Sony unveils new Xperia XZ2 pair at MWC 2018

Sony revealed its latest flagship smartphones for 2018 this week as we expected during MWC 2018 in Barcelona. In need of a comeback, like some other smartphone manufacturers, the company introduced two new models in Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact. And boy do they look great.


Sony had new smartphones to show off at MWC 2018, as was the case with a number of other companies. Both models were shown off during MWC 2018 week at the company’s station on the show floor, and we feel the need to tell you about them. Each varies on the account of specifications, the Xperia XZ2 being the more premium, high-end device that will cost more, and the Xperia XZ2 Compact being smaller and less-specked out as has been the case for years. Sony is sticking to a premium design, but more on that later. Each of the new models is slightly different on the outside and in size, but collectively, the pair is similar in terms of software and to older Xperia phones. However, there’s a lot to get excited for which we’ll discuss in greater detail. Hopefully this year’s phones will become available in more places, sooner, and for a better price. Here’s everything to know.

The biggest change to these new models is what we’ve all been waiting for, design. Gone is the old Sony concept of blocky design with sharp edges. The new phones feature metallic rounded edges, a curved back, thicker body, and thinner bezels on every slide with addittion to each the top and bottom. Both handsets have side-mounted power and volume controls as well as a front-firing speaker grille and camera shutter button. We knew from the company’s MWC 2018 teaser that a new design with a curve was coming, and we’re glad we got it. There are a few small differences on each phone’s rear in terms of where everything is placed, but other than these and size, it’s hard to tell the two apart. All in all, this shows that Sony is finally coming out of its shell to adopt modern design trends with hope to catch up with the rest of the Android industry. It’s still far from perfect, and there are bound to be people who don’t like the design, but personally I think the devices look cool and change is something Sony has needed when it comes to smartphones, for some time. I’d expect it to help the company’s new duo be more competitive against other 2018 devices now that these look like phones of a modern age.

Putting emphasis on audio and video capabilities, Sony touts that the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact are all about “offering entertainment to the extreme.” True enough, the specs of the new Sony phones are on point in this aspect. For audio, the Sony Xperias feature hi-res sound and built-in digital noise cancelling technology. The Xperia XZ2 features a 5.7-inch, 18:9 Full HD+ display with support for HDR. This is an IPS LCD panel complete with Sony’s TRILUMINOS display technology for mobile that comes with Dynamic Contrast Enhancement. The new display aspect ratio means that the phone will be less wide, but taller than what most of us are accustomed to with traditional 16:9. Both new Xperia have it, which are the first for any Sony mobiles. This will surely please many, but Sony has stuck to Full HD rather than QHD for both models, which is a small disappointment. There is, though, Gorilla Glass 5 on both handsets.

As for cameras, both handsets come with a 19MP rear camera with f/2.0 and a 5MP front camera with wide-angle and f/2.2. Sony is calling the rear camera a “Motion Eye camera,” because it is among the first to introduce 4K HDR recording in a smartphone with the additional capability to record 960fps super slow motion in Full HD. It also has super fast auto-focusing.

Android 8.0 Oreo is pre-loaded on both of Sony’s new phones. Meaning, you’ll have access to features such as new notifications, performance and battery improvements by further restricting background data, picture-in-picture mode, new adaptive icons, and system-wide auto-fill. You’ll also get a new version of Sony’s Xperia UI that includes Sony Smart STAMINA, Battery Care, PS4 Play, and a number of other features.

The Xperia XZ2 runs on Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded using a microSD card. It packs in Quick Charge 3.0 for fast charging via USB Type-C of its 3,180mAh battery cell, which can also be charged wirelessly. Other features include a fingerprint sensor located at the back and IP68 water and dust resistance. The Xperia XZ2 also has NFC for making payments as well as front-firing dual stereo speakers and a brand new Dynamic Vibration System that lets you “feel” the content you are listening to. It will come in choice of Liquid Black, Liquid Silver, Deep Green, and Ash Pink colors.

As its name implies, the Xperia XZ2 Compact is the smaller version of Sony’s latest flagship. It features a smaller 5-inch, Full HD+ display with HDR in a plastic body. The battery capacity is also smaller at 2,870mAh, which charges via USB Type-C, but there’s no wireless charging. The good news is it runs on the same core specs as its larger brother, the Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory (expandable up to 400GB). It also has the same camera, IP68 resistance, stereo speakers, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, and rear fingerprint reader. It will come in choice of Black, White Silver, Moss Green, and Coral Pink colors. All together, this will be one of the best phones for its size once it hits markets. We’ll update this post with more information as we get it.

With a fresh new look and great entertainment features, the Sony Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact should be good contenders for your next Android smartphone. As a manufacturer, Sony is often criticized for being predictable and releasing flagship devices every six months, but these hit on everything and are sure to make a great upgrade. The company has stuck to its formula of introducing a full size and a smaller size flagship since the release of the Sony Xperia Z2 Compact, but this year unlike in the past, there are few compromises associated with the smaller device which is nice to see. The pair will release some time in March. US availability has not yet been confirmed. What do you think of the new phones from Sony? Let us know in the comments.

We’ll keep you posted on everything Unpacked 2018 and MWC 2018 right as they happen! Follow us on social media for up to the minute updates from Samsung’s Unpacked 2018 event as well as continued MWC 2018 coverage.

Product Listings [Xperia XZ2] [Xperia XZ2 Compact]

View our constantly updating MWC 2018 guide at the link below. 

[See more Unpacked + MWC 2018 coverage]


About Amiel Pineda 34 Articles
Amiel began his tech journey in the late 90's reading stuff from PCWorld when he was in high school. His 733Mhz-Pentium III PC + 32MB (yes, MEGABYTES) GeForce2 MX video card ran Diablo 2 like a hot knife through butter. He's a big fan of music but seems to stay stuck in that same decade. Been using Android since 2010 and never looked back. Never switching, ever!