Hands-on: Sony Xperia Z2 [4K VIDEO]



After numerous leaks and countless rumors over the past few weeks, we were more than excited to get our hands on the now official Sony Xperia Z2. Announced during Sony’s Mobile World Congress 2014 press event, the phone features just about every (practical) high-end spec you can throw on a phone these days — and we like that.

We covered many of the device’s specs in the announcement post, but as a quick refresher, the Z2 features a 5.2-inch Triluminos 1080p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 20.7MP camera, micro SD card slot, Android 4.4.2 KitKat and to top it all off — the dang thing is waterproof. It’s not too big of an improvement than its predecessor, but given this phone is releasing barely 5 months after the original Z1, there’s still enough here to please die-hard spec junkies.

Sony Xperia Z – Camera and 4K video


Of course a phone is defined by much more than raw specs, the reason why Sony is also relying so heavily on their software customizations to wow prospective buyers. A wise man once said, one man’s bloat is another man’s treasure (or something close to that) and for the Xperia Z2, Sony is pulling out all the stops. In our hands-on, we decided to put the the Z2’s new camera — including 4K video capabilities — to the test.

With 4K video, Sony claims it will “future proof memories” for its users. Clever wording given the Z2 can’t actually display 4K videos in their full resolution (of course Sony recommends outputting to one of their expensive new 4K televisions). To see the Xperia’s 4K video in action, we’ve embedded the raw file taken from the phone below.

We were pleased with the 4K video’s output for the most part, but it was the performance of the Sony Xperia Z2’s camera that really impressed us. Focusing was smooth and quick, delivering an aut0focus experience on par with Sony’s mirrorless cameras. This is unheard of when dealing with smartphones that constantly hunt around for focus whenever shaken. Speaking of shaking, the device’s image stabilization helped a ton while filming, keeping movement surprisingly smooth.

Sony Xperia Z2 – build quality

Where many have dogged HTC or Samsung for keeping their phone designs largely similar the past few generations, Sony’s flagship line — even when placed side-by-side — are largely indistinguishable from one another. The premium quality of the Sony Xperia flagships is well known on Android circles, and the Z2 doesn’t stray from this tradition with its aluminum frame and glass covered face and back plates. A glowing multicolor LED bar could also be seen fading in and out, tucked away neatly inside the device Z2’s earpiece.

Sony Xperia Z2 – UI


Although the Xperia Z2 runs the lightest version of Android yet (Android 4.4.2. KitKat) powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor,  we were surprised to find the UI wasn’t always as snappy and responsive as we’d expect. We know that the device on the showroom floor is still preliminary, but the UI was about as sluggish as the that 12-minute walkthrough leaked last week.

Of course, we’ll reserve our final judgement until we get our hands on the actual retail version of the device. So far, it looks like Sony has entered into the smartphone wars of 2014 with their guns blazing. Stay tuned to Phandroid for additional Mobile World Congress coverage!

android at mwc

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Sony officially unveils Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet

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  1. 4k looks good on my 4k monitor

    1. You dropped $3k for a 4k monitor?

      1. I was close to doing it but Imma just wait til I get my new job first, I can’t make dumb financial decisions

      2. no he got a monitor and slapped a “4K” sticker on it..so technically… a 4k monitor.

      3. nope, I got the Seiki model, which is only about $600! Works great as a monitor, I wouldn’t spend $3k or more for it.

  2. dem bezels tho….and no edge to edge display…disappointing.

  3. I can’t believe HTC won’t be at this damn event

  4. they have 4k tvs for as low as $400, just check amazon @DavidVarghese:disqus @ddroid45:disqus

    1. I’ve seen them, but look at the fine print. Not full 4k, and I’m sure the quality is not there.

  5. Whoopee, touchwiz is no longer the most unoptimized UI out there :p

    1. obviously the kitkat build is not ready yet I wish Sony would have waited to show the phone but it is what it is. 4.3 is smooth as silk on the Z1.

    2. Say what?

    3. I have a Sony Xperia Z Ultra and, even though I use CM because I’m a paranoid tinfoil hat lunatic, the stock firmware is CONSIDERABLY faster than Cyanogenmod. True story. This is just some beta software; Sony will polish the hell out of it.

      1. I have the white xperia z ultra..BEAUTIFUL phone and fastest I’ve ever had.

  6. I can’t wait for this phone. Sony phones have never wowed me until the last year or so. This will definitely be in my list of new phones to look out for. And my contract ends very soon.

    1. where are people buying these phones? direct from the sony store at full price? resale market is non existant locally, and i wouldn’t want to buy off of ebay used to save $50 off a new one. this is the major thing keeping me from sony, otherwise i would love to have the waterproof capability and that camera. unfortunately i’m stuck with iphone 5s for good waterproof case and a fantastic camera

      1. T-mobile has the z and the z1s in the sates

    2. Sony has some sexy hardware. I like this. When it comes to real sophisticated hardware in the Android world, Sony’s Xperia series has pretty much been the iPhone equivalent. Sleek and sophisticated. Very premium.

  7. I’d like to see the file size of the demo… Heard size is huge at 4k

  8. I can’t wAit for the google play edition.

  9. Release a GPE around June and I’ll probably go with it.

  10. Any word on what carriers will be getting this? Particularly, Is Verizon going to get it this time?

    1. Verizon SUCKS at getting new phones. I have no doubt it will be mainly GSM and a very RARE chance on sprint.

  11. Damn good looking phone..great specs and build quality. The tablet too. I only have 2 concerns.
    1) Sonys track record of upgrading android.
    2) Not many westerners have sony smartphones and thus not as much english custom rom development to root/unlock/and put a newer version on yourself.

  12. I’ve been all about Nexus since the Nexus One but this is a beautiful line from Sony. I’m almost tempted to get the Z2 Tablet. It would be great to see a GPE edition for sure!

  13. So far I like Z2 the best out of the 3, G Pro 2, Z2 and S5.

  14. Glass back? No thank you.

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