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Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact vs XZ1 Compact: In-house tussle

13 March 2018 5

At this year MWC show, Sony mobile announced a couple of new flagship smartphones. The new smartphones are announced as XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact. It's not surprising to see Sony unveiled XZ1 series successor in just 6 months because the company did such thing in past as well. The XZ1 series was announced at IFA 2017. Sony announced XZ2 series when everyone was waiting for the XZ premium successor device. However, the newly announced XZ2 series is bringing a lot of differences from the predecessors.

As being flagships both the devices are featuring the top of the line hardware but there are few aspects which differentiate the XZ2 series and makes it special from its predecessors. We already put the XZ2 in a number of head-to-head comparison with its competitors and predecessor. Today we will compare the latest XZ2 Compact against its predecessor to know the key differences and what kind of changes successor variant is bringing on board to lure customers. We are hopeful this comparison will certainly allow buyers to easily decide whether they should upgrade to the latest XZ2 Compact or not if they already owned XZ1 Compact.

We have to admit the new XZ2 Compact is bringing a new round edges design language, it is the first prominent change in Sony's boxy design since the start of Sony Z series. So far we have seen Sony adopted OmniBalance metal brick design for their smartphones that's why every new smartphone doesn't look much different from the predecessor. However this year Sony brought a refreshing change by introducing Ambient Flow design which brings a lot of changes, although the new design language isn't as futuristic as latest bezel-less phones still it is much-appreciated change.

Sony Compact series is pretty important considering the fact most of the OEMs prefer to launch smartphones with a larger display. Sony is producing high-end compact smartphones from last few years, although these devices are appreciated due to the compact body there were few limitations as well. Today we will take a look Sony overcome the limitation which was faced by XZ1 compact owners or not.

65 x 135 x 12.1 mm
5 inches - 2160x1080 px
65 x 129 x 9.3 mm
4.6 inches - 1280x720 px
Go to comparison page
Design

The Xperia XZ2 new design language isn't far away from the predecessor but still, new changes are refreshing from the old brick design. The edges are round from corners which allows the user to easily grasp the device single handily. The company further trimmed down the bezels from top and bottom that's why it doesn't look as chunky as the last year XZ1 Compact. The fingerprint scanner is now shifted to the rear side below the camera module and the good thing is even the US variant fingerprint scanner is also working. Last year Sony embedded the fingerprint scanner under the power button on the right edge.

The reduction in bezels is due to the adoption of 2:1 display, yes what you read is right. Sony finally adopted the latest trend of 2:1 display that's why XZ2 Compact features a larger display in the same compact body. The chassis of both the devices is made up of aluminum with polycarbonate covering the rear side. The XZ1 Compact edges were flat whereas the XZ2 Compact has more refined looks with round edges.

The XZ2 Compact lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack whereas it was present on the XZ1 Compact. Both the devices are IP68 certified which means both can resist 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes without any damage. Apart from the change in fingerprint scanner position, Sony also changed the rear camera position. The XZ2 Compact camera and LED flashlight is placed in center whereas the camera on the XZ1 was on the top left corner.

The XZ2 Compact dimensions are 135 x 65 x 12.1mm and it weighs 168g whereas the XZ1 Compact measurements are 129 x 65 x 9.3mm and it is significantly lighter at 143g. The new XZ2 is not only larger and thicker but also heavier than the last year device.

Display

As far as display is a concern, the XZ2 Compact sports a 5.0-inches display with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 2:1 and the pixels density is 483 pixels-per-inch. On the other hand, the XZ1 Compact comes with a 4.6-inches display with HD screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 16:9 and the pixels density is 319 pixels-per-inch. So the latest XZ2 Compact is bringing display with higher resolution and aspect ratio.

Despite being a compact variant, the XZ2 Compact brings upscaling function to its larger sibling. The XZ2 Compact brings HDR content support whereas that's not the case with the XZ1 Compact. The XZ2 Compact display is far better than its predecessor in almost all aspects including resolution, aspect ratio, HDR support and upscaling feature.

Hardware

The Compact lineup smartphones were rated as the best in class due to having solid hardware under the hood like the flagship variant. The company only reduce overall size but they don't compromise on the hardware. For this year, Sony opted the latest chipset which is powering their flagship XZ2. The XZ2 Compact is packed with the Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 845 SoC whereas its predecessor being the last year device was running on the Snapdragon 835 chipset.

