It’s no secret that Sony is undergoing some substantial changes, with more likely still ahead on the company roadmap. While we can’t exactly say for sure how the recently-announced, upcoming CEO change will trickle down to other management positions, as well as products and design directions in particular divisions, like Sony Mobile, it is pretty clear that the company is already morphing.
You don’t really have to look any further than the new Xperia XZ2 and its little Compact sibling for proof that Sony is evolving even if slowly. The 2018 flagship is different in a number of ways, some of which more controversial than others.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Specs
Body: Aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass 5 back and front; IP65/68; 153 x 72 x 11.1mm, 198g.
Screen: 5.7-inch, 18:9, FHD+ IPS LCD, HDR, 424 PPI
Rear Camera: 19MP, 1/2.3″ Sony IMX400 camera, f/2.0 lens, predictive hybrid laser/phase detection/contrast AF, burst AF, IR sensor for white balance, LED flash, dedicated hardware shutter key, BIONZ for mobile image-processing engine; ISO 12,800
Video Recording: 4K video recording @30fps, HDR video up to 4K, 1080p @60fps, 1080p @960fps, 720p @960fps, Steady Shot; Stereo audio recording; Predictive capture; ISO 4000
Front Camera: 5MP, 1/5″ Exmor RS for mobile, 23mm wide angle lens, 90-degree FOV, f/2.2; 1080p video
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Kryo 385 (8x custom Cortex-A75 @ up to 2.8GHz), Adreno 630GPU
Memory: 4GB RAM, 64GB UFS + microSD (up to 400GB)
OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
Battery: 3180mAh; Quick Charge 3.0; Wireless Charge (QI)
Connectivity: Hybrid dual SIM (4G), 4G VoLTE, 5CA LTE Cat.18, 4×4 MIMO, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/GLONASS, NFC, USB 3.1 Type-C
Audio: Dynamic vibration system, High-res audio, DSEE HX, LDAC, Stereo speakers with S-Force surround, aptX HD audio
Misc: Fingerprint sensor, 3D creator scan with back and front cameras, SDR to HDR video upconversion
Whether or not the new design appeals to you is clearly a matter of personal taste and something we can’t really weigh in on. It is equally hard to say with certainty, if it is better than Sony’s designs of old. What we can and intend to do, however, is provide an in-depth look on the new “Ambient Flow” concept, the changes, omissions and additions it brought about and hopefully help you build an opinion from there.
The same goes for the performance of the Xperia XZ2. Having a decked-out specs sheet is one thing, but actually building a good experience around it poses a whole other set of challenges. Stick around as we dig deeper into all matters, Xperia XZ2.
But, before we get into any of the more serious aspects, let’s see the first impression the Xperia XZ2 makes. The box it ships in is nothing too fancy, but rather just sturdy and functional enough to get the logistics job done right. We’ve always been proponents of this approach, over fancy packages, that add additional cost and then gather dust in a drawer.
Sony’s box of choice is a two-piece affair, made of sturdy printed cardboard – toned-down colors, nothing too extravagant. Still the internals feature nifty plastic trays to hold everything securely in place.
In terms of accessories, you get a fairly compact wall charger and a USB cable to go with it. As promised, Sony is also bundling a Type-C to 3.5mm adapter, to make up for going down the Apple road and ditching the audio jack.
Our review unit only came with a basic adapter, but Sony did promise it would include a more versatile Y-style splitter in retail boxes, so users charge and listen at the same time. Also, given the company’s track record and ever-growing assortment of audio accessories, you can likely expect to find the Xperia XZ2 bundled with a pair of headphones on many markets, for a better deal.
We only wish the provided charger was QuickCharge-enabled. If you are after a quick charger, quick would have to buy one separately.