BARCELONA, Spain — I typically have headphones on when I’m home in New York, whether it’s during a jog or a commute. I often crank the volume up, at the risk of hearing loss, so that I could hear my favorite podcasts over loud subways and honking cars.
I was excited to see noise-canceling technology in Sony’s new Xperia Z2 smartphone. I’ve resisted investing in pricey noise-cancelling sets because I’m prone to lose or break them. If it’s going to be built into a phone, perhaps I can use that instead of my iPod.
Alas, I find the new feature to be more promise than practical, based on the brief time I had with the phone at this week’s Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona, Spain.
But first, I’ll go through other features that may appeal to some people. The phone is due to come out in March. Sony hasn’t announced a price, though its phones typically sell for $500 to $600 in the U.S. without subsidies or a contract.
Waterproof: Sony’s smartphones are distinctive in being waterproof. You might find it useful if you work as a lifeguard or live near a beach.
20.7 Megapixel camera: That’s even better than the 16 megapixels in Samsung’s new Galaxy S5. But lens quality and the focus mechanism are also important. I didn’t get to try out the Z2’s camera, but it’s the same one in the Xperia Z1s, which I’ve had mixed results with.
4K Video recording: It’s impressive that the phone can capture video with four times the details as full high-definition video. But 4K displays are still expensive, so you won’t appreciate the extra sharpness for a while. It’s more for people who want to take quality video now for the day 4K becomes more common.