24
Feb
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I've long had no issue admitting my inability to get excited about Sony's smartphone products. Often, they're too late to market here in the US, have specifications that while competitive are rarely groundbreaking, and really do very little on the software feature front. When I saw the Xperia Z1 at IFA last year, I just wasn't all that impressed - Sony's flagship still suffered from ridiculous screen viewing angle issues, and the UI felt almost no different from what Sony shipped with Ice Cream Sandwich.

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The Z2 addresses some of the Z1's weak points, but maintains its strengths - this could finally be the winning recipe Sony needs to compete with the Android smartphone big boys and get some deserved credit.

First off, the washed-out screen viewing angle issues are no more. They are simple not present - Sony has completely eliminated the problem. While there is brightness fade (exaggerated by Sony's CRAZY BRIGHT booth lighting) once you start viewing the display at an off-angle, colors remain natural, and more importantly, whatever's on the 5.2' LCD is still legible. And let's not mince words here: the Z2 is pretty, and pretty thin - it's even thinner (by 0.2mm) and lighter (by 12g) than its predecessor while also gaining 0.2" of display size. Bravo, Sony.

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Another of the Z1's pain points was its somewhat weak bottom-firing speaker, which has since been replaced with dual recessed front-firing speakers in a stereo configuration. What I was able to hear over the din of the trade show floor wasn't what I'd call amazing, though I'd have to guess almost anything Sony's come up with here is going to beat the old arrangement. And, realistically, front-facing speakers on a phone really are just better in almost any situation.

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I didn't have time to go particularly in-depth with Sony's latest software UI overlay based on Android 4.4.2, but what I saw generally impressed me. Sony's actually made some significant changes (such as a sidebar on the left hand side of the app drawer) here after literally years with an increasingly stale UI. Granted, that old UI's basic aesthetic is still here, but things like KitKat's transparent navigation and notification bars have without a doubt given it a more modern, clean look. Sony's also cleaned the notification area up and implemented a Google-style 2-pane arrangement, where the second pane hides various quick settings while the main notification area is free of clutter.

The Z2 performed extremely smoothly in the few minutes we had with it - it's one of the very first devices to be announced with a Snapdragon 801 processor, though we'll have to see just what kind of comparative performance benefits that new chipset brings over the Z2's competitors. It does also pack 3GB of RAM, though, and that's bound to help multitasking performance.

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The camera remains largely unchanged from the Z1, apparently, though numerous camera software features have been added that we didn't have time to explore at the Sony booth this afternoon. If we take on a Z2 for full review, we will of course look at those in greater detail. Suffice it to say, the Z1 has one of the better smartphone cameras on the market (though Sony's smart auto modes really do suck - full manual is needed to get quality images), and Sony's had 6 months to make it that much better on the Z2. I can only hope they worked out the kinks with the smart / intelligent auto stuff.

Perhaps my biggest remaining gripe about the Z2 is, in reality, one of its most touted features - water resistance. You see, I don't actually like water-resistant phones, because port covers are evil. Sure, you can cut them off, but then they're kind of an eyesore because that covered microUSB wasn't meant to be exposed all the time and ends up looking weird, and on the Z2 it's even worse because now the SIM card and the mUSB share one big, happy port cover together. Hoorayugh.

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That quibble aside, the Z2 is shaping up to be a seriously interesting contender in this spring's flagship smartphone season. The Galaxy S5 is already catching a fair bit of flak for its looks and build materials - areas where the Z2 comparatively excels - and many have been left scratching their heads as to what Samsung's new killer feature really is this time around. Granted, without taking a good, long time with both of these devices, it's hard to know which I'd prefer. And then you've got whatever HTC is cooking up for next month.

Regardless, I think the Z2 is easily the most competitive phone Sony's built to date, though here in the US that may not matter. Sony and carriers (aside from T-Mobile) have rarely see eye to eye, so only a small sliver of American consumers may ever heard about the Z2 at all. That's definitely a bit of a shame, as the Z2 really does tick a lot of the enthusiast boxes - right down to the microSD card.

