Just months after launching the Z1, Sony has announced its latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z2. The handset, which largely shares its design with the older device, offers improved screen technology and improved optics, including the ability to capture 4K video.
The new device provides slightly more screen real-estate than its predecessor, boasting a 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD Triluminos display. Borrowing from its TV expertise, Sony has introduced Live Color LED technology on the Z2. This uses green and red phosphor with blue LEDs to create more uniform and brighter color reproduction.
The Z2 features the same 20.7 MP Exmor RS image sensor as the Z1, but this time with the added ability to shoot 4K (3840 x 2160, 30 fps) video. The company's SteadyShot image stabilization technology, also present on the device, should help to take full advantage of that expanded resolution.
The handset's front-facing camera has been upgraded to 2.2 MP and is capable of shooting 1080p video. There's also a dedicated camera button on the device, something that's lacking from a number of flagship, camera-centric handsets.
These improvements are backed up by some solid specs. The device packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.3 GHz quad-core chip, runs Android 4.4 Kitkat and is backed up by 3 GB of RAM. The Z2 ships with 16 GB of microSD-expandable storage, and features a 3,200 mAh battery and 4G LTE support. The device is just 8.2 mm (0.32 in) thick and weighs in at 158 g (0.35 lb) and, like previous Sony devices, features IP58 waterproof certification.
The Xperia Z2 also ships with a range of exclusive media content, including a selection of Sony Pictures movies and a 30 day trial of the company's Music Unlimited service.
Sony has also detailed a number of accessories designed to work with the device These include an STM10 Stereo Microphone that aims to bring the device's audio capture quality in line with the 4K video capabilities, and the company's in-ear Digital Noise Cancelling Headset.
Though the Xperia Z2's design does little to distinguish it from older handsets, it does provide a significant internal upgrade over last year's Z1 smartphone. The 4K video capture and improved screen are a welcome step up, but it remains to be seen how the device will match up against competing 2014 flagship devices, perhaps most notably the Samsung Galaxy S5.
The Sony Xperia Z2 is set to launch globally in March 2014.