Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Samsung Galaxy Note PRO 12.2: first look


Sony has unveiled the Xperia Z2 Tablet at MWC 2014, and if there was ever a device deserving the title ‘Air’ we would give this out to Sony. The Xperia Z2 Tablet is the lightest and thinnest 10-inch tablet ever made (it’s actually 8% lighter and 15% thinner than the iPad Air), but we could not help but wonder how it will compare against a newly emerging category of 12.2” tablets.

For this comparison, we have the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet against the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. Let’s see whether the S Pen and TouchWiz interface can give Samsung’s tablet any tangible advantage.

Design


Measuring a razor thin 0.25" (6.4mm), the Xperia Z2 Tablet is the lightest of all 10" tablets, weighing less than a pound (426g) for the Wi-Fi model. In stark contrast, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 that we compare it against is actually 42% heavier than that. The difference is crucial - you can easily hold the Z2 Tablet with just one hand for longer periods of time, while the Note Pro 12.2’s weight just forces you to hold it with two hands or rest it against some surface.

Sony’s tablet features the well-known OmniBalance design language with sharp corners, monotone colors and signature accents like the circular power key, all combining to creating a well-crafted slate. The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is very different in style and feel. It looks like a stretched out Note 3 with that familiar faux-leather back and the S Pen tucked in on its side. Which style is better? We prefer the cleaner, modern looking one on Sony’s tablet, but - quite frankly - it’s a matter of personal preference.

Display


Sony is using a new LED display technology for the 10-inch 1920 x 1200-pixel IPS display on the Xperia Z2 Tablet. The technology is called Live Color LED, and it uses red and green phosphor lights with blue LEDs, while specially made color filters are on top of that. The end result is a display that should produce more evenly distributed light and just have a better image quality. Sony also includes its "X-Reality for Mobile" engine that analyzes the image output in real time for artifacts, colors, sharpness and contrast, and makes sure the digital noise is boiled down to a minimum.

The Note Pro 12.2 comes with a much larger, 12.2-inch display that makes it look as large as some ultrabooks and not all that portable. With a larger screen, though, you can get more things done easier, plus it’s a higher-res panel - one featuring a 2560 x 1600 pixels of resolution. In reality, though, the larger size compensates for the difference in resolution and the two look almost equally sharp. Actually, the fact that the Note Pro 12.2 uses a Pentile RGBW matrix makes it look pixelated when displaying areas of just one color, while you don’t have that issue on the Z2 tablet.

One hugely important feature of Sony’s Xperia Z2 Tablet is the IP58 certification, so you can take it with you to watch movies in the bathtub, and just not worry if you splash it with water.

Interface


Both tablets run the latest Android 4.4 KitKat, but they also feature different custom skins. Sony has its much lighter layer on top of Android, changing little in the traditional icon-based interface of Android, while Samsung has cooked up a brand new user interface that uses large-sized tiles and is a nearly complete overhaul of the stock Android looks.

Samsung offers the more feature-packed skin with neat features that make a lot of sense for tablets and its split-screen multitasking mode is the best example. However, it’s also true that many of the features in Samsung’s skin look a bit gimmicky, and TouchWiz is generally the much heavier interface. All in all, Sony has simplicity and speed on its side, but it lacks the advanced multitasking features.

A neat addition to the software package for the Xperia Z2 Tablet is the bundle of six free blockbuster movies from Sony Pictures and a month of Music Unlimited trial that come a bonus.

Processor and memory


Being a newer device, Sony's Z2 Tablet runs on the newest 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, which is a slight improvement over the Snapgragon 800 in the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. The difference is indeed small, and you probably won’t notice it much in regular apps and just navigating around menus. One area where the extra performance power will come in handy, though, is gaming where we expect the Z2 Tablet to be a bit faster than the Samsung one.

The Xperia Z2 Tablet also comes with 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory, expandable via a microSD slot. The Note Pro 12.2 features the same amount of RAM, but it has double the internal storage that is also expandable via microSD cards.

Camera


The 8MP Exmor R camera sensor on the back of the tablet sports an LED flash, and all the bells and whistles you'd expect from Sony's camera app, like automatic Scene Recognition mode, or an HDR photo regime. Samsung’s tablet also features an 8-megapixel main camera, and both are capable of recording video at 1080p. The two tablets also come with 2-megapixel front-facing cameras for video conferencing.

One neat feature of the Xperia Z2 is the surround sound setup called S-Force with speakers on the sides. The tablet is equipped with four of them in total, ensuring true surround experience. Naturally, the placement of the speakers is such that you won't block them with your hands while holding the tablet.


Expectations


The Xperia Z2 Tablet will be arriving some time in March, and there will be a choice of two colors - black and white housing, while the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is already up for sale. With all this revolutionary thinness and lightness, though, we tend to think the Xperia Z2 Tablet is the more lucrative option of these two. What do you think, has Sony done it again with the Z2 Tablet?

