Sony has another new flagship phone in its X Series line-up. Hot on the heels of the X Performance, the new Xperia XZ makes some iterative changes on Sony's mid-year models like a better camera, USB Type-C charging and an evolved design.
The Xperia XZ is the "first X Series flagship" according to Sony, even though we were introduced to the X Performance as exactly that this time last year. The new phone, though, looks like it belongs at the top of the pecking order with 2.5D glass and a 'loop surface' curved edge design that hides the phone's bezel and makes it more comfortable in the hand. You also get the same fingerprint sensor and dedicated camera button on the XZ's side.
Around the back, that small camera module now integrates an updated 23-megapixel Exmor RS sensor and Bionz image processor, as well as Sony's G lens, but also adds on what Sony is calling "triple image sensing technology" -- as well as the actual camera sensor, there's a laser autofocus sensor and an RGBC-IR sensor for white balance. Most of Sony's competitors have these functions -- contrast or phase detect autofocus sensing and white balance detection -- on the actual imaging sensor itself.
But it's the Xperia XZ's design -- not its name, which is a pretty un-subtle mashup of Xperia Z and Xperia X -- that should help get it into the hands of prospective buyers. The new phone's curves are much more agreeable than the old monolithic Z series, but the XZ still incorporates IP68 waterproofing and hides a decent 2900mAh battery. We'll know more soon about when the Xperia XZ -- in its various colours -- will come to Australia and how much you'll pay for it soon.
Like your phones a little smaller? Sony also announced a new 4.6-inch Xperia X Compact at IFA -- it's a continuation of the small form factor and otherwise high-end specs of previous phones in the Compact line-up, updated with the new loop surface design -- but there's a problem. According to Sony Mobile Australia, "at this stage, Xperia X Compact will not be ranged in the Australian market." Which is disappointing. [Sony]