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(Pocket-lint) - Sony Mobile two new additions to its Xperia XZ line of smartphones in the Xperia XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact.

The two smartphones succeed the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact devices announced just six months ago, bringing a newer duo with improved designs and faster hardware. These new devices are now available, so it's time to make a serious decision.

How do the two differ between each other though? Here is how the Xperia XZ2 compares to its compact sibling.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Xperia XZ2 Compact: Design

  • Xperia XZ2 Compact smaller but thicker
  • Xperia XZ2 has glass rear, XZ2 Compact has plastic
  • Both IP65/68 water and dust resistant

Both the Sony Xperia XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact have seen a move away from the flat-slabbed OmniBalance design Xperia devices have been associated with in the past, to a curvier, rounder finish.

The two handsets both take on Sony's new Ambient Flow design ethos, offering a curved rear, but while the larger XZ2 opts for Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and the back, the smaller XZ2 Compact has a polycarbonate rear.

There is also quite a big difference in size, with the XZ2 measuring 153 x 72 x 11.1mm and weighing 198g, while the XZ2 Compact measures 135 x 65 x 12.1mm and weighs 168g, making the smaller model the fatter and lighter of the two.

As you'd suspect, this difference in size and material choices means they both feel very different in the hand. The larger definitely feels more premium, with its high-gloss finish, but this does make it more prone to slipping off things. Despite being large, the thinness means it's slightly more comfortable in the hand. 

Sony has moved the fingerprint sensor from the signature side position to a centralised rear position on both devices, though because of the size difference between these handsets, it is in a more ergonomic position on the Compact model.

The camera and flash module have also moved to a centralised position on the rear, but the layouts are slightly different with the Compact's flash module horizontally aligned, while larger XZ2 model has it vertically aligned.

Both devices are IP65/68 water and dust resistant and they both ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of USB Type-C only.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Xperia XZ2 Compact: Display

  • Xperia XZ2 5.7-inch, Full HD+, 424ppi
  • Xperia XZ2 Compact 5-inch, Full HD+, 483ppi
  • Both HDR compatible with upscaling

The Sony Xperia XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact both make a move from a 16:9 aspect ratio to an 18:9 aspect ratio display, resulting in smaller bezels at the top and bottom of the screen.

Being the smaller handset, the XZ2 Compact naturally has a smaller display, boasting a 5-inch Full HD+ (2160 x 1080) screen compared to the XZ2's 5.7-inch Full HD+ display.

With the same resolution however, this means there are more pixels packed into the Compact's display per inch compared to the larger model, with their pixel densities sitting at 483ppi and 424ppi, respectively.

Aside from the size and the Compact delivering sharper, crisper images though, the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact have the same display capabilities, which not only includes the ability to support HDR content but to upscale content to HDR too. In our testing, we found both screens to be suitably sharp, vivid and bright. They're really dynamic and make viewing photos, videos and playing games an absolute joy. 

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Xperia XZ2 Compact: Hardware

  • Both SD845, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
  • Both ditch 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Xperia XZ2 larger battery capacity

Sony's Compact models have always been small powerhouses like their larger siblings and the XZ2 Compact is no different. Like the XZ2, it runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform, supported by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

The two models both come with microSD for storage expansion, they are both charged via USB Type-C, they both support Qi wireless charging and they both ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack, as we mentioned previously.

They also both offer support for Hi-Res audio and they both come with a new Dynamic Vibration System, which is a device-wide haptics system that will add optional vibration to games or movies.

In fact, the only difference between the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact on the hardware front is the battery capacity with the larger device sporting a 3180mAh cell and the Compact featuring a 2870mAh cell.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Xperia XZ2 Compact: Camera

  • 19MP rear camera on both, 5MP front camera
  • Both capable of 4K HDR video recording
  • Both have 960fps FHD slow-motion video recording

The Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact both feature the 19-megapixel memory-stacked Motion Eye sensor found on the Xperia XZ1. It has ISO 12,800 for photos and ISO 4000 for video, whilst also offering 960fps super slow motion Full HD video.

The rear camera sensor is also capable of recording 4K HDR video on both the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact thanks to a custom image signal processor developed by Sony and Qualcomm for the two new flagships.

In our testing, we were impressed with the results obtained from the cameras in good daylight. Photos came out with nice colour, detail and depth. Where they struggled was with the super slow motion feature in low light. Unless you have absolutely fantastic lighting conditions, the slow motion comes out noisy and dim. 

On the front, the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact both have a 5-megapixel sensor with 3D creator on board.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Xperia XZ2 Compact: Software

The Sony Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia XZ2 Compact both run on Android Oreo with Sony's software over the top. You'll therefore get an identical user experience between these two devices.

That means you get plenty of Sony's own pre-installed apps, a few of which are redundant or a variety on a theme, offering functions well catered for already in other apps.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Xperia XZ2 Compact: Price and conclusion

  • Xperia XZ2 price is £699
  • Xperia XZ2 Compact price is £549

The Sony Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia XZ2 Compact are almost identical in terms of hardware. They both feature the same processor, RAM, storage, audio capabilities, camera capabilities and software experience.

The XZ2 has the advantage of offering a bigger display as well as a bigger battery capacity and a more premium finish thanks to the glass back, but it is also the larger of the two devices.

The XZ2 Compact meanwhile, might have a plastic rear and a slightly smaller battery but it is unsurprisingly more compact, whilst also offering a sharper display and all the same power as its larger sibling. In fact, if what you're really after is as much power and performance as possible, without going big, the Compact is really your only choice in the world of Android phones. 

Your final decision might come down to price, of course. The Sony Xperia XZ2 will cost £699 SIM-free, while the XZ2 Compact will be £150 cheaper, at £549. Both are available for order - and you can see the best Xperia XZ2 deals here.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 23 February 2018.