Xperia Z2 review roundup

by XB on 25th May 2014

in Featured Content, Reviews, Videos, Xperia Z2

Cnet_Xperia Z2There is no doubt in our eyes that the Xperia Z2 is one of the best phones that Sony has ever made. The size of the handset won’t suit everyone, but the blend of an elegant design, strong battery life, good camera and a brilliant display should place the handset on most people’s wish lists if they are considering a new Android phone.

This is a view also taken by the most of the tech press, with the handset widely praised – in particular for its display and battery life. The main criticism it faces is what some see as a small upgrade over the Xperia Z1 and a blocky design that will make it difficult to sit in smaller hands. Overall though, most of the reviews conclude that this is one of the best Android phones one can buy today.

Xperia Z2 review roundup

Android Authority: “If you really loved the Xperia Z1 but couldn’t pick one up, and are now in line for an upgrade, the Xperia Z2 is probably the way to go. New users can come straight to the Z2 to remain with the latest or greatest, but you can definitely look to the Xperia Z1 for a cheaper, but slightly less polished experience. In the end, Sony continues to move forward and get it right with their Xperia flagships, and it looks like they’re perfectly happy doing so little by little.”

Android Central: “As with other handsets featuring Sony’s “Omnibalance” design language, the main reasons to pass on the Xperia Z2 might be its size and shape. The blocky, angular design will present problems for those in possession of smaller hands, and even those used to palming a larger smartphone might struggle to contend with the Z2’s 5.2 inches of screen and bezel. Despite these reservations, the Xperia Z2 is the one of the very best Android phones available right now, excelling across the board, but scoring major points in the two areas of smartphone tech still open to improvement — camera and battery.”

Clove: “There are now dual front facing stereo speakers which make a massive difference and put audio quality close to the HTC One. The Z2 produces 82 decibels at full volume, whilst the HTC One offers 79.2 decibels. Whilst the Z2 was the slightly louder of the two in our tests, it was evident that HTC has marginally better audio quality with more realistic tones and a richer dynamic range. Even with the Z2 turned away from me, the sound didn’t feel as directional as it can on many phones, managing to fill the surrounding space very well.”

Cnet: “Sure, it costs a bundle, but the Sony Xperia Z2 is everything you should expect from a top-end phone. Its impressive performance rivals the Samsung Galaxy S5 for smartphone top dog, but the Z2’s slick glass and metal design trumps the S5’s plastic body. If you’re looking for both style and substance from a phone, you’ve come to the right place.”

Cnet_Xperia Z2

Engadget: “I can see what Sony was trying to create with the Z2, and it has arguably succeeded in the areas that matter most. There’ll be people out there who appreciate its gorgeous display, solid battery life and granite-like charm, and these attributes are inextricably linked to the phone’s size. If you think that might be you, go ahead. This is a safe purchase, the best Sony phone that has ever been, and definitely among the top three Android phones currently on the market.”

GSM Arena: “The Sony Xperia Z2 is an easy phone to love and want. And not necessarily by die-hard Sony fans either. Great looks matched by performance, the premium Xperia line has been earning the company both profit – and a loyal following. Sony had no time – or care – for gimmicks, like HTC’s dual camera and Zoe, or Samsung’s new sensors. That’s the impression the Xperia Z2 makes. It’s sexy and it knows it. Iconic design and standard-setting build quality in a package powered by the latest chipset.”

GSM Arena_Xperia Z2

Forbes: “In a similar price range to the Galaxy S5, branding will have a big impact on sales, and Samsung clearly has the edge there. In terms of functionality I did not find the Xperia Z2 to be lacking in any respect and I don’t think anyone would be disappointed if this was the leading Android handset they had to use over the next year or so. You’re not buying the Z2 for style, you are buying it for functionality. And it is brimming with functionality and promise.”

Gizmodo UK: “If you’ve seen last year’s Xperia Z1, you’ve seen the Z2. It’s practically identical from a distance of more than 12 inches, with only a few minor external alterations to usher in the 2014 flagship launch season. The small physical changes are welcome, though. The waterproof stopper that covers the USB socket is now much larger than it was on the Z1, so it’s easier to get on and off. Less fiddly. Empowering. And the physical camera shutter button’s a bit bigger too, with this and the volume up/down toggle now finished in a silver metallic material so they look a bit nicer. Overall it’s quite stylish. There’s no one killer design feature to make you love it and people think you’re a better person because of it, but it is thin, water resistant, fairly light and the metallic chassis feels cool and solid in the hand.”

