Sony has announced a new slate of smartphones in the form of the XZ1, and XZ1 Compact, which all bring an iterative hardware design and new software features.
Where most mobile device manufacturers try to slip one meaningful phone through the radar and into the hands of consumers everywhere, Sony tends to do the exact opposite – and that’s perhaps best demonstrated by its newest smartphone trinity, the Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, and XA1 Plus.
If those names sound dull, let’s not forget that Sony had things pretty good before it made the decision to kill off its flagship Z series with the disastrous X line; and as a result, today we have the XZ series – a hybridization of two phone lineups that ironically looked more alike one another than anything else.
If you’re still paying attention after that brain-bender, the sad news is that the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact don’t do much to reinvent the wheel for Sony. Both devices, and the XA1 Plus at a push, bring the same Omni-balance design that Sony has championed for years without sight of smaller bezels.
The Sony Xperia XZ1 brings a 5.2″ HD display with HDR support; underneath is Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of expandable internal storage. There’s a 19-megapixel primary camera with a 13-megapixel selfie shooter, and the package is rounded out by a 2700mAh battery.
The XZ1 Compact continues Sony’s plan to pack in the best of its flagship smartphones into a smaller chassis, and the device sports a 4.6″ 720 display with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. The same 19-megapixel primary camera is present here in addition to an 8-megapixel selfie unit, while the device makes use of the same 2,700mAh battery.
Both handsets carry the same Omnibalance design that features a side-mounted fingerprint scanner in addition to a volume rocker and camera shutter button, in addition to a central USB Type-C port on the bottom panel. Both devices carry an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.
Arguably both these handsets carry a boring design that fails to break any new boundaries, though the XZ1 brings with it 960fps slow-motion capabilities and Sony’s SteadyShot technology in lieu of optical image stabilisation.
The device also accommodates new 3D capabilities; the XZ1 is capable of capturing three-dimensional objects in less than 60 seconds; the feature accommodates four modes – Face Scan, Head Scan, Food Scan, and Free Form.
Sony announced that it would leverage the feature for AR effects and social media uploads in addition to crafting unique sticker sets and wallpapers, and the company confirmed that it was seeking to integrate the feature into video games and for 3D printing purposes.
Both the XZ1 and its Compact brother will arrive with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box – meaning that both handsets will likely represent one of the first opportunities for Android purists to get into bed with the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system.
The XZ1 is slated for release on September 19th, and is set to retail for $699 USD in the United States; the Compact is expected to land on store shelves on October 4th for $599 USD. We’ll keep abreast for word on local availability.
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