Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact review
First 4K HDR video recording on a camera phone
Our Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact review highlights the world’s first ever camera phone to offer 4K HDR video recording. In fact, this Sony mobile phone has top specs all around. We often see ‘Compact’ models having a watered down experience but this really isn’t the case here.
The Xperia XZ2 Compact has the same hardware that we highlighted in our Sony Xperia XZ2 review. The main differences are a smaller screen and a smaller battery. This doesn’t mean that the battery doesn’t last as long, it simply doesn’t need to be as big because the screen is smaller.
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact has a 5” Full HD+ HDR display. The HDR element up-scales non HDR content so that you see more detail, contrast and 30% more colour detail.
Comparison: The Sony Xperia XZ2 has a 5.7” display.
The Full HD+ resolution (2160 x 1080 pixels) denotes that there are more rows of pixels, so that you can see more of an app or webpage, before you need to scroll down.
Design and durability
Sony ticks all the boxes here with IP65 and IP68 certification. This tells us that the phone is splash and rain resistant and will not let particles such as dust, inside the casing. The front of the Xperia XZ2 Compact is made from Corning Gorilla Glass 5, protecting the display from knocks and drops.
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Sony has redesigned the body shape for this phone and we now see a more curved body, which now has a durable frosted finish. You can buy the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact in either Moss Green, Black, Coral Pink and White Silver, which pretty much caters to all tastes.
The phone isn’t overly thin at 12.1mm thick but it is pretty light at 168g.
The very best processor is inside this phone. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with 4GB RAM is 30% faster than its predecessors. The memory can be accessed three times faster and this makes a big difference when opening photos and videos, which appear near instantly.
Phone Set Up
Biometrics and transferring your content
We have seen Sony integrate the fingerprint sensor into the power button in the past. However, they have now opted for a more traditional approach and placed the sensor on the back face, just below the camera lens. There is enough distance between the two to ensure that you don’t accidentally run your finger over the camera lens.
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact has a very healthy memory at 64GB. It is unlikely, but not impossible, that you will need more memory but Sony has added an up to 400GB microSD slot, just in case.
Sony has always been known for its sound producing finesse and the Xperia XZ2 Compact gets a good dollop of this. There are S-Force Front Surround stereo speakers that produce Hi-Res audio, enhanced with ClearAudio+ and Clear Bass.
Further audio benefits include an equaliser and a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack adapter. With this you can fine tune the listening experience and use new or old headphones.
Google and Sony apps
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact runs on Google’s Android Oreo operating system. This is the latest edition and includes the Google Assistant, along with apps such as Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Duo (video calling) and Drive (online cloud storage).
Sony also pre-loads some apps and these include:
- PS4 Remote Play
- Xperia Lounge
- AR effect
- Move Creator
- 3D Creator
The 3D Creator app is a new feature that lets you create a 3D Avatar of yourself. This can be shared on social media or used expressively, during chat.
Camera & Video
Motion Eye camera
We love the Sony Compact range because although the phone is smaller, the spec isn’t. This means that the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact has the same 19MP Motion Eye camera, as its larger family member.
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The camera has a 25mm wide angle lens and 8x digital zoom. What makes this camera special is that it is the first smartphone camera in the world to be able to record 4K HDR video. The results are dramatic, with more contrast, detail and colour captured.
The Motion Eye Camera can also perform super slow motion video recording at a frame rate of 960fps and at a quality of up to Full HD. You can create dramatic effects by switching between standard and super slow motion recording.
Further camera features include Predictive Capture, which is triggered by a smile or motion, Autofocus Burst, Quick Launch & Capture, SteadyShot and there is an anti-distortion shutter.
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact has a 5MP selfie camera with a 23mm wide angle lens.
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact has a 2,870mAh battery that has been designed to last all day. A little machine learning is working in the background here with Smart Stamina learning your typical usage patterns. If it notices that you have had higher than typical use, then it will prompt you well ahead of time to turn on STAMINA Mode, to ensure you make it to the end of the day.
Further clever tech is working in the background and these are Battery Care and Qnovo Adaptive Charging. Between them, they charge the phone in way that will extend the life of the battery. This means that six or twelve months from now, the battery will still be performing well.
Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 is also supported.
Next: Sony Xperia XZ review
Written by: Michael Brown