Sony presents Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact: new design and Snapdragon 845

Sony presents Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact: new design and Snapdragon 845
Today is a good day for Sony fans. The company has announced the latest models in its flagship line-up: the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. Not only that, but it looks like the new phones are the biggest departure from Sony's long-running smartphone design we've seen in the last few years. They come with extra-tall 2:1 screens, significantly reduced front bezels, the latest Snapdragon chipset, and some interesting HDR innovation in the camera department.

(Almost) brand new design


Sony phones have been attracting equal parts love and hate with their unique, long-running design language, which involved a remarkably strict, rectangular shape, with considerable amounts of bezel area around the screen. With this year's Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, Sony is taking a step towards a more modern layout, featuring tall, 2:1 displays and way thinner frames. The rear panel, unlike in previous models, isn't flat, but has a pronounced curvature, making the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact look somewhat chubbier than their predecessors.

Both handsets have Gorilla Glass 5-covered fronts to protect their screens, as well as matte metal frames, but the materials on the back differ a lot. The XZ2 flagship has a smooth glass rear panel, while the XZ2 Compact makes do with a "frosted" (read: matte) plastic back. Available in Liquid Silver, Liquid Black, Deep Green and Ash Pink for the Xperia XZ2, and White Silver, Black, Moss Green and Coral Pink for the XZ2 Compact, both models have fingerprint sensors mounted on the back (below the camera), and offer IP65/IP68 water- and dust-resistance. Sony says it's safe to use them in the rain, or wash them a bit under tap water if absolutely needed, but they shouldn't be submerged fully, or exposed to seawater, chlorinated water, or drinks.

'Extended' HDR displays and stereo speakers


The bezels have been reduced in order to make room for the new, 2:1 extra-tall displays with FHD+ resolution and HDR support. Sony is making it very clear that its main goal here is entertainment. This is why we see features like 'X-reality for mobile', which can not only pump up the picture, as before, but is now also tasked with 'up-converting' content to reach "near HDR" level of dynamics. So, with the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, you'll be able to both enjoy true HDR content, but also try to use the built-in processing features to make normal content look like like HDR content. Just how well this feature is going to work remains to be seen.


The screen of the Sony Xperia XZ2 comes in at 5.7 inches, while the XZ2 Compact is said to be the smallest 5" smartphone, but of course, this is partly due to the 2:1 aspect ratio of the display, and it's only based on width and height - the statement doesn't factor thickness in.

An interesting new feature is the Dynamic Vibration System. In another move to enhance entertainment on the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, the Dynamic Vibration System's goal is to analyze the audio output of the phone (while gaming or watching video), and add in some slight vibration sensations to make the experience more immersive. It sounds gimmicky, but may turn out to be a nice little extra.

And speaking of entertainment and immersiveness, we can't ignore the fact that stereo speakers are again present on Sony's latest and greatest phones. Not only that, but the company says these are its loudest phone speakers ever, lovingly naming them "S-Force Front Surround".

Performance: cutting-edge Snapdragon 845 chipset



Both the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will come with the latest high-end Qualcomm chipset - the Snapdragon 845. There are many improvements found in the SD845, compared to last year's 835, the most notable of which being the new Kryo 385 CPU cores that now go up to 2.8 GHz (SD835 could do up to 2.45 GHz), as well as the considerably improved Adreno 640 graphics processor. It promises 30% faster graphics rendering, all while reducing its power requirements by 30%. Sounds like a win-win.


Last but not least, the Snapdragon 845 found in the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will prove beneficial for networking speeds as well. In addition to Wi-Fi speed impovements, it also features the new X20 LTE modem, which is said to deliver up to 20% faster cellular data transfers in real-world usage.

The cutting-edge Snapdragon 845 is just now entering the scene, so we're yet to see how it's going to perform in real life. One area in desperate need of an upgrade was the Adreno GPU, so hopefully the new Adreno 640 will help to close some of the gap between Snapdragon performance and that of Apple's A-series chips, as well as the Mali GPUs found in Samsung Exynos chipsets.

Motion Eye camera with 4K HDR video recording and 960 fps slow-motion



One of the most interesting new features of the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact resides in the camera department. It turns out, Sony's new top phones are the first ever to capture 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range) video, which is great, because you'll be able to enjoy them on the HDR screen of the phone; or, on any other compatible HDR screen you may have around you. HDR video has a more dramatic look to it, preserving more details in both very dark and very bright areas of the picture.

Sony is also upgrading the slow-motion video mode in the camera. It'll still allow for 960 fps (frames-per-second) footage, but this time at 1080p resolution, so the quality trade-off won't be very big.

Finally, 3D Creator, which is an app in the XZ1 that allowed users to scan objects or people's faces to create 3D objects out of, will not support the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact's front-facing cameras, allowing customers to easily create 3D scans of their own faces.

Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact price and release date


While Sony hasn't shared official XZ2 and XZ2 Compact price information yet, it has revealed that both models will be released in March, which is very good news for users who plan on purchasing one.

Still, we can try to make an educated guess about the price. Last year's Xperia XZ1, for example, launched with a price tag of $700, while the XZ1 Compact was sold for $600. The XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will probably end up somewhere around these price points, or slightly higher, considering the recent uptick in flagship smartphone prices.

Related phones

Xperia XZ2
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 19 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3180 mAh(23h 3G talk time)
Xperia XZ2 Compact
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 19 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2870 mAh(20.8h 3G talk time)

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28 Comments

1. mahima

Posts: 729; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

i don't understand them at all...their decisions

5. Rafishant

Posts: 396; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

It is an ugly version of Nokia Lumia 920

2. torr310

Posts: 1659; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Looks good and the position of finger print scanner is good.

18. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Their original position was better... And in my opinion it doesn't look as good as my current XZ. Yes, the bezels are thinners, but the phone is extremely thick (11mm and 12 for the compact). Remember that you will have to use a case with that glass sandwich... Too many compromises here...

3. adecvat

Posts: 640; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Hah, 4k HDR video and 1080p 960fps. Samsung pwned only after 14 hours.

22. bucky

Posts: 3783; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I’m no Samsung fan but Sony has a way of screwing something up there

27. tonyv13

Posts: 117; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

XD expected from Sony lol Sony almost had my money, but at 5.7 inch is just like my LG G6 I wanted like a 6incher

4. adecvat

Posts: 640; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Overall design suxx.

6. thawk78

Posts: 11; Member since: Feb 22, 2016

"Finally, 3D Creator, which is an app in the XZ1 that allowed users to scan objects or people's faces to create 3D objects out of, will not support the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2..." Not? Typo?

7. Braka

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 18, 2018

Sony your stubborness will ruin your smart phone bussineess. your desigh is ugly. 2018 you still use IPS.

9. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

Ips sony destroy crapmoleds poor in subpixels, the design is nice

28. ph00ny

Posts: 2031; Member since: May 26, 2011

yes because we all can see the subpixels right? /s

8. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

it looks like HTC :')

23. troutsy

Posts: 382; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

I hate to say that phones look like other brands, but that's exactly what I was thinking too.

10. DanteTheGreat

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

Two things. There is no justifiable reason whatsoever for the removal of the headphone jack. NONE AT ALL! This is coming from someone who hardly uses his headphone jack, but when I need to use a headphone jack, I'd like the know the option is there. Secondly, STILL NO OIS. Yes I know Sony's EIS is the best thing since sliced bread, but it does not help lowlight photography. What's with manufacturers these days and removing or omitting functions for no justifiable reason. Sigh.

13. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Agreed. And third: no reason to go 18:9 at all with these bezels.

11. youssef44

Posts: 547; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

RIP SONY!! REALLY BAD

12. CrappleCrapmoled

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 12, 2018

Love XZ2 with deep green color

14. Sparkxster

Posts: 1228; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Sony's new modern design looks great futuristic and minimalistic at the same time. And I will also add that it has one of the best looking backs of all phones I've ever seen. Deep green color is fresh!

15. CrappleCrapmoled

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 12, 2018

I agree

16. mahima

Posts: 729; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

looks like lumia 930 design to me...and they are fat to carry such small battery

26. Jason2k13

Posts: 1462; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

From the way you talk, Sony could make a phone that looks like a rectangular brick, and would still call it the best design phone ever made.

19. Cat97

Posts: 1891; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Looks like the XZ1 Compact is actually a great buy right now. Flat screen accepting a proper glass protector, side-mounted fingerprint scaner, great battery life.

20. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

imo they look good but i liked the older design better. the 18:9 is a big reason for me not to get one of these. anxld i didn't read if there's no headphone jack. stupid decision from sony to follow the hype with those stupid screens and " Sony is making it very clear that its main goal here is entertainment" that is just bs

21. digitalw

Posts: 79; Member since: Dec 20, 2011

The problem in Sony is the marketing of the products.... Sony phones are much more value for the money and real life usability than other S... washing mashine or fruit producers :P

24. Jason2k13

Posts: 1462; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Coming from a Sony fanboy, it must be true.

29. Sparkxster

Posts: 1228; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Let's hope that Sony markets these two well.

25. iczer

Posts: 158; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

Nice design looks great!

30. MartyvH

Posts: 27; Member since: Apr 01, 2013

The Compact is 12 mm thick? What are they doing? Are we feeling nostalgia for 2010 phones? Nope. It should be less than the 8.6 mm of the Z3 Compact. Take it back to that right now. I was hoping for a good alternative to the iPhone SE (7.6 mm, which Apple managed to do starting in 2012). This is ridiculous. And the flagship is 11 mm. My god. They don't care anymore.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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