Sony Xperia Z2 vs Sony Xperia Z1: What's the difference?

Sony has announced the Xperia Z2, the successor to the Xperia Z1 that launched at IFA in Berlin in September 2013.

The Xperia Z2 made its debut at Mobile World Congress 2014 with the tag line "details make the difference". But what has changed in six months since the Xperia Z1 launched and what is different between the two devices? Read on to find out.

The Xperia Z2 has a better display

The Xperia Z2 has taken its display up a notch over the Xperia Z1. Not only is it 0.2-inches bigger at 5.2-inches compared to the 5-inch screen on the Xperia Z1, but Sony has also introduced Live Colour LED to the Trimluminos and X-Reality tech of the Xperia Z1.

While the resolution stays the same at 1920 x 1080 pixels, the Live Colour LED technology is said to widen the colour gamut, allowing you to boost colours without oversaturation.

READ: Hands-on: Sony Xperia Z2 review

Side by side, the Xperia Z2 clearly shows an improved display with punchier colours and better viewing angles over the Xperia Z1.

The Xperia Z2 has a pixel density of 423ppi compared to the Xperia Z1's 440ppi, meaning a slightly sharper image on the Xperia Z1 due to its smaller display.

Familiar design

Sony hasn't altered the Xperia Z2's design too much from the Xperia Z1, although it is slimmer in terms of width, as well as lighter than its predecessor. You will get a slight increase in height with the Xperia Z2 due to the larger display, but it's fractional.

The Xperia Z2 is 8.2mm thick while the Xperia Z1 clocks 144.4 x 73.9 x 8.5mm in terms of dimensions. The Xperia Z1 weighs 169g and although the Xperia Z2's weight was unknown at the time of writing, it felt lighter when we held it.

Both devices come with the same solid aluminium frame, neat chamfered edges and tempered glass front and rear panel. Additionally, both devices come in the black, white and purple options.

The Xperia Z2 sounds better

The Sony Xperia Z2 moves the speakers from the end of the phone and around to the front, introducing S Force Surround Sound. This should make for a better experience when watching movies or playing games through the speakers.

READ: Sony adds noise cancellation to Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet

The Sony Xperia Z2 also incorporates digital noise cancellation. This works through the bundled headphones in the box. They have mics on them to detect ambient noise, which is passed to the handset to produce anti-noise to cancel it out. The Xperia Z2 should be a popular phone for commuters, as you'll be able to better cut out the outside world.

The Xperia Z2 brings camera enhancements

The Xperia Z2 brings the same 20.7-megapixel Exmor R for Mobile sensor that the Xperia Z1 proudly launched with in September, but there are a few enhancements with the new flagship.

The Xperia Z2 brings all the same Smart Social features that the Xperia Z1 has, but it adds 4K video capture to its offering.

There have also been some video effects added to the Xperia Z2 including AR and Vine, as well as SteadyShot image stabilisation.

In addition, the Xperia Z2 brings 120fps slow motion as well as a new background defocus mode for stills so it's fair to say the Xperia Z2 certainly takes the camera capabilities up a notch over the Xperia Z1.

Android 4.4 with the Xperia Z2

Perhaps one of the biggest differences aside from the camera and display improvements is that the Xperia Z2 will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat while the Xperia Z1 is still waiting for the upgrade.

You'll get the translucent navigation bars and other elements, but Sony has also added a shortcut to What's New in the swipe action used to access Google Now.

The What's New portal pushes Sony's own content so that will be one of the first things you'll notice that is different between the two devices if you use Googe Now.

There is also a new Navigon satnav app that has been added to the Xperia Z2, although all of these differences should come to the Xperia Z1 when it is updated to Android 4.4.  

The Xperia Z2 is faster

As you would expect with an upgraded handset, the Xperia Z2 brings with it a faster processor compared to the Xperia Z1.

The Xperia Z2 features the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor under the hood with 2.3GHz quad-core Krait CPUs, compared to the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor in the Xperia Z1.

READ: Sony Xperia Z1 review

There is also an increase in RAM with the Xperia Z2, offering 3GB compared to the 2GB found in the Xperia Z1. Both models have 16GB of internal storage with microSD support for further storage expansion up to 64GB.

The Xperia Z2 will last longer

There has also been an improvement in battery with the Xperia Z2 over the Xperia Z1. The Xperia Z2 has a 3200mAh battery while the Xperia Z1 comes with a 3000mAh battery that promised up to 14 hours talk time and 880 hours standby time so you should get a bit more juice out of the new model. Both also offer the company's Stamina mode which we've been fans of for some time.

In terms of connectivity, there is no change. Both devices offer the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity options so you can expect the same experience with the new Xperia Z2.

Conclusion

As you would expect, the Xperia Z2 is an improvement over the Xperia Z1 with a better display, enhanced camera options, faster processor and latest software.

That it is also lighter and slimmer than its predecessor is also a bonus, but if you were hoping for more of a refreshed design, you're out of luck here.

There's no word on pricing, but the Sony Xperia Z2 will be available in March 2014.