Sony launches a true flagship: the Xperia XZ

Manny Pham
September 1, 2016

Sony has launched the Xperia XZ at IFA 2016, another addition to the overflowing amount of Sony devices we’ve seen this year. It looks like the phone Sony should have released in the first place. 

It really does seem like Sony got MWC and IFA mixed up, as only now are we seeing a 2016 Xperia device that’s truly competitive. The Xperia XZ could be the device to give Sony a brighter outlook, going into 2017, as it looks to be the real deal we’ve been waiting for.

Soaking in the aesthetics the Xperia XZ is the best looking Xperia device this year. It matches up with leak we saw in July, right down to the ‘mist blue’ colour scheme. The design has been revamped with something Sony is calling ALKALEIDO metal, for the back. Which is pretty much just a metal back, until proven otherwise.

Processing power is the same as the Xperia X Performance, with a Snapdragon 820 and 3GB of RAM. It has a 5.2-inch Full HD screen, unfortunately not QHD like rivalling flagship devices such as the LG G5 and HTC 10.  But what it does have over them is an IP68 water-resistance rating, meaning you’ll be able to drop the XZ in the bath, without too much worry.

Further proof of the Xperia XZ being the true flagship from Sony, is the USB Type-C port located at the bottom of the device. This makes the Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact, the first Sony devices to embrace the technology.

Compact and ready

xperia x compact

Announced alongside the XZ is the Xperia X Compact, a shrunken version of the Xperia X. It has the same Snapdragon 650 processor with 3GB of RAM, although a downgrade can be seen with a 720p display, instead of Full HD 1080p. The display measures at 4.6-inches, easy to use single-handedly and weighs only 135g.

Both Xperia XZ and X Compact have a 23-megapixel rear-facing camera, also seen on the Xperia X. However 4K recording is only present on the XZ.

The camera is always a big selling point for the Xperia line, Sony are talking up 5-axis image stabilisation, better white balance and laser auto-focus. The Xperia XZ has a hefty 13-megapixel selfie camera, making the 5-megapixel on the Compact, paltry.

A fingerprint sensor is present in the models at IFA 2016, but whether we’ll see it active in the US release, remains to be seen. Sony did not make the side placed fingerprint sensor of the Xperia X active upon release (still isn’t).

Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact are sentient

The battery on both devices come with interesting new features that learns your charging habits. Once it learns your habits, your phone will not waste power unnecessarily when charging.

Say you wake up at 8:30 every day leaving your phone to charge overnight. Both devices will charge to 90 percent as quick as it can, and charge the remaining 10 percent before you wake up. It’s the phone battery equivalent of pulling a perfect pint.

Android 6 Marshmallow is on both devices with the Xperia UI. Sony has confirmed they will be upgrading both to Android Nougat.

The Xperia X Compact will be on sale in the UK on September 5th, the Xperia XZ starts selling in the week of October 3rd. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.

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