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Sony has announced their newest flagship phone, the Sony Xperia XZ2. Now if you’re a Sony fan, chances are you’ve been a little confused in the run-up to the Mobile World Congress unveiling on Monday morning. Tradition dictated it’d be called the XZ1 Premium, then rumours buzzed first that it’d be christened the XZ Pro, then the XZ2.
Sony’s love for messing with their nomenclature aside, all the important details are now out in the open – so, is the new phone a worthy flagship?
A sleek, new look
The first thing you notice when looking at the new phone is its smooth, curved build ripped straight from the design playbook of Apple and Samsung. Gone is the boxy, OmniBalance design scheme of the current range – probably a good thing, as it was beginning to look rather dated compared to the rest of the smartphone market.
The XZ2’s super-thin bezels surround a full HD+, HDR, 5.7-inch, 18:9 display, and the rounded, metallic edges and glossy back look sleek and smart. The fingerprint sensor is located a fair distance down from the rear camera – that has a 19MP Motion Eye sensor – too, which should remove any threat of smudging the lens (or straining your index finger).
Undeniably slick, the phone is durable too, thanks to a coating of Gorilla Glass 5 that ensures drop protection from shoulder-height drops onto hard or rough surfaces, and IP68 water and dustproofing.
Like many other up-and-coming handsets, the XZ2 will come with a Snapdragon 845 processor that includes an octa-core Kyro 385 central processing unit, VR-ready Adreno 630 graphics processing unit, and download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. The long and short: it’s fast.
That’s alongside 4GB of RAM and 64GB on onboard storage, plus the option to expand this via a microSD card by up to 400GB too. Battery-wise, owners will be able to enjoy a 3,190mAh, non-removable cell that should easily power the handset for a day or more, and that can be recharged wirelessly. All flagship-level features.
Famous manufacturers are never content offering up designs simply based on the competition, and Sony has come through with some intriguing, unique features in their new handset.
First is the camera. The main 19MP optics can record full HD slow-motion video at 960 FPS, alongside offering 4K HDR video. This is nothing short of excellent, and a complete first, though when you consider that Sony’s cameras are well-regarded as some of the best in the business, it’s certainly appropriate.
Adding to this awesome camera is Sony’s XReality engine, which can up-convert regular, standard-quality HD videos to high dynamic range (HDR) videos – this is a completely new feature for smartphones, having only been seen in HDR TVs in the past.
The last big trick up the XZ2’s sleeve is Sony’s Dynamic Vibration. The company has, compared to most phones, put a gigantic haptic actuator (the thing that vibrates) in the phone, hooking this up to an algorithm that can turn what’s happening on the screen or through the speakers (or headphones) into vibrations. It’s an interesting feature, especially since it works across every app, and lets you programme different vibration patterns for your notifications.
Sony’s new flagship is due to be released in Europe in the first week of April, and although pricing details haven’t been locked down, it’s unlikely it’ll be more expensive than last year’s XZ, which cost £549 at launch (over £100 less than most other flagships, it must be said!).
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