nexus 5 edges it out if ever so slightly. Even the camera is great, but it’s not leagues ahead of the Galaxy S5.

Read full review

Less

The Mobile Indian

Definitely one of the best looking smartphones in the market today

from The Mobile Indian

The Sony Xperia Z2 shares the same hardware with other flagship devices of other manufacturers like Samsung Galaxy S5. Naturally, it offered an equally good performance. In other departments like battery and storage, it is at par with its rivals as well.

In camera department the debate is still hot about Xperia Z2's superiority against its rivals but one thing is sure, no one can take an underwater picture as this Sony handset. However, it certainly does not beat the Lumia 1020 which is definitely the best camera smartphone in the market today....

More

The Sony Xperia Z2 shares the same hardware with other flagship devices of other manufacturers like Samsung Galaxy S5. Naturally, it offered an equally good performance. In other departments like battery and storage, it is at par with its rivals as well.

In camera department the debate is still hot about Xperia Z2's superiority against its rivals but one thing is sure, no one can take an underwater picture as this Sony handset. However, it certainly does not beat the Lumia 1020 which is definitely the best camera smartphone in the market today.

The Xperia Z2 though has a major heating issue; Sony should do something to rectify this issue. Other than that, the Xperia Z2 is definitely recommended if you can afford it.

Read full review

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UnleashThePhones

Managed to meet every single expectation, making it the only no-compromise flagship smartphone

from UnleashThePhones

We used to have a running joke that there was always at least one thing about any given Xperia flagship that did not live up to expectations. Sony must have heard us while the Xperia Z2 was in development, because the Z2 comes across as a smartphone that is nearly as perfect as it can be. Every hardware component is of exacting quality, every aspect of the phone’s design is well thought out and aesthetically pleasing and there has clearly been a strong focus on getting the details right....

More

We used to have a running joke that there was always at least one thing about any given Xperia flagship that did not live up to expectations. Sony must have heard us while the Xperia Z2 was in development, because the Z2 comes across as a smartphone that is nearly as perfect as it can be. Every hardware component is of exacting quality, every aspect of the phone’s design is well thought out and aesthetically pleasing and there has clearly been a strong focus on getting the details right.

The Sony Xperia Z2 finally delivers on Sony’s big promise of 2013 to a full and complete extent that we’ve never seen before. As the smartphone continues its steady, unstoppable evolution, Sony continues to deliver a top-notch flagship that represents the best of Sony and the best of the mobile industry.

Read full review

Less

Notebookcheck

If you already have a Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z2 is not a huge improvement

from Notebookcheck

All seven months a new model, can there be any big changes? Sony actually managed to (slightly) improve the Xperia Z2 in some critical areas: The panel is significantly better compared to the Xperia Z1, but still not quite as good as the AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The software looks noble, was enhanced even further, and Sony also includes free content from the company’s portfolio to improve the sales figures: Free movies, Michael Jackson album, high-quality headset. We still have the feeling that the synergy effects have not been exhausted completely, especially in terms of gaming and PlayStation. The battery capacity has been increased, but the runtimes are not automatically better. The Xperia Z2 can at least clearly beat the HTC One M8....

More

All seven months a new model, can there be any big changes? Sony actually managed to (slightly) improve the Xperia Z2 in some critical areas: The panel is significantly better compared to the Xperia Z1, but still not quite as good as the AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The software looks noble, was enhanced even further, and Sony also includes free content from the company’s portfolio to improve the sales figures: Free movies, Michael Jackson album, high-quality headset. We still have the feeling that the synergy effects have not been exhausted completely, especially in terms of gaming and PlayStation. The battery capacity has been increased, but the runtimes are not automatically better. The Xperia Z2 can at least clearly beat the HTC One M8.

The camera was only improved in regard to the software. It is still one of the best smartphone cameras you can currently get. You can take pictures in the pool as well since the smartphone is waterproof and dust resistant. You should hold the smartphone before you buy it to see if you like the boxy case and the smooth back cover. Unfortunately, the build quality is not perfect, HTC and Samsung are superior.

If you like this special Sony touch in regard to the design, you will get a great smartphone with the Xperia Z2. The Japanese always manage to give their products a certain luxurious touch. We can fully recommend the device, even though there are small drawbacks in terms of the case and the panel.

Read full review

Less

Fone Arena

Taller, faster, sharper

from Fone Arena

This is a flagship done right. Despite its apparent lack of a USP, it has polished out all its kinks and leaves little to complain. It might not have a depth sensor like the HTC M8 or a fingerprint sensor like the Galaxy S5 but then those are ancillary gimmicks at best.

Despite the well d...More

This is a flagship done right. Despite its apparent lack of a USP, it has polished out all its kinks and leaves little to complain. It might not have a depth sensor like the HTC M8 or a fingerprint sensor like the Galaxy S5 but then those are ancillary gimmicks at best.

Despite the well deserved praise, all is not perfect with the Sony Xperia Z2. We do believe that the company should’ve made improvements to the camera hardware. The lack of an IR blaster while far from a deal breaker, is something that we would sorely miss. Additionally, the tendency to occasionally heat up is something that needs to be investigated and fixed via a software update.

Read full review

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Digital Trends

Sony’s best release yet and shows how fast its smartphones are improving

from Digital Trends

The Sony Xperia Z2 was designed to look beautiful from every angle. Sony’s industrial design language is unmistakable in this angular black slab, combining a glass front and back with shiny metallic buttons, and a brushed aluminum frame.

Sony’s sparse design carries over into the unnamed user interface, which appears to be less intrusive than HTC’s Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz, but still quite a change from stock Android. The notification shade cleverly splits your configurable quick settings off onto a second tab, so you get a clear view of everything incoming....

More

The Sony Xperia Z2 was designed to look beautiful from every angle. Sony’s industrial design language is unmistakable in this angular black slab, combining a glass front and back with shiny metallic buttons, and a brushed aluminum frame.

Sony’s sparse design carries over into the unnamed user interface, which appears to be less intrusive than HTC’s Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz, but still quite a change from stock Android. The notification shade cleverly splits your configurable quick settings off onto a second tab, so you get a clear view of everything incoming.

This is a beautiful and powerful device that justifies the premium price tag. It will be too angular and unwieldy for some people, so a hands-on is advised before you buy.

Read full review

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User Reviews


Good phone

The phone is on the all in all the phone is great. The biggest problem is battery life is very poor.

Xperia Z2 Videos