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The Z2 launches in select markets in April, with pricing varying by region.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Alex Boro

    Looking like a way better option than the S5

    • MrJigolo

      If Sony launches this on all major US carriers they can start gaining marketshare here. They have to stop sticking to T-Mobile.

      • Alex Boro

        True, I wish they could sell it unlocked with nexus-like pricing or make it available through all carriers.

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          What's up with people and Nexus Pricing. These companies have to make money off hardware. They aren't Google. If you want the Z2 it'll be available unlocked with normal pricing.

          • Alex Boro

            Yeah I know it wont happen, but just saying it would be great if it did. But they're barely going to sell any in the US if they limit the distribution to unlocked or tmobile.

        • DJ Focus

          Nexus like pricing? And make no money? I'm sure that's in sony 's best interests. But yeah I would love to see an unlocked version in most countries

      • aldisiij367

        my Aunty Grace got a nearly new blue Kia by
        working part time from the internet. look at this now C­a­s­h­D­u­t­i­e­s­.­ℂ­o­m

    • godutch

      Yes but so far I see haven't seen a phone released which tempts me to upgrade my HTC One (and I don't even think HTC will release one this spring). I have bought a new phone every year since 2010 because those new phones all offered significant upgrades from the previous year.

      Maybe I'll wait till fall, the fall line up always seems to be more interesting anyway

      • frhow

        I agree, a little spec bump has not warranted me to give up my HTC One and the awesome boomsound speakers and premium feel and just an all around great phone even today. And I use to get a new phone every 3 months. So lets see what the Fall will bring because so far I am not impressed by any of the recently announced phones.

    • hot_spare

      Everybody told same with S2, S3 and S4. I am sure this dialogue will also continue with S6. Reality is something else.

      • Sqube

        Just because a device looks like a better choice doesn't necessarily mean it's going to sell better. There's a lot to be said for comfort and marketing, and Samsung has both in spades.

        Samsung is like the mp3 of the Android world. Are there better options? Arguably. But you know what you're getting with mp3, for better and for worse. So that's what people go with until they feel a compulsion to do otherwise.

        • Hans Pedersen

          That mp3 argument would be interesting if it wasn't for the fact that the reason you dislike the Samsung is because it's a Samsung. Technically the GS5 is crammed with the latest tech, which doesn't go along with the mp3 argument.

          • Sqube

            I, um.... don't dislike Samsung. At all. I'm glad that they pushed top of the line hardware when Android wasn't quite optimized enough to not need it, and I'm glad that they're still pushing a bunch of features out to users (even if they're not all necessarily the best things ever).

            My issue with Samsung was with how their phones felt in the hand. I didn't like how cheap the plastic felt. That's why I ended up with the HTC One, and that's why I might end up with the One 2 (or the Z2, depending on how the camera shakes out).

            Even if the GS5 is packed with the latest and greatest tech, you KNOW that you're always going to get that with a new Galaxy. That's what I meant when I said it was comparable to mp3. It might not be the perfect choice, you might not think it's the best choice. but it's not one you can really go wrong with.

    • KingofPing

      Will have to check it out in-store. If those front-facing speakers are anywhere near as good as the One, I might have my upgrade if HTC doesn't do a GPe version of the M8.

  • Muhammad Najmi Mohd Amir

    Bye Samsung , and hey Sony

    • Hans Arema

      You will regret it mate... I'm just move over from S4, wish never had it.... miss my S4

      • Muhammad Najmi Mohd Amir

        What kind of Sony phone did you get over your S4 ? Z1 ? I think Sony has fixed all the problem from Z1 like thinner bazel , stereo speaker as well the the display . And I had enough with Samsung because of KNOX as well the bloatware and design.

        • Hans Pedersen

          Knox isn't enabled by default, so, what's the problem with that? That it's available in the Samsung Apps store? :)

          • Sufurky

            bootloader

          • Muhammad Najmi Mohd Amir

            Yeah I know bout that , but I'm type of person who love to root and flashing custom rom , I don't want trigger it and void my warranty . Yeah , the bootloader .

