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Sony Xperia XZ2 Review

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Sony XZ2

Sony has fallen into oblivion in the recent years. Although the Japanese could never reach the target sales, such as the competition from Samsung or Apple, nevertheless, the Xperia flagship series was always mentioned in the same breath with the latest Galaxy S or iPhone.

With the Xperia XZ2, Sony brings a powerful and modern smartphone for a price of P43,990 on the market. Our team has been testing the device for a week. Check out our full review.

Sony Xperia XZ2 specs:

  • 5.7-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display (1080 x 2160) 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 graphics
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 64GB internal memory
  • 4GB RAM
  • 19MP (f/2.0 aperture) rear camera, PDAF, LED flash
  • 5MP (f/2.2 aperture) front camera
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner, USB Type C
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 3,180 mAh battery
  • Price: P43,990

HARDWARE AND DESIGN

The Xperia XZ2 is Sony’s first smartphone to embody the new design language. For almost six years, the Japanese manufacturer relied on its so-called omnibalance design and constantly revised it over several device generations. After an experiment with the Xperia XA2 and the Xperia XA2 Ultra, it has obviously now found a new form.

The overall design looks much more modern because of the thin display edges, as in the older Xperia smartphones. The frame around the screen is still present and not nearly as thin as Apple iPhone X or Galaxy S9. And because the Sony smartphone relies on the currently typical display aspect ratio of 18:9, it is slim and very comfortable in the hand.

Nevertheless, there is criticism. For a flagship smartphone, the Xperia XZ2 with 11.1 mm is simply too thick. Manufacturers such as Apple, Huawei or Samsung can do the better with the same hardware and up to 31% thinner. A concrete example is the Huawei P20 Pro with 7.8 mm thin and even brings a 25% larger battery with 4,000 mAh.

For the Xperia XZ2, Sony mainly uses two materials: glass and metal. The frame of the smartphone is made of aluminum, this also serves as an antenna for WLAN, Bluetooth and for the five localization systems: GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, and QZSS. The front, as well as the pronouncedly spongy back, are made of resistant glass with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The back of the Xperia XZ2 is so ovate that the operation on a flat surface causes variations in all directions.

The side-mounted fingerprint sensor, a hallmark of Xperia smartphones, has now been turned back. Unfortunately, it too deep, so that in the early days the user will often touch the camera lens and smear his finger before getting used to the position.

The Xperia XZ2 is dust and water resistant with IP65 and IP68 certified.

DISPLAY

The display of the Xperia XZ2 measures a diagonal of 5.7 inches. The IPS-LCD has a format of FHD+, that corresponds to 2160×1080 resolution. Compared to the predecessor models, the screen has grown by 0.5 inches, due to the aspect ratio of 18:9.

The screen is bright and not oversaturated. The angles are not very good, even from a viewing angle of 165°, the display loses luminosity and the color saturation disappears.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

The Xperia XZ2 runs Android 8.0 “Oreo”. Sony is one of the few providers who come up with timely updates and upgrades. A promise for continuous updating, as Google makes it with its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 does not exist.

It seems like the Xperia XZ2 is ad-supported because bloatware is installed on the device. The majority of applications cannot be uninstalled but can be deactivated only. They will fade out, but still, occupy the space that has been paid by the user. This leaves a threadbare taste.

On the other hand, the Xperia Assist shows significantly more benefit. This is not an intelligent voice assistant like Samsung Bixby, which is supposed to compete with Google, Apple or Amazon, but a solved manual in the form of a chat. The text-based dialogue system helps with questions and explains the functions of the smartphone. For example, how the vibrating back can be optimally adjusted or what exactly HDR does. This is great for those who like high-end technology, who are reluctant to read manuals and want to be explained interactively.

Technically, the Xperia XZ2 offers everything that defines a high-end smartphone today. Inside, the new Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 845 works, just like in the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S9. The processor has four cores with up to 2.8GHz and four with up to 1.8GHz.

On paper and in popular benchmarks, the Xperia XZ2 is currently one of the fastest smartphones in the world. At Antutu, it achieves a score of 239,000 points.

The processor is supported by 4GB of RAM. That’s more than enough. The memory for storing data is 64GB, of which the user has 48GB only. If you need more, you can also use a memory card in MicroSD format that supports up to 512GB.

CAMERA

The camera of the Xperia XZ2 has a 19-megapixel single lens with support for laser and phase detection auto-focus. Unlike the previous year’s models, the image quality has increased, with lots of details and good color reproduction. In low light, the Xperia XZ2’s image quality shows a disappointment and gives results with lots of noise. An ISO of 12,800 does not help much, to be honest.

In daylight and other bright environments, the images are sharp and covered with natural colors.

Sony still relies on a physical button to open the camera. The button is positioned at the bottom right and starts the camera, focuses on the subject and shoots the picture.

Auto

Indoor

Low-light

The true ability shows the Sony phone in terms of video recording. The Xperia XZ2 takes videos in 4K with HDR, the first smartphone to have this feature in the world. The combination of high-resolution video with increased brightness and high contrast, which leads to dramatic and realistic results is unique, so far. The results can be displayed on the HDR display or on a suitable TV.

The front camera makes good quality selfies. Unlike the Galaxy S9, however, the autofocus is missing here, which is becoming increasingly popular and is now expected to be standard in this class.

Selfies

CONNECTIVITY

The Xperia XZ2 has a dual SIM version offered, the second card slot is optionally occupied by a microSD or with a SIM card. The smartphone supports LTE up to Category 18 speed and thus, it achieves theoretically download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbit/s. Other connectivity includes WLAN ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and USB-C with Generation 3.1.

BATTERY

Another nice feature of this Sony device is the use of a Qi-coil, with which the Xperia XZ2 can be charged wirelessly. The device supports fast charge with 9 watts, which means that the battery with a corresponding charging adapter should be half charged within one hour. In addition, the Xperia XZ2 supports wired fast charging via Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. However, the stock charger included in the package is not really fast, as the 3,180 mAh battery is charged within two hours.

Only for moderate use, the Xperia XZ2 is likely to last for two days with a single charge.

VERDICT

The Sony Xperia XZ2 is equipped with the best hardware and high-quality workmanship. The smartphone clearly scores with its multimedia capabilities such as the stereo speakers, 4K HDR video, and HDR display. The sound vibrations are quite cool, but not necessarily a solid feature.

If you’re looking for a solid all-rounder that does not rely on dual camera or have no problems with the thickness on the hardware side, you will not have much to complain about in the Xperia XZ2.

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