According to Qualcomm, the new chipset is 25% faster than the predecessor and also it requires less energy to operate. Both the chipsets are best in class that's why users might not find any significant difference in performance during the daily routine. However, having the latest chipset is always a better option. The Octa-core chipset on both the devices is accompanied with 4GB RAM.

The XZ2 Compact built-in storage is 64GB which is further expandable using MicroSD card. On the other hand, the XZ1 Compact comes with 32GB native storage and its storage is also expandable using MicroSD card. The XZ2 is definitely a winner in this segment.

Specs Xperia XZ2 Compact Xperia XZ1 Compact
Display 5.0-inches 4.6-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels 720 x 1280 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845 Snapdragon 835
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB Expandable via MicroSD 32GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear camera 19MP 19MP
Front camera 5MP 8MP
IP68 Yes Yes
OS Android Oreo Upgraded to Android Oreo
fingerprint Yes No for the US customers
USB Type-C TYpe-C

Battery

This year Sony not only brought a larger display but also a slightly larger battery cell as well to keep the XZ2 Compact lights on. A 2,870mAh battery cell is on board to keep its lights on. The XZ1 Compact was running on the 2,700mAh battery cell. Though the latest device has a slightly larger battery power efficient chipset at the same time, it comes with a slightly larger display with Quad HD screen resolution. Sony pre-loaded both the devices with a number of battery saving modes that's why XZ1 Compact was highly regarded as having the best in class battery life.

Due to polycarbonate rear, the XZ2 Compact doesn't have the wireless charging support like the XZ2. However, the XZ1 Compact also lacks the wireless charging support. As far as fast charging is a concern the XZ2 Compact supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4+ tech. According to Sony, you can get 5 hours of battery life on charging XZ2 Compact for 5 minutes. It recharges from 0 to 50% in just 30 minutes.

Camera

One of the main aspects which XZ2 Compact retains from its predecessor is the primary rear camera which remains 19MP like the last year. This surely is a disappointing aspect because XZ1 Compact wasn't the amazing at all instead it doesn't produce good results in low-light conditions and also in captures grainy images even in daylight conditions. The XZ2 Compact brings few additions like support for 4K HDR videos as well as slow motion full HD videos at 960 frames per seconds. The XZ1 Compact only support HD videos at slow-motion.

Up front, the selfie snapper is changed from the predecessor. The XZ1 Compact features an 8MP sensor on the front which is now replaced with a modest 5MP lens. The front-facing camera of Sony X1Z1 Compact was never the best in the segment instead it was pretty average. Despite bringing a new camera, the results are not drastically improved. So far the major improvement in this year XZ2 Compact is in its video capturing capability. Another addition is the inclusion of 3D Map creator app for both front and rear camera which allows users to convert their face into a 3D model.

Software

The XZ1 Compact is running on the Android Oreo 8.0 with Sony's custom UI layer over it. The XZ2 is running on the Android Oreo 8.0 straight out of the box. Being on the same version means the overall UI experience is same on both the devices. So it won't make a difference if you choose XZ2 Compact or XZ1 Compact.

Price and Release

The Xperia XZ1 Compact is widely available in many regions, for the US market it was announced for $600. It wasn't sold as carrier bound variant in the US instead it was available as an unlocked variant via Amazon and other retailers. However now after few months of release, the device is currently available for $450 and we can expect it to go further down once the XZ2 Compact goes up for sale in the US. Also, it is important to mention that XZ1 Compact doesn't support Sprint and Verizon network instead it only works on GSM networks T-Mobile and AT&T.

This year Sony has plans to bring Verizon bound variant of XZ2 Compact. The XZ2 Compact will also be available from online retailers as well. As far as pricing is a concern the device is expected to cost around $700 and it will be available in "late Spring".

Conclusion

Sony brought a number of changes in this year XZ2 Compact over the predecessor. The XZ2 Compact in terms of looks and design is far better than XZ1 Compact. The new XZ2 Compact brought higher resolution, slightly larger display, powerful SoC, double native storage and a larger battery cell. However the primary snapper and body material on both the devices remain similar. The XZ2 Compact is definitely a better smartphone than the Xperia XZ1 Compact in almost all scenarios. The XZ2 Compact strongly emerges as one of the best compact smartphones in the market. If you don't want to spend $700 on your next compact phone, you can opt XZ1 Compact which is available around $450 in the market.

Feel free to share your views regarding the XZ2 vs XZ1 in the comments section below. Stay tuned.

(last update 05 December 2018 @ 10:43)

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