        • Edward Bishop

          If this phone comes to mobile I'm so getting it

      • Chris Stubbs

        I bought a Z1S and without even touching the phone, it's leaps and bounds better than the S4. The UI, the lack of annoying bloat, and the fact that I can use my Sony PS+ account.

        • simp1istic

          No kidding, what on earth would someone miss from the S4. I sold my S4 and bought a moto x, best decision ever.

  • Cheeseball

    If Sony provides AOSP code and access to binary blobs for this model, I'd get this over a Galaxy S 5 Google Play Edition.

    • samoanbiscuit

      Don't Google Play Devices have issues with SD card support? For a lot of people, having a working Sd card slot is better than having stock Android. And Sony's Android customizations are pretty tame compared to HTC and Samsung.

      • Cheeseball

        Unless you're talking about the Android 4.4 changes to the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission, then no, there are no issues with SD card support. You can always root and modify platform.xml to restore full rw access to the external SD.

        • Stone Cold

          That sucks about the 4.4 KK but I wii research how to restore the function once the Z1s gets it KK update.

          • Cheeseball

            Generally, it's simple: Root then modify platform.xml

            It should be no different on the Z1s.

      • DJ Focus

        There was a bug with the galaxy s4 GPE when I first came out that screwed up the use of SD cards but its since been fixed and works just as well as the normal s4

        • Cheeseball

          Correct. And that was on Jelly Bean 4.2.2. I believe it was fixed with an OTA a week later.

  • supremekizzle

    Too bad about them bezels. Still better than the S5 though. I can't wait to see what the LG G3 brings to the table.

    • JD_26

      finally some 1 said it .... lg G2 was way ahead of its time !!!! 5.2 inch screen last yr.. innovation with the buttons ... no hump for the camera ... 3000 mah last yr .. .. thats definitely going to be the 1 to watch for ... and most importantly for me atleast .. hardly any bezel!

      • Sqube

        I'd rather a two-stage camera button on the side than a selfie button on the back, but I respect their gamble.

        I'm curious as to the quality of those front-facing stereo speakers. That would justify the bezels.

  • Alan Shearer

    I do not care about thin, the previous was plenty thin, I care about bezel size, and battery performance.

    • Mike Gonzalez

      the bezels are quite decent and with a 3200mah battery im sure it will be better than S5 or next HTC One

      • Alan Shearer

        Give me xperia zl bezels.

    • Pratik Holla

      Battery performance is excellent I hear. There was a review by GadgetGM on youtube and he said he was able to get 4 hrs of on screen time with heavy use. And 3200 mAH is a solid battery!

      • BD1971

        This phone looks really good. Poor viewing angles were a main reason I didn't get the Z1. I wouldn't call 4 hrs of on screen time excellent when my G2 gets 6-7 hrs with a 3000 mah battery.

      • MistiXF

        So when did '4 hours of screen time with heavy use' become 'excellent'...?

        • Mike Gonzalez

          did you forget to read the "heavy use" part!?

        • Stacey Liu

          Since forever? Assuming you sleep 6 hours a night, do you really spend 1 out of every 4.5 minutes of your day looking at your phone?

          This was heavy use too.

          Maybe my use case is different.

  • hldc1

    It would be great to see a Google Play Edition device with Verizon compatibility built in. I'm not holding my breath though since I experienced first-hand the $#!+ show that was the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon.

    This device looks intriguing though. 3GB or RAM should reduce all remnants of lag.

    • Ambroos

      Sony isn't doing Verizon any time soon since they require too many modifications on the hardware side. T-Mo and AT&T can be covered with just different frequencies, Verizon and Sprint still need CDMA compatibility, and Sony doesn't think that's worth it right now.

  • http://sp4rkr4t.me.uk/ Michael Sheils

    If Sony continue to provide top class support to the AOSP and do a codedrop on this phone as soon as it launches I'm buying this as soon as I can.

