Sony’s at IFA 2017 and has announced the new Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact smartphones, a follow-up to last year’s XZ and XZ Compact. The Japanese electronics major has refreshed the designs to give both devices an all-metal frame. The XZ and XZ Compact will both be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835. The phones will also be among the first to launch with Android’s latest, delicious Oreo installed.
Both phones have Sony’s Motion Eye camera system that first debuted in the XZ Premium earlier this year. A 19MP sensor with Predictive Capture will take an image a few seconds before you actually hit the shutter button to cut down on missed moments. The camera is also able to record super slow-motion 720p video at 960fps. That’s aside from the ability to record 4K video at standard speeds. Sony has built-in SteadyShot electronic stabilisation for video, but it doesn’t do the same for stills at a time when most new flagships have that feature baked in. The XZ1 has a 13MP selfie snapper, while the XZ1 Compact has a super-wide-angle 8MP front camera.
The XZ1 comes with a unique new feature: a 3D scanning mode. Its camera will be able to scan any object and save the file as a 3D image. That file can be sent to a 3D printer or shared to a social network. Sony’s plans are to integrate this feature with gaming. You’ll be able to scan your head and use it as your avatar.
Display and design
The XZ1 comes with a 5.2-inch, 1080p HDR display while the Compact model has a 4.6-inch 720p screen. Both feature Gorilla Glass 5 for durability and both are rated IP68 for water resistance. The devices pack 4GB of RAM and a 2,700mAh battery, which seems small for a flagship phone. The XZ1 has 64GB of storage, while the Compact has 32GB. Both phones support microSD card storage expansion. The XZ1 can be used a dual-sim phone when not using a microSD card, which is a cool feature to have.
Design has never been Sony’s forte. The XZ1 and Compact may have an updated design on their predecessors, though neither takes cues from competitors such as Samsung or LG. Sony continues its tired boxed design. There’s no edge-to-edge display and there’s a lot of bezel on both phones, the opposite of this year’s most popular flagship trends. While the XZ1 has a slim, metal chassis that’s nicely refined, the Compact’s glass fibre and plastic construction feels thick and clumsy.
Sony will be launching these phones with Android 8.0 Oreo, making them the first phones outside of Google’s own Pixel and Nexus lines running the software. You’ll be able to get either phone in black, blue, silver or pink colours.