IFA 2016: Sony Xperia XZ, X Compact aim to outshoot competition

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Sony announced a new flagship at the IFA 2016 in Berlin, Germany, alongside the next refresh of its fairly popular Compact line of smartphones. Leading the way for the Japanese electronics maker from now (till probably the next IFA) are the Sony Xperia XZ and X Compact.

Both phones have been the subject of several leaks prior to their unveiling, but neither lived up to the hype of rivaling heavy-hitters like the OnePlus 3, which features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU at the helm, with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage thrown in for good measure.

The Sony Xperia XZ and X Compact have been the subject of several leaks prior to their unveiling, but neither lived up to the hype of rivaling heavy-hitters like the OnePlus 3.

By contrast, the Xperia XZ has a Snapdragon 820 but half the RAM and storage and a smaller display to boot. The Xperia X Compact is an even lesser specimen: 720p on a 4.6-inch screen; Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 650 under the hood; and ceramic on the back, instead of metal found on the XZ.

And that’s probably fine with Sony.

OnePlus. Xiaomi. Vivo. And a lot more. These companies can try and stay on top of the specs war for all Sony cares; clearly, it doesn’t want to get in a “pissing contest” with industry neophytes.

The only fight worth fighting — at least judging from Sony’s latest efforts — is the battle against slow focus, camera shakes, washed-out colors, blurry mugshots, and the like. The only pursuit it is interested in is the pursuit of the ultimate smartphone camera.

The only fight worth fighting — at least judging from Sony’s latest efforts — is the battle against slow focus, camera shakes, washed-out colors, blurry mugshots, and the like.

And it is to this end that Sony has spared no effort to bring the latest imaging technologies into the XZ and X Compact’s sharp and angular bodies.

The Sony Xperia X Compact. The main image shows the higher-end Sony Xperia XZ.

The Sony Xperia X Compact. The main image shows the higher-end Sony Xperia XZ.

Very briefly, let’s take a look at what the phones have to offer on the imaging front: a 23-megapixel imaging sensor for the rear camera courtesy of last year’s Xperia flagship; a laser auto-focus sensor, which we’ve seen with increasing frequency from midrange to top-end devices; a new RGB infrared sensor for more accurate colors; predictive hybrid autofocus for shooting moving targets such as pets and wobbling toddlers; 4K video recording; and 5-axis image stabilization to compensate for shaky hands when shooting handheld video.

Whew. That’s a lot of technology. And on paper, it seems that Sony has the hardware to beat the best in the business — in case you’re wondering, it’s a toss-up between Samsung’s S7, S7 edge, and Galaxy Note 7. Regrettably, we don’t have photos taken with either smartphone yet. Worse still, pricing remains up in the air at the moment.

But for Sony’s sake, we hope the Xperia XZ (and/or Xperia X Compact) can outshoot every phone out there — because otherwise, what’s the point?

  • Water-resistant
  • 5.2-inch, 1080p IPS display with Gorilla Glass
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB/64GB storage
  • microSD card slot (up to 256GB)
  • 23-megapixel rear camera with laser autofocus, RGB infrared sensor, 5-axis image stabilization
  • 13-megapixel front camera
  • 2,900mAh battery with fast charging
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Android Marshmallow
  • 4.6-inch, 720p IPS display with Gorilla Glass
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 CPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • microSD card slot (up to 256GB)
  • 23-megapixel rear camera with laser autofocus, RGB infrared sensor, 5-axis image stabilization
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • 2,700mAh battery with fast charging
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Android Marshmallow

First look at the Sony Xperia XZ by The Verge

Sony Xperia X Compact hands-on by Android Authority

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon "Monch" Lopez has 13 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between. His latest addiction is the comments section of viral Facebook posts.