Sony Xperia Z2 review

8.8

Daniel Bader

May 4, 2014 3:12 pm

You’d be hard-pressed to find a company more deserving of success in the mobile space than Sony.

The company’s early Android phones were, to put it mildly, disappointing. Who can forget the Timescape/Mediascape controversy, and how, for so many years, the company always seemed to be a step or two behind its competitors in both hardware and software.

Fast forward to the Xperia Z. In January 2013, the high-resolution waterproof device launched to acclaim and broader adoption than any of its previous lines, and set a precedent for what has since become the stylistic baseline of its entire mobile ecosystem, from $150 entries to flagships.

A year and a half later, the Xperia Z2 is honing in on the ideal marriage of display, imaging, speed and software, and is by far the company’s best smartphone to date. But in an industry saturated with “best smartphones” from their respective OEMs, does the Z2 have enough going for it to set it apart?

Specs

  • Android 4.4.2
  • 5.2-inch 1920×1080 pixel IPS display
  • 2.3Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • 3GB RAM / 16GB internal storage (microSD slot)
  • 20.7 1/2.3″ Exmor RS sensor, F2.0 G Lens
  • 4K video recording
  • 3,200mAh battery
  • LTE 700/AWS/2600
  • 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm
  • 163 grams
  • IP58 waterproof/dust resistant

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Design & Display

If you’re not a fan of the large, boxy smartphones the Xperia Z2 is not going to change your mind. It’s imposing, in either of the black, white or purple variants, but Sony has done a decent job narrowing the bezels around the 5.2-inch screen, lessening the feeling of wasted space that was present on its predecessor, the Z1. It is, however, still slightly too big for my liking.

The combination of glass and metal has always been a Sony advantage, and the Z2 feels just as nice as the other products in the Z line. It’s also rated IP58 waterproof and dust resistant with the appropriate flaps closed, but Sony has lowered the number of tabs to two, down from three on the Z1.

Impressively, the bigger 5.2-inch screen does not translate to a bigger phone. While it is marginally taller, Sony’s biggest triumph with the Z2 is that it has upped the screen dimensions and quality without bloating the phone itself; the IPS panel used here is only the company’s second after the Z1 Compact, but it makes an enormous difference. I noted that maximum brightness is slightly lower than the 5-inch Z1, but otherwise viewing angles and colour reproduction are dramatically improved.

Still, the display quality is not quite up to snuff with competitors like HTC, Samsung and LG, but it’s a much closer race. The viewing angle run-off is severe after a certain point, and despite improved colour reproduction from the Triluminos technology, which “uses LEDs, which emit purer reds and greens,” it is outclassed by the Galaxy S5, One M8 and LG G2. Responsiveness is good, as is sunlight viewability — Sony has employed the Snapdragon 801′s double-tap to turn on, too — but the company needs to up its game next time around.

In terms of hand feel, the Z2 is still angular, and doesn’t comport itself particularly well in one-handed tests. The slippery glass back and slick metal sides may look lovely (when wiped with a cloth) but significantly lessen overall usability. Say what you will about Samsung’s egregious overuse of plastic, but I rarely worry about the Galaxy S5 slipping out of my hand and cracking on the sidewalk. With the Z2, its frailness was a constant concern.

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The irony is that the Z2, barring a fall onto concrete, is likely more durable in more situations than the Galaxy S5. It is rated IP58, making it dust resistant and waterproof, something that few devices in this category can boast. Indeed, the Galaxy S5 is water resistant, but the Z2 takes its ingress protection to another level. Capable of being immersed in water for several hours up to three metres, the Xperia Z2 is unlikely to come into contact with a substance or liquid that can do much damage.

I have to admit, the most I ever expose my phones to water is when it rains, and none have ignominiously died from a few drops from the sky. Even the idea of taking photos while swimming isn’t a check box I’ve ever wanted ticked, but many others will likely find it useful. It does, however, add a modicum of inconvenience, by covering the charging ports, to daily use, so there’s a bit of a trade-off.

I had a great time using the Xperia Z2: its screen is SO MUCH BETTER than its predecessor’s, and there are numerous usability tweaks to improve the hardware experience. Compared to the Z1, the sides aren’t quite as squared-off, there’s a distinct improvement to weight distribution that makes the device feel less dense and more ergonomic. These aren’t big changes, but the evolution is commendable.

