I took delivery of the new Sony Xperia XZ2 early in April from the Sony Dubai office for an upcoming trip where I will be using it to document my journey. I’m super excited about it, so do keep an eye out. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks with me being away, but now that I’m back, I’ve had time to play around with it.
The XZ2 (and XZ2 Compact) were announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February this year, and will make its way to South Africa in May, so just a few weeks left of waiting. One of those most notable changes is that the fingerprint sensor is no longer on the side, integrated into the power button. It’s now a dedicated sensor at the back, below the camera lens, so it sits in the middle (see pic below). I must admit, I’ve been hitting the lens instead of the actual sensor but I’ll get used it to in time, I hope! Pricing is yet to be confirmed.
Anyway, here are my top 5 features of the handset.
If you know me, you know I don’t prefer pink gadgets. This particular colour on the XZ2 is called “ash pink”. Before I saw it in person, I had only seen the colour online and couldn’t tell if I would like it. Now that I’ve seen it, I can confirm that a) it’s not in your face pink and b) it’s very muted; when you see it you will know why it’s called “ash” pink. I think it looks more lilac. [Side note: Yes, I do own a “rose gold” laptop because it was the only colour left but I had to think long and hard before buying it]. Btw, the phone was difficult to photograph.
Sony smartphones have had a signature boxy/square look for the longest time; up until now. The XZ2 has a new design that is more soft and rounded, and the bezels are smaller at the top and bottom. Tbh, it could have been smaller than it currently is, but we’ll take it. I’m also liking the sort of rounded back and the way it sits in your hand now. Alas it is glossy and prone to fingerprints. The whole look and feel is completely different to its predecessor, the XZ1.
It’s 2018 so all flagship devices should have wireless charging because cables are so ancient. The XZ2 was shipped internationally so the charging cable was not sent due to a customs issue of it being delayed in release, as I’m told. Anyway, the good news? I popped it onto my Samsung wireless charger and it started charging immediately, of course. So yes, it supports the Qi (pronounced chi) standard. Finally something Samsung, Apple, and Sony can agree on.
The camera on the XZ2 has a bunch of different modes, which I like. I’m not sure in the long run how often I’d use it but I’ve been trying some playful effects that make photos look trippy, pixelated, sort of an artistic blur (for lack of better way to describe it) and a bunch of others. I’ve also, more recently when I’ve been travelling, started to appreciate what I normally call a gimmicky feature of using a hand gesture to trigger the selfie camera. It’s easier because you don’t have stretch to touch the screen, or use the volume key as a shutter button on phones that are too large because your finger can’t reach across. Though I must add, not sure why the selfie-cam is a mere 5MP… but, what’s completely new on this handset is 4K HDR recording (a smartphone first) and 960fps slow-mo in full 1080p. Sony first introduced this feature last year but in 720p. Oh and 3D Selfies, which I doubt I’m going to use.
The battery life on the XZ2 is 3180mAh, and if you’re familiar with Sony’s previous phones, their battery life has always been a winner. It helps that there is a Stamina mode and Ultra Stamina mode to prolong your battery if you’re relying on it the whole day, away from your laptop. Another feature I love is Battery Care, I have not noticed it on other devices where it prolongs the charge and speeds it up closer to the last 10% of the charge time. So when you charge a handset overnight, for 90% of the time it will charge it a lower speed to increase the battery lifespan. Nifty.
Photo credits: Christo van Gemert
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org