Sony’s XZ2 Compact is a device for those who want a powerful smartphone in a compact form factor and tired of using the phablets.
There is no direct competitor for Sony in this size.
It is one of the first devices to hit the shelves with the latest 2.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip set.
The 5-inch LCD display with thinner bezels, not as thin as the present flagships, has a resolution of 1080x2160 pixels with an 18:9 display ratio, that is 483 pixels per inch density but better than iPhone X’s 458 pixels per inch density.
Even though it is a premium compact factor, it looks cheap with a hard-coated, curved and frosted polycarbonate on the rear and is bulky. It weighs 168 grams. It is also dust and water resistant.
It sports 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage capacity. The microSD card supports up to 400GB. The OS is Android 8.0 out of the box.
For music lovers, there is no headphone jack but it gives stereo speakers with clear and hi-res audio.
The placing of fingerprint on the rear, slightly below the camera, is slightly lower than where the index finger’s reach is. You need to bend your index finger to reach, especially for a person with long fingers like mine.
The 19MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture with predictive phase detection and laser autofocus takes very good shots in good daylight with sharper details and colours.
However, the camera takes time to autofocus and especially when shooting macro shots of images and in poor light, the camera struggles to give a good shot with noticeable noise and blur despite in an Intelligent Auto mode.
The camera does not give 16:9 ratio with 19MP and opts for 4:3 ratio. You can get 16:9 ratio with 17MP and 12MP while 4:3 with 19MP and 12MP.
Despite these, Sony has added HDR video recording and first in the market with super slow motion (960 frames-per-second) at Full HD. Samsung S9 devices give 960fps at 720p.
Even though the premium phones use the dual camera on the rear to give bokeh effect, Sony uses single camera and the software to give the same effect.
While recording in 4K, the devices get warm over time and automatically saves and cut off.
After 30 minutes of 4K recording, some features like face detection, auto scene recognition and object tracking are disabled due to temperature rise but it keeps recording for about 45 minutes.
Sony’s X-Reality engine upscales standard dynamic range content to a high dynamic range.
Sony has reduced its extra modes in the app and you get a manual mode, a selection of creative filters panorama and sound photo. The good thing is that it has got a dedicated button on the lower right side for taking pictures. It records 1080p at 30 and 60 frames per second.
The 3D creator app lets you create 3D models of your face by moving slowly around with the camera. You can scan the face, head, food and selfie scan with the front camera.
The 5MP is fairly basic with f/2.2 aperture, gyro EIS. However, it has a wide-angle lens for group selfies. It can record in Full HD. It shoots 16:9 ratio with 4MP and 4:3 ratio with 5MP.
Regarding connectivity, it has NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB 3.1 Type-C port.
The 2870mAh battery gives around two days for moderate users and close to one day for heavy users. It gave close to 14 hours of continuous video playback. It has Quick Charge 3.0 technology to charge the battery in one hour and 25 minutes. There is no wireless charging option. It is priced at Dh2,599.
• Compact form factor
• Solid build quality
• 4K HDR recording
• Powerful performance
• Super slow motion in Full HD
• Feels cheaper
• Selfie camera is not great
• No headphone jack