Related phones

Xperia Z2 Tablet
  • Display 10.1" 1920 x 1200 pixels
  • Camera 8.1 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 6000 mAh
Galaxy NotePRO 12.2
  • Display 12.2" 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 9500 mAh

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22 Comments

1. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

For me, Note Pro because 9500mah > 6000mah ! Not to mention Sony's phone/tablets generally suffer from poor battery life.

9. Insignificant

Posts: 192; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

The note pro has a 50% larger screen surface area so there's not much battery advantage and lags. Sony's tablets and phones don't suffer from poor battery life, they aren't used in enough cycles before being tested.

10. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Xperia Z1 with 3000mah battery lasted 53h on gsmarena tests while GS4 with 2600mah battery lasted 69h. Its not cycles its poor software optimization on Sony's part. Link Z1:http://blog.gsmarena.com/the-sony-xperia-z1-bat​tery-tests-are-done-heres-the-score/ Link GS4:http://blog.gsmarena.com/samsung-i9505-galaxy-s4-battery-tests-update-battery-life-improved/

17. nlfffffff

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

but z1 compact with 2300mah is amazing blog.gsmarena.com/sony-xperia-z1-compact-battery-t​est/

2. Lyngdoh

Posts: 319; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

Why don't you just create a poll PA?

3. yadu004

Posts: 72; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

Did I sense one sided judgement throughout this post? There is not a lot of difference between these two, but you guys made it sound like Z2 tablet is miles ahead.

4. toink unregistered

Sony engineering at its best.

5. Xenaz

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 28, 2013

This is a weird comparison, why don't PA compare the tablet Z2 with the Galaxy Note 10.1 or Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 instead?

18. Zenzui

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

I've been thinking the same thing.. The whole article keep complaining about Note 12 having hard time holding it compared to Z2. While Samsung has another line that is in 10.1...

6. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

I'm a pruductivity freak, and the Note Pro is far more advanced in that, multi-screens, windowed mode, designer-ready digitizer and pen, pro level office apps, Magazine UI and fullscreen functions (no Android bars, notifications can be hidden, not much use anyway in a tablet). But as far as price go, the 12.2 is too expensive, so if the Z2 was around $450, it would be a more sensible choice, but it will be well over that price without being anything more productive than a large screen phone. If you need just that, why not go for the more refined iPad Air for $500? My logic is simple: who gives the best productivity for the buck, and right now IMO that's the Tab Pro 8.4 for $400, or the Surface 1 for $500 (quite a deal right now), there rest aren't offering something much better than my Nexus 4 supersized (no, I don't need a waterproof tablet, why would I need one?)

7. Leonis

Posts: 338; Member since: Jan 08, 2014

S4 lagged like hell, I have the Tab 3 8" at the moment and it laggs too! No more Samsung products from me. Sony take this one for me.

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Yeah! More support for sony please. They really have great product and design! However, 12.2 form factor is new to me so far loving it. Make reading comic a true joy especially in bed no need to zoom in for the dialog.

11. rangaha

Posts: 86; Member since: Dec 05, 2013

'lagged like hell' seems legit

13. caesantos

Posts: 90; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

If your S4 "lagged like hell", why did you buy Tab3. Did you expect it to "lag like heaven", LOL?

16. Leonis

Posts: 338; Member since: Jan 08, 2014

I never bought the S4 but I know it does lagg because many reviews and I know a few people who have that phone. I bought the Tab3 for very very cheap from a friend and it was all new. With 7-10 apps running in the background you will experience lagg.

21. Arirank

Posts: 40; Member since: Jan 19, 2014

LOL even u arent own S4 n u can say it laggy. "7-8 apps running in the background"... zzzz... The Tab 3 8" just dual-core device sir... -_-"

22. Leonis

Posts: 338; Member since: Jan 08, 2014

Really I have to own a phone to say that? I have seen a couple reviews who said it laggs. I know many people who said it laggs. I own the Tab 3 8" and it laggs! How stupid are you to not understand that? Just dual core... really? I mean ipad 2 never laggs on me and it was years before tab 3. Samsung fanboy.

20. Arirank

Posts: 40; Member since: Jan 19, 2014

I suggest u to use feature phone.. u just not smart enough to use smartphone. I use S4 n G2 they r both running smoothly for HD games or multitask..

12. caesantos

Posts: 90; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

I don't understand the comparison. For me it's clear that people who would buy Note Pro 12.2 are interested in the fact that's bigger than the others and has a S-Pen. Note 12.2 is in a niche of its own. A better comparison would be between Z2 and Note 10.1 2014 Edition and iPad Air, its true competitors.

14. vuyonc

Posts: 1089; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

The Z2 tablet is definitely awesome but they could've put in a bigger battery like Samsung and Apple instead of just shaving off thickness and bezels. Won't do that well as a travel/productivity tablet.

15. BooBooooooo

Posts: 57; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

I need full-comparison of ipad air and z2

19. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

both are good tablets, difficult choice

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