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Software & Performance

There is a clarity to Sony’s Android overlay that I’ve always enjoyed. The design sensibility is much closer to HTC’s than Sony’s, in a good way, and in recent versions there seems to be an emphasis on first-party app UX consistency.

Basic productivity apps like the dialler and messenger don’t stray too far from their stock Android counterparts, but Sony really takes its time with the multimedia stuff: Album, Walkman and Movies are wondrous, living things, each with local and online capabilities that move far beyond anything else bundled by an Android OEM. Indeed, Sony has always delivered great music and video software, but paired with hardware that stands up to the task I found myself enveloped in warm sound and lush colours.

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Specifically, X-Reality for mobile still plugs away in the background to make colours pop — think of it as a sound equalizer for video — but in this version we also have a more powerful audio amplifier and a new set of distortion-minimizing algorithms called ClearAudio+. Coupled with front-facing stereo speakers for times when headphones aren’t necessary, you have a pretty fantastic little entertainment suite.

I found the audio output from the headphones to be on par in clarity and quality to the iPhone 5s and HTC One M8, while the stereo speakers excelled against the former and paled against the latter. The M8 boasts both louder and richer sound than the Z2, but the improvements over Sony’s previous smartphones are dramatic. Improvement to video quality is even more distinct, and Sony throws in six movies, including Captain Phillips and Total Recall (the new, bad one) for your perusal.

xperiaz2shot-2

Sony’s software design must be praised, too. HTC makes apps that look good, but Sony’s look good and work really well. The only issue, of course, is that you’re going through Sony’s content networks to stream music, download movies and backup photos, and unless you’re already invested in the ecosystem you’re likely to take the six movies and 30 days of Music Unlimited and run straight to Rdio or Google Play. If there’s one company that can challenge the incumbents like Google and Apple in the content game, it’s Sony, but the OEM is required to bundle Google’s own services alongside its own, potentially confusing the user base.

xperiaz2shot-1

Then, of course, Bell’s own bloatware is pre-installed for good measure. Unlike on the HTC One M8, these half-baked apps cannot be removed, only disabled. Bell still insists on pushing its TeleNav-powered Navigator app, though instead of a preload it’s just a stub; and Self Serve, the app that tells you how many minutes, messages and megabytes you’ve used, still looks like it’s from 2010.

On the other hand, Bell TV is a great little app, and most two-year plans come with 10 hours of basic mobile viewing. It’s worth perusing just to revisit the idea of “mobile television” in a world of 5.2-inch smartphone screens and excellent stereo speakers, because when Bell began promoting the product phones were half the size and much lower-resolution.

Finally, Bell pre-installed a stub to an app called My Wallet, which we haven’t heard much about, but it’s ostensibly a competitor to Rogers’s suretap mobile wallet that launched early last month. At last, mobile wallets have a home in the trustworthy arms of our national telcos.

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Sony’s contributions to the Android experience don’t end with well-designed multimedia apps. The company has slowly been tweaking the basic Android experience with thoughtful widgets and Small Apps, a series of windowed apps that collapse into movable icons. While little more than windowed versions of existing apps — Chrome, Gmail and Calendar are available alongside Sony’s own Calculator, Timer and Screen Capture tools — they work out to be more useful than you’d initially think.

Then there is Xperia Lounge which, alongside separate app What’s New, bombard you with free premium content, offers, music and video previews, and more. This is a slick marketing machine at its best, proving that Sony is primed to offer premium content in addition to great hardware and software. It’s not a stretch to say that, substantively, the hardware and software features on the Z2 make it, on paper, one of the best Android devices on the market. But Sony is floundering, and it’s because their phones just don’t look or feel as modern as their Samsung, HTC or LG counterparts.

sonyxperiaz2review-7

In terms of performance, the Xperia Z2 has plenty of it and room to spare. The 2.3Ghz Snapdragon 801 processor is specifically the 8974AB variant, which puts it even with the One M8 and 200Mhz slower than the Galaxy S5. Subjectively, I noticed no substantive difference in performance between the three devices, which is a result of most Android apps not taking advantage of the ample processing power.

Three performance improvements were immediately apparent over the Snapdragon 800-powered Z1: the device boots around 25% faster; the camera opens around 40% faster; and the bits and pieces of slowdown that haunted previous Xperia devices is absent here.

