Sony Xperia Z2 - Call Quality, Battery Life and Verdict

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Sony Xperia Z2 – Call Quality

The Sony Xperia Z2 puts more

effort than most phones into making its calls sound good. It’s not just

about providing a secondary microphone for active noise cancellation in

calls – that’s a given in decent phones these days – but applying

processing to the voice signal to make the post of the piezo driver used

as a call speaker.

The phone uses a particularly successful mix of compression/DSP to make calls sound vital, clear and crisp. While the HTC One M8

uses a beefier-sounding call speaker (it uses the top BoomSound

driver), we think the dedicated call speaker of the Xperia Z2 sounds a

bit better.
Bottom Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z2 – Battery Life

Sony

has also managed to make the Sony Xperia Z2 a bit of a battery outlier.

This phone has a 3,200mAh battery with significantly higher capacity

than either the Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8.

Video testWhen

set to play a looping SD-quality video, the benefit is clear. The

Xperia Z2 lasts for 15 hours of video playback, which is a whole lot

longer than the Samsung Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8.

It’s an impressive performance.

In

day-to-day life, the Xperia Z2 battery means you can get very good

stamina without resorting to using any special modes that cut down

features. The Samsung and HTC rivals need these if you want the phone to

last for two days, and they limit top brightness fairly severely.

In

other words, you have to try pretty hard to make the Z2’s battery drain

down completely in a day. And for some people that’s a massive bonus.

There

are also two battery life optimisation modes to make the phone last

even longer. Stamina mode switches off Wi-Fi and mobile data when the

screen is off, and you can make a list of certain apps that can access

data at all times.

Low-battery mode is a more invasive

power-saver that kicks in when the battery is low, to stretch out the

last bit of battery life. Perhaps the most unusual, though, is

Location-Based Wi-Fi. This switches Wi-Fi off apart from when you’re in

range of your ‘known’ networks. We assume this works by scanning every

now and then – so it’s not 100 per cent off – but is a sensible extra.

Other things to Consider

Like

every other new phone at this level, the Sony Xperia Z2 is a 4G phone.

Its USB ports also supports USB on the go, which lets you connect

external devices like hard drives, and the supports the 802.11ac Wi-FI

standard. This offers better range and speed than the previous n

standard, but you’ll also need an ac-compatible router to make use of

it.

Should I Buy the Sony Xperia Z2?

Picking between

this year’s top Android phones is pretty difficult. Their core specs

are extremely close and this time around the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and

Xperia Z2 all have microSD slots. There’s nothing too obvious to pick

between them.

The Xperia Z2’s issue is that it doesn’t have any

key area where it beats the competition. Its impressive-sounding camera

isn’t really any better than the S5’s, and the Samsung phone produces

better-looking photos in some conditions. And while its screen offers

great contrast, the slightly overenthusiastic colours won’t please the

more discerning among you. This is also the most problematic phone design-wise. It feels the most awkward out of the top three Androids

of early 2014, and its overheating issues are worrying.

So who

should buy the Xperia Z2? If you like the sound of its easy-going

interface, and value its waterproofing, it’s a decent choice among some evenly matched Android contenders, but only its waterproofing really sets it apart. 

Verdict

The Xperia Z2 is a

great phone in most respects. It has a very good camera and outlasts the

competition without compromising the experience. However, it is a bit

awkward to use at times and gets hotter than the other top phones when under strain.

Next, take a look at our round-up of the best mobile phones

Score in detail

  • Performance 8
  • Camera 8
  • Design 7
  • Battery Life 9
  • Usability 8
  • Value 8
  • Calls & Sound 8
  • Screen Quality 9
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