Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact hands-on
We’re here in Berlin for the slew of IFA announcements, and today we have a big one from Sony. Introducing the successors to their Xperia XZ and X compact, the XZ1 and XZ1 compact. No, Sony isn’t much for nomenclature, but these phones are pretty nice. Focusing on their strengths, the team at Sony has built two flagship contenders with all the modern-day trimmings, and a side of great camera – at least on paper. Let’s take a closer look.
phone are curved, while the top and bottom are flat, following pretty much exactly in the aesthetic of its predecessor. Sony has yet to add a fingerprint sensor, but a secondary speaker exists where you would normally find such biometrics. Around back lies the 19-megapixel sensor, which protrudes slightly, as well as flash and NFC. Colors for the XZ1 will include Black, Warm Silver, Moonlit Blue, and Venus Pink.
Interface and Performance
In the tradition of Sony’s up-to-date stock software approach, we’ll be seeing stock Android Oreo out of the box when these two devices ship. This means no legacy software vestiges and hopefully a very quick and sleek interface. Both the XZ1 and XZ1 compact run on the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, with 4 gigabytes of RAM, and a 2700-mAh battery, so we anticipate nothing but flagship-level speed and fluidity, as well as all day battery life. While the XZ1 comes with 64 gigabytes of storage, though, the Compact will only have 32. Other than this, we’re pretty pleased with the specification overlap here, a theme which thankfully continues with the camera.
Motion Eye technology from the XZ Premium, allowing users to shoot slo-mo in up to 960 frames-per-second. Sony really has played to their strengths here, and decided to add some goodies on top of that.
3D scanning will allow you to capture a high-resolution 3D image in less than 60 seconds. Once captured, you’ll be able to enlarge, shrink, and manipulate the rendering in a number of ways, directly on the phone. This feature will have four distinct modes: Face Scan, Head Scan, Food Scan, and Free Form. Each one is meant for the easy scanning, sharing, and printing of 3D models. Outside of this, Sony’s hoping to build on their current use cases, which include wallpapers, AR effects, and social media. The company has been working closely with video game middleware in hopes to enable Xperia owners to output their 3D models directly to popular games like NBA 2K, FIFA, and Grand Theft Auto – all in the near future.
Sony’s second addition to the camera may have a more clearly defined function and purpose. Predictive Capture takes photos two seconds prior to the actual photo being snapped so that you never miss the moment you took your Sony camera out for in the first place. Again, made possible by the camera sensors lightning quick processing, XZ1 and XZ1 compact users will also be able to take burst photographs with autofocus applied to each individual picture. This mode is capable of shooting 10 frames per second at 19 megapixels. Now, you won’t just capture every moment, but you’ll capture them clearly too.
In addition to the XZ1’s HDR capability, both the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact have dual speakers with 50% more sound pressure over their predecessors. Of course, Sony had to make sure its customers had access to high resolution audio, as well as their best proprietary audio software to boot. This includes; LDAC, Sony’s format for carrying high-res audio over Bluetooth, which the company actually contributed for Google to implement into Android Oreo; DCHX, which optimizes compressed audio; and of course, surround sound capability.
Looks like Sony’s back for another round of flagship level competition. If Sony’s Snapdragon-toting XZ premium is any indication of what these phones are made of – and it seems that it clearly is – then we can’t wait to get down to business with these new flagships.