Just when you thought 2160p video recording was exclusive to Apple and Samsung, along comes Sony to reclaim their place at the top. The Japanese manufacturer has good reason to want their throne back: Their handsets have always been graced with style points in the chassis and camera departments. Sony treads an oddly delicate line between popularity and power, pushing limits that are commonly attributed to the two smartphone giants that continue to duke it out while the small dog emplaces itself in the shaded sidelines.
Enough waxing poetic though; we're about to dive straight into everything the Xperia XZ2 brings, and boy, does it deliver. You're staring down some of the most recent developments in mobile technology with this flagship offering, and if you're not exactly privy to Samsung or Apple, Sony seldom disappoints its fans with its uniquely powerful statements in bold technological fashion. Let's have a look inside.
Processing and Storage
While you're not getting as much RAM as other flagships on the market today — think Galaxy Note 8, Oppo F5 and OnePlus 5T — you're still getting plenty of space to balance all your multitasking needs across every thinkable app that you'll have installed on the 48 GB of available space. Driving everything forward is the octa-core Snapdrgaon 845, which is currently the latest out there in terms of Qualcomm's offerings and will absolutely obliterate even the most processor-intensive tasks that you'll face.
In addition to these great specs, the Xperia XZ2 comes packing a potent Adreno 630 GPU, which will knock out most games at the highest settings at a butter-smooth 60 FPS. With 64-bit support for a microSD card and a dual-SIM setup to accommodate it, you always have the option of bumping up your storage capacity as needed. Trust us: With the camera in this device, you'll need all the space you can get. The quickness and multitasking horsepower of Sony's device, however, is a knock-out winner on its lonesome.
- SoC: Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845
- CPU: 64-bit octa-core (quad 2.7 GHz Kryo 385 Gold and quad 1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
- RAM: 4 GB
- GPU: Adreno 630
- Inbuilt Storage: 64 GB (48 GB available to user)
- MicroSD Support: Yes, up to 2 TB (occupies secondary SIM slot)
Oh boy, here we go. Now, let's get the not-so-great part out of the way first: Electronic image stabilization (EIS) is a fine addition, but compared to optical image stabilization (OIS), it can result in resolution and general quality loss when attempting to stabilize an image electronically. With that caveat aside, you're getting good pixel size at average aperture figures and good sensor metrics on the whole. This basically translates to quality exposure in smartphone terms, which means your photos and video should come out reasonably well-lit in somewhat dark settings.
The one area here that we're fanboying and -girling over is the camcorder — all 2160p of it at a silky 60 frames per second. This is a metric that's only recently emerged in the Android sphere and should be heralded as great news for multimedia buffs everywhere who aim to capture and play back videos that combine high resolution with smooth frame rates. The old question of "choppy 4K or graceful 1080p" is no longer a debate, at least not for anyone who has the space to pack that much video data into their pocket-sized computer. We're going to say this is a winner without a doubt.
- Photo Resolution: 19 MP back, 5 MP front
- Video Resolution: 4K 60 FPS and 1080p 960 FPS back
- Aperture: f/2.0 back, f/2.2 front
- Sensor Size: 1/2.3" back, 1/5" front
- Pixel Size: 1.22 µm back
- Focal Length: 25 mm back
- Rear Camera Features: High dynamic range (HDR), electronic image stabilization (EIS), panorama
- Front Camera Features: Electronic image stabilization (EIS)
This area is a mix of good and fair. The 5.7-inch panel is sufficiently large for today's media needs, and the 1080p resolution puts the handset at a reasonable if slightly disappointing level of clarity. However, most users probably won't notice the difference between 1080p at 1440p on a panel this small, and it's not until you get up in the Galaxy Note 8's panel real estate that you start requiring more pixels to offset the gradually lessening pixel density. That said, we wish Sony would have packed some form of LED display in the XZ2, but the 700-nit lighting is a noteworthy plus. Also, haters of rounded edges rejoice: The XA2 sticks by the utile squared-off aesthetic.
- Screen Size: 5.7 inches
- Resolution: 1,080 x 2,160 (1080p FHD+)
- Pixel Density: 424 ppi
- Screen-to-Body Ratio: 76.1%
- Display Technology: IPS LCD
- Peak Brightness: 700 nits
- Material: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- Features: 10-finger multi-touch, HDR BT.2020 compliant, Triluminos display, X-Reality Engine
As expected, the IP68 would naturally result in a sealed-in juicer, but with Sony, that was never any different even on non-rugged offerings in their lineup. However, this shouldn't be too serious a concern since all 3,180 mAh of it should be more than enough to grind a full day out on moderately heavy usage.
- Capacity: 3,180 mAh
- Removable: No
- Technology: Li-ion
Design and Features
The Xperia XZ2 brings the latest in Google's operating system and a standard but beautiful chassis with IP68 ruggedness and four standard colors to pick from. The weight is on the high end, but some people prefer a heavier handset because it enhances grip and the user's awareness of the device while it's on their lap or in their hand. This is a good category for Sony's offering.
- OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
- Material: Glass body, aluminum accents
- Dimensions: 72 x 153 x 11.1 mm
- Weight: 198 g
- Ruggedness: IP68 water- and dust-resistance
- Colors: Black, Silver, Pink, Green
The only arguable drawback with this handset is the screen, which will be fine for all but a small chunk of the prospectors who are in the market to spend what this device asks for. Perhaps you're not able to pick apart the individual pixels, and maybe you're not privy to a display that's saturated with AMOLED as opposed to Sony's Triluminos alternative; either way, this area falls a hair short of the price tag where everything else keeps up. Ultimately, the Sony Xperia XZ2 is a mighty fine offering and well worth the money if you can overlook the shortcomings in the display.