Sony’s handsome Xperia Z1, one of our favourite Android smartphones of 2013, has just been given a sweet refresh. While the new Xperia Z2 does appear to be somewhat of an incremental update from the Z1, the Xperia Z2 builds on what was already good on the Z1 and fixes many of the flaws from 2013’s flagship.
One of the major complaints of the Xperia Z1 was with the display, which many felt was too subdued with its colour reproduction. It is an issue that even plagued Sony’s flagship before that, the Xperia Z. This time round, Sony’s latest Xperia Z2 features a new Live Color LED technology that promises to create brighter colour reproduction – and it shows. The new display is exceptionally vibrant, crisp and above all bright enough to dispel all previous criticism leveled against the poor display quality on its previous flagships.
Another subtle addition found on the Xperia Z2 is also on the display, with a new, slightly larger 5.2-inch Full HD Triluminos display. What’s great about it is how Sony has fitted the larger display without increasing the device’s dimensions – in fact, the Xperia Z2 is actually both thinner and lighter than the Xperia Z1 (164g vs 169g, and 8.2mm vs 8.5mm).
On top of that, Sony has also introduced stereo speakers on the front and bottom of the display. Obviously the show floors aren’t the best place to test out audio quality, but the Xperia Z2 does manage to pump out pretty loud audio from the stereo speakers without breaking up.
The final enhancement of the Xperia Z2 lies in the camera. I was told that while the 20.7MP sensor remains the same as in the Xperia Z1, the more powerful hardware found on the Xperia Z2 – the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 and the 3GB of RAM in particular – has further unlocked the capabilities of the BIONZ image processor that allows it to work more wonders, such as the ability to record 4K videos at 30fps, 720p videos at 120fps, and our personal favourite at HQ, AR mode in video.
These new additions, as well as the subtle software enhancements found in the new Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS on the Xperia Z2, makes this smartphone an early frontrunner as one of the best Android smartphones of 2014. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing this again come the first week of March, where Sony is expected to make a regional announcement of the Xperia Z2.