After a fair share of rumors and speculation, Sony has finally taken the wraps off of the Sony Xperia Z2 at its MWC 2014 press conference.
Although the Sony Xperia Z2 looks fairly reminiscent of its predecessor, both the improved software and hardware features make the Xperia Z2 a major leap forward from the Z1.
Specs and hardware features
The Sony Xperia Z1 is already more than capable of delivering a solid Android experience, but the Z2 takes this up a notch further by introducing a Snapdragon 801 CPU and bumping the RAM up to 3GB. While we still don’t have specifics on memory or device dimensions, here’s the Sony Xperia Z2’s specs, based on what we currently know about the handset:
- 5.2-inch Full HD Live Color LED display (1920 x 1080) with TRILUMINOS and X-Reality technology
- 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU
- 3GB of RAM
- 20.7MP 1/2.3-type EXMOR RS CMOS with G Lens, CMOS image, BIONZ for mobile
- 4K video capture (3840×2160 pixels/30p) with SteadyShot image stabiliization
- Digital noise-cancelling technology for an immersive audio experience
- 3200 mAh battery
- IP55/IP58 rating – waterproof and dustproof
- 4G LTE support
- Android 4.4 KitKat with Sony features on top
As you may have noticed in the spec list, the Sony Xperia Z2 features noise cancellation technology, alongside stereo speaker sound quality. Sony says that their noise technology can help reduce up to 98% of ambient noise when used with their compact in-ear MDR NC31EM Noise Cancelling Headset.
Aside from the addition of digital noise cancelling and the upgraded CPU/RAM/display size, it appears that the camera is one of the biggest focuses for the Xperia Z2, just like its predecessor. The camera remains at 20.7MP, but it now offers 4K video capture technology and a few other camera hardware improvements. There’s also several new software features designed to provide the best photo-taking experience possible.
In addition to camera features seen with the Xperia Z1 like Info-Eye and Timeshift burst, the Z2 introduces several new features, including a new Movie Creator that allows you to trim and crop your videos so that you can easily pick out what you want to share.
Here’s some of the new camera features you can expect from the Z2:
- Timeshift video: To relive every moment of the action in slow motion detail, the new Timeshift video mode lets you shoot in 120 frames per second and select scenes to slow the playback speed for dramatic slow motion effects exactly where you want, even underwater.
- Creative effect: Use a range of new creative effects for your photos and videos. Available in real-time for video, these adjustments enhance your clips with a range of effects such as colours, image trails, mirror and motion effects.
- Background defocus: This new camera app simulates a shallow depth of field. Capture two photos at different focus settings and blend together the different depths, leading to a blurred out background for more professional looking photos.
- AR effect: Now available for video recording, have some fun with your photos and videos with new augmented reality animations, including sound effects for video.
- Vine: Create short, beautiful, looping videos in a simple and fun way for your friends and family to see – all from your camera’s viewfinder. Plus, using the dedicated camera button, you can capture Vine videos underwater as well.
Still not enough camera features for you? Aside from the many pre-loaded apps, you can install even more optional apps by going to your viewfinder, tapping the camera mode icon and choosing “+Apps”. From their you’ll be taken to Sony Select, where you’ll be presented with more choices.
Although a lot of the Xperia Z2’s new software is focused around the camera, Sony notes that many of its existing apps are also receiving UI changes and other minor improvements. Additionally, the Xperia Z2 includes several special offers out of the box, such as six free movies from Sony Pictures and a 30 day free trial of Music Unlimited.
Sony has yet to reveal a specific release date for the Xperia Z2, though it is expected to arrive globally from March onward. No word has been given on pricing either, though we imagine it will likely follow similar pricing to the Xperia Z1, so we speculate somewhere around the $600 – $650 mark at launch. What do you think of the Sony Xperia Z2, impressed or not?
Be sure to stay tuned to Android Authority, where we’ll be bringing you more great MWC 2014 coverage in the days to come!