Gizmodo_Xperia Z2

Mobile Syrup: “It’s easily Sony’s best smartphone to date, and the combination of an excellent screen, decent speakers, unobtrusive software, good app design and premium content makes it a compelling option, despite its carrier exclusivity. The sad part is that it will likely go relatively unnoticed next to the Galaxy S5.”

Mobile Geeks: “If there is one really significant difference between the Xperia Z1 and the Z2, it would have to be the display of the device. While the Z and Z1 where lauded for their attractive Full HD Triluminous screens, we always kind of felt that the anti-shatter finish gave the displays a slightly plastic feel. The display is a touch larger, sporting a 5.2 inch IPS LED display, compared to 5 inches on its predecessors. This is the first time we have seen an IPS display on an Xperia device, and we have to say the results are stunning; the viewing angles are better, the colors look vibrant and certainly brighter.”

Phone Arena: “This is yet another 20.7 MP G Lens camera by Sony. We hoped to see some visible enhancements made to the image quality, but we can’t really say that there’s such a great difference from the performance achieved by the Z1. This isn’t really a bad thing, as it’s already among the best smartphone cameras with its own unique virtues, but naturally, that’s not to say that there isn’t room for improvement. At the end of the day, the Xperia Z2 is just what we expected it to be – an amazing all-round performer that can deliver great experiences in each and every category – from screen, to camera, and beyond. The Xperia Z2 isn’t really perfect in any of the components that we’ve gone through, but it’s pretty damn good. It’s one of the very best Android smartphones at the moment, and there are real reasons why you should prefer it next to most of its competitors.”

Pocket-Lint: “The Sony Xperia Z2 has the same design downfall that the Z1 did: this is a big device and it’s less comfortable to hold than its rivals. That’s something we feel detracts from the day-to-day experience because a smaller body design could have housed the same 5.2-inch screen in a more user friendly way. Overall the Sony Xperia Z2 is a definite step forward for the series. It might be an incremental upgrade rather than a device overhaul, but it delivers in the areas that matter, making for a package that’s highly desirable and ultra powerful.”

Pocket-Lint_Xperia Z2

Pocketnow: “It may only be a small step forward in design over the Z1, its software is definitely in need of some trimming, and if you’re in the US you might want to wait until summer to see if a national carrier can help bring down that price tag with a contract subsidy. But for a phone with these specs to be crammed into a water-resistant casing this attractive, with a camera and personal-media suite this capable … well, as the saying goes: you get what you pay for. And if you ask us, the Xperia Z2 is worth every penny.”

Recombu: “Sony’s Xperia Z2 smartphone isn’t a massive leap over the Xperia Z1, unsurprising given the short length of time between them, but it does iron out the creases. The 5.2-inch screen is only a mite larger, but it’s also beautifully vibrant, while the extra camera features are well worth having. Put it simply, the Sony Xperia Z2 is a bloody gorgeous blend of tech and sexy design that combines to form our favourite smartphone of 2014 so far.” “Of the 2014 flagships we’ve seen so far, the Xperia Z2 is the connoisseur’s choice. This is a true converged gadget that’s capable of taking brilliant photos and playing videos at cinephile quality, but also one where practicality has taken a backseat. It’s ideal for the person for whom quality is the only measure that counts.”

Stuff_Xperia Z2

TechCrunch: “Photos and videos captured by the Z2 look fantastic, especially on the screen of the Z2 itself, which is designed to improve the look of visual media. It’s a strong consider for the single best Android camera currently available in a smartphone, and Sony’s strong credentials as an imaging company in its own right really shine here. Sony tries to explain this with a lot of buzzwords in its marketing material, but the results speak for themselves, and that’s all the average user cares about.”