Android 4.4 isn’t a huge update over its predecessor, but the fact that apps can expand to use the full screen is a nice touch. The device is still hampered by only having 11.5GB of internal space available for apps, but the microSD slot is good for external content, even if apps can no longer take advantage of it.

Down the road, the extra gigabyte of memory inside the Xperia Z2 may prolong its life somewhat, but right now it feels superfluous. Where it does help, as we’ll see in the next section, is with camera performance.

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Camera

The Xperia Z2 sports the same camera array as its predecessor, and but for the ability to shoot 4K video you’d be hard-pressed to tell the two experiences apart.

Dig a bit deeper and you’ll notice that the much-faster image signal processors inside the Snapdragon 801 SoC result in faster focusing, more accurate colours, and better overall photos. The 20.7MP shooter sports a fairly large 1/2.3″ sensor and a fast F2.0 G lens, resulting in great photo potential.

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But Sony devices have always had great camera potential; they often failed, though, in the execution. Here, things aren’t quite as dire, but the Xperia Z2 is still not a perfect replacement for a point-and-shoot. By default, the camera shoots 8MP widescreen shots in a mode called Superior Auto, which gauges a number of external factors like lighting and subject distance to determine how best to shoot. Most of the time, the Z2 takes a decent photo in this mode, but occasionally struggles with dynamic range — a bright sky against a darker foreground object, for example — and results in washed-out or underexposed shots.

Screenshot_2014-05-03_12_42_00

The device should be capable of taking far better photos than the iPhone 5s, which has a much smaller sensor, but jumping to that conclusion misses a major disadvantage of the Xperia Z2′s sensor: its individual pixels are quite a bit smaller than the iPhone’s. The Xperia Z2 has 1/2.3-inch sensor with 20.7 million pixels, each of which is 1.1 microns in size; the iPhone 5s has a 1/3-inch sensor with 8 million pixels, each of which is 1.3 microns in size. This means that iPhone will capture less detail but more light, and coupled with a very intelligent ISP inside the A7 SoC, superior low-light and colour reproduction. For comparison’s sake, the HTC One M8 has a 1/3-inch sensor with 4 million pixels, each of which is 2 micros in size.

On the other hand, Sony employs a process called oversampling in low-light situations to offset the smaller pixel size. It takes the information from a number of pixels and essentially combines them, facilitating smaller photos with better exposure.

xperiaz2iphone5scomparison-1

The compromise between pixel count and pixel size has always been an important one in mobile, but here Sony is actually at a disadvantage. The company would likely be better served by a 13MP sensor of the same 1/2.3″ size with larger individual pixels.

With a bit of tweaking, and switching to Manual Mode, which defaults to full 20.7MP at a 4:3 aspect ratio, the Xperia Z2 takes some wonderful, detailed shots. I often needed to bump up colour saturation and exposure one or two notches, but the resulting photos were rich and vibrant. On the other hand, Sony doesn’t allow users to tweak shutter speed, so the prospect of a truly “manual” mode is still out of reach.

Indoor shots tend to be usable but grainy, and the flash is not up to par with the dual-toned iPhone 5s or HTC One M8 and tends to blow out skin tones. The flash generally isn’t necessary, though, because the oversampling algorithm will ramp up exposure without increasing sensitivity too much.

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The Xperia Z2 comes with many, many ways to tweak, morph and improve your photos. Sony’s Background Defocus app, which has become a standard feature on most devices these days, works quite well, and is the only one to incorporate a slider for more granular editing.

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A few of the other modes, like Creative Effect and AR Effect, are cutesy and gimmicky, allowing for live augmented reality themes (dinosaurs! fairies!) or old-timey filters.

On the video side, though, Sony is taking things more seriously. As mentioned, the phone can capture 4K video, which takes up a lot of space and isn’t very useful, but I found the quality and frame rate to be slightly better than the Galaxy S5′s 16MP shooter. Timeshift Video combines 720p video filmed at 120fps with a slow-motion video editor, similar to the iPhone 5s, and I must say it works very well.

In all, the Xperia Z2 isn’t a huge upgrade from its predecessor, and there were still times I wished it had fewer, larger pixels, but it competes well with many of the top Android devices out there, and is more versatile than the iPhone 5s’s 8MP shooter, even if the latter usually takes better stills. The phone’s boxy, slippery chassis doesn’t lend itself easily to quick, one-handed photographs, but as with most Sony devices, the hardware shutter button alleviates many of those complaints.

