Sony Xperia Z2: 4K-shooting flagship sharpens up its display

Android 4.4 KitKat, more RAM, a bigger battery and a faster processor — Sony takes the wraps off its slimmer, lighter Xperia Z2 smartphone and tablet.
Written by Toby Wolpe, Contributor
Sony's Xperia Z2 handset is only slightly slimmer and lighter than its Z1 forerunner but its display should be punchier. Image: CNET

Sony has unveiled updates to its flagship mobile products with the waterproof Xperia Z2 phone and tablet at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

For the Xperia Z2 smartphone, Sony has stuck with the Z1's underlying design, although the new device is slightly slimmer and lighter, and the screen's marginally bigger.

The real changes come in the full HD 5.2-inch display, which offers brighter colours thanks to Live Colour LED technology, clearer sound quality through Sony’s Front Surround, and a 20.7-megapixel camera capable of shooting video in 4K.

The Z2 uses the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system and is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, with 3GB of RAM, a 3,200mAh battery.

Because of the Snapdragon 801 processor, the Z2 should run faster than its predecessor but internal storage remains the same at 16GB.

Sony's Z2 Android KitKat-based, 10.1-inch screen Z2 tablet also runs the 801 and is 0.5mm slimmer than its predecessor at 6.4mm.

Ovum senior analyst Nick Dillon said the Xperia Z2s are modest updates to Sony’s flagship smartphone and tablet devices.

"But their importance in helping to re-establish Sony's brand and design credentials should not be discounted," Dillon said.

"Design refinements, improved screens, and 4K video capture are clearly incremental improvements."

Dillon said the flagship devices embody the One Sony philosophy set out by president and CEO Kazuo Hirai two years ago, combining technology from Sony's TV, audio, camera, and gaming divisions and content from its media business.

CNET: Mobile World Congress coverage

"Hirai has finally managed to make Sony worth more than the sum of its parts — something that evaded his predecessor," Dillon said.

Sony also launched the mid-range Xperia M2 handset, featuring a 4.8-inch qHD screen with a 960x540-pixel display, a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon and an eight-megapixel camera.

The Xperia Z2 smartphone and tablet are due to go on sale in the UK and wider Europe in March, with Sony yet to announce wider availability.

In the UK, Vodafone, EE and Three confirmed they will be offering Sony's Xperia Z2 on their networks.

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