After the release of the disappointing Xperia X Performance earlier this year, Sony has come to IFA 2016 with a brand new flagship smartphone in the hopes of winning some market share in the coming months.
This new phone, known as the Xperia XZ, is pretty similar to the Xperia X Performance from a hardware perspective. Both phones back a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC with 3 GB of RAM and 32/64 GB of internal storage, and both also feature 23-megapixel rear camera sensors with 13 MP shooters on the front.
Sony has tweaked the design of the Xperia XZ to include more rounded plastic edges and a modified metal rear panel. The display is slightly larger, at 5.2-inches of 1080p, as is the battery (2,900 mAh rather than 2,700 mAh), despite a reduction in thickness and weight. Water resistance remains, with the Xperia XZ rated IP65 and IP68.
While the rear camera is still 23-megapixels, Sony has included additional hardware to improve the performance of their camera system. Laser autofocus is paired with phase detection to speed up focusing, while an RGBC IR sensor is also included for better white balance. The software has been tweaked as well to improve image quality straight off the sensor.
Other additions include USB-C, which was inexplicably absent from the Xperia X Performance, and 2x2 MIMO wireless connectivity. Unfortunately the Xperia XZ won't launch with Android 7.0 on-board, instead using a build of Marshmallow with Sony's Xperia UI.
Alongside the Xperia XZ, Sony has launched the Xperia X Compact. Unlike past Compact-series phones, the X Compact is not strictly a downsized version of Sony's flagship; this time it's a combination of hardware found in the Xperia X and Xperia XZ.
The key thing to note here is that the Xperia X Compact is using a Snapdragon 650 SoC rather than the more powerful Snapdragon 820, along with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of expandable storage. The rear 23-megapixel camera system is the same as seen on the XZ, however the front camera has been downgraded to 5MP. And, of course, the display is a 4.6-inch 720p LCD.
The Xperia X Compact will be the first to launch on September 25th, followed by the Xperia XZ on October 23rd. Both devices are coming to the United States as well as various markets worldwide, although prices haven't been announced just yet.