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Battery Life & Connectivity

Being a Bell exclusive (for now), I was only able to test the Xperia Z2 on a single network, but the handset performed extremely well, both as a phone and data device.

The Z2 supports an outstanding number of LTE bands, including 700/AWS/2600, which encompasses every Canadian network possibility. The device lacks the software to tell me which band it is connected to, but I was consistently able to reach speeds of 40Mbps down and 10Mbps up on Bell’s network.

Call quality was good but not great, with voices seeming further away and more sibilant than its competitors. Volume, however, was near the top of the pack, both from the headpiece and the front-facing stereo speakers.

I was also very impressed with the Xperia’s battery life, which came in slightly ahead of the One M8 and Galaxy S5. The non-removable 3,200mAh cell should last most users an entire day, and it’s easy to be bullish on the device,especially if you’re comparing devices based on total cell capacity (the M8 has a 2,600mAh cell and the GS5 has a 2,800mAh cell).

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Final Thoughts

The confluence of Snapdragon 801 and Android 4.4 has been good for OEMs in general, but none have benefited so much as Sony. The Xperia Z2 is a superb piece of hardware, held back somewhat by its boxy chassis, low internal storage and inconsistent camera.

It’s easily Sony’s best smartphone to date, and the combination of an excellent screen, decent speakers, unobtrusive software, good app design and premium content makes it a compelling option, despite its carrier exclusivity. The sad part is that it will likely go relatively unnoticed next to the Galaxy S5.

At $179.95 on a 2-year term and $699.95 outright, it’s cheaper and more versatile than almost any other smartphone out there, and with Sony’s decent track record of keeping devices up to date, should stay that way for a while to come.

8.8

Final Score

7.5

Design

9

Software

8

Display

9

Performance

9

Build Quality

8.5

Camera

9

Connectivity

9

Battery Life

  • andy c

    Nice review. Thinking of this, or a Nexus this fall

    Those flaps are worrisome. My phones are usually in a case (two small children)

    • Paul Giang

      I assume you want a premium phone with the pure android experience, maybe wait to see if this “Android Silver Program” is real. Not to mention I love Sony and will definitely say I’m a Sony fanboy, but I’ve always found it difficult to find decent accessories made for anything Sony, since your phone is normally in a case.

    • mihaelb

      Can get the magnetic charger for it-no need to open flaps then. will need to make sure you get a case with a cutout for it, though.

  • jellmoo

    Nice review Daniel. I’m curious about the camera for everyday use. I’m not one to fidget with manual settings. I’d like a camera that can take a “good enough” picture quickly, as most of my pictures are simply capture the moment type shots. How would you say the Z2 compares to devices like the S5 and 5s in this regard?

  • Joephus

    I feel like you underestimate the screen quality, and you haven’t really showed much to prove your comparison. Unlike other various reviews, especially on YouTube, they praise the Sony screen especially against the M8 and S5.

    Also a 7.5 on design?
    Clearly the better looking phone out there, even for a box design it should get a higher score than that!

    • jellmoo

      We’ll have to wait to get a more technical breakdown on the screen from a site like Displaymate. Mobile Syrup gives more or an opinion based review than a technical one.

      The design though still features a ton of bezel. They managed to trim a bit from the Z1, but this handset is still huge in terms of overall device size. Compare the overall size to something like the G2, which has the same sized screen. Could the score have been a little higher? Maybe. I would have probably gone with an 8, but there is an awful lot of subjectivity in a score for design.

    • MarkLastiwka

      It’s hard to fit a 5.2″ screen on a chassis with little bezel and still have room for waterproofing seals. It’s pretty amazing they were able to increase the screen size without increasing the footprint too much over the Z1. This is kinda where the Z1 compact comes in, but not sure what they will do with the Z2.

    • jellmoo

      Oh, I get that there are reasons for the size and bezels (I’ve also heard that not having a protruding camera adds to the size as well), but the fact is that it remains a large device. I think Sony simply tried to jam a little too much in there, which created so much bezel. It would have been more interesting if they could have at least increased the screen size a bit to make it feel a little less bezelicious.

    • Captain Canada

      5.2 inch screen in the body of a tablet, the design is beautiful but enormous. I would have given it an 8 at the most.

