Sony Xperia Z2 preview: Plugging the gaps in the Xperia Z1


Sony created quite a ruckus with the launch of the Xperia Z2. The bold move of bundling their fitness-centric SmartBand and official cover has certainly given HTC and Samsung something to think about. Just like the existing flagship droids, the Z2 is more of an iterative update to the Z1. Even so, the new Xperia brings with it some much needed polish that improves on some of the shortcomings of the Z1. But does it warrant an upgrade if you already have last year’s model?

 

 

Where the HTC One M8 and Samsung S5 has undergone some cosmetic change, the Z2 has been left mostly unaltered. We like the fact that Sony has not tried to change things just for the heck of it. The original design works very well and is striking enough to make it stand out from the crowd.

 

The phone feels extremely sturdy and well-built. The aluminium frame gives it rigidity while the tempered glass and chamfered edges lend it a very classy look. All the ports are where they should be, neatly tucked away under waterproof flaps.

 Sony Xperia Z2 preview: Plugging the gaps in the Xperia Z1

Amazing build quality

 

The biggest and most noticeable improvement is the new 5.2-inch display. At a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, the display produces sharp and vivid colours thanks to an IPS panel instead of the TFT on the previous model. Just like the Sony Xperia Z1 compact, the display feels lively and vibrant making it excellent for multimedia use.

The SIM and microUSB ports

The SIM and microUSB ports

 

The Z2 also gets front-firing stereo speakers that are placed on the top and bottom. However, to get the most out of them, you’ll want to enable all the enhancements like Clear Phase, xLOUD and S-Force Front Surround in settings. The sound is definitely richer and the dynamic range is wider with these enabled. However, we did notice a bit of distortion at high volumes. We’ll test this out some more during the week.

The new IPS display makes all the difference

The new IPS display makes all the difference

 

The interface has also been tweaked slightly and the notification icons now have a flattish look. The animations have also undergone some subtle changes. The Z2 is powered by a Snapdragon 801 chipset and you get 3GB of RAM onboard. There’s definitely no shortage of power, that’s for sure.

Tempered glass back

Tempered glass back

 

Finally, the camera gets some new features to its repertoire, most notable of which is 4K video recording. This is added in the form of an app to the stock camera interface so technically, even the Z1 should be able to take advantage of this. Background Defocus and Vine are the other two new apps that are bundled. We’ve shot a couple of samples which you can see below.

Pretty good macro shots

Pretty good macro shots

The result of the Background Defocus app

The result of the Background Defocus app

 

The Sony Xperia Z2’s most striking additions are the new display, stereo speakers and 4K video recording support. Other incremental upgrades include a slightly bigger batter, faster chipset and more RAM.  We guess the answer to whether you should chuck out your Z1 for the Z2 is quite obvious. Compared to the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Z2 is a much more attractive package right now with the introductory offer. Seeing how the S5 has already dropped to as low as Rs 42,500, it’s only a matter of a month or so before the other prices come tumbling down. Then, there’s LG G3 which is all set to launch towards the end of the month.

 

We’ll be bringing you the full review of the Xperia Z2 soon. As far picking up a flagship right now, we’d recommend waiting for the G3 as it’ll be interesting to see how LG’s offering affects the high-end market.


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