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(Pocket-lint) - Sony typically announces a new flagship smartphone every six months, so it will come as no surprise to fans that the Xperia XZ2 has now been succeeded by the Xperia XZ3.

The Xperia XZ2 was revealed at MWC 2018 in February, followed by the XZ2 Premium a couple of months later but now we have a new device in town. Which Sony flagship is for you? Here is how the Xperia XZ3 compares to the XZ2 and XZ2 Premium.

Sony Xperia XZ3 vs XZ2 vs XZ2 Premium: Design

  • XZ3 slimmer and lighter
  • IP68 water and dust resistance on all
  • Loop Design on all three, XZ3 refines

The Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Premium both ditch the OmniBalance design we had come to expect from Sony Xperia devices and opt for a Loop Design with curved glass backs instead.

Both offer a lovely finish with the camera and a circular fingerprint sensor centrally aligned on the rear, the signature dedicated camera button on the right edge, USB Type-C on the bottom and no 3.5mm headphone jack. 

The XZ2 has a singular camera but an 18:9 aspect display, while the XZ2 Premium has a dual rear camera and a 16:9 aspect display. In terms of footprint, the XZ2 measures 153 x 72 x 11.1mm and weighs 198g while the XZ2 Premium measures 158 x 80 x 11.9mm and weighs 236g.

The Sony Xperia XZ3 continues with the Loop Design and curved glass rear but it evolves it with smoother edges and a curved front too, offering a borderless screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio like the XZ2. It is the same height as the XZ2 Premium but the same width as the XZ2 and it is lighter and slimmer than both, measuring 158 x 73 x 9.9mm and weighing 193g.

On the rear, you'll find the same setup as the XZ2 with a singular camera and a circular fingerprint sensor below. The dedicated camera button remains on the right-hand edge and USB Type-C remains at the button, with the 3.5mm headphone jack still absent.

All three devices are IP65/68 water and dust resistant. The XZ3 comes in four colours, the XZ2 in three and the XZ2 Premium in one.

Sony Xperia XZ3 vs XZ2 vs XZ2 Premium: Display

  • XZ3 largest display
  • XZ2 Premium sharpest display
  • XZ3 curved OLED
  • All three HDR compatible with upscaling

The Sony Xperia XZ2 comes with a 5.7-inch LCD display that offers a 18:9 aspect ratio, as we briefly mentioned above. It has a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels for a pixel density of 423ppi and it is HDR compatible, while also offering Sony's X-Reality technology.

The Xperia XZ2 Premium has a 5.8-inch LCD display with a 4K resolution (3840 x 2160), resulting in a pixel density of 760ppi. It too offers support for HDR and it has X-Reality for upscaling content to HDR-like quality too.

The Xperia XZ3 has the largest display of the devices being compared here, opting for a 6-inch OLED screen with curved edges, as we mentioned above. Its resolution sits in the middle of the XZ2 and XZ2 Premium at 2960 x 1440, offering a pixel density of 568ppi. 

As you would expect, the XZ3 also supports mobile HDR and it comes with X-Reality technology. The OLED panel does mean colours are likely to be punchier and more vibrant than the XZ2 and XZ2 Premium but the Premium device will have the sharpest images.

Sony Xperia XZ3 vs XZ2 vs XZ2 Premium: Hardware and specs

  • All run on SD845 chipset
  • XZ2 Premium has more RAM
  • XZ3 larger battery capacity than XZ2

All three devices being compared here have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform under the hood, along with 64GB of internal memory and microSD support for storage expansion. The XZ2 and XZ3 both have 4GB of RAM, while the XZ2 Premium has 6GB of RAM.  

In terms of battery capacity, the XZ2 has a 3180mAh battery, the XZ3 has a 3330mAh capacity and the XZ2 Premium has a 3540mAh capacity. All three devices support Quick Charge 3.0, Qi wireless charging and they all have various software features such as Smart Stamina and Stamina Mode for prolonged battery life.

As we mentioned, none of the three devices being compared here have a 3.5mm headphone jack but they all come with support for hi-res music. They also all offer a stereo speaker with S-Force Front Surround and Sony's Dynamic Vibration System. The XZ3 does offer a 20 per cent increase in loudness over the XZ2 however.

Sony Xperia XZ3 vs XZ2 vs XZ2 Premium: Camera

  • Dual camera on XZ2 Premium
  • 19MP singe camera on XZ2 and XZ3
  • XZ3 has same front camera as XZ2 Premium

Both the Xperia XZ2 and XZ3 come with Sony's 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera on the rear. It offers a f/2.0 aperture and it is capable of 960fps super slow motion video at Full HD, along with predictive capture. 

The XZ2 Premium has a dual camera on the rear that is a combination of the 19-megapixel Motion Eye sensor, coupled with a 12-megapixel monochrome sensor with an f/1.6 aperture.

On the front, the XZ2 has a 5-megapixel sensor with a f/2.2 aperture and a 23mm wide-angle lens. The XZ2 Premium and XZ3 both offer a 13-megapixel front camera however, featuring an f/2.0 aperture and a display flash.

Sony Xperia XZ3 vs XZ2 vs XZ2 Premium: Software

  • Android Oreo with Sony software on XZ2 and XZ2 Premium
  • XZ3 launches on Android Pie

The Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Premium both launched on Android Oreo with Sony's software overlayed on top. They will both get an update to Android Pie from November 2018.

The Xperia XZ3 will launch on Android Pie with Sony's software over the top. It will also offer a new feature called Side Sense which takes advantage of the curved display. 

Sony Xperia XZ3 vs XZ2 vs XZ2 Premium: Price and conclusions


The Sony Xperia XZ2 will no doubt with the cheapest of these three devices when the XZ3 becomes available. It still has a refreshed design compared to last year's Sony devices, and it still offers a good display, waterproofing, plenty of power and the same camera as the XZ3.

The Xperia XZ3 brings an even nicer design than the XZ2 however, whilst also bringing a sharper and curved OLED display, as well as an improved front camera and louder speakers.

The Xperia XZ2 Premium is the most expensive of these three devices, and for the extra dollar you'll get extra RAM, a dual camera and a super sharp display. You don't get those curves though, nor a 18:9 aspect ratio so you're looking at a bigger device with a smaller display than the XZ3.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 16 August 2018.