    • krazyking

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Daniel gives bias reviews. He is a Crapple lover so don’t expect honest informative reviews. Take everything he says with a grain of salt. 7.5 on design when you have ugly phones like the S5 out? WTF? Check out Android Authority, Pocketnow, Phone Arena or GSM Arena for great reviews. Come here only to learn the latest Canadian mobile news.

  • jay

    Design is at least 8.5 however the price is just to high on android high end phones! Nexus oppo and one plus will go there way!

  • bembol

    My next phone. I already put up my S5 for sale.

    Just compared the scores, this should have been tied with the S5, I agree with all of them except the Design, only .5 separates the two?

    • southerndinner

      Almost every actual review out there has this device below both the M8 and S5.

  • southerndinner

    Unreliable garbage like the Z1 was? Guess only time will tell. Hopefully Sony picked up their god awful quality control this time.

    Wouldn’t sell this to anyone I know without telling them how many defective Z1s I saw within the first year and how many my region has in their repair facility.

    Sony has lost its claim to quality and precision long ago.

  • Kaostheory

    I wish someone would do a complete review and test the noise canceling against stand alone noise canceling ear buds.

  • Samuel Panneton

    Shame on you, Camera is Amazingly great !. The Desing quality kick Samsung in the nut. The screen is Worderfull and crisp. The angle view is very good all you’re picture are taking in the dark by the way. The speaker sound less louder than HTC one Because of the water proof sealed plastic.

    4k is Jaw breaking ! Its fast! Other things review don’t tell is that even if you bring it under shower and heavy water the touch screen stil respond as without water.

    Sony software loaded with feature. Theme are pretty beautiful more than samsung and by the way i had samsung s 2 , s2x, s3 and s4 ;-) i know what i’m talking about. I’m not even a sony fan but they made quality i can certify.

    This piece of art work is beautiful to look touch and play with it!

    Good job Sony !

    • crocop24

      Calm down bro.

  • F Young

    Thanks for the useful review, Daniel.

    I am curious how the Z2 manages to have decent-sounding front-facing speakers despite its dust and water resistance. If Sony can do it, why can’t Samsung?

    It looks like Samsung could learn a few things from Sony about smartphone software too, which is surprising (Sony software is usually awful and has ruined many a fine piece of hardware).

    It looks like the Samsung S5 beats the Z2 mainly with respect to its camera and durability (defect-free components and impact-resistance), but loses out on RAM.

    • skrug

      The Z2 has better image stabilization. check youtube /watch?v=ezvq6DLn3ho

  • Dickson

    S5 COOL

  • Gitarooman

    deleted my post when I got proof that Z2 display crap over S5 and M8? This site is a joke

    • Daniel Bader

      We don’t delete comments unless they contain hateful or harassing content. Your comment had a link in it, which is automatically moderated. Please avoid putting links in your comments in the future.

    • Gitarooman

      the link provide valid proof of what is exactly wrong with all the reviews, not just with words. If Z2 display only deserve a 8 then S5 and M8 surely don’t deserve any more than that no matter what other benefit they have over. And viewing angle was a major factor before and why doesn’t matter any now? Both S5 and M8 has color shifting issue looking in an angle. AMOLED has tons of flaws and hardly even consider a revolutionary tech these days. And it also looks like HTC has lost their crown this round.

    • jellmoo

      I’d like to see this link, as the current winner according to displaymate is the S5, and I have yet to see anything that indicates that the screen on the Z2 will best it.

      Every review I’ve seen says that it is a great screen (and maybe it does deserve higher than the 8 it has here), but nothing I’ve read says it is best in class.

    • Gitarooman

      since I am told that I can not post links here, go to esato> z2 topic, page 72 there is a yt link that shows M8, Z2 and GS5 side by side in many different angle. The color shifting for GS5 and M8 are serious flaws that should not be ignore. M8 is actually pretty similar to my Z1, the Canadian model C6906 which doesn’t have screen lottery, people criticize about the screen being bad. And all the sudden, this is not a issue and both S5 and M8 scoring 9.5 for their display.

    • Benny X

      it’s a Sony smartphone. If you can count on anything, it’s that it will have a crap screen and a crap camera in comparison to most of the competition.

    • Gitarooman

      This reply summarized the whole review, being ignorant. People only score it based on their prefer brand now, not the actual device.

    • jellmoo

      Is it the one by pocketgames with the irritating whistling music? I have to be honest, it is an incredibly non definitive test. The only thing in seems to show are viewing angles. And yup, the Z2 looks to have great viewing angles (especially considering how bad previous Sony devices are in this regard). But there isn’t any real context here.

