Sony’s Xperia Z2 smartphone is a five-star masterpiece of glamorous tech and uber-cool features, but with so much packed into its iconic frame, it’s easy to miss out on some of the best features.
Here’s our quick and easy tips n’ tricks guide to getting started with the Xperia Z2, and unlocking its full potential – including getting longer battery life, making it suitable for older users, and improving your camera footage.
Sony Xperia Z2 Tip 1: Fast access to your favourite settings
Quite often we find ourselves turning random features such as Wi-Fi on and off, usually to preserve battery life when they’re not needed.
1. The easiest and quickest way to toggle these settings is to flick down from the top of the screen, revealing your notifications bar, and then tap the ‘Quick Settings’ tab in the top right
2. You’ll see a panel of buttons, including the likes of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and auto-rotate: just tap each one to turn the feature on or off (shaded means the feature is off)
3. A few of our favourite features such as Airplane Mode, Mobile Data and Stamina Mode aren’t in the panel by default – you’ll need to add these yourself. To do so, hit the ‘Edit’ button to the right off the date and time, and then select/de-select any features you want/don’t want
Sony Xperia Z2 Tip 2: Block out the world
One of the coolest new features of the Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone is its built-in noise cancellation when using earphones. This only works with Sony’s earphones, bundled with the Xperia Z2, so you can’t just plug in any old pair sadly, but the clever cancellation jazz is performed by the phone itself, so the ‘phones don’t require any batteries for the feature to work.
To make sure noise cancellation is turned on, just go to Settings > Sound > Audio accessories, and make sure ‘noise-cancelling headset’ is selected. Then plug in your ‘phones and enjoy the peace.
Sony Xperia Z2 Tip 3: Tidy up your status bar
See that thin bar at the top of the Xperia Z2’s screen, which shows the time, reception bar etc? That’s the ‘status bar’, and it quickly gets cluttered when you’ve got lots of features turned on. Thankfully it’s quick and simple to tidy the damn thing up.
1. Go to Settings > Personalisation > Status bar icons
2. From this menu, you can select and de-select which icons appear in the status bar
Sony Xperia Z2 Tip 4: Simplify your desktop
If you’re not used to smartphones, or you just prefer a simplified, stripped-back interface, you can swap to Sony’s ‘Simple Home’ layout instead. This custom desktop features larger icons, ideal for older users with restricted eyesight or mobility, plus three speed dial buttons.
1. Go to Settings > Home
2. Select ‘Simple Home’. A brief explanation appears, just tap ‘OK’ to proceed
3. Your one-piece desktop will appear, containing only the most useful features plus the speed dial buttons. To exit back to the normal Xperia desktop, go to Settings > Exit Simple Home
Sony Xperia Z2 Tip 5: Get longer battery life
We found the Xperia Z2 comfortably lasted a day between charges, providing you aren’t caning it with lots of video streaming and gaming. But if you find yourself stranded often with almost no power left, Sony has a few different features to extend your battery life.
1. Go to Settings > Power Management, where you’ll find a number of different modes – turn on each one you want to by flipping the virtual switches to ‘on’.
2. STAMINA mode extends battery life by turning off Wi-Fi and mobile data when the phone’s screen is off. That means you’ll have to turn your phone on to receive any new emails, social media updates etc. but the battery will barely drain when in hibernation.
3. Low-battery mode activates at a set battery level (e.g. 20 percent by default), and disables certain features (e.g. Bluetooth, GPS) until the phone is charged again. You can select which features are disabled, and at what point low-battery mode turns on – simply tap Low-battery mode in the Power Management menu.
4. Location-based Wi-Fi is worth turning on too – this only activates Wi-Fi when you’re in range of a saved Wi-Fi network, so it doesn’t stay on pointlessly at all times.
Sony Xperia Z2 Tip 6: Banish the shaky-cam videos
One of the best new video features of the Sony Xperia Z2 is the ‘SteadyShot’ option, which helps to cut down annoying shaking when you’re shooting video and moving about at the same time.
1. Open the Camera app
2. In the bottom left corner you’ll find an icon that looks like three square dots in a line. Tap this to bring up the camera settings.
3. The menu that springs up has three tabs – camera, video and general settings. Go into the video settings by tapping the movie reel icon.
4. Make sure ‘SteadyShot’ is activated (the switch should be positioned to the right).
Check out our full Sony Xperia Z2 review for our full thoughts on this five-star smartphone.