Sony Xperia Z2 User Review

This post has taken me months to complete. Pictures were ready, but I just couldn’t get myself to write it. Because it’s so long outdated and way overdue, I feel I need to complete it, for you, my readers. I initially set out to write a shorter review post, but looks like it’s (somewhat) another tl:dr (too long; didn’t read) super long-ass post.

Promise my next review post will feature a new format of shorter and simpler blogpost.

 


A quick check on my Instagram, I noticed I purchased (with my own money, OK) this Sony Xperia Z2 in mid June this year. Pretty much within a moth after it officially went on sale in Malaysia.

But as pointed out in a previous post, Sony has (annoyingly) been launching new flagship smartphones every 6 months, plus minus. So, in less than 6 months of owning this device, it is now old  news. No longer the latest smartphone from Sony. It’s now the second latest flagship next to the newest Sony Xperia Z3. I’m still using it today, of course.

Sony Xperia Z2
Sony Xperia Z2

As a refresher, here’s a high level technical specs overview of the Sony Xperia Z2:-

  • 5.2″ Full HD TRILUMINOS™ display Live Colour LED and X-Reality for mobile (1920 X 1080)
  • 2.3  GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801  processor
  • 16 GB internal storage (expandable microSD up to 128 GB) + 3 GB RAM
  • Powered by Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” OS
  • 20.7 megapixel Exmor RS for mobile (4K video capture at 3840 X 2160 pixels/30p); 2.2 megapixel 1080p front facing camera
  • 8.2 mm thin, weighing only 163 grams
  • 3,200 mAH non-removable battery (up to 19 hours of 3G talktime)
  • Dust resistant and Waterproof (IP55 & IP58)
  • Connectivity : nanoSIM for 4G LTE/3g HSPA+, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC (3), DLNA
  • Available in 3 colours : Black, White and Purple

 For more information and specifications of the Sony Xperia Z2, check out the Malaysian product page at www.sony.com.my/product/xperia+z2 or the global website at www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/phones/xperia-z2/

Sony Xperia Z2 - Unboxing
Standard rectangular Sony Xperia Z2 box packaging
Sony Xperia Z2 - Unboxing
Xperia Z2, USB cables, power adapter, standard headphones, docking station & user manuals

Nevertheless, even though it’s no longer a fresh review of the latest smartphone, here’s a short(er) review to see if the Sony Xperia Z2 still holds well being a >6 month old smartphone.

 

Hardware : Design & Build Quality

Sony Xperia Z2 - Front & Back 2
Front & Back of the Xperia Z2
Sony Xperia Z2 - Hardware Overview
Ports and buttons around the Xperia Z2
Sony Xperia Z2 - Flaps & Ports
Waterproof & weatherproof with flaps
Sony Xperia Z2 in hand
Sony Xperia Z2 in hand
Sony Xperia Z2 - under direct sunlight
Still some issue with direct sunlight legibility

As I said before in my previous reviews of Sony Xperia smartphones, I really like the design aesthetics and build quality of the smartphone. It’s build with glass front and back, and feels so superior and premium in my hand, amidst the multiple plastic smartphones flooding the market today. Even Samsung is moving away to better material than their usual go-to plastic phones.

See Also : Sony Xperia Z1 User Review

Just in case, I also slapped a tempered glass screen protector on the front for added protection, and a matte screen protector at the back to reduce the fingerprint smudges. But that’s just a personal preference. The screen is a slightly bigger 5.2″ display, which is definitely the biggest I will getting used to, without it being classified as a phablet.

Personally, this is already pushing it for me in terms of size. It took some getting used to from my previous Nexus 5, but the vivid display from Sony’s amazing technology from their Bravia TV display. Black is really black and colour contrast pops with vibrancy. I’ve also had a lot of comments from friends on the vibrancy of the display screen. It’s jaw droppingly good, I tell ya.

 

Waterproof smartphone should be DEFAULT

Sony Xperia Z2 - Waterproof
Oh, just surfing with my phone IN the pool
Sony Xperia Z2 - Waterproof
Dirty phone? Just wash it!

Since that very first generation of the independent Sony’s flagship Xperia smartphone – Sony Xperia series phones are all waterproof – and in my opinion, other flagship without waterproofing is simply subpar. *ahem* iPhone 6 *ahem* Once you go waterproof, trust me, you’ll never go back! The convenience of taking underwater photos. The simplicity of just washing your phone when it’s dirty. Not a care in the world when you spill drinks on your phone. It”s awesome!

Xperia Z2 is IP55 and IP58 certified, which allows you to submerge the phone in fresh water up to 1 metre, for up to 30 minutes. Way more than sufficient for the average joe.

 

Software Overview

 

Sony Xperia Z2 - Software Update
Software Update not long after I got the phone
Sony Xperia Z2 - Homescreen
Easy to use interface, of Sony skin on top of Android KitKat

See  Also : Sony Xperia Z1 User Review

Thankfully, Sony is very prompt with their updates for their Xperia series smartphones. Yes, there is a Sony skin / theme on top of the Android 4.4 “KitKat” OS, but the user experience is easy enough to get used to. 

The one thing I really dislike though, is the amount of unnecessary apps Sony has pre-installed on the smartphone. From more than a handful of camera apps, to updates for minor feature in the form of an app, Xperia services (movies, featured content) and Sony branded apps, it got really annoying for me. Every time when I had to update the apps on Google Play Store, I also noticed there’s about 5-10 or more Sony apps that were updating alongside.

