Sony Xperia XZ1 & Xperia XZ1 Compact Launch At IFA 2017

Sony’s latest duo of Xperia handsets offers premium features, and revives the Compact!

Sony has rocked up at the annual IFA conference in Berlin with a new smartphone range to introduce to the world; the Sony Xperia XZ1 and its little brother, the Xperia XZ1 Compact.

As per Sony’s historic MO, both handsets are premium-grade devices packed with the latest tech – there’s not much skimping on the Compact specs either, it’s still quite potent even in a smaller form factor.

And first and foremost, both phones are absolutely gorgeous looking. I used to be quite a fan of Sony’s aestehetics but I haven’t really been moved by its designs in a long while, but these two are really something else with gloriously sleek and smooth exteriors. They’re highly minimalist in the best possible way. They have a look about them as if they’ve just risen up out of a pool of liquid metal in some sci-fi film, and yet at the same time there’s something a bit retro art deco in there as well. Very cool.

The design is a two-piece unibody construction (replacing the old three-piece sandwich design) which Sony calls “Loop Surface”. The regular Xperia XZ1 has a metal back and Gorilla Glass 5 front, with the metallic finish rear being available in black, silver, blue, or pink. The Compact, meanwhile, is made from a high-end fibreglass-reinforced polycarbonate plastic compound with a slightly different matte finish in the same colours.

The larger model, the Xperia XZ1, features a 5.2in FullHD (1080p) display with Sony’s patented TRILUMINOS and X-Reality technologies, as well as HDR support and 138% sRGB colour. Measurments for the bodywork are 147 x 73.4 x 7.4mm at a weight of 155g.

The Xperia XZ1 Compact has a similar setup on the smaller 4.6in scale, however, it’s 720p HD and doesn’t have HDR support. The smaller model measures 129 x 64 x 9.3mm and weighs 140g.

Both handsets are IP65/68 water and dust resistant and there’s a fingerprint scanner embedded in the side-mounted power key.

On internal specs the phones are practically identical; both feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC with 4GB of RAM and 64GB UFS storage, plus microSD expansion. The battery is also the same between both; 2,700mAh.

Imaging is handled by a single 19MP Exmor RS sensor on the back, it’s the same tech found in the Sony Xperia XZ Premium flagship with a few tweaks. It has a 1/2.3″ sensor size and a dedicated RAM buffer, and features Predictive Capture and 960fps HD video recording, smile-based capture trigger and a unique burst autofocus which re-focuses between shots.

The Xperia ZX1’s front-facing secondary is a 13MP Exmor RS sensor with a 1/3.06″ sensori size, a wide angle lens, and f/2.0 aperture. The Compact’s selfie camera is a little different though; an 8MP Exmor RS sensor with a 1/4″ sensor size and an extra-wide-angle lens with adjustable FOV from 80-degrees up to 120-degrees for those panoramic “grelfies”.

On the audio side of things, Sony has added a stereo speaker setup with S-Force Front Surround technology, Clear Audio+, and DSEE HX. Bluetooth 5.0 is onboard as well as NFC, Wi-Fi, 4G, and USB Type-C, as well as Qnovo Adaptive Charging and Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.

And when can you get your hands on these goodies? Sony is being a little sheepish about it but there’s some suggestion the first few weeks of September will see the regular Xperia XZ1 drop (September 17 has been mentioned elsewhere), but it may take a little longer for the Compact to land. Both phones will run Android 8 Oreo out the box, but we don’t have prices just yet. Stay tuned for more as we hear it!

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