Reviews

Sony Xperia Z2 tablet review: Hands on

The Z2 tablet ships with Android KitKat 4.4, an IPS display and 13 hour battery life.

Sony's Xperia Z2 could be the best Android KitKat tablet to come out of MWC 2014. The Japanese firm has taken the original Tablet Z and improved key areas including the display, design and battery life.  

The display on the Z2 tablet is the same size and resolution as the original (10.1in and 1920 x 1200). However, Sony has switched from LCD to IPS technology so the Z2 has a better contrast ratio and wider viewing angles.

Sony has also packed the Z2 with its proprietary screen technology. Does this make a noticeable difference or is it just marketing jargon? The Triluminos hardware technology allows the device to use a wider spectrum of colours by emitting pure green and red pixels - over 16 million in total. During our hands on it seemed to just make images look more saturated.

The firm's X-Reality software engine provides a more visible benefit. It upscales low-quality content to near HD level by adding in missing pixels and sharpening content in real-time. It's good if you're prone to watching 480p videos off YouTube.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the device is the design. Somehow Sony has managed to reduce the weight and thickness of the device. The Z2 weighs 439g and is 6.4mm thick.

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As Sony has replaced the glass back (on the Tablet Z) with a matte coating, the Z2 now feels like a thick piece of card and you won't be as worried if it falls out of your hand. It's a fantastic piece of engineering and Sony has retained the IP55/58 waterproof rating and IP55 dust resistance. This could make it ideal for businesses that need a tablet which is able to withstand outdoor use but may not have the budget to buy a fully ruggedized tablet like a Panasonic ToughPad.

Under the hood, the Z2 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 2.3GHz quad-core processor and Adreno 320 graphics. The chip is paired with 3GB of RAM - giving this one of the top specifications on the market. The only disappointment is the 16GB of internal storage, but this is expandable by using the micro SD card slot (support for up to 64GB).

The rear has a 8.1-megapixel camera and support for 1080p recording.

On the battery side, Sony continues with a 6000mAh power pack, which is sealed in. However, the Z2 features a new Stamina mode, which turns off power sapping applications and background tasks to increase battery life. Sony is claiming up to 13 hours of video playback.

Overall, Sony has done a great job with this upgrade. We like the display and the ditching of the glass back. If the battery can live up to the claims, this could be one of the best Android tablets of 2014.

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