Sony has just unveiled a new smartphone that caters specifically to the Taiwanese market. The Xperia Z2a shares with the Xperia Z2 flagship so much more than just the name, but in places where it does differ, the changes are anything short of disappointing.
To be fair, the Xperia Z2a only has a few thing it doesn't have in common with Sony's early 2014 premium smartphone. They run on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, in fact the very same variant that reaches only 2.3 GHz in speed. Memory is also premium at a generous 3 GB. The display is the same Full HD 1080p resolution, but in a smaller, and better, 5.0-inch size. The rear camera still boasts of the 20.7 megapixel Exmor RS sensor. If those specs sound somewhat similar, it's because the Xperia Z2a is practically the Xperia ZL2 unveiled for Japan last May. It is the same down to the color options, which includes that rare Turquoise you'd be hard pressed to find in the market.
Of course, the Xperia Z2a is not the Xperia Z2. The former, for example, is smaller, at least in length and width. Unfortunately, it is also thicker, almost 2 mm thicker than the Xperia Z2. The rear cover design is also quite distinct, sporting something like a lip around the edges instead of the smooth straight edges of the flagship. Quite amusingly, the Xperia Z2a lanyard holes, which isn't exactly something you'd expect to find on a somewhat high-end device. The biggest regression, however, is in the front camera and the display quality. Instead of the relatively decent 2.2 megapixel front shooter on the Xperia Z2, you get a measly 0.3 megapixel camera instead. Perhaps an even bigger disappointment is the display. The Xperia Z2a boasts of the same BRAVIA and TRILUMINOS tech as the flagship, and that isn't obvious in a side by side comparison of the two, revealing less accurate and washed out colors on the Xperia Z2a at certain angles.
That the Sony Xperia Z2a is meant for Taiwan is clearly marked by its network support. The device adds the 700 MHz LTE band, making it support the country's full-band 4G LTE network. There is no set date yet for availability, though it expected to launch some time in July. No pricing details either, but it is expected to be at least cheaper than the Xperia Z2.