Sony's latest and greatest is now available in many countries around the world, and here you can find out whether or not it's worth your hard earned money. This year has brought some absolutely amazing phones with new form factors, upgraded horsepower, and plenty of new features in tow. While Sony’s design hasn’t changed drastically in quite a long time, the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact represent the refining of Sony’s tried and true design language, complete with stereo front-facing speakers, a 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C connector and a brand new set of cameras too. Sony has of course upgraded the internal specs from what we saw in last year’s Xperia XZ models, and now includes a Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of UFS 2.1 grade internal storage with microSD card support for expandable storage.
Sony is selling the larger Xperia XZ1 with 5.2-inch 1080p HDR Triluminos screen for $699/€699/£599 unlocked, while the smaller Xperia XZ1 Compact with 4.6-inch 720p HDR Triluminos screen retails for $599/€599/£499 unlocked. Both phones feature the same internals, cameras and the like, and even the same size 2,700 mAh battery as well. The difference is in some slight design changes between the two, and of course the screen size and physical size as well. Sony touts the HDR screens on both phones are the smallest HDR-capable screens on the market, meaning you won’t have to sacrifice top-quality HDR content on the go if you want a smaller screen on your phone. Sony’s LCD panels are among the best LCD panels in the industry, and feature great color reproduction, excellent panel uniformity and seriously high maximum brightness levels.
Sony has also upped the audio game, keeping with its established 3.5mm audio jack and high resolution audio capabilities, and adding in Bluetooth 5.0 this time as well. Bluetooth 5.0 has extended range for existing Bluetooth devices, and the promise of double the bandwidth for devices designed with Bluetooth 5.0 in mind. There’s of course aptX support for excellent quality wireless audio, and Sony’s own LDAC will bring even higher quality wireless audio to supported devices too. Sony is packing in a new 3D scanning feature to its Motion Eye camera this time around, a feature that promises to deliver some cool 3D models of faces, people and objects. These aren’t just for show either; they can be 3D printed and, in the near future, even imported into a small list of compatible games, giving you true avatar customization. All in all it’s a pretty serious device, and while it looks a bit dated, you’d be wise to take a closer look at what Sony is offering, especially considering they’re the first OEM to launch a phone with Android 8.0 (Oreo) on board.