Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Sony Mobile has announced two new devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in the form of the Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia XZ2 Compact.

The two devices continue the Xperia XZ line, which started with the Xperia XZ in September 2016, followed by the Xperia XZ Premium in February 2017 and the more recent Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact in September 2017.

There's just under six months between them, but the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ1 are significantly different devices, with Sony Mobile finally changing things up in terms of design. Here is how the two flagships compare.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Sony Xperia XZ1: Design

  • Xperia XZ2 new curved rear
  • Xperia XZ2 larger and heavier
  • Both devices IP65/68 water and dust resistant
  • No headphone jack for Xperia XZ2

The Sony Xperia XZ2 might take the XZ name, but it takes on a completely different look to its predecessor. The XZ2 moves away from the flat-slabbed OmniBalance design Xperia fans have come to expect and switches to a curved rear like the HTC U11+, whilst also reducing the bezels surrounding the display on the front.

Measuring 153 x 72 x 11.1mm and weighing 198g, it is larger, thicker and heavier than the Xperia XZ1 that measures 148 x 73 x 7.4mm and weighs 156g, but the Xperia XZ2 takes on the 18:9 aspect ratio display meaning you get an extra 13 per cent of screen in the new flagship.

Both feature an aluminium core sandwiched between glass panels, though Sony has said the Xperia XZ2 is the strongest device it has made. Sony has also repositioned the fingerprint sensor from the signature side position to the rear in the new device, whilst also centralising the camera lens and flash module on the back.

Both the Xperia XZ1 and XZ2 are IP65 and IP68 water and dust resistant and they both feature USB Type-C charging. The Xperia XZ2 ditches the headphone jack in its new and improved design though.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Sony Xperia XZ1: Display

  • Xperia XZ2 has a larger display
  • Xperia XZ2 has 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Xperia XZ2 has HDR-upscaling capability

The Sony Xperia XZ2 has a 5.7-inch display, which features a Full HD+ resolution at 2160 x 1080 pixels for a pixel density of 424ppi. As we mentioned previously, it has an 18:9 aspect ratio, following the trend set last year by the likes of Samsung, LG and Apple.

Like the Xperia XZ1, the XZ2 has an LCD display but it doesn't just support HDR content, it will also upscale content to HDR-like quality using the X-Reality technology. The Xperia XZ1 only offers support for HDR content but it doesn't have the upscaling feature.

The Xperia XZ1 also has a smaller 5.2-inch display with a Full HD resolution that results in the same pixel density as the Xperia XZ2. It offers a 16:9 aspect ratio over the 18:9 aspect ratio however, meaning the new device will offer more screen within a similar-sized footprint compared to last year's device.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Sony Xperia XZ1: Hardware

  • Xperia XZ2 has SD845, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
  • Xperia XZ1 has SD835, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
  • Larger battery capacity in Xperia XZ2
  • 20 per cent louder audio on Xperia XZ2

The Sony Xperia XZ2 features the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform under its hood, coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It's worth mentioning here that Sony has developed and image signal processor with Qualcomm that is also on board the XZ2, designed specifically for the camera.

There is a microSD slot for storage expansion and the new flagship runs with a 3120mAh battery capacity which is charged via the USB Type-C port or a compatible Qi wireless charger.

The Xperia XZ1 meanwhile, has the slightly older but still excellent Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform, supported by the same 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. MicroSD is on board again, but the battery capacity is a little smaller than the new device at 2700mAh.

In terms of audio, Sony claims the XZ2 offers 20 per cent louder speakers compared to the XZ1, as well as clearer and it has also introduced something called Dynamic Vibration System. This system is capable of adding vibration to anything you're watching or playing which is designed to make you feel more involved so theoretically, the XZ2 should be better for entertainment.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Sony Xperia XZ1: Camera

  • Xperia XZ2 offers 4K HDR video capture
  • Xperia XZ1 has higher resolution front camera
  • Xperia XZ2 offers Full HD super slow-motion video

As usual with new Sony devices, the camera is a big focus for the Xperia XZ2. The same 19-megapixel memory-stacked Motion Eye sensor is on board the Xperia XZ2 as found on the Xperia XZ1, but Sony has made a few tweaks.

The Xperia XZ2 offers 4K HDR video capture, made possible by the image signal processor we mentioned above. It is the first smartphone to offer the feature, just like Sony was the first to deliver 960fps super slow-motion video on a smartphone in the XZ1 and XZ Premium. This feature has also been improved on the XZ2, offering Full HD resolution over 720p.

The Xperia XZ1 features the same 19-megapixel rear camera as the XZ2 as we mentioned, though it doesn't offer the 4K HDR video capture. It has a higher resolution front camera than the Xperia XZ2 however, offering a 13-megapixel sensor with a 22mm wide angle lens and an aperture of f/2.0 compared to a 5-megapixel sensor on the XZ2.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Sony Xperia XZ1: Software

  • Both Android Oreo

Both the Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia XZ1 run on Android Oreo with a Sony skin over the top, delivering much the same experience.

There are of course a few extras on the new flagship, such as the 4K HDR video recording and the HDR display upscaling but the user experience will be very similar between these two devices.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Sony Xperia XZ1: Conclusion

As you would expect from a succeeding flagship, even one that is only six months later, the Xperia XZ2 offers numerous improvements over the Xperia XZ1 including a new design and upgraded hardware.

Sony finally changes things up substantially in the design department with the XZ2 compared to the XZ1, whilst also moving into 18:9 aspect ratio display territory and the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 hardware.

The Xperia XZ1 might have a higher resolution front camera, but that's about all it has over the Xperia XZ2, with the newer device offering more in terms of display, hardware, battery rear camera and overall design.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 22 February 2018.