Sony Xperia Z2

2. Sony Xperia Z2

Sony has something of a slump last year, following up the impressive Xperia Z with the lacklustre Xperia Z1 just a few months later.

The camera, which was supposed to be the headline feature, didn't impress as much as we'd hoped, and the screen was still lacking the IPS clout that the Xperia Z Ultra managed - meaning muted colours and poor viewing angles.

Anyway, enough about last year - Sony's back in 2014 and comes with an excellent phone in the shape of the Xperia Z2.

And the good news is it's impressive. Really impressive. The industrial design is a little chunky but oozes premium quality in a way that Samsung's plastic shell doesn't, and it's a little more robust than its Galactical rival thanks to being IP58 rated.

Great battery life, strong power and a good camera all are present and correct with most phones in this list, but Sony stays in the top three simply by being a great all-rounder.

It doesn't have the polish of the HTC One M8, nor the more functional UI, but it does what's asked with top-end specs. That's what we like. And with a cheeky price drop ahead of the Xperia Z3 launching, it's getting a quick moment in second place before the new model gets a chance to shine...

Quick verdict

What did Sony need to do to impress? Not a lot, but that screen and camera needed a fix as well as adding in some other features.

Front facing speakers, a new screen with better colour reproduction, 4K video recording and inbuilt noise cancellation all make a great device that should be right on your possible upgrade list.

Make sure you check it out in-store before purchase, as some won't like the larger build, but for a good all-round experience the Xperia Z2 excels.