Sony Xperia Z2 Review

After a series of disappointing releases, Sony found success in the tablet market with the Sony Xperia Z. Based on the Xperia Z phone, the tablet was a hit thanks in large part to its ultra-thin design and excellent display.

The Xperia Z2 features the same slim build found in other Sony tablets, but the display could use some work. Fortunately, the newest Xperia has plenty more to offer.

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Hands-On Impressions

At 10.47-by-6.8-by-0.25 inches, the Xperia Z2 is even thinner than its predecessor. In fact, in comparing tablets it’s even a bit thinner than the highly touted Apple iPad Air. It’s also nearly an ounce lighter, tipping the scales at just 0.97 pounds.

That thinness does come with some tradeoffs, however, as the body doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as the iPad Air. That’s balanced by the fully waterproof design, which is a fantastic touch that isn’t offered by many competitors.

Tablet Tour

Touring around the Xperia Z2, the bulk of the action is arrayed along the top edge. There’s an IR blaster and noise-cancelling pinhole microphone, as well as a pair of flaps that help to keep the tablet waterproof.

Underneath the flaps are a micro-USB port, microSD card reader and a microSIM card slot. The bottom edge is home to a pair of pogo pins that can be used in docking the tablet, along with a specially designed waterproof 3.5-millimeter headphone jack.

The left edge sports a distinctively raised aluminum power button and a volume rocker, while the right edge is clean and clear.

Resolving the Details

Compared to tablets like the Apple iPad Air or Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, which both feature ultra-high resolutions, the Xperia Z2’s 1,920-by-1,200 pixel panel is a bit of a disappointment. It’s the same resolution as its predecessor, though the display does see some upgrades.

There’s not much to complain about aside from the resolution, as the Z2’s panel produces an attractive, vibrant picture with fantastic contrast and good viewing angles. The color accuracy isn’t ideal, but it can easily be corrected with a bit of tweaking.

Under the Hood

Despite the attractive styling and razor-thin build, the star of the show is undoubtedly the Xperia Z2’s hardware. Sony has packed the tablet with a quad-core 2.3-gigahertz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and three gigabytes of RAM, which delivers every bit of the performance you’d expect.

The lightly-skinned Android 4.4.2 KitKat interface hums along with nary a hiccup, and even hardware-intensive games run reasonably well. In a real-world tablet comparison, the difference is clear. The Sony Xperia Z2 easily outpaces the iPad Air and Galaxy Note 10.1 in virtually any task.

The battery is a different story, however. Though the Z2 offers solid longevity during casual use, more demanding tasks can drain the slightly undersized battery surprisingly quickly.

Tablet Roundup

The Sony Xperia Z2 isn’t a perfect tablet, but it does have a lot to offer. It’s exceedingly thin and reasonably well-made, and the fact that it’s waterproof is a clear advantage compared to tablets like the iPad Air and Galaxy Note 10.1.

The display isn’t quite as brilliant as its competitors, but it’s plenty good in its own right. Moreover, the Xperia’s beefy performance makes it hard to ignore. Compared to its predecessor, the Xperia Z2 represents a significant leap forward in many ways.

Where the Xperia Z made Sony tablets relevant, the Xperia Z2 has proven that Sony can compete with the best devices on the market.

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