Sony is a veteran of the smartphone era. Its devices have been at the top of our best smartphone lists for years, but recently even we have been a tad disheartened at the company’s lack of design progression.
But Xperia phones can boast the latest processors and decent cameras, and last year’s Xperia XZ1 was the first non-Google phone to run Android Oreo out of the box. And hey, it might have big bezels but at least those bezels have stereo front facing speakers.
Now that we've had the chance to test out the company's latest offerings, the XZ2, XZ2 Compact and XZ2 Premium so here is our ranking of the best Sony Xperia phones you can buy in 2018.
The next Sony phone to launch is the Xperia XZ3, the first with an OLED screen.
Best Sony Xperia phones 2018
- Reviewed on: 3 April 2018
The Xperia XZ2 Compact fits almost every major feature from the XZ2 into a smaller frame, offering the best specs you'll find in a 5in phone right now - at the cost of a slightly chunky rear end. If you don't mind the bezel-ly design and the lack of wireless charging, you won't find better performance anywhere near this price point.
Read our Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact review.
- Reviewed on: 11 December 2017
There's no single flaw in the Sony Xperia XZ1, even though you might feel Samsung and others have surpassed its design. The metal body phone has excellent build quality, good battery life and those bezels have stereo front facing speakers in them.
The audio (with headphone jack) is great, and the cameras are solid. It also ships with Android Oreo, which is great and is the first phone aside from the Google Pixel 2 to do so.
Read our Sony Xperia XZ1 review.
- Reviewed on: 5 April 2018
We waited so long for Sony to bring a new design and although the firm has switched to an 18:9 screen, we're miffed by the chunky and heavy design that has a fingerprint scanner and power button in awkward places. And dropped the headphone jack!
The core specs of the Xperia XZ2 are perfectly good but that's no longer a differentiator in the smartphone market. Consumers look for amazing photography and other nifty features which are lacking here.
The Xperia XZ2 Compact makes for a better choice and unless you're desperate to get the latest processor and software, the older XZ1 is a better value option.
Read our Sony Xperia XZ2 review.
- Reviewed on: 5 September 2018
At £799/$999, the Xperia XZ2 Premium is the most expensive Sony phone you can buy right now. Although it has things other Xperia handsets don't have, namely dual cameras, we feel it's too high a price to pay for the luxury.
Add in that the XZ2 Premium is by far the fattest and heaviest phone we've reviewed - not just a Sony. It's something that's hard to justify and, in simple terms, be ok with.
If you are ok with the size and price, then this is one of the best Xperias for hardware and features including the 4K HDR screen and those excellent cameras.
Read our Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium review.
- Reviewed on: 22 September 2017
We love the Xperia XZ1 Compact - mouthful name and all - as it has the top of the line Snapdragon 835 processor found in the XZ1 and XZ Premium, but in a smaller, cheaper package.
Aside from the screen resolution and battery size, this smaller Compact model does not compromise. At the time of writing, it can be found for £399, which is an incredibly good price for a high-end phone.
If the smaller size isn't for you, there are other options.
Read our Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review.
- Reviewed on: 11 September 2017
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a stunning smartphone, both in terms of design and performance. The mirror-like look isn’t for everyone due to the appearance of smudges, but it helps provide an elegant, high-end look.
The 4K HDR display is one-of-a-kind, bright and vibrant, and shows off snaps taken by the impressive Motion Eye camera perfectly. Just note that not all content you view will be 4K, so the extra resolution often goes unused.
If you’re looking for a high-end smartphone with a huge focus on display and cameras with above average battery life, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a solid option, though consider the XZ1 series too.
Read our Sony Xperia XZ Premium review.
- Reviewed on: 31 October 2016
The Xperia XZ is an attractive phone in design if you can get on with the angular style. The build quality is great, and it's also fully IP68 water resistant.
Of course, newer Sony phones have modern specs and features but the XZ is worth a look if you're looking to save a lot of money and don't mind a 2 year-old flagship.
Read our Sony Xperia XZ review.
- Reviewed on: 16 July 2018
The Xperia XA2 sits in a slightly odd place. It offers solid specs and performance for the price, but the 16:9 screen and chunky body are already out of step with the competition, and the camera just can’t keep up at all.
If 4K or slow-motion videos are must-haves for you, the XA2 is a decent enough choice at the price, but otherwise it doesn't do much to stand out from the very stiff competition.
Read our Sony Xperia XA2 review.
- Reviewed on: 5 March 2018
The Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra is a weird phone. Sony could have made a svelte mid-range Xperia at a lower cost than its flagships, but has instead made a £379 chunky mess. You can get the XZ1 for £449 in the UK now, and we strongly recommend that Sony phone over this one.
If you really want a 6in 16:9 screen then the XA2 Ultra is one of the only ones on the market and its performance is solid. The rear camera is acceptable and the audio quality, run by Android Oreo, is top notch.
But with cheaper mid-range phones like the Honor 7X boasting more compact 18:9 6in displays, the huge XA2 Ultra is a phone that will only appeal if you love the design, its audio quirks, and have a pocket big enough to fit it in.
Read our Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra review.
10. Sony Xperia XA1
- Reviewed on: 22 August 2017
The Sony Xperia XA1 is a solid phone for the money. We rate its clean, simple look and the way it feels in the hand.
However, you may miss the fingerprint scanner, and bear in mind that its cameras aren't as good as the regular shooters on other Sony phones.
It's not the fastest phone around and you should expect it to struggle with high-end mobile gaming or any processor-intensive activities such as video editing. But these are standard preoccupations for sub-£250 smartphones.
Read our Sony Xperia XA1 review.