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Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: How Sony's latest flagship competes against Google's finest?

12 March 2018 5

Undoubtedly this year Samsung stole the MWC show with their latest flagships Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Both the devices are not the only eye catcher flagships of the show, Sony also took the MWC stage to launch their latest Xperia XZ2 series flagships. The Xperia XZ2 not only brought the latest hardware but also a revamped design. As expected to be the premium smartphone it brought the best in class hardware but what makes it special is its new luring design which certainly will help it to compete against the latest best offering in the flagship segment.

To be amongst the best in class, the Xperia XZ2 will certainly have to compete against the best devices in the market. We already put Xperia XZ2 against a number of flagships, today we will put it in a head-to-head comparison with the Google's finest Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 2 XL is currently the latest best offering from the Google. The XZ2 and Pixel 2 XL are pretty much capable to be the best flagship in the market. The Sony XZ2 key selling aspect is its striking new design with top of the line hardware whereas the Pixel 2 XL is bringing solid hardware with best camera sensor and above all amazing stock Android experience.

If you are amongst those who are willing to grab a new flagship smartphone, for sure you will consider both Xperia XZ2 and the Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 2 XL is already regarded as one of the best flagships whereas the XZ2 is bringing a completely new experience. Without any further delay, let's start with the design of both the latest flagships.

Design

As far as design is a concern, the Xperia XZ2 is bringing a new design which is way different from Sony earlier flagships OmniBalance design. Sony flagships were known for their thick bezels, brick design but with the Xperia XZ2, Sony brought Ambient Flow design language which brings trimmed bezels, round edges with better-refined looks. Undoubtedly the XZ2 can be stated as the most striking flagship ever produced by Sony. Apart from a change in design, the company also opted glass rear instead of unibody metal. The glass rear brings support for wireless charging as well.

The XZ2 is featuring stereo speakers embedded on the front which provides soothing audio experience and according to Sony new audio setup is 20% louder and clearer than the XZ1. The rear side is adorned with a single camera module with LED flashlight. The fingerprint scanner position is also changed to the rear below the camera module. The front-facing side comes with a slim bezel on top and bottom. On the other hand, the Pixel 2 XL is slightly taller and wider than the XZ2 but the Sony's flagship is slightly heavier.

The Pixel 2 XL doesn't have a revamped design instead it brings the refined design of the original Pixel XL. However, there are few refinements. For instance, the fingerprint scanner on the rear is now in the metal portion. The glass portion is further reduced which now only have a rear camera with LED flashlight.

The Pixel 2 XL is IP67 certified whereas the XZ2 is IP68 certified which means the XZ2 can resist more under water. The Pixel 2 XL aluminum body certainly makes it more resistant to accidental drops than XZ2 glass and metal sandwich body. Unfortunately, both the devices lack 3.5mm headphone jack, the only port for connectivity is USB Type-C.

Display

The XZ2 is the Sony's first flagship smartphone with 2:1 display. The display panel is of 5.7-inches with a Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The display pixels density is 424 pixel-per-inch. The Pixel 2 XL sports a 6.0-inches display panel with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 2:1 and the pixels density is 538 pixels-per-inch.

The display panel on the XZ2 is from Sony Bravia division whereas the Pixel 2 XL display panel is from LG Display. The XZ2 comes with an LCD panel with pretty good colors saturation but not as vivid as the P-OLED panel of the Pixel 2 XL. Despite having 2:1 display both the devices have significant bezels on the display.

Hardware

Being the latest flagships both the devices are pretty much capable to handle HIFI multi-tasking tasks as well latest games with top-notch graphics. However, the XZ2 have some advantages over the Pixel 2 XL because of being the latest one. The XZ2 is one of the first smartphone announced with the Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845 SoC which according to the company is 25% faster than its predecessor Snapdragon 835 SoC which is powering the Google Pixel 2 XL. Thanks to stock Android OS, the Pixel 2 XL runs pretty smooth that's why it doesn't lag behind in most of the scenarios.

As far as the RAM is a concern both the devices have 4GB RAM on board which is enough to cater your most of the tasks unless you are an avid user who wants to do heavy multitasking and other stuff which requires more RAM to operate smoothly. The base variant of both the devices has 64GB native storage whereas the Pixel 2 XL top of the line variant has 128GB built-in storage. The XZ2 built-in storage is further expandable via MicroSD up too 400GB whereas that's not the case with the Pixel 2 XL.

So if you think 128GB isn't enough, you can opt XZ2 as it supports memory expansion via MicroSD card. In daily routine tasks you might not find any difference in the performance of any of the handset but having the more powerful SoC with expandable memory option makes the XZ2 a better option.

