The latest flagship handset from Sony, the Xperia Z2 is able to record 4K video but is this enough to push it to the top of the premium phone pack?
With the Xperia Z2 now in shops – and currently down in our test lab – we found ourselves looking back at our first look review from MWC, earlier this year. It’s got 4K video recording but is that enough to triumph over the iPhone 5S, HTC One M8 and other high priced phones? Find out below.
The Android-powered Xperia Z2 (4.4 KitKat at launch) is slightly speedier than its predecessor thanks to a faster processor (2.3Ghz up from 2.2Ghz) and 3GB RAM (up from 2GB). But the real news here is device’s extra-colourful display, and the phone’s ability to record 4K video – perfect for anyone looking to show off their expensive new 4K TV. Read on for all the details.
Mobile phone reviews – the latest reviews, including the HTC One M8
Sony Xperia Z2 – First look video
Sony Xperia Z2 – three key features
Live Color LEDs – keen to emphasise what it calls ‘one Sony’ the Japanese manufacturer is clearly keen to be seen to be uniting its many production lines. Hence the Xperia Z2 benefits from the same Triluminos display technology as seen in Sony’s TV range. Expect bright colours – though hopefully not to the point of supersaturation – on the Z2’s larger 5.2-inch Full HD screen.
4K video capture – ahead of the curve perhaps, but the fact that the Xperia Z2 can record video footage in super crisp 4K resolution (3840×2160) should please early adopters of 4K TVs who’re eager to show off their new sets. While by no means essential now, as 4K becomes more mainstream you might be glad to have Ultra HD footage of your nearest and dearest.
Seamless waterproofing – waterproofing is nothing new to Sony’s Xperia range and sure enough the Z2 features the same seamless design to keep out both the water and dust. Handily there’s no need to worry about making sure your earphone socket is covered this time either thanks to improved sealing around the jack socket.
Which? expert verdict – ‘how useful is 4K video right now?’
I’m impressed. Its 5.2-inch screen looks great and the handset itself is all glass giving it an unusual, but certainly premium feel. And while the processor is only a marginal upgrade on the Z1 it will have more than enough speed to handle every app you throw at it.
Quite whether its 4K video capture is worthwhile to you depends entirely on how soon you intend to take the 4K TV plunge. With Sony being a major force behind 4K TV there’s no surprise that the firm is plugging the capability, but for most of us it could well be a feature from which we’ll never see any real benefit.
Regulation HD video should still record crisp footage however, helped in no small part by the new SteadyShot stabilization feature. I was slightly disappointed to see no new improvement in the megapixel count of the phone’s camera – the Z2 utilises the same 20.7-mp camera as the Z1. However, this didn’t always deliver great photos in our test lab, so there image processing should be better with the Z2.
All things considered though the Xperia Z2 is an exciting smartphone that combines design and speed. That said, at £599 price tag you’ll have to pay a lot for a phone that’s not remarkably different from its predecessor – 4K video aside.
Mike Plant – writer