Sony announces Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact

Alex Kidman 1 September 2016


The latest member of the Xperia X family, the Xperia XZ will feature a high-end camera, while the Xperia X gets shrunk down into a more compact form.

It was widely expected at IFA that Sony would launch a new handset as part of its Xperia family, and that’s precisely what it did, announcing the high-end Xperia XZ handset. The Sony Xperia XZ features a 5.2 inch 1080P capable display running on an Snapdragon 820 processor, but it's only Android 6.0 ("Marshmallow") rather than the newer Android 7.0 ("Nougat") according to Sony's own specifications for the device. Sony has declaring it to be the "pinnacle" of the Xperia X series, which means it’s placing it above the Xperia XA, Xperia X and Xperia X Performance handsets, all of which are already available in Australia.

As might be expected, the key selling point for the Xperia XZ will be its camera. It sports a 23MP sensor on the rear and a 13MP sensor on the front, but it’s in the quality of the optics (a Sony specialty) that Sony claims the Xperia XZ should stand out, with a trio of sensors designed to adjust for issues such as motion blur and low-light situations where many smartphone cameras struggle. The XZ uses five-axis image stabilisation when shooting video, borrowing the feature from Sony's own video camera offerings.

Sony did not reveal exact pricing for the Xperia XZ series, but indicated that it expects to sell the handset in Australia before Christmas.

The other new handset in the Xperia family is the Xperia X Compact, but you could be mistaken for finding it rather familiar. That's because it's essentially the same internal components as the existing Xperia X, but in a smaller body with a 4.6 inch 720p display. If you're a fan of small but powerful phones it could be a decent buy. Sony will sell the Xperia X Compact from next week according to its IFA keynote, but has yet to indicate Australian launch plans.

Also at IFA, Sony indicated that the Xperia Ear, the company’s highly personalised Bluetooth headset that it first showed off at MWC would launch globally starting in November, although it’s not clear if we’ll officially see it in Australia before the year’s end.

SonyXperia XZXperia X Compact
OSAndroid 6.0Android 6.0
Screen size5.2in4.6in
ProcessorSnapdragon 820Snapdragon 650
Rear camera21MP23MP
Front camera13MP5MP
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