Sony has been around in the smartphone market for quite some time, but it has never done that well in the smartphone market. The phones don’t pose any immediate threat to the market leaders Apple and Samsung and the phones are heavily criticised for their lack of longevity. However, Sony looks to change all of this with its latest flagship phone: The Sony Xperia XZ2. Has Sony hit the jackpot with this phone? Let’s find out:
The phone’s design is nothing groundbreaking, it’s the standard waterproof glass design that’s been present in every other Sony Xperia phone. However, the glass back of the XZ2 bulges on the back which makes the phone extremely thick. One of the main goals of many smartphone companies is to show how light and thin they’ve been able to make their latest phone, it seems that Sony does not share the same goal.
The phone is nowhere near as slim as the other current flagships available right now. To put it into perspective, the phone is almost as thick as an iPhone 4. Sony justifies the phone’s thickness by claiming that its meant to fit your hand properly. However, that’s only the case when you hold the phone as it is. However, since the phone has a glass body, it’s recommended that a case should be put on the phone to prevent any damage from falls. The added case makes the phone a real handful, definitely not what Sony wanted to go for here.
There is one change in the design for the new phone though, the fingerprint sensor is placed at the back of the phone like many of its competitors. Previously, Sony came up with their own unique solution to incorporate the sensor into the power button on the side. It worked pretty well, however, Sony has decided to go with the new design choice and even though it isn’t a bad idea, the placement of the fingerprint sensor is a bit off from what a person might be used to. Moreover, the camera is right above the sensor, so if you miss the sensor, then you can easily smudge the camera above it, which can get annoying. However, the design overall is decent if you don’t mind the extra thickness that comes with the phone cover.
The Button Layout
Sony doesn’t follow the conventional style of placing its power and volume buttons on two different sides. Instead, it keeps the power and volume buttons on one side and usually the Micro SD slot and the SIM card slot are on the other side.
Sony takes a similar route with the XZ2 as the power and volume buttons are on the same side. If you’re already a Sony Xperia user, then this shouldn’t be an issue for you. However, if you’re using a phone from a different company, it might be tough to get used to in the first few days, but it gets better over time. One great thing about this phone is that the coating is fingerprint resistant.
Many phones with a glass body have this issue that they’re huge fingerprint absorbers, for example, the Galaxy S7 Edge. You absolutely can’t use the phone without getting its backside all dirty unless you put a back protector and a case on your phone, something people might not be willing to do due to the thickness of the Xperia XZ2. Therefore, having a fingerprint resistant coating definitely helps. Overall, the button layout is certainly non-conventional, but not hard to get used to.
It does NOT have a notch, but a very good screen
One thing that’s become popular in phone design in 2018 is the famous “Notch” that was introduced by the iPhone X. Almost every major flagship in 2018 is coming with a Notch, the most recent one being the One Plus 6. However, Sony has decided against it and the Xperia XZ2 comes with the standard rectangular LCD screen.
As far as the screen itself is concerned, it’s pretty decent with a 1080p resolution which may put some people off, but the pixel quality is great. The display looks modern thanks to the Android Oreo OS. Sony also seems to have abandoned a lot of its own custom interface designs, which may or may not be good depending on how many people liked them. However, overall, it’s a step in the right direction as this allows Sony to get more frequent updates on their phones.
The Processor, sound, memory, battery etc.
As far as the technology inside the phone is concerned, it makes no compromises and settles for nothing close to the best. Its reflected by the phone’s processor as the phone comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip alongside 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage.
Although many flagship phones start with the 64 GB model, many also have different versions available with different internal storages. However, such phones don’t have what the Xperia XZ2 has: a Micro SD card slot. The SD card slot helps substantially increase the phone’s memory and should serve anyone well if they tend to use a lot of memory on their phones.
The phone battery is decent, but certainly not as good as what we’ve already seen this year. Coming in at almost 3200 mAh, the phone will last you throughout the day, but you’ll most likely need to charge it again by the time you go to sleep. That’s perfectly fine as the phone lasts you long enough to spend the part of the day where you’d actually use the phone and Sony has also added other nifty features to ensure the battery doesn’t degrade fast alongside several other features that monitor and preserve your battery life. However, given that we’ve seen much better from other flagships, the battery could’ve been much better, but overall, it’s still good.
Since this is Sony we’re talking about, the phone’s speakers would be nothing short of decent. They don’t distort that much either and the overall sound quality is good. However, fans will be disappointed to hear that the phone does NOT have a 3.5mm jack, therefore they can either plug in their Bluetooth headphones or use the USB-C cable that comes with the phone to plug-in their wired headphones. Overall, the phone has decent specs that a flagship should have, despite falling short in a few areas.
If there’s one thing fans can trust Sony to do, that’s making a good camera. Sony has consistently made good cameras for previous phones and the XZ2 is no different. The phone has a whopping 19-megapixel rear camera that comes with a myriad of features that’d satisfy anyone’s photography obsession.
The phone holds up well against its competitors such as the iPhone X and One Plus 6, it even produces better results in certain lighting conditions. The great thing about Sony’s camera is that not only is it fast, but it also makes sure that small details of a photo aren’t left out, which only enhances the image quality even further. The camera also holds up well at night as it is able to take great pictures without messing up the quality.
The rear camera is good, and so is the front camera. Even though the front camera may not look like much at only 5 megapixels, it performs really good. Videos look good on the camera too and you can shoot in 4K with 10-bit HDR color as well. Although Sony hasn’t included a second camera like many of its competitors for zooming and portrait shots, it doesn’t really make that big of a difference. The camera on the Xperia XZ2 is excellent, and it even outperforms some of its competitors.
Is it worth it?
Sony has come up with a pretty decent phone this time around, but then again, 2018 has been nothing short of spectacular for smartphones so far. We’ve seen a lot of incredible phones come out that it’s hard to choose who’s the winner.
However, the Xperia XZ2 isn’t included in the conversation of “Best phone of 2018”. It’s a decent phone, great even, but there are far better options out there than the XZ2 if you do decide to spend money on it. It actually depends on what type of consumer you are. If you’re the type who doesn’t care that much about the speed, apps or OS optimization but does care a lot about the phone’s camera quality, then you can’t go wrong with the Xperia XZ2.
However, if you want a phone which is an overall good pick i.e. good speed, camera, battery etc, then there are many other options out there that are either in the same price range or cheaper, for example, the One Plus 6. If you do end up wanting to buy the new Xperia phone, keep in mind that it’s only available from a limited number of places. In the US, the phone’s only available at stores like Amazon and Best-Buy, and it only works for AT&T and T-mobile, it won’t work with other carriers, so you should plan accordingly.
Overall, the phone is a decent phone with a good camera, processor, and a nice fingerprint resistor coating. However, the phones bulky design, okay-ish battery at best and lack of a 3.5mm audio jack makes it fall short of becoming a contender for one of the best phones in 2018.