SONY’S LATEST HIGH-END SMARTPHONE, the Xperia XZ, was announced at IFA 2016 and confused just about everyone with its top-end specs sheet.
The Sony Xperia XZ won’t need to do much to impress coming hot on the heels of two disappointing entries from the firm. That said, we’ve cosied it up with one of 2016’s finest, the Samsung Galaxy S7, and put it through its paces. Hardly seems fair does it? Let’s see how it gets on.
Xperia XZ: 146x72x8.1mm, 161g, IP68 certification, USB Type-C
Galaxy S7: 142x70x7.9mm, 152g, IP68 certification, microUSB port
The Xperia XZ is far removed from Sony’s other Android efforts this year. It swaps smooth curves for an altogether more rectangular design that recalls early Nokia Lumia phones.
There’s a loop surface design that wraps the display around the chassis, and it has a shiny back forged from Sony’s ALKALEIDO metal. The significance of this is unclear, but we can report that it picks up fingerprints and smears as easily as any other.
Unlike the Galaxy, Sony’s effort isn’t made entirely from metal. The Galaxy’s fusion of glass and metal is seamless, but the Xperia’s plastic panels break things up and don’t detract too much.
Size-wise it comes in at a fraction bigger than Samsung’s Galaxy, but the overly rectangular design extenuates this somewhat.
In the Xperia camp there’s a choice between Mineral black, Platinum, Forest blue (the model you see here) and Deep pink. The Galaxy S7 is available in Black, Gold, White, Silver and Pink Gold.
IP68 certification means that the Xperia XZ can survive a fleeting dip in shallow water and is protected against dust. A plastic flap on the left hides the microSD and SIM slot, while the right has buttons for camera, power and volume.
The Galaxy S7 has the same water-proofing but doesn’t use flaps. Both have 3.5mm headphone sockets, the Xperia’s at the top and the Galaxy’s at the bottom.
The Xperia’s power button doubles as a fingerprint reader, a feature that’s strangely absent from US models. It’s a pleasant alternative to traditional placements, and works rather well. The fingerprint scanning tech can be found in the Galaxy’s Home button.
Along with the Xperia X Compact, the XZ represents one of the first phones in the Xperia line to incorporate USB-C. The Galaxy S7 sticks with the tried and trusted microUSB for charging and data.
Winner: Galaxy S7
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