Specs Xperia XZ2 Pixel 2 XL
Display 5.7-inches 6.0-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels 1440 x 2880 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845 Snapdragon 835
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB Expandable via MicroSD 64/128GB Non-Expandable
Rear camera 19MP 12MP
Front camera 5MP 8MP
Battery 3,180mAh 3,520mAh
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack No No
IP-ratings IP68 IP67
OS Android Oreo 8.0 Android Oreo 8.1
Cameras

One of the key selling aspects of both the devices is indeed their camera setup. Although in last year or so we have seen most of the smartphone manufacturers adopted dual rear camera setup but it seems like Google and Sony are yet not fascinated with the dual camera setup that's why they adopted single camera sensors for both the devices. Google proved they can do wonders even with the single camera sensor. However, we can expect there will be a number of new flagship smartphones this year with dual rear cameras.

The XZ2 rear snapper is 19MP with f/2.0 aperture and digital image stabilizer. Up front the selfie camera is 5MP. We have to further to determine whether XZ2 camera is as good as it is on paper. Last year XZ1 features a solid camera setup but its results were not worth appreciating. Considering the camera specs, the XZ2 performs well in stable light conditions whereas in low-light conditions it isn't as good as its competitor.

The Pixel 2 XL single 12.2MP snapper was awarded 98 DxOMark score which makes it one of the only smartphones in the market with such whopping score. The camera aperture is f/1.8 which captures good light even in low-light conditions. Up front the selfie camera is 8MP. Although the XZ2 camera performs great in most of the scenarios the Pixel 2 XL results are better in most of the scenarios.

The video capturing capabilities of XZ2 are significantly better than Pixel 2 XL. The XZ2 can capture 4K video at 30 frames per second whereas it can record slow-motion Full HD videos at 960 frames per seconds. The Pixel 2 XL can also record 4K videos at 30fps whereas it can only record Full HD videos at 120fps. In capturing photos the Pixel 2 XL definitely takes lead over the XZ2 but in video capturing the XZ2 is definitely a better option with one of the best slow-motion video capturing capabilities.

Software

The Xperia XZ2 is pre-installed with Android Oreo 8.0 straight out of the box whereas the Pixel 2 XL is recently updated to the latest Android Oreo 8.1. Being a Google phone, the Pixel 2 XL comes with a stock version of Android whereas XZ2 comes with a custom UI. The XZ2 features a 3D Creator app which allows the user to use the rear or front camera to convert their face into a 3D model.

The Pixel 2 XL not only have the stock OS but also it receives latest security patches and software updates much earlier than others. You don't have to wait months to taste the latest flavor. A new Google Lens feature was introduced with the Pixel 2 XL which allows the user to get info regarding the object by simply opening the camera lens. So far this feature is exclusively available for the Pixel 2 XL owners. This category is lead by Google Pixel 2 XL.

Battery

The Pixel 2 XL is light up by a 3,520mAh battery cell which easily lasts one day on single charge. On the other hand, the battery cell on Xperia XZ2 is 3,180mAh. The display panel on the XZ2 is smaller with lower screen resolution and also the latest chipset is more power efficient than the predecessor. Both the devices provide solid one-day battery life on a single charge and both have different power saving modes as well.

The XZ2 supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge for fast charging. According to Sony the device will provide 5 hours of battery life on 5 minutes fast charging and from O to 50% it requires 30 minutes only. The Pixel 2 XL also have Qualcomm's fast charging tech but it pops up 7 hours of battery life in 15 minutes.

Apart from fast charging, the XZ2 support Qi wireless charging as well thanks to glass rear. The Pixel 2 XL lacks wireless charging support due to the metal rear. Although the Pixel 2 XL comes with larger battery cell but having a smaller display, better fast charging tech and wireless charging support make the XZ2 better choice in this segment.

Price

The Xperia XZ2 price tag is still in dark for the US and other regions. We only have info that XZ2 will be available for 699 Pounds in the UK. The company stated in the announcement that XZ2 will be available in late Spring for most of the regions. The Pixel 2 XL base variant can be grabbed for $850 as an unlocked variant whereas the locked variant is exclusively available via Verizon only. If we compare both the device on the basis of the specs sheet, the XZ2 emerges as a better value for your hard-earned money.

Conclusion

The Xperia XZ2 and the Pixel 2XL are certainly one of the best flagships in the market. The Xperia XZ2 comes with 2:1 display, sleek design with round edges makes it a good looking device. The hardware on board is the latest as opposed to the Pixel 2 XL, it also takes lead in pricing and battery section. On the other hand, the Pixel 2XL is packed with a 2:1 OLED display with Quad HD+ screen resolution. Though its design is not as striking as XZ2 still it features better camera sensors and last but not the least stock Android experience is something which isn't available for the XZ2 owners.

The Pixel 2 XL is indeed one of the best flagship available in the market. Feel free to share your views regarding the Xperia XZ2 vs Pixel 2 XL in the comments section below. Stay tuned, we will be bringing more comparisons in coming days.

(last update 06 December 2018 @ 11:23)

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