TechCrunch_Xperia Z2

TechRadar: “The Xperia Z2 is an excellent smartphone with all the components you’d expect from a flagship device, providing a pleasing user experience. The main issue I have with the Sony Xperia Z2 is there’s nothing to really get excited about. It’s a great all rounder, but there’s no curve ball to keep things interesting. When I’ve forked out top dollar for the next generation of smartphone I want to be able to stride into the pub and blow my mates away with some amazing features. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has its amazing screen, heart monitor and fingerprint scanner while the HTC One M8 has a superb design and the Duo Camera setup. Yet the Xperia Z2 has no headlining feature which makes it stand out.”

Trusted Reviews: “The Xperia Z2’s issue is that it doesn’t have any key area where it beats the competition. Its impressive-sounding camera isn’t really any better than the S5’s, and the Samsung phone produces better-looking photos in some conditions. And while its screen offers great contrast, the slightly overenthusiastic colours won’t please the more discerning among you. This is also the most problematic phone design-wise. It feels the most awkward out of the top three Androids of early 2014, and its overheating issues are worrying.”

The Verge: “Sony’s biggest upgrade is also the strongest reason not to buy its new phone. The Japanese company’s new IPS screen rectifies a longstanding weaknesses in display quality, but then replaces it with absolutely terrible outdoor performance. Design improvements have been only incremental, such as the reduced bezel, and software advances are few and far between. If you own an Xperia Z1 or even the earlier Xperia Z, you’ll be fine sticking with what you have rather than jumping to the latest model. The Xperia Z2 is far from a failure, but Sony’s self-appointed mission to stand out and be substantively different hasn’t been accomplished.”

Verge_Xperia Z2

  • sid3091

    The verge as usual with their anti sony bile.

  • Abdul Ghani

    z2 is a perfect phone and got a performance update too but only one flaw like all z series phone camera in low light if that is fixed it should be 1010

  • Kim Salinas

    this is nice diff. reviews you can just only take the average of the all bad and good review so you could easily decide. make a tablet z2 review roundup also.

  • Mateusz R Traczyk

    I’m not surprised to have read such nonsense from The Verge. Terrible outdoor performance? The phone doesn’t stand out? No reason to upgrade from a Z or Z1? What are these guys smoking? This phone is killing everything around it and is worthy of an upgrade for dozens of reasons. Mine is hopefully coming in two days from now and I can’t wait, my old Z is crapping out hard on me.

  • 3rdflyleaf

    The only thing I don’t like about Z2 is the size. Wish they release a 4.5 -4.7″ version, just like what they did with Z series ; Xperia ZR.

  • manutd

    they smoke fake weed! :)

  • Chew Loh Seng

    Michael Fisher (from Pocketnow) scores the Xperia Z2 9.2, slightly higher than HTC One M8’s 9.1 and way ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S5’s 8.6.
    I don’t get why The Verge keeps on deprioritizing the Xperia line, because Sony Mobile doesn’t sponsor for their services, like Sameshit Electronics?

  • Chew Loh Seng

    If they were to produce ZR 2, using Z2 specs, I don’t think it’ll sell as well as Z2 Compact. 4.6″ vs 5.2″ is really smaller by a bit only.

  • anon

    so true! i find their reviews always against sony xperia lines but more forgiving when it comes to apple and, to some extent, samsung. makes me think they’re really more of a paid, unreliable quack than an honest, independent critic.

  • nvier

    The Verge are rubbish reviewers, always biased bs.

  • oih

    Samsung might have secretly bought The Verge…

  • can anyone point me towards the most reliable source of reviews ,not just sony bias, i’m currently following android authority but i think they are a bit biased towards shamesung

  • Gilbert Chew

    I owned the Xperia Z2 recently. I also got the galaxy note 3. Compared both phones. I can say z2 is stunning. Battery, camera, and even screen.. far away better than note 3. Standby for 8 hours z2 battery dropped only 3%, note 3 11%.
    Better to hold in hand too. No such overheating issue.

  • Jimy

    TrustedReview’s review was bullshit. Just because Sony stuck to the basics and didn’t put any half-assed ‘features’ doesn’t mean that it doesn’t stand out. Premium build, best battery life out of the ‘top 3’, great camera, waterproofing, noise cancelling tech, this phone stands out just fine.

    And don’t get me started on the pathetic excuse of a review that was The Verge’s.

