Sony Xperia XZ2 full review

The Sony Xperia XZ2 announced at Mobile World Congress is Sony's first phone to feature an 18:9 aspect ratio screen, and it's available to available to buy now. Let's see how the new hardware stacks up to the price and performance king, the OnePlus 5T.

Price and Availability

Sony's Xperia XZ2 is the more expensive of these two phones, available to available to buy for £699. That sounds pricey compared to the OnePlus 5T, but act now and you can also bag a free PS4 or PlayStation VR.

It costs $799 in the US.

The OnePlus 5T retails for £449/$499 for the basic model, and so retains its throne as the king of the 'budget' high end smartphones.

Design and Build

The Xperia XZ2 has finally had a redesign under the new 'Ambient flow' design language that Sony are speaking, and along with this comes the first 18:9 ratio screen following on from the success of the 2017 flagship models by LG, Samsung and Apple.

The large bezels at the top and bottom of the screen have been reduced, but they're certainly not small – this is not a screen that covers the entire face of the phone. Despite this, the screen is a respectable 5.7in display, which including the bezels, doesn't make for a small phone – which is perhaps why the Compact version also exists.

The Ambient Flow meanders all the way around to the back of the phone, which is covered in the hyper durable Gorilla Glass 5, and features a curve that bulges outwards. The fact this phone bulges out slightly on the back, makes it very comfortable to hold, but does mean it's a little more thick than one might expect.

In comparison, the OnePlus 5T does feature a 6.01in screen also in a 18:9 aspect ration that covers far more of the front of the phone. The bezels here are much more reasonably sized, and the phone in general is much thinner and more sleek looking.

The 5T does still include a headphone jack, however, and so has decided to not follow other manufacturers into the trend of removing them (did anyone ask for that? Anyone?).

However, the phone doesn't come with any waterproofing or wireless charging – but these are the sacrifices you'd make considering you'd be paying quite a bit less in comparison.

Specs and Features

The XZ2 is powered, unsurprisingly, by the Snapdragon 845. We're going to be seeing a whole lot of the Snapdragon 845 in Android phones this year. The phone will also feature 4GB of RAM and a respectable 64GB of storage, which is expandable by Micro SD.

The 5T features similar specs, with the Snapdragon 835 and 6GB of RAM in the standard version, with 64GB of storage as well – also expandable by Micro SD.

While the XZ2 features a slightly beefier processor, the 5T features more RAM. Either phone are easily capable of dealing with the every day tasks that are thrown at it, as you would expect when you're spending this amount of money on a smartphone. Processors in Smartphones have come a long way over the past few years and now resemble something closer to desktop computers than a 3310.

Regardless of which one you pick here you won't be worried about the power of your gadget of choice.

Camera

The arena where the XZ2 really shines is within that of photo and video.

The camera, despite having identical hardware to the XZ1, is controlled by an exclusive image processor developed between Qualcomm and Sony. The processor will feature reduced noise, better colour reproduction, and improved contrast compared to the XZ1.

This will also be the first smartphone capable of recording 4k HDR video footage, and will also have the option of recording 960fps in 1080p super slow motion mode.

As well as having fantastic options when creating content, the XZ2 also provides the ability to upscale any content being watched or streamed into HDR – making everything that you watch on your phone look it's best, regardless of where it came from.

The 5T features two Sony sensors, the main one being 16Mp with f/1.7 aperture, while the second one is a 20Mp with f/1.7 aperture.

This camera was said to be exceptional in low light technology, and after testing it ourselves it certainly seems to be true.

While the camera on the 5T is certainly nothing to be sniffed at, there are certainly better alternatives for any photography lovers out there. The XZ2 takes the crown in this particular category.

Software

The 5T offers a very slick, minimalist version of Nougat 7.1.1 with an update to Oreo coming in 'early 2018'.

The operating system of the 5T allows you to get under the hood, and really dig around, customising the phone to your desire. We really like this about the phone as other OS on some of the more mainstream products don't give you much in the way of customisation at all.

We do expect the XZ2 to ship with Oreo, and also come with Xperia's new Assist software, which is designed to guide users through the various features of the phone with a chatbox interface.

It's a little tough to call on the software side of things, but we do really like how customisable the 5T's operating system is – but that level of customisation might not be for everyone, if you just want something that works.

Sony Xperia XZ2: Specs

  • 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 (rear)
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE
  • Single nano-SIM
  • USB-C (USB 3.1)
  • 3190mAh non-removable battery
  • 72x153x11.1mm
  • 198g
  • 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 (rear)
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE
  • Single nano-SIM
  • USB-C (USB 3.1)
  • 3190mAh non-removable battery
  • 72x153x11.1mm
  • 198g

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