Sony launched its last flagship, the Xperia X, just six months ago. And here we are at IFA in Berlin where Sony just launched its next “best” device, the Xperia XZ. Furthermore, Sony launched a compact smartphone with flagship features, the Xperia X Compact.
Both phones offer an attractive and modern design, which may be the biggest selling point, but we are used to this from Sony. What truly matters, however, is that they have been significantly improved compared to predecessors when it comes to camera quality, battery and performance.
The Sony Xperia XZ comes with a 5.2-inch Full HD display. After it left an impression last year at IFA with a 4K-toting Xperia, Sony really lessened the specs, below even QHD.
This was a good call, as our hands-on time revealed it impossible to find a flaw in imaging sharpness, color interpretation or contrast sustainability. The only objection can be made due to the slightly thick display bezel, but this can easily be forgiven when the highly aesthetic Sony Xperia XZ is held in hand.
Interestingly, Sony has also revealed a new finish for this smartphone, which is made of an aluminum alloy called ALKALEIDO. It feels pleasent, is very shiny, and shrugs off fingerprints and smudges. The physical buttons now include a dedicated camera key, and the Xperia XZ is waterproof, unlike the Xperia X. Also, this Xperia sports USB Type-C.
Inside, the phone sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. Indeed, it ‘only’ has 3GB of RAM, which is a quarter less than what we expect from flagships. But with this hardware, display quality, and exceptionally pure Android OS, we can more easily see past this.
The rear camera tops out at 23 megapixels with f/2.0. Sony developed a new IMX300 sensor for Xperia XZ and its latest compact model, which it claims offers a more efficient autofocus system and uses color detection, phase detection and laser assistance for measuring the distance of the object. It also features intelligent object movement tracker. Sony named all of this Triple Image Sensing, emphasizing the autofocus speed. There is no optical image stabilization, but it features a gyroscope that stabilizes the image according to 5 axis. The front-facing camera is also an impressive 13 megapixels
Xperia XZ’s battery has 2900 mAh, which is slightly more compared to Xperia X, but it does have a quick-charge option based on the Quick Charge 3.0 standard. It also features adaptive charging for use mostly at night when it’s plugged in for a longer period of time, which Sony claims prolongs the battery’s overall life cycle. Up to 90 percent of the battery is recharged faster while the remaining 10 percent is recharged slowly, until the morning hours, which should double its shelf life, at least according. The phone will be available in October.
Wait. There’s more … or less
The smaller Sony Xperia X Compact has a 4.6-inch display with a 720p resolution. It’s equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650, which is a hexacore chipset, and it also has 3GB of RAM, just like the larger model. The rear-facing camera is identical, with 23 megapixels, while it has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Xperia X Compact’s battery has 2700 mAh capacitym, and also supports the Quick Charge standard. It too supports USB Type-C.
Unfortunately, the Sony Xperia X Compact isn’t waterproof, unlike Sony’s previous compacts. Still, it’s a small smartphone with near-flagship specs, and that alone makes it unique.