Sony Xperia ZL Android 4.2.2

Several subtle but noticeable changes create an overall improved experience

In case you missed it, Sony started pushing out an Android 4.2.2 update to its Xperia ZL (and now Xperia Z) handsets, including the unlocked LTE model available in the U.S. market. We have loaded up the update on our own ZL, and wanted to give a quick look at everything that has changed both user-facing and under the hood.

Hang with us after the break where we break down the changes that come with an update to Android 4.2.2 on the Sony Xperia ZL, one of the few devices currently available with the software.

If you'll recall back to our original Xperia ZL review, we found Sony's changes to Android 4.1 to be small and coherent -- with most differences being purely stylistic. The same can be said now with the bump to 4.2, where Sony has just made some basic changes to integrate new features with little shake-up in usability. The biggest user-facing changes come by way of lock screen widgets, an improved launcher and customizable notification toggles. The former acts exactly the same as it would on a Nexus, with a swipe from the right taking you into the camera, and a swipe from the left revealing blank spaces to add and customize widgets.

Once you unlock, the launcher has received a facelift with now semi-transparent status and navigation bars (which were previously black), along with new shadowing when interacting with folders. There are new animations and layouts for adding/removing widgets and pages in the launcher as well. The multitasking interface has also been changed up, with larger app previews and an improved interface for adding quick launch apps to the multitasking view. Notification toggles are now customizable rather than static, and can be changed to include one of 15 different buttons from Wifi and Mobile Data to Auto Rotate and NFC.

On the inside, Sony has added support on the ZL for 64GB SDcards but has opted to stick with its original camera app and features. Under the Display settings you'll also find the lesser-used Daydream feature, which Sony has modified to show either photos from your gallery or a dynamic page of colors. You can of course download and install extra Daydream extensions to expand its capabilities.

Overall we have to commend Sony for taking the time to work on and push out an update that is in the grand scheme of things not a big deal to most people because of the limited feature set. The features that have been included are important ones -- as are the visual improvements to Sony's own software -- and it certainly gives consumers a bit of hope that Sony will continue with the upgrade cycle on subsequent releases of Android and new devices.

If you have yet to pick up the update on your own Xperia ZL via an OTA, you can always download it with the Sony PC Companion (or Sony Bridge For Mac) software.


Reader comments

Hands-on with Android 4.2.2 for the Sony Xperia ZL


Let me be the first of many to say I sure wish the T mobile S3 would get this upgrade soon.

Posted via Android Central App

Speak of that.. Let's chat about the T-Mobile Note 3.. Should be the best $800.00 Telephone Money Can Buy...

I guess that means no photosphere, dang I really was hoping to see more manufacturers include it with the their 4.2.2 updates. LG was able to include it on the Optimus G Pro, even though it has a different name (and I know LG had a leg up on photosphere since they built the N4 phone). I just think it's a neat feature and it'd be great to see more on G+.

Yup unless it's hidden in some crazy area I can't find, there's no Photosphere here. Sony seems to have kept the exact same camera app.

As a Nexus 4 user, I can tell you that while photosphere may be "neat" it's probably not something you'd use much. I tried it out several times, and it's always had a funny way of stitching the images together. The real awesomeness of 4.2 is lockscreen widgets. Especially with dashclock installed.

Is it just me or does it seem Sony is starting to pick up its game in the Android arena? On the ball with updates, up to date with hardware in its new product line, smart accessories. I'm starting to see Sony as a viable alternative now. Good job Sony!

Posted via Android Central App

Cool, I'll have to try this out on my red ZL tonight. I like the phone but have been using the HTC One more, maybe 4.2.2 will swing me back over to the ZL :)

My only concern is the Bluetooth stack, hopefully Sony is using their own instead of the god-awful stock Android one which won't support my Pebble and any Bluetooth headset connected simultaneously (a HUGE problem with my Nexus 4).

@Andrew Martonik

Thanks for the post.

Sony should always update their smartphone OS and also give best customer service as well.

Thanks in Advance

If this was between 5.3 and 5.8 inches it would be my next phone. It's just too big to carry around. I really like what Sony is doing though. Would be nice to see them and LG make some headway in the Android battle.

I think he meant the xperia z ultra is too big .... Wrong article.

Posted via Android Central App

Any word on battery life improvements with 4.2.2? My ZL's battery life blows (drops 1% every 90 seconds - yes I timed it), so either I have a lemon or I'm doing something wrong. I'd love to see some improvements to an otherwise awesome phone.