Sony launched its new flagship smartphones, the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact at Mobile World Congress 2018. For over half a decade Sony remained consistent with its omnibalance/loop design philosophy. However, the Japanese tech company long stuck in the past, has finally arrived in the present.
The boxy-design has finally been left in the lurch. The flagship Xperia XZ2 comes with an entirely modern design, powerful innards and a few striking features. Let’s take a look at what changes Sony has made to its new Xperia model over its predecessor.
One of the biggest upgrades on the new Sony Xperia XZ phone is its design. The squared-off edgy design with thick bezels is now replaced with what Sony calls ‘Ambient Flow.’ The Xperia XZ2 features rather curved edges with slightly tapered back. The rear side is glossy, and it appears to be quite similar to the HTC flagship, HTC U11. Compared to the Xperia XZ1, the side bezels on the successor are reduced to an extent.
However, the top and bottom part are still chunky to accommodate front-firing speaker grills. Both Xperia XZ1 and the XZ2 have aluminium core grilled between glass panels. But the latter now boasts of a 3D Gorilla Glass 5 sheath and the slight curvature seems to promise a better grip on the phone.
The fingerprint sensor that was earlier embedded on the power button itself on the Xperia XZ1 has been repositioned to the back on the new flagship below the camera module. Further, the rear camera now sits at the centre instead of the top left corner as we’ve seen on the Xperia XZ1. There is no headphone jack on the Xperia XZ2 and you will have to compromise with the USB Type-C port (quite hapless). Overall, the design on the Xperia XZ2 looks to be up-to-the-minute and Sony has finally started taking a reasonable approach and renounced its long-standing ‘omnibalance’ tradition.
Besides cutting the squared edges and slimming down the bezels, Sony has stretched the aspect ratio as well on the new Xperia XZ2. The flagship features a 5.7-inch full HD+ (HDR TRILUMINOS) display with 18:9 aspect ratio. It has 2160 x 1080 pixels stretched across the front panel. The Xperia XZ1 meanwhile offered a 5.2-inch full HD display with 16:9 aspect ratio.
The XZ1’s successor still holds the LCD panel. However, unlike its predecessor, the Xperia XZ2 doesn’t just support HDR content but the video content is converted to HDR using an upscale algorithm. The new flagship has a similar footprint like the XZ1, but you you get more screen real estate to view and enjoy the content.
Sony really puts good emphasis on the imaging segment and the company has given similar treatment to its new premium smartphone. The Xperia XZ2 features a 19-megapixel memory-stacked Motion Eye sensor. Notably, the XZ1 had the same 19MP unit, however, its successor now packs a few compelling pieces under its camera shade.
If you remember, the Sony Xperia XZs and the XZ Premium were the first to offer slow-mo footage @960fps in 720p. Sony yet again pushing the boundaries has now introduced 4K HDR video capture on its new Xperia XZ2. Further, it has bumped up the slow-mo resolution as well from 720p to 1080p. And like we mentioned, the XZ2 now has the ability to upscale video streamed into HDR.
Coming to the front camera, Sony has significantly reduced the front camera pixel count from 13MP (Xperia XZ1) to a 5MP sensor on the Xperia XZ2. The front camera on the phone has 23mm wide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture instead of a 22mm wide angle lens (f/2.0 aperture) found on the Xperia XZ1.
Sony introduced 3D imaging feature on its previous XZ iteration that allowed users to create a 3D character of objects by using the rear camera. The feature is now enabled on the front-facing camera to have fun creating 3D selfies on the new Xperia XZ2.
Processing hardware & battery
The Sony Xperia XZ2 is powered by Qualcomm’s premium mobile platform, Snapdragon 845. The Xperia XZ1 meanwhile was shipped with Qualcomm’s previous flagship SoC, Snapdragon 835. Like its predecessor, the XZ2 packs 4GB of RAM and 64GB inbuilt storage. But this time around, Sony in collaboration with Qualcomm has built an image signal processor designed precisely for the camera on the Xperia XZ2.
This means, that the phone is now expected to provide enhanced low-light photography and better colour reproduction. The phone has an expandable storage support of up to 400GB using microSD card. It supports LTE Cat 18 that offer download speed of up to 1.2Gbps.
As for the powerhouse, the Sony Xperia XZ2 carries a slightly bigger 3180mAh battery. The Xperia XZ1 packed a 2700mAh battery. Another notable aspect on the XZ2 is its wireless charging support which was missing on the previous iteration.
OS and Other changes
A few other worthy upgrades in the new Sony Xperia XZ2 being its reactive vibration motor which is revamped to react with media- music, movies etc. For this Sony has put an additional ‘slider’ in the volume menu that lets you adjust the haptics accordingly. The Xperia XZ2 is claimed to offer 20 percent louder sound output compared to the XZ1 and with the Dynamic Vibration system, it will be able to add vibration to videos that you stream or even while playing games. Further, the dual front-facing speakers are now paired with the internal DAC that now supports for high-res audio codec.
On the software front, the XZ2 runs the latest Google Android OS, Android Oreo with the proprietary Sony UI on top. The Sony Xperia XZ1 was launched with Android Oreo as well. So, we believe the experience on this part will be more or less the same.
Bottom line, Sony was in a dire need to change the design language of its smartphones, and we can clearly see that the Japanese tech company has finally put ears to its users’ request that was long overdue. The Sony Xperia XZ2 carries a design and a tall 18:9 display which is more in line with the current trends. The device’s capability to capture 4K HDR video (rear camera) and 3D selfies with the front-facing camera could be a point worth considering when buying the XZ2.
Additionally, the smartphone now comes with Qi wireless charging support. A smaller-res front camera could be a bit of a let down for selfie-lovers but it doesn’t seem like a deal-breaker for a device with major overhaul in terms of design, latest hardware (Snapdragon 845), bigger battery and a tall display.