Sony Xperia Z2 release date, news and features
January 2013 saw the arrival of the Xperia Z at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, which was followed in September 2013 by the Xperia Z1 at IFA in Berlin – and now the Sony Xperia Z2 has arrived at MWC 2014 – alongside the Z2 tablet.
Sony is once again bigging up its own technologies in the Z2, just as it did with the Z1. The "best of Sony in a smartphone" tagline was again used in the press conference at MWC.
Compare Sony’s product cycle to the likes of Samsung or Apple – where we see an annual reboot of flagships such as the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5S and, while the cadence is quicker, you can start to see what the company is doing. After all, Sony knows it has some catching up to do in the market.
- Check out our Hands on: Sony Xperia Z2 review
Cut to the chase
What is it? Sony’s next flagship, the follow up to the Xperia Z1
When is it out? 1st April 2014
What will it cost? £545
In the UK the Xperia Z2 is up for pre-order for a whopping £599 SIM free on Sony’s site, while in Australia it’s about AU$899.95 and the in the US you’re looking at around $600.
The Xperia Z2’s global release date is April 2014 and the handset has been announced on UK networks O2, Three, Vodafone and EE as well as by retailers such as Carphone Warehouse.
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqrqC4AKt_4
Xperia Z2 specifications
The Sony Xperia Z2 includes Sony Digital Noise Cancelling – a first in a phone – and as is becoming the norm for Sony, it’s waterproof as well.
The handset is one of the first to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and it boasts four 2.3GHz Krait CPUs in addition to 4G LTE, 3GB of RAM and a high capacity 3,200mAh battery, which in combination with Sony’s Battery STAMINA mode should keep it going for quite some time.
On the storage front there’s 16GB built in along with a microSD card slot which supports cards of up to 64GB.
As you might expect from any worthwhile new flagship phone, it’s also running Android KitKat.
That all makes it a moderate upgrade over the Sony Xperia Z1, which has a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM.
Xperia Z2 camera and audio
The Z2’s key technology sell is the ability to shoot 4K video, so that’s four times the pixels of HD and twice the resolution at – 3,840 x 2,160 pixels at 30fps.
The camera is a 20.7MP unit, with the mobile version of the proven Exmor RS image sensor and Bionz processing engine alongside Sony’s G Lens. Using built in apps, you can also shoot Timeshift video, while there’s also an AR app, too.
The Timeshift video mode lets you shoot in 120 frames per second and select individual scenes to slow playback.
Another new app enables you to defocus the background and adapt a shallow depth of field – you can capture two photos at different focus settings and blend them together.
Backing up the main camera there’s a 2.2MP snapper on the front which can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.
Sadly there’s no optical image stabilization, but the Xperia Z2 does have SteadyShot digital image stabilization, which similarly aims to counter camera shake.
You can also buy an additional STM10 stereo microphone should you need enhanced sound quality for shooting 4K video.
Speaking of sound, Sony’s put the speakers on the front of the handset this time around, aiming to muscle in on the HTC One’s territory with what it’s calling S-Force Front Surround.
Sony’s MDR NC31EM noise cancelling headset comes bundled with the handset and unfortunately you have to use this specific headset if you want to take advantage of the fancy noise cancelling features of the phone.
Xperia Z2 display
The 5.2-inch IPS LCD Triluminos display is Full HD 1080 x 1920 with a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch. The Xperia Z2 uses Sony’s X-Reality technology, to optimize colors, contrast and sharpness while reducing noise.
Sony is also claiming it has the best color reproduction of any smartphone on the market with its Live Color LED tech.
Our full review will put that claim to the test, but it’s certainly an impressive display, particularly in comparison to the Z1, which looks washed out and lacking in detail when put side by side with this.
Xperia Z2 design
At 8.2mm thick and 163g, the Z2 is 0.3mm thinner than the Sony Xperia Z1 and 7g lighter, despite having a larger screen and more powerful innards.
It’s an evolution of the same aluminum design, which Sony calls OmniBalance.
In fact it looks almost identical to the Xperia Z1, with the same metal edging, glass back and large bezels above and below the screen.
Like the Z1 it’s also dust resistant and waterproof to IP55 & IP58 standards, allowing it to be submerged for up to 30 minutes in water 1 meter deep.
Xperia Z2 interface and features
The Xperia Z2’s interface is similar to that of the Z1, though it comes with Android 4.4.2 KitKat so it’s bang up to date.
The handset also has a few new features hidden away in its menus. There’s ‘Smart Backlight Control’ for one, which will keep the screen on while you’re looking at it, just like Samsung does with Smart Stay.
Then there’s the ability to double tap the screen to wake it up, much like LG’s KnockON feature and it’s also possible to answer or reject calls with hand gestures.
The Sony Xperia Z2 has also inherited Glove Mode from the Xperia Z1 Compact, allowing you to operate it while wearing gloves and there’s a Simple Home option, which, well, simplifies the home screen and uses bigger icons, making it ideal for smartphone virgins and visually impaired users.