  • supremekizzle

    ....

  • http://www.bloodflame.com/ Patrick

    Wow, we're getting 5 foot screens on smartphones now?? I need to get new pockets! ;)

    • abobobilly

      Make sure they are "Deep" -.-

    • bprichard

      I just put it in a pouch on my back. Looks like a really stiff cape!

  • Mrhug3

    I seriously hope the rumors are true... Come on VZW.

  • worldclassflame

    Definitely the main attraction of this years mwc, good job Sony crapping all over Samsung

    • Blowntoaster

      You wish. The S5 is by no means the device we expected or wanted it to be, but Sony also didn't bring much more to the table. Which device do you think is going to sell more?
      and which has better features???
      And the LG G Pro2 is also there to contend with.

      Sony is good, but not that good.

      • WestIndiesKING

        S5 is going to sell more because people will go with the name recognition you know this so that just not a good comparison.

        • worldclassflame

          Exactly ^^^

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            How is that an "exactly"?...

            He said main attraction of the show ;), that's normally very specialist phones that noone uses because they have "weird" features, not the one that's going to sell heaps.

      • Thejungle

        When I read such opinions I don't know if to cry or to laugh....

  • Ravo

    I would just like to point out that David is a good speaker. Very few word whiskers in there. Nice hands on!

    • Jephri

      Is David some sort of anamorphic cat?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        Maybe.

  • EH101

    Fairly boring design. But, well, all phones are nowadays really. C'mon Google, just implant something in my head already. Then at least I couldn't lose it.

    Do like the specs though, other than the sealed battery. Might get it depending on hack-ability since I can just throw a case on it to change the looks. It's either this or the S5 for sure.

  • esper256

    What about Qi charging? Anyone know if it is supported? Could take the pain away from having port covers a bit.

    • SonyZ1User

      Actually, when using Z1 I rarely have to open those ports as I have magnet charging and when I need to tranfer file to/ from computer --> here come airdroid

    • Deckard_Cain

      They have magnetic charging which is different.

  • chris125

    So people are ok with sony and others doing minor upgrades, but it's the end of the world when Samsung does it? Samsung you left the door wide open

    • godutch

      Because Sony addressed many issues of the previous release but Samsung just added more gimmicks on top. And the Sony is beautiful, the Samsung just plain ugly.

      Well and if all the new phones basically have the same internals but one is ugly with a lot of useless gimmicks and others are beautiful I would pick a beautiful device, not the ugly one

      • Godspoken

        This is literally just a black brick. Like don't get me wrong, I'm all about the Z2 right now, but it's silly to claim that Samsung is failing in the design department compared to Sony when the latter adds literally nothing to the design of their device.

        • godutch

          I haven't held the Z2 but the tablet z was beautiful and felt nice in the hand, I mean like the edges and back

        • Hans Pedersen

          I guess you must be new to the Androidpolice comment section. This is the logics around here; you are supposed to hate Samsung for no apparent reason. I guess it's just the typical internet mentality taking over... :)

          • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

            hate samsung and Nexus device are flawless because they're cheap (if I may add)

      • Blowntoaster

        So why not buy an IPhone 5S then. it's pretty is it not.
        The S5 is not the best looking, but it works. And it's gimmicks work.
        The Z range has a problem: it's 20megapixel camera struggles quite a lot.
        where even the "old" 13 megapixel sensors in the Samsungs of 2013, and the G2 give it a hiding 90% of the time.
        and the software/UI, it's just so dull.

        • WestIndiesKING

          the camera wasnt the issue but more the software for the z1 camera.

      • chris125

        I think they both look ugly. Every sony looks the same, black slab, with huge bezels. Nothing beautiful about it. Seems there is just a lot of Samsung hate and everyone else gets a pass

    • Yash Ostwal

      Well, Sony has brought in all the good aspects of the previous phone to the Z2, and improved the features that were not up to the mark in the previous version. As for Samsung, they really, and I mean REALLY, need to change the design and the build quality - not to mention the UI. Sony already has a great, gorgeous design, awesome camera, superb music and all such stuff. So, thumbs up for Sony (and probably for HTC as well) and thumbs down for Samsung!

