Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact review

Small and powerful, but not very stylish

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The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is a solid step forward from the XZ1 Compact in several respects. It has more storage, a higher screen resolution and some camera improvements.

It’s the classic Compact blueprint, updated for 2018.

That said, it's far from perfect, with a cheap feel, disappointing front-facing camera and lack of headphone jack holding it back.

Who's this for?

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is for people who want a small phone that is still powerful. Small and punchy it is, although make sure you are ready for its chunky build.

Should you buy it?

How much do you care about having a small phone? If that’s your primary concern the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is the most tech-packed option out there. However, you do take a hit with the impressiveness of the build.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact isn’t a phone we’d immediately recommend to everyone. High-powered specs and a small screen are an odd combo and it doesn’t look or feel that expensive.

However, like previous Compacts, it’s a refreshing phone that offers something different. It is quite the pocket rocket.

Not sold on Sony's latest Compact? Check out these three alternatives.

iPhone 8

Apple phones tend to exist on a plane of their own, but the iPhone 8 is a legitimate 'small' phone, with a 4.7-inch screen. The Sony is a couple of millimeters narrower still, though, because while it has a higher inch count, its display aspect is also wider/longer.

The iPhone is a lot slimmer and feels more expensive in-hand though. It’s also around $100/£100/AU$100 more expensive.

Google Pixel 2

The Pixel 2 sounds like it is similar to the Xperia XZ2 Compact on paper. Five-inch screen, high-end specs? Yep.

However, as the Google phone’s display is a 16:9 shape, it’s still a little wider, if also a lot less thick. The Pixel 2 wins for camera flexibility and overall image quality. It’s lighter and seems more expensive in person too. However, if less width matters most, the Sony clinches it.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

What was the last phone in the series like? The Xperia XZ1 Compact does not have an 18:9 screen, so there is more space above and below the screen. Screen area is lesser too, with a 4.6-inch diagonal, and resolution much lower at 720p.

The older phone is thinner, but as it has a block-like shape, you don’t notice this benefit much. However, the screen is less of a battery sap.

iPhone SE

The only real competition to the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is Apple's diminutive iPhone SE with its 4.7-inch display and premium, if a little angular, metal body.

The Compact has the upper hand though, as it packs in the latest power and camera tech, while the SE is showing its age having landed in stores back in March 2016.

First reviewed: March 2018

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.