Every single time Sony manages to confuse us with the name of its next new phone. History suggests this should be the Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium (except it doesn't have a 4K screen), or the Sony Xperia XZ Pro as rumoured, but nope it's the Sony Xperia XZ2, launched alongside a Compact version at MWC 2018 at the end of February. They're available but Sony has gone and announced a new Premium version.

Fortunately, there's a lot more here to get excited about than a name. Sony's flagships are finally looking a lot more like the competition thanks to an 'Ambient Flow' design language, which is all about breaking up the straight lines and blocky housings that have dominated recent Sony devices. We have previously suggested they were getting a bit old-hat.

The XZ2 boasts 3D curved glass (with Gorilla Glass 5) on both the front and back of the phone - a subtle curvature at the edges of front, and a more noticeable bulge on the back - while the less glossy Compact has a hard-coated polycarbonate finish on the rear. The fingerprint scanner is now always-on, and therefore should be faster to respond, and the IP68 waterproofing remains. Some manufacturers have already started selling cases for the Xperia XZ2 – you can see our roundup here.

There's a new 5.7in 18:9 HDR display (5in on the Compact), which is admittedly just full-HD+, but in design and usability it's a vast improvement over Sony's previously chunky bezels. They're still chunky, mind, but less so. It's an improvement.

Using Bravia TV and X-reality for mobile tech the pair are able to upscale content to display in HR, leading to a better viewing experience - particularly for movies.

Also see: Sony Xperia XZ2 vs XZ1

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact

Less exciting is the fact Sony has ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack, now relying on USB-C for earphones. Audio is otherwise good, with 20 percent louder front-facing S-Force Front Surround speakers that have a slightly improved frequency range. There's also support for high resolution audio with DSEE HX upscaling. Enhanced Bluetooth LDAC offers near High-Resolution Audio when listening over earphones or wirelessly.

The XZ2 will launch in Liquid Black, Liquid Silver, Petrol Blue and Ash Pink, and the XZ2 Compact in Black, White Silver, Moss Green (Petro Blue in the UK) and Coral Pink. Both have a UI theme that is colour-coded to match.

There's also some meaty hardware, with the Snapdragon 845 with X20 LTE, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage - and, even better, this spec is mirrored for the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact.

Thanks to an exclusive image processor developed together with Qualcomm, Sony promises that the camera in the XZ2 will have reduced noise, better colour reproduction, and improved contrast when compared to the XZ1 - despite using the same 19Mp single lens camera hardware.

The Xperia XZ2 is also the first smartphone from any manufacturer capable of recording 4K HDR video footage in HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) format using its Motion Eye camera, and the 960fps super slow motion pioneered by Sony is now available up to 1080p (up from 720p).

The Sony phones also support 3D scanning of objects and faces, even of yourself using the front camera.

Sony Xperia XZ2

The main difference between XZ2 and XZ2 Compact is their size, which also affects battery capacity but not necessarily run time - we'll test this in our full reviews, but for now you can learn more in our Sony Xperia XZ2 hands-on review and Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact hands-on review.

The Compact model also lacks Qi wireless charging, and the new Dynamic Vibration System, which on the standard XZ2 gives haptic feedback in time with video and audio content

When is the Sony Xperia XZ2 release date?

Sony has now launched the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact so you can go and buy it. A special deal on the XZ2 can also net you a free pair of Sony headphones, PS4 or PlayStation VR.

In pretty strange fashion, Sony has since announced an XZ2 Premium featuring a 4K display and dual cameras. However, it might not launch in the UK.

"Given the strength of the existing Xperia XZ range, specifically the XZ2, XZ2 Compact, and XZ Premium, there are currently no plans for widespread ranging of the handset in the UK and Ireland.  This decision will be reviewed nearer to retail launch in Summer 2018," said the firm in a statement.

Order Sony Xperia XZ2

Order Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact

How much is the Sony Xperia XZ2?

The XZ1 launched at £599/$699, and like a lot of phones the new model gets a price hike. The XZ2 costs £699 so it's more but still a bit cheaper than rivals like the Galaxy S9.

The XZ1 Compact at £499/$599 and the XZ2 Compact get a smaller price bump to £529 making it much more affordable.

There's no price for the XZ2 Premium but we'd expect it to come in at least £100 more than the regular version.

US pricing is still to be confirmed.

Sony Xperia XZ2 specifications

Sony Xperia XZ2

  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 5.7in Full HD+ HDR 18:9 touchscreen
  • Qualcom Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage; microSD card slot (up to 400GB)
  • Rear camera: 19MP, video up to 4K HDR
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • IP68 waterproofing
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0;NFC
  • 4G LTE
  • Single nano-SIM;USB-C (USB 3.1)
  • 3180mAh non-removable battery
  • Wireless charging
  • 72x153x11.1mm
  • 198g

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact specifications

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact

  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 5.0in Full HD HDR 18:9 touchscreen
  • Qualcom Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage; microSD card slot (up to 400GB)
  • Rear camera: 19MP, video up to 4K HDR
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • IP68 waterproofing
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE
  • Single nano-SIM;USB-C (USB 3.1)
  • 2870mAh non-removable battery
  • 65x135x12.1mm
  • 168g

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium specifications

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium

  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 5.8in 4K HDR 18:9 touchscreen
  • Qualcom Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage; microSD card slot (up to 400GB)
  • Rear camera: 19MP + 12MP black & white, video up to 4K HDR
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • IP68 waterproofing
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE
  • nano-SIM;USB-C (USB 3.1)
  • 3540mAh non-removable battery
  • 80x158x11.9mm
  • 236g

Read next: Best new phones coming in 2018

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