  • Jamshad Perumpilavu

    Fuck You VERGE.First Learn something about smartphones…Xperia z2 have world’s best Display,better than note z,z1 display nowwhere near z2.excellent stereo speaker,noise cancellation,4k video recording,faster processor and 3gb ram.20mp camera and water and dust resistance.what would we except from a flagship?you mean air view,smart scroll and smart pause is best,then again i could say that fuck you Verge…

  • bens

    they are butthurt i guess, btw I don’t trust any of these reviews. Gsmarena wrote something like super-slim bezels for s5. Un effing believable. And one handed use? Are they kidding me, it’s over 5 inch there’s no way you can use it with only one hand all the time.

  • hexa

    they seem to forget:
    1. sexy design with premium materials
    2. one more GB of ram
    3. Oversampled pics
    4. Docking availability

  • ryq24

    Totally agree with techradar’s review. Z2 is a great looking phone but there is really nothing that really make it standout. It has waterproof but S5 have it also and more. Sony should improve their software.

  • ryq24

    Flagship phones nowadays except for apple have 5″ or bigger screen. But I bet the next wave of so-called mini version of flagship phones will have 4.7″ screen since that is what the rumored screen size for iPhone 6 will be.

  • Arthur Simon

    They hate anything but Apple lol xD

  • chris

    Another Reviews at here (have you ever seen them?

  • Micheal

    Another Reviews at here (have you ever seen them? ?

  • omar

    Another Reviews at here (have you ever seen them? ??

  • william

    Another Xperia Z2 Reviews at here (have you ever seen them?

  • Bart

    i want crash test!

  • Mirrorpurple

    The verge is just butthurt of what Sony has achieved this past year…

    No surprises at its review tbh

  • Help

    Hi, ?f you Have a Xperia Z, ZL or ZR and there is no any update in pc companion, you can use that guide is : how can install android 4.4 kitkat to your xperia z-zl-zr

  • Santhusa, Ravihara Wijethunga

    I have friends with almost all the smart phones in the world! S5, Note 3, HTC 1, Z1 and Z, i5s and i5, even Oppo Phones!
    But I’m the one and only Proud Z2 owner! Compared to all other devices, Z2 is best in all! Display, camera, battery, and design!
    I don’t know from where this so called Verge is talking with!!

  • David Hvatov

    For me, size of Z2 is perfect! I own myself this phone btw.

  • micke

    After last update it’s camera is not working.always shut down for cooling. Take a couple of pictures with effect and it’s closing to cool down

  • kaostheory

    Wish someone would compare the noise cancelling of the Z2 to a stand alone set of noise cancelling ear buds. Most reviews don’t even mention the feature.

  • gfere96

    Have you seen their GS5 review? They HATED that phone.

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    They can’t even make a video review for it, bullshit that only the US has a video team but Vladimir doesn’t. I’d prefer having one or two guys reviewing these devices that way it’s more consistent. Not having a bunch of different guys telling me about their one device, if that was the case I’d just ask people on the street about their phones.

    I mean AndroidAuthoirty almost always has Josh review all of their flagships and mid range devices.

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    I find it bullshit that the Verge and many other sites have high marks to the M8 purely on design. While it is one of the best, it is not enough to overlook the poor gimmicky camera.

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    Here’s all the places I go to:
    Erica Griffin

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    What they said about poor handling with thick bezels were true, everything else seems to be something only they experienced. No one else mentioned poor outdoor performance, or average camera. Plus they didn’t mention the noise cancelling ear buds.

  • nfs2010

    Verge is US based and they always get Vlad (located in the UK) to review Xperia phones as Sony phones are not well known in the US. So it’s a lose lose situation for both Vlad and Sony and we know what happens afterwards. Vlad the sucker always finds a way to bash Xperias

    # On z2, he said the display is not visible under the Sun. Big Bullsh*t – As the review reads .. “Even with brightness maxed out…” apparently he was trying to use manual brightness, but max brightness kicks in while it’s in auto mode, Moron! Can’t believe verge hired a moron like vlad. And from the combined review of z2 and z2 tablet, you can tell verge couldn’t care less about Xperias.

    Dear XB, please discard verge in your future roundups. That site doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in your roundups.


