The feeling we had when we thought that Sony was going to present a new phone at MWC 2018 is that probably one of the last cards was played in the face of its mobile phone business. And it is that the previous generations of Xperia have not managed to draw attention beyond the users that form the niche of the brand itself, that is, those who have at home with other Sony devices. The phones of the firm lacked something, and if we had to start somewhere it was especially in relation to design. And you know what? The new Xperia have nothing to do with what we have seen so far. So, yes.
The new Xperia XZ2 is presented with a new design called Ambient Flow that poses a very nice curve made with Gorilla Glass 5. We are not facing a bezel-less design like other manufacturers, but you can see that they have made an effort to take advantage of the maximum space possible with the renewed 18: 9 format screen. The new ratio makes the screen 13% larger than the XZ1 occupying virtually the same total dimensions of the smartphone, although it has certain side edges and a lower edge that makes us endless with the Sony logo displayed under the glass.
There is no doubt that it is a first step in a change that we were screaming for, and that also comes with a very careful manufacturing process where the aluminum frame perfectly fuses both crystals (Gorilla Glass 5) and where the rounded edges of their edges They offer an excellent touch that gives a sense of continuity. It is a design that we like, and although it does not seem especially original (its back reminds us of the HTC U11 ), it is a clean slate that we appreciate in an Xperia.
The body maintains an IP68 certification with which to avoid problems with water, and also has an anti-torsion skeleton that will avoid scares when we take it out of the pocket or sit on it unexpectedly. The screen has grown to 5.7 inches, so a screen adjustment mode has been added that reduces the image to be able to use the phone more comfortably with one hand. Read also: Sony Xperia XZ1 Review!
Anyway, there is a detail that does not stop to convince us, and is the fingerprint reader. Leaving to one side the sudden change that the material of that reader represents in front of the Gorilla Glass, its placement is at least strange. The sensor is placed in a really low area after being dragged by the lowering of the location of the rear camera. This means that when we hold the phone with one hand, the finger exceeds the area of the fingerprint reader, preventing reading if we hold the phone normally. The solution, however, is put by the reader himself, since he is able to read the fingerprint of the area of the second finger phalanx.
It is a somewhat strange method, first in the area of reading, and second because that area of the finger does not have the same sensitivity as the yolk, so it will be difficult to know if we are really passing the finger through the reader or not. In the end, everything will be a matter of practice, and just by taking the mobile phone we will know how to place the finger, but at first it seems very unnatural.
Under the screen hides a Snapdragon 845 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage (expandable with 400 GB cards), a fantastic set that will promise the maximum performance of this generation, although the real protagonist of the hardware is the other side. We talk obviously about the camera, that with the new BIONZ sensor redesigned with stacked memory and the new ISP developed with Qualcomm for the Snapdragon 845, they are able to reduce noise, improve color and get more detail in the shots.
Such is their new potential, that now the captures in Super Slow Motion (960 fps) are recorded in Full HD format, while the videos in 4K are now able to record in HDR to find the maximum information regardless of sudden changes in lighting that appear in the scene. We have seen a demo of 4K HDR mode and the results, although they are excellent defining the limits and making the light that exceeds the image disappear (the demo showed a very strong backlight), saturated the colors enough in the case of the sky or the shadows. This video format in 4K HDR makes the Xperia XZ2 the first phone to offer this type of format.
The presence of the video in 4K format is a clear example that Sony was not going to give up its principles, so how could it be otherwise the 3D Creator could not miss in this new Xperia XZ2. 3D modeling mode is again present in the new smartphone, now including a new mode for selfies, since from now on it will be easier to create our own modeling only with the help of the front camera. The process is incredibly simple, and we will only have to scan ourselves until the process is finished.
These 3D scans are Sony’s personal commitment to Animoji fashion. Samsung has just presented its peculiar animated dolls, and in the case of Sony the result is images that try to resemble reality. The result is virtual statues that are not able to show emotions or different gestures, and that to top it all we will be limited to share through Facebook as much (after signing a collaboration).
The results, far from serving to entertain a WhatsApp conversation, are really good, and there is the possibility of improving the quality of the printed sketch if we accept the option of sending the modeling to the Sony servers so that the final image can be better by reaching a texture of polygons much richer in content. The test made it possible to create my custom avatar in a few minutes. First I had to look at the front camera, and later I just needed to follow the indications on the mobile screen to continue with the scan. The final sketch showed a rather striking level of detail in the beard and hair, but it is clear that the result would not serve to entertain a conversation in the same way that does the Animojis of Apple or the AR Emoji of Samsung. Quick Comparison: Is Sony Xperia XZ2 really better than Xperia XZ1?
Sony’s passion for the image continues to be demonstrated in more additional features, such as X-Reality, which converts any SD video into another with HDR effects. The results are quite showy, however, does not correspond to the culture of color fidelity to which we are accustomed to Sony, because it exaggerates the tonalities and shows quite artificial results.
Another novelty is the possibility of activating a haptic response by vibration according to what we are listening to, since an algorithm will be responsible for listening to the music we listen to daily to analyze it and create a vibration pattern that will be in accordance with what we are listening to. that moment. The result is a bit strange, since we are facing a Dual Shock species that in many cases will not match much with what we are seeing on screen. Obviously it will be a function that we can disable, although in Sony they assure that the energy consumption of the vibration will not eat more than 2% of the total autonomy of the battery.
This sound vibration function also comes with the new sound system that offers a performance 20% higher than the volume offered by the XZ1. In addition, the stereo speaker system is capable of emulating surround sound thanks to S-Force Front Surround technology, as well as being compatible with Hi-Res and DSEE HX audio.
The latest proposal is related to artificial intelligence. Sony did not want to lose the opportunity to offer their own assistant, but this time we are facing a solution that is simpler than others in the market. The Xperia Assist 2018It will be basically a bot that will answer our questions through a chat. It is a method that seems very simple to use for most users, however, loses that feeling of being served by an artificial intelligence with a life of its own, since there will be no voice recognition or answers with sound.
But if there is one thing that particularly amazes us is the panel they have chosen to give life to the 5.7-inch screen. The resolution of this panel remains in Full HD (Full HD +, to be exact), a resolution that, although it is sufficient, seems to us scarce for a smartphone of its characteristics and for someone like Sony, who has been the main standard bearer of 4K. The reason may be found in the control of energy consumption, since the 3,180 mAh battery could suffer with a higher resolution panel.
As you can see, Sony’s seal is still present in a trio of qualities that encompasses sound, image and tactile experience. Aesthetically come with a new proposal that seems to forget the designs of previous generations to offer a style more in line with the times, however, we still have the doubt of whether the product will truly meet expectations. Will they be able to fully squeeze their own image sensor and not be overtaken by other manufacturers who also use their sensor? And why keep betting with a single rear camera?
Those and many other answers will be answered when we can try the device with greater depth, but at least the first impressions leave us with a good taste. The bet is clear, a high-end smartphone that has dared to change air waiting for a good reception by users and that presents a price of 799 euros that might not scare you so much when you get to the next store 6 of April. We would have liked to see a label that stayed as much in the 749 euros, but at least it is excellent news to see how the brand has been able to squeeze the price to place 50 euros below the proposals of other manufacturers such as the Galaxy S9.