Sony Xperia XZ2 full review
The Mobile World Congress saw many big announcements this year including that of Sony’s latest flagship phone, the Xperia XZ2. We’re going to take a look at how one of the latest models to arrive on the scene stacks up to the old guard of Apple and their iPhone X.
Price and Availability
The Sony Xperia XZ2 costs £699 and is available to buy now, with early customers able to bag a free PS4 or PlayStation VR. This is roughly £100 more than the XZ1, but still substantially less expensive than other rivals like the Galaxy S9 and indeed, the iPhone X.
It costs $799 in the US.
The iPhone X retails at £999/$999 for the 64GB version, and a spicy £1,149/$1,149 for the 256GB version (buy it here). There is no question that the iPhone X is vasty more expensive, and perhaps it wouldn’t be unfair if the word ‘overpriced’ was thrown around - however, there is also no denying that it’s a fantastic phone.
Design and Build
The Xperia XZ2 has finally had a redesign under the new ‘Ambient Flow’ design language that is being spoke over at Sony HQ. This includes a 18:9 ratio screen following the sucsess of 2017’s flagship phones by other brands.
However, when you look at the front of the device it’s really hard to ignore the bezels. While they have been reduced in size (no really) from previous versions, they’re still rather excessive. They do flank a 5.7in display however, which is a respectable size, but doesn’t make for a small phone when the bezel brothers are included.
The Ambient Flow pours itself around to the back of the phone, which bulges outward to form a curved back that rests nicely in the palm of your hand. The back is covered in the hyper durable Gorilla Glass 5, and while the phone is thicker than one may expect, it’s comfortable to hold and use.
The iPhone X features a 5.8in screen that looks simply gorgeous. The phone is pretty much all screen on the front too, which makes the device look very slick and modern.
The screen is what Apple calls a ‘Super Retina Display’ and features 1125x2436 resolution at 401ppi. Screens don’t really get much better than on the iPhone X.
The build quality on both phones is exceptional as you would expect from Sony and Apple at this lofty price point. However, both phones are now without the 3.5mm headphone jack, as the industry continues the trend of removing them from phones. Something we're still not sure anyone actually asked for?
Specs and Features
The XZ2 is powered by the Snapdragon 845 processor which we’re going to be seeing a whole lot this year powering the Android flagships. This is supported by 4GB of RAM, and a solid 64GB of storage which can be expanded with a Micro SD card.
The iPhone X features the A11 Bionic processor which is found in all of this year’s iPhones. The A11 features six cores instead of four, with two built for performance and four for efficiency. The X has 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage on the standard model.
The processor is breathtakingly fast, and performs extremely well across the board on benchmarks – making it one of the fastest mobile processors around. However, we have noticed a few issues in the performance of some apps, such as Twitter. These may be for a number of reasons, and could well be ironed out in the future with updates to the OS or the App. Either way, it’s always important to remember that benchmarks aren’t everything.
Both phones are waterproof to an IP68 standard, and both feature wireless charging and a USB-C port.
Honestly, if you’re spending this much money on a phone, you’re not going to have to worry about performance issues. Both of these phones will eat up almost anything you throw at them, as both have extremely impressive hardware under the hood.
The XZ2 really shines with it’s photo and video capabilities.
Despite having identical hardware to its predecessor, the XZ2 makes use of a newly designed image processor developed between Qualcomm and Sony. This offers reduced noise in images, better colour reproduction and improved contrast over it’s older model.
The XZ2 can also capture 4k HDR footage, and has the ability to capture 960fps in super slow motion mode.
The iPhone X has dual rear cameras, much like on the iPhone 8 Plus. The second camera on the back holds an OIS like main sensor, which allows for sharper photos and more stable videos. It has a larger f/2.4 apature, allowing in 30% more light, making it excellent in low light conditons.
The X can also record 4k at 60FPS, and 1080p in slow motion at 240fps.
The front camera, located on the small notch at the top of the phone, holds a 7Mp TrueDepth camera which can take a detailed map of your face. This also helps with a new feature called Portrait Lighting which allows you to take fantastic portrait shots in a number of different lighting modes.
The iPhone X offers a fantastic camera for the price, but then so does the XZ2. The iPhone X probably wins out slightly in terms of raw features with the camera, but considering the price difference between the two devices, it’s hard to argue that the iPhone is better value for money.
We’re expecting the XZ2 to ship with the new Android Oreo, as the ZX1 was the first non-google phone to use that new OS version, with the standard tweaks from Song along the way.
The Xperia Assist software is a new addition that is designed to help users make the most of the phone and its array of features. When you open up an app for the first time, the assist software will pop up and tell you about any features the app has to offer, making sure you don’t miss anything.
The software on the iPhone X is typical of most other iPhones. It’s slick, it’s stylish and functional, and it just works. The lack of a home button means that there are some new gestures to learn when using the phone, but it won’t take more than a couple of days to pick it up.
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
- 4G LTE
- Single nano-SIM
- USB-C (USB 3.1)
- 3190mAh non-removable battery