  • smk123

    I have the phone and love it, but c’mon the outdoor performance is shocking… On a sunny day on full brightness it’s still a struggle

  • L

    Waiting for the Z3….

  • Jumbo

    The Verge is pretty anti-Sony… No wonder they call themselves the verge, they’re on the verge of destruction!

  • Philip Mbonu


  • masi0

    reading some of those reviews shows these guys are iDevice believers with no dispassionate approach.

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    I like the screen size, even though I can’t really use it one-handed. However smaller bezels could help with that a little.

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    Should get that tattooed

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    Sorry, to be honest thick bezels are a negative. I’m sure something Sony will address with the Z3.

  • Fuad Jalil

    Most of these morons (the verge, gsmarena) probably get paid by Apple and Samsung respectively. They should call themself Galaxy S Madness Arena. If someone farts on an S5, gsmarena will pick it up and post it like its a big deal. As for the verge, they are Apple bitches….

  • Faisal Armand

    My own subjective review:

    Xperia Z2:

    Design: 100
    Specs: 100
    User Friendliness: 93
    Processing Performance: 100
    Battery Life: 97
    Image Quality: 96
    Audio & Multimedia Quality: 100
    Screen Quality: 98
    Value for Money: 70

    Overall: 95

    Galaxy S5:

    Design: 74
    Specs: 100
    User Friendliness: 96
    Processing Performance: 100
    Battery Life: 85
    Image Quality: 94
    Audio & Multimedia Quality: 93
    Screen Quality: 100
    Value for Money: 71

    Overall: 91

    HTC One M8:

    Design: 96
    Specs: 100
    User Friendliness: 93
    Processing Performance: 100
    Battery Life: 85
    Image Quality: 69
    Audio & Multimedia Quality: 100
    Screen Quality: 97
    Value for Money: 67

    Overall: 90

    iphone 5s:

    Design: 95
    Specs: 78
    User Friendliness: 77
    Processing Performance: 100
    Battery Life: 75
    Image Quality: 83
    Audio & Multimedia Quality: 95
    Screen Quality: 82
    Value for Money: 40

    Overall: 81

    What do you guys think? Keep in mind that i’m subjective

  • Chew Loh Seng

    You can, but it’s pretty hard..

  • Chew Loh Seng

    The Verge supports both Apple and Samsung. Their application actually wrote “Presented by Samsung Galaxy”…

  • Fuad Jalil

    I see, the last time I visited their site, they seemed to be all about crapple. I guess they quit paying them as much as they used to.
    Thanks for letting me know they still suck….

  • Bob

    I completely agree!! I don’t understand why people love the One’s design so much, imo the Z2 looks far better than the One M8. I liked the M7 design, but the M8 is a bit too rounded and thick. I don’t really like the brushed metal effect either, and the slightly asymmetrical speakers and htc logo on the front completely ruin the balance. Overall the phone looks nowhere near as sleek and stylish as the Z2.

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    To be honest I like the M8 design, and personally the handling is just great. Z2 is the best looking glass and aluminum, while the M8 is the best looking aluminum. Is it enough to make up for the poor camera, definitely not. All I see with dual camera sensors is twice the opportunity to break your camera lens. I agree on the having the top two bezels being uneven.
    The handling really does beat the Z2. However with that said, if Sony does choose the aluminum route they can no doubt beat the M8 in design. M8 vs Z2 I design? All Sony has to do is shrink bezels and show us how well the OmniBalance and aluminum can really be.

  • Guest

    S5 is NOT water PROOF it is water RESISTANT. There is a difference

  • bazzidazzle

    I own the Xperia Z2 and absolutely love the phone but i do have a very big disappointment with it.

    I went to a Metal Concert yesterday and tried to do some normal full HD and 4K video recording, now both video recordings came out well but on 4K i could not record for more then a couple of minutes as the sensor would over heat and stop recording which was very frustrating but also the audio quality was horrible, it was completely distorted and you could not understand anything that was being played where as a mate had the Nokia Lumia 925 and the sound quality was absolutely amazing, so i’m extremely disappointed in how badly the Z2 performs in terms of not being able to record 4K video for longer then a couple minutes at a time and really bad audio recording.

