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Overall it is a complete Sony flagship. It even has Qi charging. Although I had trouble with some Qi chargers – uses Sony’s.


I can forgive Sony for using an IPS LCD because it is a great screen. I can forgive them for only going FHD+ (2160 x 1080) because even other brands of so-called 4K screens default to this for power management. In other words, it took a tried and tested route here.

Screen brightness is good – over 600 nits. Contrast is over 1800:1. Blacks are average – not inky as only OLED can do. Still, it is an improvement over the XZ Premium, and I thought that screen was pretty good too.

Sunlight legibility is OK. You will find the best setting for all conditions is 100% brightness.

Colour accuracy depends on the pre-set although there is always a slightly cold tint.

  • Standard (TRILUMINOUS) adapts and shows what it thinks you want to see
  • Professional sRGB (quite close to real colours – lacks punch)
  • Super-vivid oversaturated (Asians love this)

The screen is HDR certified for 10-bit colour to the BT.2020 standard. Of course, HDR is dependent on content from the likes of Netflix. The Advanced X-Reality engine will upscale 720/1080 content – it does a reasonable job.


Sony has an earpiece speaker and what appears to be a concealed speaker below the lower bezel. It uses S-Force surround sound (more marketing terms) but does a reasonable job at spatial separation.

Add to that the Dynamic Vibration system (think of it as haptic feedback linked to the lower bass registers) and you have an enhanced viewing experience. This is not a feature of the Compact.

In our tests the ringer volume exceeded 78dB. Voice, e.g. hands-free was 66dB and music was just over 70dB. It was clear, but we could have done with more volume.

To put this in perspective, a Google Pixel 2 XL records almost identical scores. But it is a fair way off 70/80/90db that some flagships achieve.

Putting sheer volume aside the XZ2 has a terrific flat frequency response from 20Hz-10Khz with low total harmonic distortion. Coupled with an LDAC Sony headset, it produced some of the clearest music from a smartphone that I have ever heard.


The 3,180mAh battery lasted about one day of hard testing. That means up to two of normal use.

But come on Sony – why save a few lousy dollars by providing a standard 5V/1.5A charger that takes ages to recharge (try 3.5 hours!). Fortunately, I have a Qualcomm 3.0 Quick Charger (Thanks Samsung, Nokia et al.) and you can get 45% in 30 minutes – 100% takes about 1.5 hours.

Qi charging was good – it uses 9W charging (5W to 15W will work). I had issues with a range of Qi charger pads simply because of the slippery glass curved back. Just make sure there is a non-slip rubber surface for safety.

Sony also has software based Qnovo adaptive charging analytics. This is battery care to prolong battery life. It takes some time, days to months, to kick in.