Hands on with the Sony Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet

EyeOnMobility had the chance yesterday to spend a bit of time with the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet ahead of their launch in the coming weeks. Announced at Mobile World Congress, the two devices are coming to Canada later this spring.

Presenting the Sony Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z2


  • Processor: 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AB)
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.4
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE/HSPA+/GPRS/EDGE
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, NFC
  • Display: 5.2-inch Full HD (1080×1920) TRILUMINOS
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Internal storage: 16GB
  • External storage: MicroSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 20.7MP with Sony Exmor RS sensor with 4K video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2.2MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Dimensions: 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2
  • Weight: 158 grams
  • Colours: White, Black, Purple
  • Other: Dust and waterproof (IP55 and IP58), FM Radio with RDS

Coming a rather short amount of time after the launch of the Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z2 is clearly an evolution rather than a revolution. It builds on the strengths of the Z1 while addressing its shortcomings, a fact even acknowledged by Sony Mobile. The Xperia Z2 is “all about the details, the Sony details.” Improvements come in two key areas: The camera and the display.

Sony Xperia Z2 lineup

While the Sony Xperia Z2 sports the same 20.7MP with 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor and G-Lens (f/2.0 aperture and 27mm wide angle) camera as the Xperia Z1, Sony has made significant improvements to the software and accompanying apps. A key addition is a 4K video recording mode. While 4K devices are still not prevalant, Sony sees the move as one that future-proofs the Xperia Z2 as consumers shift to the higher resolution for their next televisions and other devices.

The camera apps feature both new and improved apps. It all makes for a blend of some useful ones as well as others whose novelty factor will quickly fade.

The display has also been enhanced. While still offering a Full HD (1080×1920) resolution, it is slightly larger at 5.2 inches. Despite the extra 0.2 inches, the Xperia Z2 is not much larger than its predecessor. The key improvement is the addition of an IPS  (in-plane switching) panel that significantly improves the viewing angles. Sony has also removed the screen film that came on older devices. This is definitely one area where the improvement over the Z1 is immediately noticeable.

Sony has also improved the sound by offering stereo speakers (one at the top and the other at the bottom). The Xperia Z2 also has built-in digital noise cancellation. Using compatible headphones will mean that you won’t need separate and usually more expensive noise-cancelling headphones.

With hardware upgrades to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 and 3GB of RAM, performance is unlikely to suffer much when a large number of apps are running. It certainly felt fluid and snappy during our short test but it should be pointed out that the Xperia Z1 was no slouch in this department either.

The Xperia Z2 also looks remarkably like the Z1. Despite the larger display, it is almost the same size thanks in part to narrower bezels. While I am not a fan of devices with glass backs (due to the Nexus 4 and its fragile glass back), the Xperia Z2 feels solid and comfortable in the hand (but I did not drop it to see how it would fare either).

For a limited time, Sony is also thrown in some bonus material with each purchase. It includes six free movies, a free 30 day Music Unlimited subscription and the new Michael Jackson album.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet


  • Processor: 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Cellular connectivity: Optional LTE/HSPA+/GPRS/EDGE
  • Other connectivity: GLONASS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, NFC
  • Display: 10.1-inch Full HD (1080×1920) TRILUMINOS LCD
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Internal storage: 16GB
  • External storage: MicroSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8.1MP with Exmor RS for mobile image sensor
  • Front-facing camera: 2.2MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB (USB 2.0)
  • Dimensions: 172 × 266 × 6.4 millimeters
  • Weight: 426grams (Wi-Fi model) / 439 grams (LTE/3G model)
  • Battery: 6,000mAh
  • Colours: Black, White
  • Other: Dust-resistant and waterproof (IP55 and IP58), FM Radio with RDS

With the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, Sony has effectively converted its flagship smartphone into a tablet. The Xperia Z2 is striking in how thin and light it is. It’s thinner than lighter than the iPad Air, itself a thin tablet.

Sony Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet

A few specifications have also changed. Key among them are the camera which is an 8MP shooter without 4K video capture.

Unlike the Xperia Z2, the tablet does not have a glass back but instead a plastic one. The back on the unit I played with flexed a bit at the center but the units available were pre-production models. It will be something we’ll keep an eye out for when we review the tablet later.

Sony flagship devices are now waterproof and the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is no exeption. This may not in itself sway the average buyer but it is nonetheless a welcome feature as we increasingly take our devices everywhere with us.


Both the Sony Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet show a great deal of promise and should help Sony continue to solidify its reputation in the smartphone and tablet markets.

At first glance, the Sony Xperia Z2 stands up well against other current flagship devices such as the HTC One (M8) and the Samsung Galaxy S5. It is unfortunate that it will only be available through one Canadian carrier as potential buyers may not be inclined to switch carriers simply to get their hands on it.

Likewise, the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet also promises to be a solid entry in the 10.1-inch tablet market. Its thinness and lightness will likely earn it a lot of points with those always on the go.

We look forward to reviewing both devices to see how well they stand up after a positive first impression.


Bell Mobility will be the exclusive carrier for the the Sony Xperia Z2 in Canada. Fortunately, we learned that Sony will begin to sell unlocked versions of the Xperia Z2 through its online store and retail stores a month after the Bell launch. All three colours will be available.

Sony Mobile Canada also confirmed the the mid-range Sony Xperia M2 is coming to Canada. There are no availability or pricing details yet.