Sony Xperia Z2 review

The jack of all trades flagship smartphone

Sony Xperia Z2 review
The Xperia Z2 does a lot of things well

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The Sony Xperia Z2 is an excellent smartphone. It does everything you'd expect from a high-end device and provides a user experience which is pleasing rather than overbearing.

Why then, does the Xperia Z2 leave me feeling so nonplussed about it?

It has all the core components of a flagship smartphone, but the overall package is just not an inspiring one. It's just another black slab, high-end handset.

Sony Xperia Z2 review

We liked

The screen on the Sony Xperia Z2 is excellent. If you like watching movies or playing games on the go you'll love the display, providing vivid colours and high levels of detail.

For budding photographers out there the Xperia Z2 also offers an enticing proposition with a huge array of modes and options to play around with, and the 20.7MP lens is capable of producing beautiful images.

A strong battery life adds further feathers to the Xperia Z2's cap, and its dust- and waterproof case ensures it's protected against any of life's little accidents.

We disliked

There is a clear issue when it comes to shooting 4K video on the Xperia Z2, and that's a real shame as it's capable of producing quality footage. The lack of a fix, a year and several updates later, suggests this is an insurmountable problem.

The heat sync issue coupled with "unknown error" crashes smacks of a handset which hadn't been tested thoroughly at release, and the slow image processing times see it lag behind the competition.

I'm not a huge fan of the bezel heavy design Sony has implemented either, and it makes the Xperia Z2 look a little overbearing in the hand.

Sony Xperia Z2 review


The main issue I have with the Sony Xperia Z2 is there's nothing to really get excited about. It's a great all rounder, but there's no curve ball to keep things interesting.

The Z2 is definitely more attractive since the price has come down, increasing the difference between it and the Z3.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has its amazing screen, heart monitor and fingerprint scanner while the HTC One M8 has a superb design, Boomsound and the Duo Camera setup. Yet the Xperia Z2 has no headlining feature which makes it stand out.

Its premium design nudges it ahead of the Galaxy S5, while its highly capable camera beats the One M8 hands down. If you're looking for an all round top performer at a lower price point (4K video issues aside) the Xperia Z2 is a great jack of all trades. Just don't expect it to do anything out of the ordinary.

First reviewed: April 2014

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.