Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact launch at MWC 2018 hints at Sony's interest in owning the smartphone space this year

With one too many camera firsts, the ability to both record and view 4K HDR content and a brand new design it's now clear that Sony does not only want to be a part of the smartphone game, but wants to own it.

After plenty of waiting, Sony today launched its all new avatar of the Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia XZ2 Compact at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2018. Both models are flagships, with Xperia XZ2 being the more premium model, while with smaller Xperia XZ2 Compact, continuing Sony's tradition of pushing out 'mini' versions of its flagships.

The Sony Xperia XZ2. Sony Mobile

The Sony Xperia XZ2. Sony Mobile

Both smartphones are not exactly incremental updates, but debut the new design philosophy of the company. This is Sony's first indicator in years that it back in the smartphone game and the innovative features also showcase the brand's interest in owning the space.

The new design is similar to what we reported from earlier leaked images. It features a 3D glass front screen with a rounded aluminium chassis and a very rounded glass back that should be easier to grip.

There's no bending displays here, but Sony seems to have finally upgraded it premium smartphone lineup to the new taller 18:9 displays, bringing them in line with the competition.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact. Sony Mobile

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact. Sony Mobile

While both devices look similar from the front, the Sony Xperia Compact features a separate horizontal notch for the camera sensors which includes an LED flash and a laser autofocus assist system.

Finer details aside, the XZ2 is also taller and slimmer than its Compact sibling. Both smartphones also comes with an IP 65 and IP 68 ratings.

On the front, the XZ2 features a a 5.7-inch FHD+ display while the Compact makes do with a 5-inch FHD+ unit.

Both smartphones also come with Sony's S-Force Surround sound and Hi-Res Bluetooth audio with LDAC.

The Sony Xperia XZ2. Sony Mobile

The Sony Xperia XZ2. Sony Mobile

The Sony Xperia XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact pack in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC paired with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of internal storage with support for microSD cards of up to 400 GB in capacity.

Even though Sony showcased an intriguing dual camera set up  it would only arrive in future smartphones. The current batch make do with a 19 MP Motion Eye f/2.0 camera on the back and a 5 MP f/2.2 setup on the front.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact. Sony Mobile

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact. Sony Mobile

Here's where things get really interesting. While the smartphones will take advantage of the BIONZ for mobile image-processing engine for stills, the devices will be the first in class to offer 960 fps slow motion video recording in Full HD. Another first in the smartphone space is the presence of 4K HDR movie recording which is quite impressive, since the displays support viewing of HDR content.

The Sony Xperia XZ2. Sony Mobile

The Sony Xperia XZ2. Sony Mobile

Connectivity options include, support for 4G LTE (Cat 18) with download speeds of  up to 1.2 Gbps, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, DLNA and a USB 3.1 Gen1 port at the bottom end. There's also a fingerprint reader placed in the center at the back which should make easier to access and unlock as compared to usual center top positioning.

The Sony Xperia XZ2. Sony Mobile

The Sony Xperia XZ2. Sony Mobile

Powering all of the above hardware is a 3,180 mAh battery on the XZ2 and a 2,870 mAh battery in the XZ2 Compact. Both handsets support Qnovo Adaptive charging for quick wireless charging and Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 for wired charging.

On the software front, Sony has armed both devices with Android Oreo.

Sony Xperia Ear Duo. Sony Electronics

Sony Xperia Ear Duo. Sony Electronics

Sony also introduces a brand new pair of smart earphones. Called the Xperia Ear Duo the Bluetooth headphones pack in Sony's Spatial Audio Conductor which generates sounds behind the ear lobe, letting you hear music and listen to the sounds around you with open ears. The earphones also support voice control and work with Siri and Google Assistant, making them compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

With one too many camera firsts, the ability to both record and view HDR content and a brand new design it's now clear that Sony does not only want to be a part of the smartphone game, but wants to own it.

Be sure to follow our MWC 2018 pageTwitter and Facebook channels for LIVE updates from the show floor.

Disclaimer: Tech2 was invited to MWC 2018 by Huawei, who were responsible for all expenses related to travel and accommodation.




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