      • Rovex

        The problem is not everyone agree with your assessment of the Sony. I dont at all.

      • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

        Never used Sony's flagship here. But from gsmarena reviews, Sony's camera always lacked behind Samsung / Apple. Not sure what do you mean with superb music, was it the speaker??? If the best speaker phone is the one on the HTC One, I guess Sony's speaker also just a meh, unless they have same quality as the One speaker (the only phone speaker which actually usable to listen to a music).

        As for design, I can agree with you that I like Z2's design over S5.

  • chris125

    Wish this would come to Verizon for a change

  • danishdhanshe

    Does it have a SD card slot?

    • Frederico Silva

      "...the Z2 really does tick a lot of the enthusiast boxes - right down to the microSD card."

      • danishdhanshe

        Time to upgrade from my nexus 4!

        • Frederico Silva

          Just got my Nexus 5 a few months ago, won't be upgrading this year, but the next year I'm all in, still waiting for a Nexus device from Sony (not GPE)

  • Adnane Rifqui
  • Mrpaco

    Still doesn't understand why with that big bezel doesn't use capacitive buttons instead of screen ones. If you are not gonna use capacitive buttons at least don't have that kind of bezel.

    • kenny g

      It's because of water proofing the device dude....look at s5

      • paco

        The S5 have the same bezel and uses capacitive and physical buttons on that space. Z2 doesn't use the bezel and gives the user less screen because the use of on-screen buttons.

    • jgemberton

      Front facing stereo speakers. There has to be some room for those above and below the display. Maybe not as much as they're using depending on the size of the speakers, but room none-the-less.

  • Jephri

    They will be on T-Mobile and Verizon with the Z2. One Comment David, the little brass pins on the side of the Z2 work wonderfully for charging the device without fiddling with the hatches. There are dock attachments as well as magnetic cables available through Amazon.

    • Scott Kaforey

      Where did you hear that the Z2 will be coming to Verizon? That would be a welcome surprise.

      • Jephri

        Just a rumor for now, but I can't disclose who I heard it from.

        • pepperoni

          This is my new phone if it comes to Verizon

        • Ivan Myring

          Come on...

      • zepfloyd

        The spec sheet lists Band 4 and 13 in the available LTE bands...pretty good clue right there since only Verizon uses 13. evleaks also had a tweet back in January when it was being referred to as Sirius about a home on VZ too.

        • jgemberton

          It lists the LTE bands, but I haven't seen the CDMA frequencies necessary for actually using it as a phone listed anywhere. Not sure if Verizon's quite ready to roll out VoLTE any time soon, so I think Verizon availability is still up in the air. Thoughts?

          • zepfloyd

            Agreed actually. However, It's probably no different than other devices like the GS4 or One or G2 that have separate model numbers based on carrier that vary some, since this is sort of a general device overview and CDMA is niche globally this is probably the standard set offered in all. Also adding anything further would pre-empt an official VZ/Sony announcement before it actually happens, and they probably don't want to do that. That's my take anyway. Time to watch FCC filings. I've just never seen a device support Band 13 and not end up on Verizon (even the Nexus 7....)

    • VegasDude73

      Exactly Jephri wonderful point. Additionally, how often do you really go into your sim, microsd slot? rarely in my case.

  • Rovex

    People were critical of the Z1 viewing angles but rigorously defend the awful N5 viewing angles. Seems biased to me.

    • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

      The N5 doesn't have bad viewing angles, you're just confused.

      • Grayson

        I might agree that it doesn't have bad viewing angles, as they are certainly better than the Z1, but it doesn't have good viewing angles either. It washes out when viewed from the corners.

      • Rovex
        • Hans Pedersen

          No problems here. Haven't you heard that white is the new black?

          Sent from my GS4 which is wondering what the big fuzz is about displaying black.

