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Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact hands-on
The Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are a departure from Sony’s traditional squared-off design. Gone are the days of sharp edges and huge bezels, replaced with what Sony calls Ambient Flow. Sony says this is based around the concept of water, molding to the vessel that cradles it.
This has some pitfalls. The body is definitely pretty thick at 11.1 mm. That would be easier to stomach if the battery was significantly larger, but at just 3180 mAh, it’s hard to see why Sony had to inflate it to this level. There is a USB Type-C port at the bottom (and no headphone jack) though, so you can fast charge this device if you need to quickly top it off.
Sony moved the fingerprint reader to the back of the device under the camera. Usually we’d be happy with this, but Lanh and I found it just a bit too low. Phones like the Pixel 2 find your finger already resting on the sensor as you pick up the device, but the Xperia XZ2 design led to our fingers landing closer to the camera, like what happened with more recent Samsung devices. Sony showed us a slide which explained the placement, but it still could have been better.
The XZ2 may not be stuffed with the highest density power pack, but it is dense with features. As a basic rundown, the XZ2 has super slow motion 960 fps people in 1080p, surround sound speakers, high end audio, wireless charging, and IP65/68 water and dust resistance. It can also force HDR on pretty much any streaming content through upscaling, though it is certified by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube to play actual HDR content.
To make your experience even more realistic, Sony redesigned their vibration motors to be much more accurate, and even wrote software to make them work with any video, game, or music file. This works a little like the “HD Rumble” feature in the Nintendo Switch, though Sony preferred to compare it to Playstation 4 DualShock controllers.
Sony isn’t messing around with specs either. The XZ2 is rocking a Snapdragon 845 SoC which Qualcomm says should need a 30 percent-less power across the board. This is paired with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of UFS storage, which can be expanded by using its Micro SD card slot. This is a Dual-SIM/SD card slot as well, so you could always throw another SIM card in there instead.
This all powers an 18:9 5.7-inch FHD+ display, but you wouldn’t necessarily notice that based on the body. The phone feels like an older design, probably due to its relative chunkiness. Still, the screen looks really great, especially since all video content is converted to HDR using an upscaling algorithm.
The XZ2 Compact is essentially the same device, with the same battery capacity, SoC, and RAM. The only thing missing from this model are the specialized haptics and wireless charging. The larger version also uses Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, while the Compact model sports a plastic back. If these features are important you’ll be more interested in the larger model. If not, the smaller sibling is worth a serious look.
The Sony XZ2 and XZ2 compact are slated to ship in late Spring, and will come to the U.S. unlocked. The Canadian version will come through a partnership with Bell, taking advantage of their Gigabit LTE network.
Price is still to be announced, but we’re assuming it will probably fall in line with other Sony flagships over the years. Competition will be tough in 2018, but for those that want to get as many features as possible in one device, this phone looks promising.
You can get the Xperia XZ2 in Liquid Black, Liquid Silver, Ash Black, and Ash Pink.
What do you think of the new Sony XZ2 and XZ2 Compact?