Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone review

Sony continues its run of producing excellent Android devices with the robust Xperia Z2

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£42
  • Ultra durable; Great battery life; Good camera; Subtle Android optimisations
  • Big size isn't for everyone; Not enough to differentiate it from the six-month old Z1; Fiddly slots

Battery life

Thanks to the mammoth 3,200mAh integrated battery pack, this is another strength of the Xperia Z2. In three tests where we played a HD movie, carried out music playback and Wi-Fi browsing for one hour, the device came out consistently on top.

The battery pack provided longevity with moderate usage. We managed to go 24 hours without needing to recharge it. If at any time you want a rough guide as to how many hours of use is remaining, a trip to the Power management menu will provide an estimate.

It's possible to stretch battery life further when you use the various built-in software optimisations.  

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Stamina Mode automatically turns off Wi-Fi and mobile data when your screen is off and restricts hardware performance.

A Low Battery mode can be set to activate when power drops to a percentage level of your choice. This turns off all wireless connectivity, reduces the brightness to the lowest level and and turns off the X-Reality engine. It's set to kick in at 20 per cent by default, but you can change this.

These battery life customisations aren't as comprehensive as the Galaxy S5, which allows you to turn off all but the essential apps and turn the display black and white. But Sony has done great job considering the display is 5.2ins.

Camera

Rounding off the larger-than-life specifications is the 20.7-megapixel camera on the rear. It's capable of taking good shots in daylight and particularly close up (see below). It's definitely up there with the Galaxy S5 in terms of quality.

Other features include the ability to record video in Ultra high-definition (4K) and play with focus settings.

The front-facing camera has a 2.2-megapixel sensor. It's not as comprehensive as the 5-megapixel camera on the front of the HTC One M8, but few devices put such effort into this part of the phone.

Overall

The Xperia Z2 is a fantastic all-round Android handset. We love the design and durability as well as the Sony's decision not to overload Android with a custom skin. Performance is top-notch thanks to the high-end components.  

With a SIM-free starting price of 550, the Xperia Z2 is premium. It's available free with 24-month contracts starting at 42 per month. These include unlimited texts and minutes and 1GB of data. Carphone Warehouse is also offering 100 cashback.

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Ultimately, the Xperia Z2 misses out on 5-stars because it comes six short months after the Z1 and there's not enough to differentiate it from its predecessor.

Verdict

Able to withstand the elements, the Xperia Z2 is unmatched in terms of durability for a high-end smartphone. Battery life is great and Android optimisations are not overdone.

OS: Android 4.4.2 KitKat Display: 5.2in, 1,080 x 1,920Processor: 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-coreRAM: 3GBStorage: 16GB + up to 64GB micro SDCamera: 20.7-megapixel with autofocus, LED flash, 8x zoom + 2.2MP front-facingConnectivity: aGPS, ANT+ wireless technology, Bluetooth 4, DLNA, NFC, Screen mirroring, Smart Connect, MiracastPorts: Micro-USB + MHL supportDimensions: 147 x 73 x 8.2 mm (WDH)Weight: 163g 

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