Read onto the next page for our earlier Sony Xperia Z2 rumors.
Sony Xperia Z2 rumors
Sony loves a flagship smartphone and, if current rumours ring true, the Japanese firm is lining up its third in just over a year in the form of the Sony Xperia Z2.
Sony Xperia Z2 release date and price
There were rumors suggesting the Sony Xperia Z2 would be outed at CES 2014, but instead we were given the Xperia Z1 Compact and a US variant of the Xperia Z1.
April 2014 has also been mooted as a potential Xperia Z2 release date, but this date now appears to have gone cold.
This means all eyes are now on MWC 2014, with perennial leaker @evleaks tipping the codenamed Sony Sirius handset for a show appearance.
As far a pricing goes we are yet to hear anything, but considering the Xperia Z1 launched at the top end of the pricing bracket, you can expect the Sony Xperia Z2 to carry a similar tag.
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Sony Xperia Z2 display
According to Xperia Z2 specs leaked online, the handset is in line for a stunning 5.2-inch display – up from the 5-inch screen on the Xperia Z1 – and, if true, it would mean the Z2 would match the LG G2 in terms of size.
With a rumored 506ppi, 2K screen, the Xperia Z2 will smash its rivals with its 2560 x 1440 resolution, with the G2 mustering 424ppi and the Xperia Z1 rocking 441ppi full HD solutions.
While the display is set to get bigger, the Xperia Z2 may not grow in size with reports suggesting that Sony has managed to reduce the bezel either side of the screen.
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Sony Xperia Z2 power
While a 2K screen would help the Sony Xperia Z2 stand out, when it comes to power things appear to be a little less exciting.
Reports are centering around the same 2.3GHz quad-core processor which you’ll find in the Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact.
That’s not to say the Xperia Z2 will be under-powered – far from it in fact – but we were hoping to see perhaps an octa-core chip inside the next Sony powerhouse. Of course that is still possible, we’ll just have to wait and see.
In terms of RAM inside the Sony Xperia Z2 it seems the handset is inline for a boost here, with 3GB apparently on the cards.
Sony Xperia Z2 more rumours
Sony Xperia Z2 operating system
Initially it looked like the Xperia Z2 might launch with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean after a variety of screenshots made their way onto the XDA Developers forum, but fresher leaks suggest we’re in for a KitKat treat.
- Read our Android 4.4 KitKat review
As well as Android 4.4 KitKat at its heart, a set of screenshots reveal a huge range of new features apparently destined for the Sony Xperia Z2 including; double tap to wake the screen, 4K video recording, a variety of camera modes, smart controls, a choice of homescreen launchers and more.
More recently a video appeared on YouTube claiming to show the Xperia Z2 in action, and revealing Android 4.4 KitKat traits.
There’s also a healthy looking battery life (the phone has 36% left and the battery widget says it’s still good for 1 day 2 hours), updated lock and homescreen designs as well as further mentions of multiple themes and 4K video recording.
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBaC6uAU5Bo
Sony Xperia Z2 camera
Sony always likes to make a bit of a song and dance about the cameras on its phones, and to be fair it’s got a pretty strong track record.
Strangely though, leaked specs for the Sony Xperia Z2 are pointing to the same 20.7MP camera as you get in the Xperia Z1.
This is by no means a bad thing, but with the same camera and processor the Xperia Z2 is beginning to look like a screen-bump update rather than a whole new device.
A good sign for phone photographers though is word that Sony will replace the LED flash with a Xenon offering, which provides a better balance of light for more natural shots.
Leaked screen grabs claiming to be from the Sony Xperia Z2 point towards the phone’s ability to shoot 4K video, timeshifted photos and various creative effects – giving us a veritable buffet of features to choose from.
Further camera features popped up in the leaked video (which you can view above), with options such as Social Live (share you experience live on Facebook), Info-eye (find more information about what’s in the viewfinder) and Background defocus (take pictures with background blur).
Sony Xperia Z2 additional specs
What else have we heard about the Sony Xperia Z2? Well, the battery is said to be getting a boost, up from 3000mAh to 3700mAh, but with more RAM and a larger, higher resolution display you might not actually see any extra life from the juice pack.
We may even have a glimpse of the Xperia Z2 after images claiming to show the handset with a thinner bezel and larger display appeared online. It certainly looks like a Sony smartphone.
Further image leaks suggest the Xperia Z2 will have a seriously slender bezel down either side of its screen, but the exceptionally blurry nature of the shots in question don’t exactly fill us with confidence.
Another image claims to show the Xperia Z2 alongside the Xperia Z1 and Z, once again showing little in the way of aesthetical changes to the handset, with Sony appearing to keep the same style for its next-gen flagship smartphone.
Yet more evidence which seems to back up the various image leaks of the Sony Xperia Z2 is a video which has popped up on YouTube showing the handset in action, including Android 4.4 KitKat and Sony’s new UI.
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPeYgwhFn1M