      I still think that we need a site like displaymate to put the device through some tests, as the bulk of reviews seem to say that it is a great screen, but nothing seems to say it’s better than what’s present on the M8 or S5. I can’t wait to see one live at a Bell store to find out for myself though!

    • Gitarooman

      the amount of color shifting in the video shouldn’t exist in any display that score more than 9 period. Also if we have to go with displaymate for screen test then dxomark rated Z2 the best camera smartphone even over nokia 808 and 1020 must be 100% valid.

    • jellmoo

      The problem is that we don’t know anything about the test. We have no idea what the setup is. What’s the brightness level for each device? What mode is the S5 set to? What occurs in different lighting conditions other than “dark”. What about in direct sunlight? It doesn’t really offer anything more than Daniel’s opinion here.

      I’m not sure what correlation there is between dxomark and displaymate? I’m also not sure why anything needs to be 100% valid. I’d just like to see a site like displaymate or anandtech run some tests on the screen of the Z2 to see how it measures up. Heck, even a site like gsmarena could do it.

      (by the way, considering that dxomark rates devices like the Z1, S4 and 5s as having better camera than the 1020, I’m not particularly inclined to really trust their judgement)

    • Gitarooman

      I don’t think brightness will get rid of any of the flaws showing in the video especially with AMOLED coming for a former S3 and Note 2 owner. There also that weird blue/green ish tints problem the more you tilt the screen that existed since S3 and probably before S3 and looks very much so still exist in S5. Brightness at any level don’t get rid of any of those problems, then you might as well say turn off your screen then every screen in the world has perfect black level. M8 in the video behave basically exactly the same as my Z1, color bleach out at extreme angle. And the other 2 deserve a 9.5, we are not talking about 6 compare to 6.5, getting a 9.5 means its better be damn near perfect. And like I said before, what makes viewing angle a non issue now? Z and Z1 got criticize to hell, at least have some consistency in the same site especially all these devices got reviewed so close to each other. Also dxomark don’t seems to like Camera that do heavy processing of images and they prefer accuracy, thats probably how the other has won. Nokia to me always do some heavy color saturation tweak to make thing pretty before they save the photo. I believe Nokia has or will add RAW for 1020, but its too late since they only test the device once with earlier software.

    • jellmoo

      I honestly don’t think we’re really arguing different points. I would agree that a 9.5 is too high a score for display on *any* device. I just don’t think we’re there yet. That being said, I don’t think that the video we’re talking about proves anything. There are simply too many unanswered variables, with the video taking only 1 approach to it. For my money, we need something way more comprehensive before we can even think about calling the Z2 as having a better display than the competition.

      To be fair though, every review I’ve read has shown the same viewing angle problem with the Z and the Z1. My own experience with those devices has shown the same thing. I have yet to see a review from a major tech/mobile site show any issues with viewing angle on either the M8 or the S5, and my own experience with those devices backs that up. I have yet to have hands on time with the Z2 though, so I can’t say anything there, though the reviews I’ve read has stated that there has been a lot of improvements there.

      That’s why I’d like to see some more technical reviews on the screen of the Z2. I like mobilesyrup reviews for their editorial content, but they aren’t really tech reviews. I think we need some more in depth numbers, rather than an editorial review and an incredibly limited video before we can say which display is the best. If I were a betting man, my money would be on the S5, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    • Gitarooman

      not saying Z2 is definitely better, but the video already shows major flaws of the other 2 which is what question me in the first place. Z and Z1 were criticized of having bad viewing angle from last year, Yet, it was posted over and over again that straight on even Z picture looks better than S4 let alone Z1 on XDA. And this year flagships from HTC and Samsung with viewing angle issue and still getting a 9.5. I own a Z1 now, m8 display looks its like having very much the same problem with color bleaching out looking at an angle. It seems to me as if the person that reviewed these devices just take brand popularity for granted, and score it based on of their rep and popularity without even bother to check. I was shocked when I first saw the video seeing how Z2 turns out and even more shocked when I saw the review score here….

