In the battle of specifications and features we are getting down to the minor details for Smartphone announcements here in Barcelona with Sony announcing a world first and some interesting ideas as part of their new premium Xperia XZ2.
With HDR all the rage on our modern TVs Sony has introduced the first 4K HDR video recording in a smartphone and at our first look this adds some serious depth to a heavily contrasting video subject, though you’d have to say it’s not going to be the feature that sells a smartphone.
Super Slow Motion
Last year Sony innovated with a staggering 960fps super slow motion video capture. This year they’ve upped the game to Full HD quality Super Slow motion, but yesterday’s announcement from Samsung of their own super slow motion Sony is behind the eight ball because they haven’t enhanced the user interface – the way you take Slow Motion videos is the same, and that’s clunky. Sony software engineers will be kicking themselves when they see what Samsung are doing.
Going all-in on 3D the Xperia XZ2 brings the 3D creator software to the front facing camera, so you can scan your own face and upload to Facebook which now supports the 3D creator image files for any 3D object you scan.
Perhaps the most important change in 2018 is the design. Gone is the side fingerprint scanner, that’s around the back. Gone is the boxy design, replaced by gentle curves on the front and corners, and a curved back which makes it quite nice to hold.
And of course the Xperia XZ2 features an 18:9 display as do all the greatest phones launching today.
Sony are really drawing on their whole corporate portfolio to enhance entertainment on the XZ2 – in the larger model there is a Dynamic Sound Vibration which almost beats along to a movie or music, and acts like the dual-shock controller of a playstation when gaming.
It’s not just a vibration on a loud noise though, it feels in my testing to be linked to the bass. I watched a movie trailer and the feeling didn’t come with all the loud music, the feeling came during the deepest moments as if planned by the director.
“If entertainment is your priority, then our new Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are your smartphones,” said John Featherstone, Managing Director of Oceania, Sony Mobile Communications.
“We have pushed Sony Mobile’s boundaries even further with these new products, for everything from video recording and viewing movies, to listening to music. Featuring world-class technology and a new sleek, sophisticated design, these smartphones are everything you need and probably a lot more – offering entertainment to the extreme.”
Xperia XZ2 is a 5.7″ smartphone, but the Compact is back! After going missing for a couple of years, Sony is bringing back the Compact, the Xperia XZ2 Compact is a 5 inch device, which still offers almost all of the key features of the XZ2.
The only difference between the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are the screen size (down from 5.7inch to 5 inch), a different texture to the body (a non-scratch polycarbonate instead of the shiny look of the XZ2), no wireless charging for the Compact, and the compact doesn’t have the Dynamic Sound Vibration system for entertainment.
Streaming Content & Watching Movies
The best news, which could be buried in most of the coverage, is the upsaling. Again drawing on Sony’s TV image processing technologies, X-reality for mobile will upscale your content to a “near High Dynamic Range” so even low quality video should pop on this stunning screen.
Aussie pricing and availability is yet to be announced, but expect them all in the market by the middle of the year, and like last year, expect Sony to make all colours available online if the Telcos don’t.
Trevor Long traveled to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress with Support from Sony, Huawei, Samsung and Vodafone.