Sony just launched three devices at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 (opens in new tab), the Xperia XZ2 (opens in new tab), the Xperia XZ2 Compact (opens in new tab) and the Xperia Ear Open Duo (opens in new tab).
Sony’s recent teaser (opens in new tab) had us excited about what design changes they may be bringing to the their phones and they didn’t disappoint! The Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact (opens in new tab) come with a dazzling 18:9 screen and rounded edges that should help Sony devices break into the mainstream.
The issue that Sony phones have always had in the Indian market is with their launch. Always late and always underwhelming by the time they arrive. Though the company has been trying their hardest to make sure that their phones are more affordable, they just haven’t been able to make the kind of impact that budget smartphones have been able to accomplish.
The Xperia phones will be facing tough competition from Samsung’s S9 (opens in new tab) and S9 Plus (opens in new tab) that were launched earlier at the MWC.
Sony Xperia XZ2
The Sony Xperia XZ2 is the phone that is meant to revive the Sony brand. It has so many aspects that were long awaited, such as a new design, 4K HDR video capture and a processor that packs a punch, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.
The Samsung S9 Plus does fair better by offering 6GB RAM while the XZ2 only offers 4GB RAM in their variant. The S9 Plus also offers a bigger screen and better resolution. With the Xperia XZ2 presenting 1080x2160 px, the S9 Plus offers around 82% more pixels with 1440x2960 px resolution. That means a sharper and crisper screen.
The Sony Xperia phones come with an impressive 20MP rear camera while Samsung only offers 12MP in their cameras.
Though, the Xperia phones may offer more megapixels, the Samsung S9 Plus comes equipped with a dual camera that should be able to take more comprehensive photos. It’s capable of enhancing effects such as blur, zoom and wide angle photos.
What’s unique about the Xperia XZ2 is its Dynamic Vibration System. Following Apple’s lead in haptic designs, Sony takes this a step further by being able to integrate music, games and movies. The XZ2 can vibrate at different intensities and different patterns depending on what you're playing.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact has completely changed its design, in comparison to other Sony devices, and encompasses impressive specs within. The Compact variant actually makes more of an impression than its more expensive counterpart.
The XZ2 Compact is different from anything that Sony has attempted earlier. The risks that it has taken may or may not pay off, but nonetheless, Sony gets full points for ingenuity. It doesn’t vary from the XZ2 in terms of power, equipped with the Snapdragon 845 as well as 4GB of RAM.
Aside from the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Google Pixel 2, being a rare an example, flagship specifications are usually seen on phablet-sized devices. Keeping that in mind, the Xperia XZ2 Compact is a good additional to the line of small, but powerful phones.
It does fall short in one respect, it doesn’t support VoLTE (opens in new tab). That means you can’t use the 4G network for connectivity. But in India, where 3G and 4G speeds are at par most of the time, would such a feature make enough of a difference?
Sony Xperia Ear Duo
The Sony Xperia Ear Duo is probably the most interesting of all three devices. It’s the latest in their line of smart earbuds or what they call the ‘in-ear assistant.’
Keeping in line with Sony’s innovative spirit, they’ve really tried to make something new in an area that isn’t considered to be at the forefront of invention anymore. Going up against the more subtle Motorola Moto hint and sleek Jabra Elite Sport, these earbuds will really have to show their worth to appeal to the consumers.
The batteries on the both, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact aren’t particularly impressive, which is something that’s probably going to play against them. At least the non-compact variant can be charged wirelessly which may offer some relief.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, despite Sony phones being launched globally, only the flagship and premier models that make it into the Indian markets keeping in line with the company’s strategy over the last couple of years.
No prices were announced at the MWC 2018 but launches are scheduled for next month.
All in all, the issue with the Sony phones is that they’re always playing catch-up and seemed to have stopped making radical changes on their own. The Xperia XZ2 is a phone that we would’ve gotten excited about last year, but this year, it’s just another in the long line of phones in the rat race to stay relevant in the industry.
MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub (opens in new tab) to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.