Sony hasn't seen fit to alter the design or size of its flagship Android phone for 2014, with the newly announced Xperia Z2 occupying the same footprint as last year's Z1, and has instead focused on making notable upgrades on the inside. First and foremost, the company has moved to a new IPS display with what it calls Live Color LEDs, a technology unique to Sony that's claimed to give its mobile devices the widest color gamut on the market — bettering even Apple's excellent iPhone and iPad displays.
When viewed in person, the Z2 does indeed have a very attractive display, with good contrast and color fidelity, immediately distinguishing it from the mediocre screen of the Z1. At 5.2 inches, the Xperia Z2 also gives you slightly more real estate, though the resolution remains unchanged at 1920 x 1080. The battery, RAM, and processor have all been upgraded as well: the new flagship comes with 3200mAh of power, 3GB of memory, and a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801. Aside from a new set of stereo speakers, the external look of the Xperia Z2 is pretty much unchanged, including an all-glass front and back, IP58-certified waterproofing, and a dedicated camera key.
Sony fixes its phones' biggest weakness with aplomb
In keeping with the current trend for 4K video recording in smartphones, the Xperia Z2 joins the fray with a new SteadyShot feature borrowed from the company's Handycam line. It's software-based image stabilization that promises to reduce the jitter and imperfections that result from unsteady handheld video. Sony's demonstrations show it's effective at its task, though the end result can sometimes appear unnatural — mechanical image stabilization of the sort you'll find in the Lumia 1020 or LG's G2 is always preferable. Sony's also adding a Timeshift video feature that lets you shoot 720p video at 120fps and then slow it down for a very attractive slow-motion effect.
The Xperia Z2 will be available globally from March with Android 4.4 on board, in the familiar choice of black, white, or purple.