    • Benny X

      doesn’t Sony actually manufacture some of the good LCD screens for other smartphone makers? I’m seriously starting to think Sony makes all the good stuff for other smartphone makers and puts the sub-par parts in their own stuff because they can profit more that way…

    • Gitarooman

      M8 probably use the screen from JDI, which Sony owns parts of it. Samsung new flagship camera phone Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, use Camera sensor from Sony. Supposedly its the same sensor as the Z2, even Samsung knows their new sensor from S5 isn’t good enough.

  • L Joel

    Wish Rogers had it

  • GONINSANE

    Only bad thing about it is that it’s only for Bell

    • Benny X

      that’s not true, there’s more than one bad thing about it, namely the camera still sucks a*s. But that’s Sony for ya. They sell all their good cameras to Apple to put in their iPhones.

  • Benny X

    *sigh* on-screen navigation buttons.. it looks hideous, why do companies keep doing this? there’s more than enough room on that BIG FAT BEZEL at the bottom there for proper navigation buttons.

    • howitzerr

      the bezel drama… i don’t understand it

    • Benny X

      Some things boggle the mind. I don’t understand it either.

  • W. Jurewicz

    Sony Canada seems to accept pre-orders online now. They say their phones will ship 06-03-2014. So they are giving Bell a month to make sales I guess.

    • O’Neil Castro

      Sony is selling the phone since May 8th, same as bell.

    • Stanley Smith

      The Sony Store does not have the phone in yet. Still on pre-order until June.

    • O’Neil Castro

      Well it was on sale in Montreal at the Sony store at Eaton Centre…

    • Stanley Smith

      Maybe they’re selling the Bell version. The unlocked version isnt available yet.

    • O’Neil Castro

      He said unlock, but whatever.

    • W. Jurewicz

      I went to my local Sony dealer and asked around. The manager told me Sony is currently only shipping Bell locked phones to its

      dealerships. None of them got the unlocked version yet as Sony isn’t/wasn’t making them yet.

    • Stanley Smith

      The Sony Store does not have the phone in yet. Still on pre-order until June.

  • Jasdeep Bains

    I had the original z and I loved the design. 7.5 does not give this justice. I prefer it’s design over the m8 and s5

  • howitzerr

    This is a very close contest between it and the HTC One but since it is available unlocked from Sony and not some fishy seller, it might be the only candidate for my next beside the Nexus 5 that is a handful of compromises.

    • O’Neil Castro

      If you don’t mind the camera, the One is much much smoother, I got the Z2 and my girlfriend the M8 and the M8 is way snappier and smoother overall.

  • bembol

    I picked up my Z2 but no Noise Cancelling Earbuds. :(

    Can someone please confirm Bell’s doesn’t include them. Thanks.

    • brian johnson

      Much of Sony Software copied WP UI, from the whats new hubs and the small tiles on the homescreen flipping just like on WP.

  • L Lawliet

    battery score for both Z2 and M8 is the same? you gotta be kidding me. 3200 mAH is not the same as 2600 mAH, is it? at the very least, Z2 should have 9.5 for battery while M8 is right at 9. sounds like the reviewer just put in some numbers there to get an average that he wants (i.e. 8.8 for Z2, 9.0 for S5, and 9.2 for M8; thus, the 0.2 gap between each flagships). what a joke! lol!

  • Wayne Large

    Got a z2 yesterday, been testing, microphone with phone in ‘normal’ position not very good according to the person I was on the phone to.
    Camera doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as good as my old Galaxy S3 by any photo’s I’ve done so far in a side by side comparison.
    Overall, VERY disappointed.

    • W. Jurewicz

      Can you post some of the S3/Z2 pictures you’ve done online and share the link?

  • stuart

    Bought this phone only a couple days ago. Within an hour or so one can figure out most of it. Very intuitive to use. The protection flaps are not really an issue. Drag/drop/discard customization is very easy.
    Bought the basic Z2 case. Clear looks better versus black. Phone actually feels more sturdy with case, less prone to slipping out of hand.
    Camera is very easy on auto. Camera setting are also very accessible, not all of it is of my interest.
    Review regarding size is correct about fitting in pockets, doable but also a bit noticeable in feel. I actually like the ‘boxiness’ of the phone. No copy cat look. There does appear to be a very minute lag between dialing and speaking upon connection, carrier issue (?).
    Phone appears very responsive to touch, much faster than my previous phone, Moto Atrix.
    Over all I find no real faults to criticize about. Small adjustment to adapt to only. To compare pixel numbers and hardware stats is another story. For the non tech user this is a great phone.