Update: A photo seemingly showing the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact has leaked, potentially giving us more clues as to the design of its larger sibling.
We’re almost certainly going to get a Sony Xperia XZ2 this year, although not much is yet known about it.
This phone will be a successor to the flagship Sony Xperia XZ1 and could well be the company’s main high-end handset for the year. As such, there’s a lot riding on it, but as our four-star review of the Sony Xperia XZ1 shows there’s also room for improvement in the next handset.
With that in mind we’ve come up with a list of the things we most want to see. But before that you’ll find all the current leaks and information on the Xperia XZ2, including its possible price, release date and features.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next Sony flagship
- When is it out? Possibly late February
- What will it cost? Likely at least $699.99/£599 (around AU$900)
Sony Xperia XZ2 release date and price
The Sony Xperia XZ2 might be coming soon, or at least that's what a mobile network said in a now-deleted tweet. In which case the obvious launch location is MWC 2018, which starts in late February.
That said, it might not launch until around September 2018, given that the Sony Xperia XZ1 landed in September 2017 and the Sony Xperia XZ was announced in September 2016.
There aren’t any price rumors yet, but we can take a guess there, as the Sony Xperia XZ2 is likely to cost at least as much as the Xperia XZ1, a phone which started at $699.99/£599 (around AU$900).
Sony Xperia XZ2 news and rumors
There aren’t many Sony Xperia XZ2 rumors yet, but a company exec has said that a completely new design is in the works for a new generation of products.
The XZ2 wasn’t named, but it would make sense for Sony to debut its new smartphone design on a flagship, so there’s a good chance the Xperia XZ2 will ditch the blocky design currently used by Sony’s phones.
And we might have seen what that design will look like, as leaked renders supposedly show off two upcoming Sony phones.
Neither phone is named, but it's possible that one (likely the more rounded one) is the Sony Xperia XZ2, while the other might be the Sony Xperia XZ Premium 2.
You can see that the rounded phone has a dual-lens camera, a metal back, a rear facing fingerprint scanner and small bezels.
However, we've since seen another image which mentions the Sony Xperia XZ2 specifically and looks different. This one, pictured below, has a more angular design and even smaller bezels, but the low quality and lack of information on the source makes us skeptical of it.
The source of this image also claims the XZ2 will have a 5.5-inch 4K display, dual 12MP rear cameras, a 16MP front-facing camera, a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 4GB of RAM, a 3,130mAh battery and 64GB of storage, but again, we're totally convinced, especially by the screen resolution, as 4K would likely be reserved for the Xperia XZ Premium 2.
Some of the specs make sense though, as the Sony Xperia XZ2 is likely to use whatever the latest high-end Snapdragon chipset is at the time, which probably means the Snapdragon 845. It’s also likely to have at least 4GB of RAM, since the XZ1 does.
It may stick with a 1080p display though, as outside its Premium range Sony hasn’t shown much interest in upping resolution.
Then again, if the company is launching a new design it might also go all-out on specs to really make a splash, so a QHD display isn’t out of the question.
Further confusing matters we've now seen a leaked photo supposedly showing the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact. Now, this wouldn't necessarily have a similar design to the full size XZ2 but it would make sense if it did, and the image doesn't quite match any of the images above.
As you can see, it has a curvy, likely metal rear and frame, while according to the source there's a fingerprint scanner on the back and no 3.5mm headphone jack, despite it not exactly looking super slim.
What we want to see
We don’t know what Sony has planned, but we know what we hope it’s planning. The following seven things top our wish list.
1. A completely new design
Sony has been rolling out more or less the same design in its phones for years now and it’s a design that feels staler by the year.
Big bezels and a blocky shape are not what we want from a recent flagship, yet it’s what we get from the Xperia XZ1 and other Sony phones, so we want a complete change for the Sony Xperia XZ2.
We want something more modern, but more importantly just something new, so the XZ2 will stand out from the Sony crowd.
2. A sharper screen
While the Sony Xperia XZ Premium has one of the sharpest screens around, the more mainstream Sony Xperia XZ1 has just a 1080p display, and we really want to see Sony move its main flagship line up to QHD for the Xperia XZ2.
4K is arguably overkill and can be kept for the Premium line, but QHD should make a noticeable difference, and at the very least will help it match rival flagships.
3. A better camera
The Xperia XZ1’s camera is good in daylight, but it struggles when the lighting conditions aren’t so good. Not only is there room for improvement in general, but also compared to rivals like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
We don’t need a dual-lens snapper – though nor would we say no to one – but hopefully with the Xperia XZ2 Sony will have polished the basics and deliver a camera that can take quality low light shots.
4. A battery boost
The Sony Xperia XZ1 isn’t exactly crying out for a longer lasting battery, but it would still help. The phone can last a full day, but in our tests we found that if you use it a lot or for demanding tasks such as games you’ll be charging it before bed, and it never stretches to two days.
Sony’s phones often have a decent amount of stamina and given the 2,700mAh size of the battery in the XZ1 it doesn’t do a bad job, but a bigger battery and further optimizations in the Xperia XZ2 could really boost performance.
5. Improvements to 3D Creator
3D Creator was one of the big new additions for the Sony Xperia XZ1. It uses the camera to create a 3D scan of any object you want, letting you share the result or even print a 3D model of it using a 3D printer.
It’s a nice – if niche – idea, but it doesn’t work perfectly, with many objects not rendering as well as we’d like. As with the camera in general it also struggles in low light, so we’d like to see improvements for the version shipped with the Xperia XZ2.
6. A sci-fi scanner
With Apple moving away from fingerprint scanners to 3D face scanning instead we’d like to see Sony catch up, either by giving the Xperia XZ2 a 3D face scanner of its own, or by using some other futuristic biometric tech, such as a fingerprint scanner that’s built into the screen.
Whatever it uses it needs to work well though, and ideally it needs to be available everywhere, unlike the current situation where Xperia handsets in the US don’t even have a fingerprint scanner.
7. Something to get excited about
Recent Sony flagships have more been dependable than exciting. From the design to the battery life you generally know what you’re getting with them, but they’re quite light on stand-out new features.
We’d like that to change with the Sony Xperia XZ2. Samsung showed us screens could curve, Apple looks to be doing a decent job of convincing people to unlock phones with their faces, now it’s Sony’s turn.
- The XZ2 will have to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S9