• Paul Fingleton

Sony reveal two new flagship Xperia phones at MWC 2018

Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact, coming March 2018


Sony today announced two new flagship mobile phones at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona: the Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia XZ2 Compact. Designed to bring you immersive entertainment experiences, with better camera, display and audio technology and a sleek new design.

Both devices have taken a leap in specifications and functionality over the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact models we reviewed last year and are seen as an evolution of Sony's flagship phones.


Almost symbolic of how Sony has gradually been better integrating the many different business units in the company, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact models are designed to integrate and interact with your environment.


The design theme, Sony says, is called 'Ambient Flow'. The handsets react differently to the surrounding lighting - the XZ2 is an amazingly reflective handset, reflecting the light where you are, while the XZ2 Compact diffuses the light.


Motion Eye camera improvements allow for capture of 4K HDR video on the XZ2 and 960fps super slow motion video in Full HD. Features like predictive capture, smile detection and predictive autofocus ensure that your still photographs are the best you have ever taken - and all made easier with the Quick Launch and, our favourite, the dedicated two-step camera button on the phone.


The XZ2 and XZ2 Compact make an excellent argument for completely ditching a dedicated point and shoot camera.

“If entertainment is your priority, then our new Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are your smartphones. From what’s inside — world-class technology, to a new sleek, sophisticated design, these smartphones are everything you need and probably a lot more. We have pushed Sony’s boundaries even further with our new products for movie recording, viewing, and music listening – offering entertainment to the extreme.”


- Ciaran Cleary, Sony Mobile Ireland

Both models have screens that are designed to draw you into the experience: a 4K HDR display on the XZ2 model and a Full HD (1080p) HDR screen on the Compact.


Sizewise, the XZ2 manages to have a half-inch of extra screen fit into a slimmer handset - the 5.7-inch 4K HDR display fits nicely into the hand with it's 18:9 Gorilla Glass 5 screen and IP65/68 rating meaning that it will essentially be dust and waterproof.


The XZ2 Compact now sports a 5-inch display, and the difference is noticeable immediately compared to its predecessor.


3D creator improvements are present this year, too. The XZ2 can now do a 3D Scan using the front-facing camera for the perfect 3D Selfie. If you choose you can also go for extra detail by allowing your 3D Scan to be post-processed to add up to 100x the detail to your scan.


Exclusively on the XZ2, Sony have included a new haptic experience, similar to the rumble systems in a PlayStation 4 Controller, so you can feel your viewing experience. It uses Sony’s brand new Dynamic Vibration System which analyses audio data and lets you feel the action in your hands, bringing your movies, games and videos to life.

First impresions, hands-on. Both devices feel as you would expect from a premium handset, comfortable and safe in the hand. The display really pops, even when compared to last years flagship XZ1 models. 4K and HDR work together to show extra detail that you might have missed in videos or photos before. The 3D audio immerses you in your music and movies like never before.


The display also leverages some technology from the Bravia range of TVs to upscale or up-convert content to near HDR quality, so even if you are streaming video you can expect to get a better quality playback experience.


The XZ2 is a nice size for a phone, a 5.7-inch screen in a slimmer package than the XZ1. It is easy enough to use with one hand and easier again with the scalable UI that can adapt and allow you to shrink to a portion of the screen to complete a task just in cast you find it hard to reach the top of the screen. The Dynamic Vibration System is a nice touch. It actually adds to everything from music, videos and games - although it's longer-term impact on battery life we'll only be able to determine after a longer time with the handset.


The XZ2 Compact is another stellar example to the rest of the mobile phone industry of how to make a compact flagship phone - it's not about cutting corners and name recognition. The XZ2 Compact has pretty much everything that you would want from its larger sibling - including the same CPU and outstanding camera functionality - and is just that little bit more pocket-friendly. With a stunning 1080p 5-inch display, it might just hit that sweet spot for Size, Features and Functionality.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will be available from the end of March worldwide and in Ireland will be available on all networks.

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