          • Rovex

            I agree, and of course AMOLEDS are much better, but the N5 is horrible, even for an LCD.

    • Stacey Liu

      The Nexus 5 doesn't have awful viewing angles. It looks like any other IPS screen.

      The Nexus 4 didn't either. It did however, have a ridiculous IPS glow at non-perpendicular angles. It looks great of you look at it straight from the bottom or side, but anything in between would appear to have a gray filter over it.

      Good IPS panels minimize that glow (iPhone 5/5S).

      • Grayson

        It doesn't look like any other IPS screen. It looks like a cheap IPS screen that doesn't have a good polarizer. Not all IPS screens are created equal. Check out this image. Both IPS screens, but with different types of polarizers. One is clearly superior. The other has washout at certain angles, like the Nexus 5. Search Google for "IPS screen without polarizer" to see many more comparisons.

      • Rovex

        The N5 doesnt minimise that glow, its SO BAD the screen is unusable off axis.

    • KingofPing

      Opposing opinions do not equal bias. I think you may be using the wrong word there?

      • Rovex

        Not at all. The N5 has bad viewing angles.. fact, to not call it out over it IS showing bias when you do call out another device for it, repeatedly.

        • KingofPing

          You are making the assumption that the same people calling out the Z1 were defending the N5.

          Having a large group of people, as we do here, you'd be hard-pressed to back that up. More than likely, there is an extremely vocal minority on both sides and you are making the mistake of seeing both groups as one.

          Obviously there are differing opinions. You'd see that within any group. This doesn't indicate hypocrisy...which is what I believe you were originally trying to assert.

          • Rovex

            I note which writer says what, they do contradict themselves all the time. Its sloppy. Maybe they think no one will notice.

            I also keep track of 'certain' commenters, many are guilty of the same thing.

          • KingofPing

            Taken as "these few posters are doing this, it indicates bias" is one thing (and rather obvious I would imagine. fanboys exist in every community).

            The OP seems to imply there is a general community bias against one and for the other. I would disagree with that.

          • Rovex

            I disagree, the Nexus gets a pass on sites like this all the time. You cant say its cheap, or has a bad component, or a bug without getting flamed. Its price is not an excuse for poor quality parts.

          • KingofPing

            The vocal minority does not make up the larger portion of the community.

            A few Nexus fanboys vomiting about the place every time you complain about the horrible WiFi on the Nexus 10 (fact!) doesn't mean the entire community is poisoned.

            It just means some people cannot see past their own emotional responses. We have to try and be better than that and not blame the community for the failings of a few.

          • Rovex

            Unfortunately there are hundreds of them. Every time I criticise the N5 is turns into a flame fest. Just look here, the N5 viewing angles became more important in this thread than the Sonys! Happens here, Android central, G+, everywhere..

  • aatifsumar

    LOL. Did you just make water-resistance a disadvantage?

    • KingofPing

      Nope. Just the implementation of it. There's got to be a better way.

      • Roger Siegenthaler

        I actually like the covers... it's not like you're holding it or moving it around while the cover is open (in most cases, devs and reviewers aren't included :P). They actually are really easy to open and I prefer the feel of not having any ports on the side of the phone.

        My biggest gripe with my z1 compact is the terrible power and volume buttons:
        a) way to close together
        b) at least for my hand they're to far down and should be further up the side
        c) so hard to press... i have to use the tip of my thumb to be able to build up enough pressure :/ did they address that problem here?.

        • Roh_Mish

          I like the port covers. Although I don't have it on my current phone.

  • Mist

    Release a Compact version of Z2 and I'm sold. This one is way too big.

    Yup, that's what she said.

    • Ivan Myring

      Just get the Z1 compact. There are only a couple of differences, and the update in GPU and CPU performance are cancelled out by the 720p on the compact

  • z2 is 2014 best smartphone

    The usb port can stay closed all the time when using magnetic charging and wireless connections... Unlike copycat Samsung s5 who copied waterproof and stamina mode from sony and fingerprint scanner from iphone.......