  • Chris

    Pocketnow is by far the best and fairest reviewer out there. I love them, Michael Fisher especially is great.

  • Kevin

    The Galaxy S5 also can only record 4K for a few minutes, it’s just a hardware limitation right now. The phone gets too heated. The audio bug can probably be fixed though.

  • Ethan ‘blaze’ Parker

    I use my Z2 with one hand.

  • Yousuf Chishty

    Z2 is very very Good and beautiful device with all specs.
    I m at NAINITAL(UTTRAKHAND) with my family and taken sharp and clear pics from Z2.
    I m very happy with it.

  • xperiaDROID

    Android Authority and Pocketnow make the best reviews, PhoneArena is not bad. The Verge? They should change it to The Virgins.

  • xperiaDROID

    Yes, you can, but you will need some time to get used to it.

  • xperiaDROID

    I hate US based reviews, even if they’re from the US, they should not forget people outside US. Just look at Android Authority, PhoneArena, Pocketnow etc. they’re growing fast because they also include international based reviews not just US, whereas The Virgins, Phonedog are just like poop.

  • RealityCheck2013

    I never trust US & UK sites when they review SONY products because they seem to dislike SONY :-/ And this all started when Microsoft entered the Console gaming World & they had(GOD knows why) the whole internet hate anything SONY(& mainly PlayStation) + The iPhone can come out every year the same but the internet sites never moan about that?! Hmm i wonder(Apple = USA) :D why.

  • Jonny

    The verge can suck my dick

  • Chew Loh Seng

    That got me laughing. XD

  • Chew Loh Seng

    Yes Michael Fisher is one of the more popular member in Pocketnow, me included!

  • bens

    I just find these complaints a little silly that’s all. I mean if you can’t use it one handed it’s probably because that screen size is big for you. And the phone has a lanyard hole, when you use it you wouldn’t have to worry too much about dropping it, you can do all kinds of hand gymnastics. Maybe “can” was not the right word, I am not saying it’s not possible but expecting a Z1C kind of ease with it is plain silly.

  • Rodney

    I don’t give a s… about Z2 because I won’t be buying it anyway, but there’s something that strikes me about Verge’s review:

    terrible outdoor performance” – curiously this wasn’t even mentioned about S5 which has equally bad performance in this area.

    “Design improvements have been only
    incremental” – so how is it a good thing with Samsung ? The only thing that changed is the back panel and they say “it’s a good thing” because the design is good.

    “software advances are few
    and far between.” – really ? I’ve seen how it works. Blazing fast and not packed with bloatware. They praise S5’s software but frankly speaking it’s so packed with useless features it barely works.

    “If you own an Xperia Z1 or even the earlier Xperia Z, you’ll be fine sticking with what you have rather than jumping to the latest model.” – and yet they recommend upgrading to S5 even though the hear-rate monitor is probably the only difference between S4.

    Honestly, Verge is such a bunch of pathetic hypocrites…

  • Lol

    Under 1kg has a good review it has both English and Korean reviewers and they scored z2 higher over s5.

  • roeshak

    The z2’s a very large device and that’s a valid criticism. It’s BIG!!! There’s just no escaping that. This is where Sony needs to improve as well as improving on the focusing and speed of its camera. The z2’s camera has so much potential but results are very inconsistent because of the doggy focusing in particular. When it focuses properly you get amazing photos but all to often you end up with blurry shots because of this problem.
    If they can improve on these areas for the z3, then that would certainly and by far and away be the best smartphone of all time. The z2 is overall the best smartphone on the market right now but it doesn’t take that crown convincingly when it could have done so.
    Sony needs to take its time and work on its successor. No point releasing the z3 in September half baked like the z1 was. They should take their time, slim down the bezels and work on the camera software. If they manage this, then the z3 will be one ultimate device.
    Having said all that, the z2’s still one excellent effort. One though that still needs refinement it has to be said.

  • Sekai

    But really, I’m amazed their top user rating list is populated by Xperia, especially the top 4.

  • P9

    I have get used to using my Z with one hand already.. for now 5′ is just acceptable big, not too big at all. and surely, my video & photo is more interesting than see in an iphone all the way~

  • Cristiano de Oliveira

    So beautiful. * – *

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