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Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Sony’s XZ2, XZ2 Compact released with curves to spare

Some companies like a screen that curves, but with Sony’s latest two phones, the curves are on the back to keep the phone nestled in your hand. And that’s not all they’re packing.

It seems like Mobile World Congress was so long ago, but it hasn’t been that long, has it?

It’s already practically the middle of the year, and MWC 2018 was back in late February, announcing devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, Huawei’s laptop, Alcatel’s new budget phones, a few new handsets from Nokia, and two from Sony as well.

While a few of those haven’t seen release in Australia yet — we’re looking at you, Huawei and Alcatel — most have, and now Sony’s XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are about to join them.

The phones are going in a slightly different direction for the Xperia series, because while they’re following the path of most phones these days with a big and elongated screen for a fuller experience, the Xperia range is adopting a curved back to sit more nicely in the hands, which almost feels like a nod to one of Sony’s older phones, the Vivaz, back during the days of Sony Ericsson.

It too had a curved back, but a smaller screen and physical buttons, and that’s not what you get here, with no buttons on the front, and only the typical Sony buttons on the side for volume, power, and the camera.

There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the back, and that’s true of both models, the XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact, the former offering a 5.7 inch Full HD+ screen while the latter gets a 5 inch model.

Both get Qualcomm’s latest, the Snapdragon 845 eight-core chip, and Category 18 4G LTE with speeds of up to 1.2Gbps, Google Android “Oreo”, 4GB RAM, and a good 64GB of storage with room to move from microSD, though that slot can also be a dual SIM.

They both also get a 19 megapixel camera with F2.0, supporting ISO 12800 with Full HD super-slo-mo running at 960 frames per second. That’s on the back, while the front shoots at 5 megapixels.

And they both get a rather unusual feature, with a “Dynamic Vibration System” — which Sony shortens to “DVS” — that vibrates the phone in your hand as you watch movies, TV shows, and play games. Think of it as PlayStation’s Dual Shock, but for phones.

But while we’ve covered that before, we’ve yet to cover price and availability, so here that is:

Sony’s Xperia XZ2 is out now, with retail availability at JB HiFi, Kogan, Sony kiosks, and Amaysim for $1099, while the XZ2 Compact sees release for $949.

Only Telstra is picking up the XZ2 (standard model), and that will be rocking up soon.

Playing with the phone a little more than from our hands on, there’s something to like about the design, which curves nicely into the hands, despite its massive 11.1mm thickness.

Yep, that sure is thick, and most of it seems to come from that curve, which you notice when you put it down.

The Xperia XZ2 we’re reviewing is also very slick, something you can attribute to a glass design, though we’re trying to get used to the fingerprint sensor placement, which isn’t just under where it should be, but hard to discern from the actual back of the phone.

We may actually have a winner for a fingerprint sensor more difficult to press than Samsung’s Galaxy S8, though give us more time, and we might get it.

Here’s hoping, mind you, because with this news out now, we’ll be looking to get our review on as quickly as possible. Stay tuned!

Sony’s Xperia XZ2 with the Xperia Ear Duo earphones.
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