This is Sony’s latest go at producing a high-spec Android flagship model, with the Xperia Z2 ticking every one of 2014′s must-have tech bullet points. It has a large 5.2-inch 1080p display. It has the hot new Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset inside. It has a massive 3GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. It’s also got lots of glass and a 20.7MP camera and magnetic charging options and more software tweaks than you can imagine.
Here’s what it’s like.
Review phone provided by GiffGaff, supplier of mobiles, contracts, minutes, texts, data, SIM cards and all that sort of thing.
It’s big. While rival monster phones like the Huawei Ascend P7 manage to feel surprisingly small in the hand, the metallic and glassy Z2 is definitely on the large side. It’s quite slim, but the lack of curvature in the boxy chassis and the sharp metallic sides make it feel as if you’re holding quite a lump of electronics. And, of course, that’s because you are.
It’s not disastrously unportable, but there were occasions when we preferred to pocket our substantially more humble Moto G when off out, simply because humping around the Z2 is a little more of a task. You feel it in your pocket. It has a gravitational pull on your trousers.
Sony’s chunked-up the USB cover from the Xperia Z1. It’s now much fatter and easier to remove here on the Z2, making picking it open to charge the phone less of a chore. It’s the little things that make life worth living.
There’s a microSD card slot along the other edge, along with the central power button and a physical camera shutter button, with the latter also letting you insta-launch straight into the camera app from standby.
One Very Nice Thing is that Sony’s the latest company to nick the tap-to-wake option and stick it in the Z2, so you’re able to double-tap on the display to pull it out of standby, rendering the power button nearly obsolete. It worked most of the time, although on quite a few occasions we had to knock it a few extra times to wake the phone. There’s probably a knack to timing it right.
We were also supplied with a Roxfit flip case for the Xperia Z2. It’s ridiculously thin, but does add a little extra size to the already rather large phone. But it’s probably a necessity given the glassy nature of the mobile. If you handle it with one eye on its future resale value, you’ll want it looked after.
And this is the official Sony DK36 magnetic charger. You don’t get a lot of plastic for your £30 investment, but it does lock on with a satisfying click and flips the display into landscape mode. Sadly this doesn’t kick in any sort of custom docking display, despite the fact that Sony’s software automatically recognises headphones being plugged in and offers a customisable list of actions.
And as we moaned about on Twitter ages ago, Sony won’t let you use any old headphones with the Xperia Z2. Which is a shame, as the ones it supplies are the type that require forceful insertion into your earholes. I hate them. They hurt and always fall out. But the sound quality is really good if you can get them rammed near enough to your brain and taped to your head so they don’t fall out.
That’s the main Home screen (left) and the lock screen. A quick launch for the camera sits in the lock screen’s pull-up slot, so there’s no standard access to Google Now from the lock screen. Plus Sony’s bafflingly and rather pointlessly added a link to its “What’s New” app store on the Google Now button when pulled up from the Home screen.
Not a fan of that. The older Sony Select app store is pre-loaded on the Xperia Z2 too, so there are now TWO useless curated rival app stores inside Sony’s take on Android.
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