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Re: A bitter sweet goodbye to the M8
I thought I'd give my quick impressions of the Z2 after a few hours of use this afternoon.
The Z2 feels better in my hand, it strangely "feels" lighter than the M8 even if it isn't.
It's certainly easier for me to hold being thinner with an edge that your palm can grip.
The screen isn't quite as bright as the M8 but extremely vibrant and doesn't suffer from 1080 on a 5.2 inch screen.
I can't see the lower pixel count with my eyes.
I hugely, much prefer the Sony UI to Sense, I never liked Blinkfeed and although the M8 UI was smooth and fairly uniform it was a little too utilitarian at times for me.
The Sony UI is smooth, nicely animated and has come great touches (Homescreen and app draw management for one.) it's feels more dainty and delicate than Sense and isn't much of a slouch either.
The Sony gallery is an app to fall in love with, using pinch to smoothly zoom in from tiny thumbnails of all your pictures down to the individual picture with all the images rearranging themselves on the fly in one smooth move is a joy to watch and use.
I want to kiss the engineers and designers that made the Sony gallery app!
The bad thing about the UI is the bloatware that pimps Sony's services, yes you can ignore it or hide the apps so you never have to afflict them on yourself but placing the Whats new app on the google now upswipe next to google now is dumb, annoying and someone at Sony should be beaten for it.
Other than that, I love the UI!
Sound, good but not a patch on Boomsound through the speakers!
The Z2 speakers are just about as loud as the M8 but lack the bass and punch of the Boomsound speakers.
In the Z2's defence though the speakers are not only waterproof but so small they are almost invisible and the top one manages to fit in the very top couple of mm of bezel and share the miniscule space with an awesome LED notification light that pulses across the top of the screen.
The sony speakers are a marvel of design considering the space they were given.
Yes the Sony LED is awesome compared to the M8 LED... well it wouldn't be hard to beat the M8 two colour pinpoint tbh!
last but no means least, the big one.
Is 4mp on the M8 enough compared to the Z2 using 8MP superior auto?
Erm.. no, nowhere near.
Don't get me wrong I loved the M8 camera, I had to work it but being so unruly it taught me a lot about mobile photography and made me a better photographer.
The Z2 in Superior auto does the opposite.
It removes all manual control and says "You are a puny human with a puny human brain, i have a computer for a brain...shhh... let me deal with the photography"
And damn it, it's generally right!
No manual focus (EDIT: I've since found out the auto mode does indeed have manual focus, it's just not as noticeable as the M8), no manual macro and no manual adjustments at all; just software algorithms making lots of calculations and getting it (mostly) right.
The 8MP images are full of detail even at 1:1 zoom, great colour reproduction (although reds are a bit over saturated but not unpleasantly so) and have pin sharp focus (usually, can't apply focus manually )
It's fast too, very fast... almost on a par with the M8 but still I think a tiny smidgen slower than the M8.
It does have a dedicated camera button... Yay!
I don't think I could ever use a phone without one now!
A couple of photo examples I took today.
Great colour reproduction, great detail IMHO.
Action shot, good shutter speed and focus.
Macro in daylight
Macro with flash in low light.
I loved the M8 but I don't regret changing one bit.
The Z2 is the perfect phone for me (as I suspected it would be) I just hope it proves as reliable as the M8.