Reminded me a lot of the time when Samsung had so many bloatware (pre-installed apps that you might not be able to delete) that it got really annoying.

 

Camera and Image Quality

Reminiscing on this last relaxing weekend at Bali. And playing with Pixlr app on my #xperiaz2 #latergram #bali

A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

 

Doing a 360 video in the pool at the Bali villa with the Sony Xperia Z2. #bali #pool #underwater #xperiaz2

A video posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

 

Here’s some sample images taken with the Sony Xperia. Pics are unedited and not resized, so click to view enlarged version. 

[pe2-gallery album=”http://picasaweb.google.com/data/feed/base/user/109532722643475070188/albumid/6083825504470196801?alt=rss&hl=en_US&kind=photo” ]

 

Check out the full album on Google+ HERE

 

The biggest feature indeed. You cannot go wrong with a 20.7 megapixel rear camera, to be honest. And the Sony Xperia Z2 does indeed take stunning pictures. Even in the general “Auto” mode, it will automatically adjust itself to various modes (Macro, Night scene. etc) for you. And video, well, the rear camera is capable of shooting 4K videos at 3840 X 2160 pixels, at 30p. Only try this if you have an external microSD inserted though, 4K videos are huge in size.

Adding on to that, Sony bundled a handful of camera apps – Info-eye, Social Live and Timeshift burst and more – as well as some good third party ones (I like Pixlr Express, personally, for collages) with the ability to download more. 

The front facing camera is a mere 2.2 megapixel shooter. This, unfortunately, takes horrendously noisy and low resolution selfies. Good news, though, is that Sony realises the selfie generation of today, and released Sony Xperia C3 selfie phone with a better 5 megapixel front cameera. 

 

Battery Life

Sony Xperia Z2 - Battery Life
AWESOME day long battery life

Having used and reviewed multiple brands and makes of Android smartphones – from entry level to mid range to high end flagships. With my moderate to high daily usage, I know what to expect of a smartphone battery life.

The Sony Xperia Z2 blows everything out of the water! It is one of the very few smartphones out there today with exceptionally good battery life. It houses a 3,200 mAH battery, which might not seem like a whole lot. But with constant browsing, emails, social media etc on the phone throughout the day of heavy usage, it almost always lasts me a full day! Not a full business / work day, but a full 24 hours day!

With light to moderate usage, I constantly end the day with over 30% – 50% of battery life left. On a light day, I have lasted 2 FULL DAYS of battery life!

Not to mention, Sony includes a Battery STAMINA mode feature, which allows you to toggle and selective turn off apps, GPS, mobile data, notifications, etc to save battery for emergencies.

Sony Xperia Z3 has reportedly taken things further, they’ve improved the battery with a bold claim that it’ll give you 2 full days of battery life. Check out some user tests here and here and here. I can already get that with light usage on my Z2 today. To know that it’s optimised some more with the newer Z3, WOW!

 

Pricing and Availability

Sony Xperia Z2 has been available on sale in Malaysia since May 2014, at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 2,399 when it launched. But at time of writing, the retail price has currently been revised to RM 1,899 as listed on the Sony Malaysia website here, after the availability of the newer Xperia Z3.

See Also : Sony Xperia Z Ultra User Review

If you prefer to get your smartphones bundled with a telco plan, choose from:-

  • Maxis plans with device from RM 1,499 -OR- monthly fee from RM 78 / month HERE
  • Celcom plans with device from RM 988 -OR- monthly fee from RM 88 / month HERE
  • U Mobile plans with device from RM 999 -OR- monthly fee from RM 58 / month HERE

 

Conclusion

Sony Xperia Z2  - WinnieKepala
Me with my Sony Xperia Z2

I’ve been to the Sony stores to play with the newer Z3, and in my initial hands-on impression, this Sony Xperia Z2 I’ve been using is still holding up very well. Very well indeed. It is by no means yesterday’s news!

 

What I Like

  • Awesome battery life of at least 1 full day
  • Clear vivid and vibrant Full HD Triluminous display screen
  • Super high 20.7 megapixel rear camera

What I Dislike

  • Tonnes of bloatware of pre-installed apps and updates and features
  • Direct sunlight viewing still not great
  • 5.2″ smartphone might still be a little big for some

 

I would certainly still recommend the Sony Xperia Z2 for anyone looking to find a good Android smartphone. Although it’s no longer the latest phone in the Sony flagship series, but it’s still a damn good phone. Great news is that the price has dropped to a more manageable RM 1,899 with a RM500 savings from the original released price. This doesn’t mean the phone is outdated at all. It’s now just become a great steal!

If you want a good phone. A good waterproof phone. A good phone with outstanding battery life. Great camera. Go buy this Sony Xperia Z2.

As usual, Ms Winnie with her obsession of phone cases. Even though I already have the front tempered glass and back matte screen protector, I bought a tonne of ultra thin phone cases on eBay. 😛

Bought a bunch of ultrathin phone cases on eBay in different colours. This is not an obsession. #phonecase #xperiaz2 A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

 

For more information, don’t forget to visit the Sony Xperia Z2 product page at www.sony.com.my/product/xperia+z2 and *LIKE* Sony Mobile Malaysia Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/sonymobilemy

 

 

  • Telco Biru User

    beastly battery life and nice pictures!so picturesque