  • z2 is 2014 best smartphone

    Z2 is 2014 best smartphone yes and the magnetic charging port is almost never mentioned in preview handson and review as a very good and outstanding feature!!! It is better than uncovered usb

  • andddlay

    I REALLY want this phone after seeing the s5. What I know I'll miss, however (coming from the note 3 - which I'll have to give up soon.. It's not exactly mine unfortunately), is the IR blaster, multiwindow, and USB 3.0 at the bottom. Erm. I really want this to be my first Sony smartphone. Had the Sony Ericsson k790a way back when and loved it

    • yankeesusa

      IR port is a big thing. I don't know why companies don't just put the ir automatically. The most I will miss from the note if I leave it behind is the stylus or spen. I use that thing all the time. In fact that is the reason I came back to note 2 from the xperia z.

      • Roh_Mish

        In my old Sony phone there was an feature of using IR asas remote control. I never used it as it was not compatible with my TV though

    • Jephri

      Sony does their own version of multi window called small apps. Little app windows can be opened and positioned wherever you like. Look it up on YouTube.

      • andddlay

        Yeah i know of the feature, however it looks even more limited to the apps that Samsung offers in multiwindow. Small apps is more like pen window as far as limitations. They're nice, but not exactly the same or as useful as multiwindow. It'd probably get over it though, though I hope I'm not too saddened by losing the IR blaster

        • Jephri

          Any widget can be converted to a small app. It is pretty awesome. I do miss my Htc one IR blaster though

          • andddlay

            Very cool. I'm a little nieve with all the features offered. I'll be looking into it a great deal. Thanks!

        • Roh_Mish

          As far as I know developers and make theit own small window apps but people don't make it. I am thinking to but havent played with it till now.

  • Rob Johnson

    "Sony's flagship still suffered from ridiculous screen viewing angle issues"
    I never understand this, why does it matter? Are you looking at your phone from the side when you're using it?

    "and the UI felt almost no different from what Sony shipped with Ice Cream Sandwich."
    But...thats a good thing! Sony's UI is one of the best there is, why would you want them to change it and potentially ruin it?

    • WestFiasco

      Some people confuse their phones with their tvs

      • yankeesusa

        That's exactly it. I have had no issues whatsoever with my xperia z or my wifes. I don't know the reasoning of looking at your phone at an angle.

        • Roh_Mish

          You sometimes reachout to see time or chech notifications but then the quality of image reproduction does not matter as long as you can see these details properly.

    • godutch

      I have a sony vaio laptop, it has really poor viewing angles too, it can get pretty annoying because you have to carefully align yourself and the screen. I don't know how bad the viewing angle was on the z1 though

      • Roh_Mish

        My laptop (VAIao) feels a bit washed-out and slightly dull from sides but you don't sit perpendicular to your laptop.

    • Stacey Liu

      It looks nicer. And it's easier to show people things on your phone.

      You're right, it's not necessary. But it's just something that's associated with quality now.

      Try using an IPS desktop monitor and then moving back to TN. It will just annoy you because you've seen something better.

      Besides, IPS panels usually have better color gamut than others.

      Most normal TNs won't exceed 70-80% of sRGB. Even an an average IPS panel ahould have 80-90%, if not higher.

    • Rovex

      This is why.. (Nexus 5 used as example)..

      It look cheap and hideous.The worst thing is it starts at such as small angle on the worst devices, literally just 5 degree off dead centre. All are supposed to be displaying pure black.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/19p8ybz8q7y2amw/Nexus-5-display-viewing-angles.jpg

    • Roh_Mish

      My friend had Z1 (got stolen just a week ago). And I loved it's screen. It was brighter than any other phones I or my friends have had/used in sunlight and was easy to read on it. I didn't noticed any washing out of screen in these months.

    • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

      nope, it really matters. you'll understand it when you use a phone with horrible viewing angle. it's really annoying. you have to face the screen straight, otherwise, you can barely see anything.

