SONY at its IFA presser revealed to us a couple of smartphones that we were already quite clued in about. The flagship SONY Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact have been on our radar since June when they were initially leaked. Today the Japanese giant finally took off the covers of these devices and we can see them for ourselves.
Both the XZ1 and the XZ1 Compact are mid-year refreshes for the Xperia lineup. Making some minor changes to the inner silicon while debuting some interesting new technology. So let us find out whether SONY has a winner on its hands or not?
Hardware and Design
At a cursory glance, the SONY XZ1 looks exactly like its two predecessors, the XZ Premium and the XZ with minor changes in the placement of the camera sensor, buttons and speaker design. This is not helped by the fact that SONY continues to doggedly pursue thick bezels, which are not bad per se but if they are as barren as they are in SONY’s case it just feels like wasted space. All is not lost though since SONY continues to be one of the few brands out there to offer stereo speakers up front, now with a claim of 50% higher sound pressure vis-à-vis the original Xperia XZ.
Between the prominent forehead and chin resides a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080 x1920) IPS LCD panel with SONY’s proprietary TriLuminous technology for more vivid colours. Just like the XZ Premium the XZ1 display has full support for HDR content.
SONY has finally managed to make the entire chassis of the XZ1 out of a single piece of aluminium although it is still not a unibody design with the bottom and top still being individual pieces. Another innovation is in the redesigned antenna lines which are rectangular in shape. At the back of the display, the only things worth noting are the camera in the top left and the dual-LED CCT flash alongside an NFC positioned top centre.
The right of the frame houses the volume rocker and the dedicated camera button. Also included is the power button housing the fingerprint scanner (not available in the US). On the left is the sealed housing of the SIM tray and microSD card slot. At the top of the frame, one can spot the 3.5mm audio jack and at the bottom is the USB Type-C connector slightly off centre.
Internally the smartphone features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory. The camera is the same 19-megapixel sensor found on the SONY XZ Premium with MotionEye technology which has the capability to record HD (1280 x720) video @960 frames per second. Powering all this hardware is a 2700mAh non-removable battery unit. Thanks to all this, SONY manages to retain the IP68 ingress certification for the hardware.
Hardware and Design (XZ1 Compact)
The SONY Xperia XZ1 Compact is the more pocket-friendly version of the XZ1. Featuring a reduced HD (720 x1280) Triluminous IPS LCD panel. The smartphone eschews the metal body for tough matte plastic and it sits a wee bit on the stubbier size thanks to it being thicker than its elder sibling to accommodate a similar sized battery.
For all intents and purposes, the XZ1 Compact is a junior version of the XZ1 housing the same hardware internally save a reduced storage space of 32GB.
Oreo out of the box and 3D Creator
One of the major surprises that SONY threw at us during the presser was the fact that the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact would come with Android Oreo out-of-the-box, making it one of the few releases with the latest flavour of Android.
Apart from this, the company showcased a new 3D Creator feature. This basically allows the XZ1 to capture objects in 3D in less than 60 seconds which is achieved by the user walking around the said object(s) and keeping the camera focused on them. There are four modes, Face Scan, Head Scan, Food Scan and Free Form. The company touted that this feature could be used in conjunction with AR to immerse yourself even more into the virtual world.
The XZ1 Pricing and Availability
The SONY Xperia XZ1 would be shipping in early September while the XZ1 Compact is expected to ship out at a later date in the month. Pricing on the XZ1 was pegged at $699 (~Rs 44,800). It would be available in the Warm Silver, Moonlit Blue, Venus Pink and Black colour options.
The Xperia XZ1 Compact bears a price tag of $599 (~Rs 38,400) and will be available in the following colours, Black, White Silver, Twilight Pink, and Blue.
Both the smartphones have even been listed on the Indian website of the company
with a Coming Soon status which means they might arrive on our shores by the end of the month.