Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: Elemental


GSMArena team, 04 April 2014.

Unboxing the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

There's not much to the retail box of the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet - the device itself, plus a compact charger and a microUSB 2.0 cable to go with it. The charger output is 1.5A, which is smartphone territory. Not that the Xperia Z2 Tablet has a huge battery, but still. As usual though box contents are market-dependent so you might get a different charger in your area.

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Retail box • charger and microUSB cable

Design and build quality

Sony uses the same design for its flagship phones and the Xperia Z2 Tablet - an aluminum skeleton that runs the perimeter of the device with a hollow center. This brings the benefits of a sturdy aluminum frame and enough room for internal hardware as the frame stays out of the way of components. Undoubtedly it has helped Sony to hit the stunning 6.4mm of thickness.

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The latest iteration of the OmniBalance design

While the inside is technically impressive, the outside is visually impressive. It follows the OmniBalance design language with a small change - the back is matte, soft touch plastic instead of the usual glass. As we already mentioned, this change reduces weight and handles scratches better. The plastic can be rather tricky to clean when it gets smudgy, though.

The feel in hand is a memorable experience - the Z2 tablet feels stunningly light for its size. It's impressively slim too - most devices use visual tricks to hide some of their depth (like sloped sides), but the Xperia Z2 Tablet has nothing to hide.

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Holding the Xperia Z2 Tablet in the hand is a unique experience

The unusually lightweight and thin body gives the Z2 Tablet a premium feel that most Android tablets lack, even the people's favorite iPad Air is outdone here.

The plastic on the back handles knocks and scratches better than glass, while the tempered, scratch-resistant glass on the front should take some beating too. With the IP58 water resistance rating, you may as well defy the instinct to handle the tablet with a light touch.

The front of the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is dominated by the screen, but a couple of other components are there too. They blend in almost seamlessly into the design, but if you look closer you'll spot two vertical notches on either side of the display - the stereo speakers.

They are powered by Sony's S-Force surround sound tech and are positioned almost at the bottom of the front side. That's so you don't cover them with your palms when you hold the tablet.

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Frontal view of the tablet • one of the stereo speakers

Speaking of which, the bezels are perhaps our biggest complaint about the Xperia Z2 Tablet. We like bezels on tablets since they allow a good thumb purchase to comfortably hold that weight.

However, the side bezels in particular are unnecessarily big, especially considering how light the device is. The bezels also affect the device visually, making the 10.1" display look smaller than normal.

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Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1

Above the display are the 2.2MP front-facing camera, an ambient light sensor and a status LED. It's in the right corner of the tablet and is so tiny we almost missed it at first. It's just a white LED, so it can't show color-coded notifications.

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Front-facing camera and sensors

The top side of the tablet features the IR blaster and a noise cancellation mic, plus two protective flaps. One covers the microUSB 2.0 port, the other the card slots. One is a microSD card slot to build on the base 16GB of storage, while the other slot is reserved for the microSIM card. If you have the Wi-Fi only version, that slot will be sealed off with a plug.

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Top side of the tablet • two flaps • IR blaster and mic

The flaps are part of the water-proofing measures for the tablet and must be closed if the Xperia Z2 Tablet is to come into contact with water. The UI will prompt you to close any opened flaps.

You can charge the tablet without plugging in a microUSB cable. You'll need a Sony charging dock that connects to the exposed pogo pins at the bottom of the tablet. If you have a high-end Xperia phone, it and the tablet can take turns on the dock.

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The pogo pins at the bottom of the Xperia Z2 Tablet

Also at the bottom of the tablet is the 3.5mm audio jack, though if you find that uncomfortable there's nothing stopping you from using the Xperia Z2 Tablet upside down (barring video calls).

The left side of the tablet features the trademark aluminum Power key and the volume rocker.

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The round Power key is made of aluminum

The back of the tablet is almost uninhabited save for the 8MP camera and NFC logo in the top right corner. The camera has no flash (not that we consider this an issue for tablets), while the NFC logo gives you something to aim for when pairing with other devices.

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The matte back of the Xperia Z2 Tablet • the NFC antenna is under the 8MP camera

Underneath is a 6,000mAh battery, the same capacity as the previous model. It's good that Sony managed to keep the capacity, while bringing the thickness down, but it's a bit small for a 10" tablet - similarly sized competitors have over 30% more juice in their batteries.

Reader comments

  • Hassaam
  • 10 Jul 2022
  • KIB

Can i upgrade sony tablet sot21 4.1.1 android to 5.1.1 android any one Can help how to upgrade that device am from Pakistan

  • Bo3adsa
  • 07 Feb 2021
  • L2P

People who own this and don't know what to with it now it's old technology . Here an idea, you can use it as a digital picture frame. You're welcome

I bought my xperia z2 in a Japanese recycle store. It always starts perfectly, with no probs at all in diagnostics. Perfect. But after different times of use, 1) always loses stability (everything jumps/flickers) and 2) screen touch respons...