  • h4rr4r

    If they offer a play edition I will buy it ASAP. If not, they can keep it.

  • VoiceofSky

    battery performance means the world to me,so heres hoping the Z2 has an all day battery at least ..If the S5 had software buttons,that would of made all the difference ,but capacitive buttons are the past and samsung needs to stop living in it..

  • Hans Arema

    What strength does the Z1 have? I had it, and regreting has bought it.... Camera quality poor and not reliable, always fail to open. The color production of it screen was no match for my S4. Walkman suck, the volume too low....
    The U.I dull boring, you can't do much with it... stuck with only one font.

    • Jephri

      How can a man expect to live with only on font...

  • Phillip Huynh

    Bezels are a huge deal for me, since I have pretty small hands. I already have a hard time using my Z1 with one hand. The G2 is great since it allows a bigger screen that I can actually reach across since there's not much bezel to get in the way.

    • godutch

      But bezels on the top and bottom don't really affect the screen reach, that depends more on the bezels on the sides and screensize. I mean I put the phone in the palm of my hand and use my thumb to operate the phone, don't you? I have an HTC One and One X and although the One is much larger than the One X it's not harder to operate

      • Phillip Huynh

        I didn't mean the bezels on the top and bottom, although I do agree that it would be nice if they were a little smaller, as I don't really rest my thumbs on the bezels or anything. I just found that my dads g2, even with the case on it, I was able to reach the other side of the screen, compared to the z1, where I struggle to do so even without a case. I do have to place the z1 in the palm of my hand to operate, however, I'm afraid of dropping it that yeah. The point is that I am able to use the g2 had have that grip on it, so I feel a bit more at ease with one handed use. The bezels on the z1 aren't too bad, but bad enough for my tiny hands, while in comparison my best friend can easily grip the phone and use it with his larger hands. Really, its more of a personal problem.

  • blairh

    Z2 is 4.4 mm (.17") shorter than the Note 3, a phone with a screen .5" larger. Even with respect to weight they are nearly identical. (Z2 is 163 grams and the Note 3 is 168 grams.) I'd like the Z2 a great deal more if it was lighter with much less bezel and a back that wasn't made of glass.

  • Michael

    "...colors remain natural, and more importantly, whatever's on the 5.2' LCD is still legible."

    5.2 foot screen? Phablets are getting out of hand.

  • MG

    "Often, they're too late to market here in the US"

    Then Android Police needs to decide if they are a US website, or are a global website. There is no place for patriotic BS. Acting like a spoilt child because your home market gets delayed products (due mostly to the cozy sewn up market the US has) is wrong, and sends the wrong message to your global audience.

    • Jephri

      Get off your high horse. I would be willing to bet that 80 percent of AP readers are in the US. It is an English language blog written in America and I'm sure almost all the ad revenue comes from American companies or American divisions of international companies. They can't be everything to everyone. So, excuse me for saying that you are the one acting like a "spoilt" child.

  • Frank

    So, Galaxy S5 has MIMO wifi.. does the Xperia Z2 has that as well?

  • Wolf0491

    Looks great to me. Still not upgrading from my Z. Told myself hold onto same phone for a while this time haha. Maybe the next phone it will be time to upgrade!

  • HotInEER

    I'm considering this. However, the brightness fade still looks to be a issue. That's the only thing keeping me from considering this. I also wish it had wireless charging since it's waterproof and I don't want to keep fooling with the covers every time I charge the freaking device. With that being said, i'm going to wait and see the new HTC One and then make my decision between those 2 and the G Pro 2, and G3 if that is coming out in 3 months.

  • Andy

    We like the improved screen and we were also particularly impressed by
    the boosted video capabilities. The addition of 4K video capture, while
    it may not be that useful at the moment, is a statement of intent and
    also a neat piece of futureproofing from Sony.
    And if you have decided to become a proud owner of this device, perhaps you’re in the market for a solid and beautiful protection case as well.

    http://9cases.com/2014/03/10-best-and-beautiful-sony-xperia-z2-cases/