Sony Xperia Z2 vs Z1: first look

The Sony Xperia Z2 is thinner than the Z1, with a larger, better display, faster processor, more RAM, larger battery, stereo speakers, and runs on the newest Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Let's dive in for the nitty-gritty differences between the six-months old Z1, and its thorough overhaul the Z2.


Measuring at just 8.2 mm thickness, Sony's newest flagship a tad thinner than the Z1 predecessor, and it's also a tad lighter. It keeps the same rectangular OmniBalance design with soft edges, and a centerpiece round metallic power key on the side. The phone is again built on a solid one-piece aluminum frame, clasping the glass front and back panels, exuding a premium feeling, and feels a bit better in the hand.


The Z2 has quite a different display panel, compared to the Z1. It's a 5.2" 1080p Triluminos display, with a new imaging technology, dubbed Live Colour LED. The weakest spot of the Z1 flagship was its 5" display panel, whose viewing angles were far from the flagship level, but on the Z2 we have an IPS panel, so this point is now moot. The new display technology here is called Live Colour LED - it uses red and green phosphor with blue LEDs, and has tailored color filters on top, that allegedly produce brighter and more evenly spread lighting.


The Z2 carries Sony's own interface overlay, like the Z1, but it is coated over Android 4.4 KitKat, which is yet to arrive on Sony's six-months old flagship. There are numerous functionality improvements, too, like DoubleTap to Wake, a Smart Call function, and a bunch of new extras in the camera interface, which we list below.

Processor and memory

The screen is not the only thing that's better here, though - the Xperia Z2 comes with a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset with LTE support, paired with the whopping 3 GB of RAM. This processor is just a step below Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 805, which won't be in devices before the summer, which ensures that the Xperia Z2 won't seem underpowered until the next "refresh" cycle. In comparison with the Snapdragon 800 in the Z1, the new 801 comes with 14% faster Krait 400 processor cores, 28% faster Adreno 330 graphics, and the whole reason for the 801 being - a 45% improvement in camera sensor processing speed.


Sony again uses the 20.7 MP camera of the Z1 here, but this time enables 4K video recording from the get-go, making the Z2 "the world’s best camcorder in a waterproof smartphone". Despite that it's the same 1/2.3-type Exmor RS for mobile CMOS image sensor with 1.1 micron pixels, and Sony G Lens cover, like on the Z1, Sony has leveraged the faster processor and more RAM for extra camera functions. We already mentioned the ability to shoot 4K footage, but Sony now adds its Timeshift option for video, not only for stills. 

You can shoot 120fps footage, and select where the footage should turn into slow-motion one. Add to these the real-time effects you can apply during shootin, like colouring, image trails, mirror and motion effects, as well as the AR effect you can choose before you press the camera key, and the video aspect all of a sudden becomes dramatically upgraded from the Z1. You are now also able to create short and sweet Vine video clips directly from the camera interface, too, and underwater at that, if the situation calls for it. The still shots are also getting new options, such as Background defocus. This new camera option will captures two photos at different focus settings, and blends together the different depths, leading to a blurred out background for more artsy photos.

Related phones

Xperia Z2
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(19h 3G talk time)
Xperia Z1
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(15h 3G talk time)



1. outlawog

Posts: 47; Member since: Nov 27, 2013

Its so huge, it looks like a dining table. But thats just me, i dont like big phones lol.

4. Lyngdoh

Posts: 319; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

Dining tables have legs. This phone don't. Joke = fail.

8. outlawog

Posts: 47; Member since: Nov 27, 2013

Dont be intentionally stupid.

10. Lyngdoh

Posts: 319; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

You are comparing a phone to a table! What kind of a joke is that?

11. outlawog

Posts: 47; Member since: Nov 27, 2013

Oh come on now, not literally - metaphorically. Stop being so serious - you must be so fun at parties!

9. datphoneguy

Posts: 155; Member since: Sep 15, 2013

Yeah this is just too big - even the Z1 seemed kinda "clunky" in comparison to the S4/HTC One...the new Z2 is approaching the size of the Note. And the Note is far superior to the Z2 in almost every way....

16. g2a5b0e unregistered

I think approaching is putting it lightly. They are in the same size category. Z2: 5.78" x 2.89" x .32" N3: 5.95" x 3.12" x .33" Pretty damned close.

19. ivanprskalo

Posts: 124; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

Note is not superior to Z2. No way. Z2 has surely better camera, higher ppi count, resolution the same, Z2 is waterproof, better processor, battery the same, screen on par or better on Z2, so what Note has? That stupid pencil no one uses? hahah

2. red_fox unregistered

They look almost the same but the Z2 looks a bit more premium-ish

3. uchihakurtz

Posts: 428; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I'd be pissed big time if I was a Z1 owner, Z! isn't even a year old yet the replacement already fixes it in 6 months, the display looks gorgeous.

20. ivanprskalo

Posts: 124; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

What is with you people. Do you use phone for bragging or what? Why do you feel need always to have latest phone? It's not a race or competition... Why would you be pissed off if you were Z1 owner? Because Sony release new phone? Is it forbidden for them? Maybe your precious feelings weren't so important to them after all... laughable... people, get a life, use your phone, don't be obsessed with non important things...

5. Imaxxacre

Posts: 76; Member since: Aug 23, 2009

Specs wise, I dunno if the Z2 is large enough of an improvement over the Z1 to really matter much.

6. zachattack

Posts: 621; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

hands on video kthx. God thing thing is gorgeous

7. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

everything that i want in this phone , it's just perfetc 100/100 gorgeous display awsome camera best build quality and the design is just awsoome , thinner and no bezels the sound is just incredible .. 2 speakers s-force 3 GB RAM . 2.3 ghz , 20mp 4k video , slow motion 120 fps , you can use it with gloove , and waterproof , what a human want more ? this is just wow

12. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

is that IPS screen? wow that's good. Finally Sony listens to the customers

13. eq5555

Posts: 64; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

Black color and some contrast picture please comparison

14. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

This just goes to show how much sony "cares" about its customers... Z1 is more than capable of the 4k and 120fps.. and if we don't get anything similar in future updates its the last and first time i buy a sony flagship. I'd rather go back to samsung atleast they upgrade the phones on the software side..

15. doanbx

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Haha, I am waiting Z2 is being annoucements because in that, the price of Z1 will drop and I can have own it! I love Z1

17. Scomii

Posts: 25; Member since: Nov 22, 2013

z2 is taller than z1 but its also narrower,thinner and lighter.

18. Scomii

Posts: 25; Member since: Nov 22, 2013

z2 is taller than z1 but its also narrower,thinner and lighter. Considering that its still water proof ,has a bigger display and an even bigger battery capacity , id say its size it right.

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