DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

Introduction

The Xperia Z2 is Sony's latest flagship Android smartphone and a solid upgrade to its predecessor, the Xperia Z1. However, overall the changes between the two models are more evolutionary than revolutionary. At 5.2 inches, the Z2's 1080p display is slightly larger than the Z1's 5-inch screen and so are the dimensions, but overall the design with front and back glass panels encased in an aluminium frame hasn't changed. The new model is also still waterproof and dust-resistant to the same standards as the Z1 (IP55 & IP58).

As you would expect, under the hood things are now powered by faster components. A Snapdragon S801 quad-core processor and 3GB RAM allow for smooth operation of the Android 4.4 OS. Your images can be stored on 16GB of built-in memory or on the memory card in a MicroSD-slot.

With a 20.7 MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor on paper the camera specifications look identical to the Z1's but the new model is now capable of recording 4K video. New software features include TimeShift video that allows you to slow down portions of a video and Background Defocus which simulates a shallow depth of field by capturing a series of images at different focus settings and blending them.

We've put the Sony Xperia Z2 through our usual testing routine to find out if and how the image quality has changed compared to the predecessor and how the new features perform in real-life shooting. Read on to find out more.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 20.7 MP 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS for mobile CMOS sensor
  • F2.0 lens
  • 4K video recording  (3840×2160 pixels/30p)
  • HDR video
  • 2.2 MP front camera

Other Specifications

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.3 GHz quad-core processor
  • 5.2-inch Full-HD (1920 x 1200) TRILUMINOS display
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 3GB RAM
  • Dust-resistant and waterproof (IP55 & IP58)
  • 16GB storage
  • microSD up to 64GB
  • 3200 mAh battery , non-removable

Our 9-page review

We've considered every aspect of the Sony Xperia Z2 camera, with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes. Click any of the links below for more information of specific functions and continue to our conclusion for a final summary of our findings.