Design & Build: Sony’s OmniBalance philosophy remains omniawesome
It feels the same in your hand as the Z1, despite having a slightly larger screen, and it’s still as waterproof as ever. The central position of the power button has a few detractors but many fans, and we would put ourselves in the latter camp. We were shown versions in black, white, dark silver and a fetching shade of Cadbury-esque purple. Which of these will be available in the UK, and from which networks, is yet to be announced, but we wouldn’t kick any of them out of bed.
Screen: One small increase for a screen; giant leaps for screen kind
Later, having convinced the Sony staff to go and take a break, we tried to ascertain the screen’s real improvement over its predecessor, but this was tricky under the harsh fluorescent light of Sony’s offices. True reckoning will have to wait until we get one into the dingy, unforgiving Stuff labs. In the meantime, expectedly enough, the screen looks vibrant and colourful, and having a wee bit more space with a chassis no bigger nor heavier than the Z1 can only be a win.
Camera: every little thing’s going to be 4K
In other stolen-from-the-Sony-camcorder-department news, the Z2 has SteadyShot tech. A Sony engineer duly produced an electro-wobble-board and, indeed, the Z2 with the feature turned on displayed a steadier picture. The best way to capture decent sound to go with your fancy, steadyish, video will be the new stereo microphone attachment, the STM10. It plugs into the headphone socket, but uses a special jack that means it’ll only work with the Z2 and Z2 Tablet. Sony, there, showing it hasn’t lost its love of proprietary technologies.
Audio: now you hear me, now you don’t
Power: there be Snapdragon in them there mobiles
If you really want to test the battery, then the best way would be firing up a GPU testing game, which you play by wirelessly connecting a Playstation DualShock 3 pad. This only really works if you then output the phone’s video via the MHL jack; otherwise you’re holding the pad near your face where the phone would normally be, and balancing the phone behind that. It all starts to get a bit ridiculous.
People rarely do what they ought to - but the Z2 is shaping up to be the Android phone you ought to buy. It's as classily made as ever, with new powerfuller innards and that same waterproofness that makes it just that bit more lifestyle friendly than other flagships. It’s probably the bee’s knees for video watching and video capture, and it’s got some high-tech – albeit Sony specific – accessories. And it comes in purple. Watch out for the full review in March.