Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen pretty substantial leaks for both the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact. Sony took the stage at IFA in Berlin this morning to talk about some of its upcoming products for the rest of the year and beyond, and as we expected, part of the company’s press conference was dedicated to talking about Sony’s two new flagship smartphones.
As expected, the XZ1 is the more powerful of these two handsets. The phone comes equipped with a 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 display (no 4K like on the Xperia XZ Premium), Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 19MP rear-facing camera, 13MP front-facing camera, 64GB of internal storage, an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, and a decidedly small 2,700 mAh battery.
Moving over the XZ1 Compact, this is essentially a smaller version of the XZ1 that doesn’t skimp out on high-end specs. The screen size is quite a bit smaller at 4.6-inches, and the resolution has also been downgraded to 1280 x 720. You’ve still got the Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM for buttery-smooth performance, the same 2,700 mAh battery, and a 19MP rear camera. Interestingly enough, the front-facing camera is upgraded to a wide-angle 18MP sensor.
These traditional specs aside, the most interesting part of the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact is the fact that both phones will be shipping with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. These are the first two phones to be announced with this version of Android running on them from day one, and it’s a move that we honestly weren’t expecting from Sony.
An earlier rumor suggested that the XZ1 would ship with 8.0 Oreo, but the fact that this is now a reality for both the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact is rather commendable of the company. Sony’s custom skin for Android will still be present, and while its aesthetic isn’t aging all that gracefully these days, hopefully this is something we’ll see cleaned up before the final release.
If you’re interested in picking up either the XZ1 or XZ1 Compact, both phones will be coming to the States later this fall. The Xperia XZ1 will be available for purchase through both Amazon and Best Buy on September 19 for $700, and the Xperia XZ1 Compact will arrive less than a month later on October 4 for $600 through the same retailers.
Sony doesn’t have any plans to release either of the two phones directly with US carriers, but the XZ1 Compact has been confirmed to support Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE on T-Mobile.
Neither the XZ1 or XZ1 Compact look like bad phones, but being good enough just doesn’t cut it in the flagship smartphone world anymore. LG’s recently announced V30 is already shaping up to be extremely impressive, the Galaxy Note 8 will be launching shortly, and Google’s Pixel 2 will be here before we know it. Sony has the edge when it comes to software for the time being, but it still remains to be seen if the company can hold onto that as time goes on.