SONY HAS taken the covers off two new additions to the company's X Series at IFA 2016 in Berlin, the Xperia XZ and the Xperia X Compact.
Sony needed to do something special, as the previous two models in the Xperia X range failed to strike a chord with us here at the INQ.
The XZ is reminiscent of Nokia's early Lumia phones with smooth rounded edges and a loop surface design that wraps the display around the chassis.
The handset uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor as found in the Xperia X Performance, along with 3GB of RAM, a slightly larger 5.2in Full HD panel (the X Performance used a 5in display) and a 64GB storage option.
Sony has made a number of improvements to the camera technology this time around. The 23MP Exmor RS sensor on the rear includes five-axis image stabilisation, better white balance control, laser auto-focus and 4K video recording capabilities.
The 2,900mAh battery should provide at least a day's use. Sony has built an intelligent battery charging system into both phones that adapts to the owner's habits to increase battery life. IP68 certification means that the XZ can survive a fleeting dip in shallow water.
The Xperia X Compact, meanwhile, swaps the premium metal build of the XZ for an all-over polycarbonate chassis.
Initial rumours quoted impressive specs for the X Compact, but the budget handset lost some of its expected lustre as reality dawned. There's a 4.6in IPS display at HD resolution (not Full HD as hoped), a drop in RAM to 3GB, a middling Snapdragon 650 processor and a 5MP front-facing selfie cam (down from 13MP).
The X Compact has a slightly smaller 2,700mAh battery, but Sony's smart technology will help to get the most out of it.
The phones are the first in the Xperia line to incorporate USB-C, and all models sold outside the US will have fingerprint scanners. Sony promised that both will get Android 7.0 Nougat before too long.
The XZ will debut in Mineral black, Platinum, Forest blue and Deep pink, and the X Compact will come in White, Universe black and Mist blue.
Vodafone will stock the Xperia XZ when it goes on sale in the UK on 3 October, and the Xperia X Compact is due on 5 September. Price details aren't yet available for either handset. µ
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