Sony took its opportunity at mobile World Congress to update the flagship smartphone in its line up with the introduction of the new Sony Xperia Z2. We got the chance to have a good, long go at the new smartphone and were left suitably impressed by what we saw.
Instantly recognisable as part of the Xperia Z range, the Xperia Z2 brings the best in the design of last year’s Xperia Z1 and the newly launched Xperia Z1 Compact. Both the front and rear of the Xperia Z2 are clad in large panes of glass giving ample room for fingerprints to collect, but also providing a fantastically premium look to the smartphone. That Aluminium frame has been rounded and contoured in a similar way to the Xperia Z1 Compact which gives it a much more satisfying and comfortable feel sitting in one hand.
Sony’s, now standard, water and dustproof design means that the same collection of small doors are scattered around the edges of the Xperia Z2 hiding the microUSB, micro SIM and microUSB ports both from view and the potential hazards of moisture. The standard 3.5mm headphone jack is left exposed the same way the Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact and Z Ultra’s are.
With the combination of an updated Android 4.4 operating system, a new, faster Snapdragon 801 processor and an increase to 3GB of RAM, the Xperia Z2 is markedly faster to use than any previous smartphone from the Japanese company. In fact, it’s by far and away one of the most satisfying, lag free Android smartphones we’ve ever seen, period.
The biggest, and most satisfying update is to the display. The increase in size from 5-inches to 5.2-inches aside, it’s still a full HD display, however, in keeping with the Xperia Z1 Compact before it, the Xperia Z2’s display is a drastic step up from the Xperia Z1’s disappointing display. It’s satisfying to see that Sony has heard the complaints from users of both the original Xperia Z and the Xperia Z1’s displays and produced a display that is arguably the very best in any smartphone on the market today.
If Mobile World Congress was a war based on sheer specification levels then Sony has beaten Samsung’s Galaxy S5 hands down, with more megapixels, and more RAM on a larger display. After first hand use of both smartphones I can confirm that my first impression is that the Sony Xperia Z2 is the more premium of the two devices and has the potential to be the best Android smartphone of 2014. However with the limited amount of time I was able to spend with both of the devices (especially the Galaxy S5) many factors, including the software and services on both platforms as well as real life camera and battery performance still need to be tested thoroughly. Luckily both of these amazing smartphone will coming to South Africa and all indications are that we could have a battle on our hands before the end of April.