January 2013 saw the arrival of the Xperia Z at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, which was followed in September 2013 by the Xperia Z1 at IFA in Berlin - and now the Sony Xperia Z2 has arrived at MWC 2014 - alongside the Z2 tablet.

Sony is once again bigging up its own technologies in the Z2, just as it did with the Z1. The "best of Sony in a smartphone" tagline was again used in the press conference at MWC.

Compare Sony's product cycle to the likes of Samsung or Apple - where we see an annual reboot of flagships such as the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5S and, while the cadence is quicker, you can start to see what the company is doing. After all, Sony knows it has some catching up to do in the market.

Cut to the chase
What is it? Sony's next flagship, the follow up to the Xperia Z1
When is it out? April/May 2014 (it's been delayed)
What will it cost? From £545 (around $600, AU$900) SIM-free

Sony Xperia Z2 release date and price

In the UK the Xperia Z2 is up for pre-order for a whopping £599 SIM free on Sony's site, while in Australia it's about AU$899.95 and the in the US you're looking at around $600.

The Xperia Z2's global release date is April 2014 and the handset has been announced on UK networks O2, Three, Vodafone and EE as well as by retailers such as Carphone Warehouse.

There is a problem though. The Xperia Z2 has been delayed, possibly until May, unless that is you pre-ordered the handset in which case Sony reckons you'll still get your device in good time.

A Sony spokesperson has told TechRadar: "We are working tirelessly to maximize stock levels in April but currently we do not expect to meet the high demand across all our sales channels."

Xperia Z2 specifications

The Sony Xperia Z2 includes Sony Digital Noise Cancelling – a first in a phone – and as is becoming the norm for Sony, it's dust- and waterproof as well.

The handset is one of the first (along with the One M8 and Galaxy S5) to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and it boasts four 2.3GHz Krait CPUs in addition to 4G LTE, 3GB of RAM and a high capacity 3,200mAh battery, which in combination with Sony's Battery STAMINA mode should keep it going for quite some time.

Sony Z2

On the storage front there's 16GB built in along with a microSD card slot which supports cards of up to 64GB.

As you might expect from any worthwhile new flagship phone, it's also running Android KitKat with Sony's light interface skin placed on top.

That makes it a moderate upgrade over the Sony Xperia Z1, which has a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM.

Xperia Z2 camera and audio

The Z2's key technology sell is the ability to shoot 4K video, so that's four times the pixels of HD and twice the resolution at - 3,840 x 2,160 pixels at 30fps.

The camera is a 20.7MP unit, with the mobile version of the proven Exmor RS image sensor and Bionz processing engine alongside Sony's G Lens. Using built in apps, you can also shoot Timeshift video, while there's also an AR app, too.

The Timeshift video mode lets you shoot in 120 frames per second and select individual scenes to slow playback.

Xperia Z2 camera

Another new app enables you to defocus the background and adapt a shallow depth of field – you can capture two photos at different focus settings and blend them together.

Backing up the main camera there's a 2.2MP snapper on the front which can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.

Sadly there's no optical image stabilization, but the Xperia Z2 does have SteadyShot digital image stabilization, which similarly aims to counter camera shake.

You can also buy an additional STM10 stereo microphone should you need enhanced sound quality for shooting 4K video.

Sony Xperia Z2

Speaking of sound, Sony's put the speakers on the front of the handset this time around, aiming to muscle in on the HTC One's territory with what it's calling S-Force Front Surround.

Sony's MDR NC31EM noise cancelling headset comes bundled with the handset and unfortunately you have to use this specific headset if you want to take advantage of the fancy noise cancelling features of the phone.

Xperia Z2 display

The 5.2-inch IPS LCD Triluminos display is Full HD 1080 x 1920 with a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch. The Xperia Z2 uses Sony's X-Reality technology, to optimize colors, contrast and sharpness while reducing noise.

Sony is also claiming it has the best color reproduction of any smartphone on the market with its Live Color LED tech.

Xperia Z2 screen

Our full review will put that claim to the test, but it's certainly an impressive display, particularly in comparison to the Z1, which looks washed out and lacking in detail when put side by side with this.

Xperia Z2 design

At 8.2mm thick and 163g, the Z2 is 0.3mm thinner than the Sony Xperia Z1 and 7g lighter, despite having a larger screen and more powerful innards.

It's an evolution of the same aluminum design, which Sony calls OmniBalance.

Xperia Z2

In fact it looks almost identical to the Xperia Z1, with the same metal edging, glass back and large bezels above and below the screen.

Like the Z1 it's also dust resistant and waterproof to IP55 & IP58 standards, allowing it to be submerged for up to 30 minutes in water 1 meter deep.

Xperia Z2 interface and features

The Xperia Z2's interface is similar to that of the Z1, though it comes with Android 4.4.2 KitKat so it's bang up to date.

The handset also has a few new features hidden away in its menus. There's 'Smart Backlight Control' for one, which will keep the screen on while you're looking at it, just like Samsung does with Smart Stay.

Then there's the ability to double tap the screen to wake it up, much like LG's KnockON feature and it's also possible to answer or reject calls with hand gestures.

The Sony Xperia Z2 has also inherited Glove Mode from the Xperia Z1 Compact, allowing you to operate it while wearing gloves and there's a Simple Home option, which, well, simplifies the home screen and uses bigger icons, making it ideal for smartphone virgins and visually impaired users.

Read onto the next page for our earlier Sony Xperia Z2 rumors.