Display & Design
Sony is adopting a new design with a 2:1 (18:9) display, which means that the handset will be taller and ‘skinnier’ than previous handsets with traditional 16:9 displays. Ergonomically, it should mean the handsets will be easier to get a grip of, aided by curved 3D glass on the rear.
The Xperia XZ2 display has a FHD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels (PPI TBC), and uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for extra protection.
The use of a 2:1 display also means that the bezel has been significantly reduced, although not eliminated completely. While side bezels are very thin, there is still a top bezel that houses the front-facing camera and proximity sensor, while the bottom bezel has the SONY logo.
One of the biggest disappointments is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, which Sony has eschewed in favour of this new narrow-body design.
We are surprised that Sony took this anti-consumer decision, particularly given Sony’s strong audio heritage. Instead of the headphone jack, you will find the nano SIM card slot, which now sits on the top of the handset. Sony is bundling a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack adapter in the box, although this is likely to be a small consolation for many.
Less of a surprise is seeing the fingerprint sensor move from the power button on the side, and now sits centrally on the rear. We had already seen Sony make this move on its mid-range Xperia XA2 models announced at CES, so it was pretty much a given that the same would happen with its new flagships. The upshot of this, is that US Sony Xperia owners will get working fingerprint sensors for the first time in a flagship.
It’s great to see Sony add wireless charging to the Xperia XZ2 – although unfortunately it will be absent on the Xperia XZ2 Compact. Sony is using the Qi wireless charging standard, which means you should be able to use any Qi-based wireless pad to charge the handset.
Camera & Specs
Rear camera duties are taken care of by the same 1/2.3-inch 19MP Exmor RS sensor found in the Xperia XZ Premium/XZ1, which allows users to shoot 960 frames per second super slow motion video, although this time 1080P is supported (previously only 720p was supported).
Sony is also the first to offer 4K HDR video recording, limited to 30 frames per second. Sony is using the same 25 mm wide G Lens F2.0, as in the Xperia XZ Premium and XZ1. Front camera duties are looked after by a 5MP 1/5-inch Exmor RS sensor with 23mm wide angle lens F2.2
Another piece of good news is on the battery front, where Sony has included a 3180mAh battery, an upgrade versus the 2700mAh battery found in the Xperia XZ1.
Sony is introducing a new haptic vibration feature called Dynamic Vibration System which analyses audio data, and lets you feel the action in your hands. We imagine this is similar to what you find on games console controllers, which Sony says will bring games and videos to life. Sony also says that the S-Force Front Surround stereo speakers are its loudest ever.
The Xperia XZ2 will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, 4GB RAM, and feature 64GB UFS internal storage with microSD memory card support. Other features include IP68 dust and water resistance, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC.
The Xperia XZ2 has dimensions of 153 x 72 x 11.1 mm, and weighs 198 grams. It will launch with Android 8.0.0 Oreo out of the box, across four colours (Liquid Black, Liquid Silver, Deep Green and Ash Pink).
Sony says that the handset will be available globally in shops from March 2018, which is something we really commend Sony for. Having a three month wait between announcement and release, like last year for the Xperia XZ Premium, would have been really painful.