Sony's Xperia XZ banks on a 23MP camera as the standout feature for the U.S. market

The Xperia X Compact joins the larger sibling with the same camera but a smaller, plastic build aimed at buyers' sudden love for smaller phones.

Sony may finally have built the flagship it needs to get a look from American buyers. The Xperia XZ, announced Thursday at the IFA Conference in Berlin, packs a 23-megapixel camera into a svelte, metal package.

And that name isn’t a random coupling of letters. The XZ represents a philosophical merger between the Xperia X line, which focuses on design, and the Z line, which focuses on camera prowess. So now we have the XZ flagship phone—a package that Sony hopes will pique the interest of U.S. buyers.

On the camera front, Sony is relying on a triumvirate of sensors that help you capture the best image in even challenging situations through the company’s color-, light-, and motion-sensing technologies.

On the spec front, the XZ won’t blow away any competitors with a 5.2-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen, a Snapdragon 820 chip, 3GB of RAM, 2,900 mAh battery, and 32/64 GB storage options. It also includes a 13-megapixel camera on the front for some potentially nice selfie shots.

xperia xz platinum group scr1

The Xperia X Compact sticks to the design aesthetic of the XZ.

The XZ’s sparring partner is the Xperia X Compact, which is targeted at folks who may have been inspired by Apple’s sudden love of smaller phones. If nothing else, the Xperia X Compact should be easy to hold for one-hand operation. The polycarbonate build contains a 4.6-inch screen, 23-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel camera on the front.

Sony also opted to integrate the fingerprint reader for the phones into a side-mounted power button.

Sony says the XZ will be available in the U.S. in October, and the X Compact later in September. It will take a lot of Sony marketing muscle to compete with the likes of Samsung, but there are certainly people who may be tempted by Sony’s reputation for camera performance.

Disappointingly, both phones will ship with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow instead of Nougat. No details were offered about when these phones may get the update.

The story behind the story: Sony has long had a weird strategy for the U.S. smartphone market. In short, it’s been essentially a no-show in the States for a number of years. The company has never struck the carrier partnerships necessary for success here, ceding that field to Samsung and the likes of Motorola’s Droid line for Verizon. Sony clearly has the talent to make good (although expensive) phones with exceptional cameras, but it’ll need to find a way to get attention from those who prefer high build quality and a good camera, but don’t want an iPhone or a bloatware-infested alternative.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags sonyIFA

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Derek Walter

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?