Smartphone innovation has moved forward by leaps and bounds over the years, and new technologies introduced in today’s flagship devices only signify even more exciting things in the future. One brand that constantly brings cutting-edge devices to the market is Sony. We recently had the opportunity to put one of its premium flagship devices, XZ2, through its paces. Here’s how it went.
Xperia is a smartphone brand that a lot of people can identify by its make. Xperia phones are famous for their distinctive, boxy design and while this has been a signature Sony characteristic, the company changes things up with the XZ2. They’ve finally ditched this design for sexy curves, which in my opinion is a step in the right direction. It does tend to wobble or slip when placed on its back when on a flat surface. Browsing in this position is quite challenging, so I’d give up and just pick up the phone. The XZ2 has a good heft to it, though I’d appreciate if it was a bit slimmer for better handling.
It has buttons in the usual places, while its slot for the SIM card and microSD card atop can be pulled out without hassle. One thing that’s missing in the XZ2 is the 3.5 mm audio jack. The package does come with an adapter so there’s nothing to worry about—unless you often find yourself torn whether to juice up or listen to music through your headphones.
On its Gorilla glass protected back are the main camera, a discreet NFC logo above that, and a fingerprint scanner below. I am all for fingerprint scanners on the rear but its placement on the XZ2 is just a miss for me, as its position increases the chance of you touching the lens instead, something I unfortunately experienced many times. Though, once you get familiar with its position, this will no longer be an issue.
Feature-wise, the XZ2 is a smartphone ahead of its time. In its compact body are a combination of technologies other smartphone manufacturers would find hard to compete with. Under the hood is a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset that works along with 4 GB of RAM and a generous 64 GB onboard storage. This allows the handset to take on tasks of varying degrees of difficulty with ease.
User Experience: 4.5/5
The XZ2 is undeniably a flagship phone. Running Android 8.0 Oreo, it has a few Sony elements such as an Xperia Assist app to help you navigate the phone along with other multimedia apps that, though are quite useful, the phone can do without.
There are so many features on this phone that two weeks with it wasn’t enough to explore each. But among the ones we had the pleasure of playing with, the 3D creator is my favorite. In this app, and through the sensors and technologies built into its camera, you are able to create scans of your face and head, food, and basically anything you want to capture. You can share these creations on social media, make it an AR object, as well as print it if you have the capacity.The app will guide you through the scanning process and only takes seconds to finish. If you are able to execute the steps well, you’ll get the most stunning creations, while deviating even just one bit will bring about a mutated output you either laugh to or haunt you in you dreams. For regular users, this feature is a fun addition, but for industries such as hospitals, it’ll prove to be far more useful.
The cameras on the XZ2 are splendid as well. The main camera produces crisp, detailed photos with accurate colors. It has tons of modes and settings available within the app for creating photos with effortless bokeh and AR embellishments, along with Predictive Capture to give you the best photos no matter the shooting situation. Meanwhile, recording videos elevate the XZ2 experience further. It allows 4K video recording as well as super slow motion videos for extra dramatic clips.
Another feature that convinced me that this phone is as modern as it can get is its Dynamic Vibration System. You can activate this feature when playing games or watching movies. It works to add an extra layer of haptic feedback when consuming content. Simply, it vibrates along with movements on the screen–as if the sound follows movements in display–allowing users a more immersive audio and visual experience.
This Sony flagship comes with a price tag of PHP 43,990. It’s on the expensive side of the smartphone spectrum but with the 3D creator, SD 845 SoC, and 4K and slow mo video recording, the XZ2 is definitely worthy of its asking price.
If you have the means, then go get this phone. We won’t stop you.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE July 2018 Issue.
Reviewed by Mia Carisse Barrientos