A true converged gadget for connoisseur's choice [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dubai
Sony's Xperia Z2 smartphone builds on its predecessors with more power, improved screen, powerful camera and with a compact chassis.
It is very difficult to differentiate between Z1 and Z2, both look identical with the same front and back glass design and the same metal apart from the aluminium bezel round the edge. Upgrading from Z1 to Z2 will not make a noticeable difference but from Xperia Z to Z2 will see huge differences.
The 5.2-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen is powered by 2.3GHz Snapdragon processor with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage capacity. The storage can be extended up to 128GB using a microSD card. It runs on the latest Android KitKat version.
The Z2 is lighter than Z1 and weighs 163 grams.
Sony is maintaining its dust, shatterproof and waterproof tradition on Z2 also. It can be immersed in one feet of water for 30 minutes.
Due to its waterproof tradition, all the ports are covered by flaps which are easy to remove and replace. The headphone jack is not covered, same as in Z1.
The device can record in 4K resolution but the issue is that the file saved on the storage is huge. A 10 minutes of 4K recording accounts for 4.20GB of space. I could not check the resolution on a TV or a monitor as I don't have a 4K device.
When recording 4K videos or playing games for a long time, the area above the Sony logo on the back side turns a bit hot. When it gets hot, the camera automatically shuts down.
The device has got some inbuilt gaming features and it is PS4 certified and supports Dualshock 3 controller.
Sony is good in photography and has added more features into this device. The 20.7MP autofocus camera takes very good snaps with details in decent sunlight.
Most of the high-end smartphones launched have the background defocus feature to give a DSLR style depth of focus effect. In Sony, this feature is capped at 8MP while the disadvantage is that the effect cannot be applied at a later stage after taking the photo.
The slider on the right side of the screen will allow users to adjust the level of defocus either horizontally or vertically. The edited photo takes time to save.
Sony has added a number of pre-installed apps which many may not be used daily. Sony has kept the notifications bar to the minimum.
The live home screen, similar to HTC's BlinkFeed and Samsung's My Magazine, is not very user friendly and Sony is just trying to push its media services. It has added PlayStation Mode, Xperia Lounge, Track ID and Sony Select.
Tap to wake
Sony has copied a feature on LG's G2 phone - tap to wake. This feature can be turned on in the display setting and will wake up the screen by double tapping, but double tapping on the screen will not turn it off as in LG.
The camera app opens very fast and can start taking pictures within two seconds.
The G lens with 1/2.3-inch Exmor sensor size absorbs more light and performs better in dark conditions with flash turned off.
It has wide array of modes like superior auto for detecting the environment automatically; manual mode for professionals for adjusting the ISO, white balance and brightness; augmented reality for adding dinosaur or butterfly garden on top of the photo with sounds; creative effect for Instagram-style filters; Info-eye for getting information on landmarks while facing the camera; Timeshift burst for selecting the best snaps from a collection; Social Live for sharing user experience with friends live on Facebook, and Sweep Panorama. The Timeshift video is to record high frame rate video and apply slow motion effects on it, which is very good.
The HDR mode will not be available when taking photos at 20.7MP resolution. It works only if the resolution is brought down to 8MP.
The 2.2MP front-facing camera takes decent snaps in good lighting conditions but fails in dark conditions. It can record full HD at 30 frames per second.
When it comes to entertainment, Sony is the king. The Walkman app provides access to songs stored on the phone and SD card. The sound quality from front-facing speakers is good and produces rich audio with powerful bass but volume not very high.
Playing videos on the IPS screen is fantastic. Colours are bright with details.
Videos can be played at 2160p at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 60 frames per second, 720p at 120 frames per second. Videos can be shot at 1080p and 4K even when walking due to the SteadyShot stabilisation.
Regarding connectivity, it has WiFi, 4G, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0.
The 3200mAh non-removable battery, same as Samsung Note 3, provides more than one-and-a-half day of juice for moderate users. For heavy users, it lasts just under a day with power-saving features. Sony has added power management features like stamina, low-battery, location-based WiFi and queue background data to save battery life. Playing videos gives around 13 hours of life. It really does extend the battery life for more than a day for heavy users. It is priced at Dh2,699.
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