Sony Xperia 2: what we want to see

The Sony Xperia 1
(Image credit: Future)

The Xperia 1 was the start of a new flagship range from Sony, with a new aspect ratio and truly top-end specs. But it was announced in February, and while most companies leave a year between models, Sony isn’t most companies.

As such we may well see the Sony Xperia 2 before long, and we’re already starting to hear rumors about what it might offer.

We’ve also come up with a wish list of things that we want from the phone, so read on for our constantly updated guide to the handset, covering everything we’ve heard and everything we’re hoping for.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Sony's next flagship
  • When is out? Possibly September
  • What will it cost? It will have a high-end price

Sony Xperia 2 release date and price

The Sony Xperia 1 was announced in February 2019, but it didn’t actually go on sale until June. Those two things might make you think that we won’t get a Sony Xperia 2 until February 2020 or later, and that is entirely possible, but Sony’s track record suggests otherwise.

You see, the company usually launches two flagships each year, with the second coming in the third quarter, often announced at IFA (a tech trade show in Berlin, Germany). IFA 2019 runs from September 6 to September 11, so we may well see the Sony Xperia 2 during that period.

We’re really not sure though as the gap between announcement and going on sale was longer for the Xperia 1 than usual with Sony, meaning people won’t actually have had the phone for very long at all by September.

Whenever the Sony Xperia 2 lands, it’s sure to be expensive. Exactly how expensive is unclear for now, but for reference the Xperia 1 launched at $949 / £849 (roughly AU$1,365), so the Sony Xperia 2 may well have a similar price tag.

The Sony Xperia 1

The Sony Xperia 1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Sony Xperia 2 news and leaks

Our closest look at what might be the Sony Xperia 2 comes from leaked case renders (below), which show a triple-lens rear camera running down the left edge (rather than being central like it is on the Xperia 1).

The design otherwise looks similar to the Xperia 1, with a plain back, a likely 21:9 screen, a right edge crowded with buttons, and a full bezel above the screen.

The design matches an earlier leaked render shared by CashKaro, with the source of this leak adding that the Sony Xperia 2 apparently has a 6.1-inch screen and measures 158 x 68.3 x 8.3mm (rising to 9.2mm at the rear camera bump). This would make it significantly smaller than the 6.5-inch Xperia 1.

The phone has also been rumored to have a Snapdragon 855 chipset, 6GB of RAM and a 3,000mAh battery with support for wireless charging.

Elsewhere, Sumahoinfo has spotted a user agent profile for a Sony phone believed to be the Xperia 2. It has a screen resolution of 1644 x 3840, which is the same as the Xperia 1, therefore also pointing to the same 21:9 aspect ratio.

Finally, LetsGoDigital has spotted a Sony trademark for something called ‘S-Cinetone’. We’re not sure what this is and there’s no guarantee it will come to the Sony Xperia 2, but from the name it sounds like something related to film-making, which is a feature Sony put a lot of focus on for the Xperia 1.

What we want to see

Along with what we’ve heard about the Sony Xperia 2 above, we also have a list of things we want from it. You’ll find this below.

1. A brighter screen

The Sony Xperia 1 could do with a brighter screen

The Sony Xperia 1 could do with a brighter screen

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Sony Xperia 1 has a great screen in a lot of ways, but it falls short when it comes to brightness, which means content doesn’t look as good as it might otherwise. This is even more of a problem when using the phone in direct bright sunlight.

It seems like it should be an easy fix for Sony to make the Xperia 2 brighter, especially since most phones seemingly manage to have brighter screens, so let’s just hope Sony is aware of the problem and chooses to fix it.

2. A much bigger battery

The Sony Xperia 1 is a massive phone with a weirdly small 3,330mAh battery, which resulted in it struggling to last a day of moderate use in our tests. That’s really just not good enough, so we’d love to see Sony pack a bigger battery into the Xperia 2 and ensure the phone lasts longer.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 7 Pro and others all have batteries of 4,000mAh or more, so hopefully Sony will follow suit.

3. A slicker scanner

The Xperia 1's fingerprint scanner needs major improvements

The Xperia 1's fingerprint scanner needs major improvements

(Image credit: TechRadar)

We have two issues with the fingerprint scanner on the Sony Xperia 1. First, the big one: it just doesn’t successfully recognize our finger often enough. In fact, in our review we found it only successfully worked around 40% of the time, which really doesn’t cut it.

The other issue is the position of the scanner. It’s side-mounted, which actually isn’t a terrible place for it. It keeps it out of the way and makes it more accessible when the phone is on a desk than a rear-facing scanner. But in a world where many flagships have in-screen scanners it also feels a bit dated.

So we’d like to see Sony put the scanner in the screen for the Xperia 2, and we really, really want Sony to improve the reliability of the scanner.

4. An all-screen look

The fingerprint scanner placement isn’t the only dated aspect of the Sony Xperia 1’s design, it also has a full bezel above the screen and a fairly large one below it.

For the Xperia 2, we’d like to see Sony shrink the bottom bezel right down and replace the top one with a punch-hole or notch, or even get rid of it completely and use a pop-up or in-screen camera.

5. Camera upgrades

The Xperia 1's cameras are good but could be better

The Xperia 1's cameras are good but could be better

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Sony Xperia 1 has three rear lenses, but two of them are slightly flawed, with the wide-angle lens leaving pictures looking unnaturally stretched at times, while the telephoto lens only supports 2x optical zoom, which is less than we’d like.

These aren’t huge problems, but they’re also obvious places for improvement and with most people using their phones as their primary cameras they’re improvements that are sure to be appreciated.

6. Wireless charging

One flagship feature that the Sony Xperia 1 lacks is wireless charging. While it’s not quite alone in this, wireless charging has become a fairly standard feature at the top end so it’s disappointing that it’s missing here. Hopefully for the Xperia 2, Sony will implement it.

7. The same aspect ratio

We have mixed feelings about the Sony Xperia 1’s 21:9 aspect ratio, as while it’s great for watching videos on it’s arguably not so good for lots of other use cases. But it’s different to the vast majority of other phones, and we like that about it.

In a sea of near identical handsets, this more widescreen aspect ratio helps the Sony Xperia 1 stand out, so we’d like to see it return for the Sony Xperia 2.