Video and GPS use will severely drain the battery. During 4K HRD tests we went from 100% to 25% in four hours, and the phone got quite hot.

Performance

The new 10nm Qualcomm 845 is a fantastic chip. It is quite an advancement over the 835 regarding speed, power management, video performance (30% more) and using all the advances in Sony Exmore camera sensors. Any phone with an 845 will give great performance.

And it matches the Samsung S9 (with the 845) on multi-core performance. It is a little behind on single-core meaning Sony has some more tuning to do. And I am sure it will.

I was surprised that it came with 4GB RAM (some markets get 6GB) and 64GB UFS storage but the 400GB micro-SD support compensates.

Camera

Other flagships and even mid-range phones have gone dual or even triple cameras. Sony has stuck to the single rear camera a.k.a. Google Pixel 2.

The IMX400 Exmor Rs is a triple-layer-stacked, 19.1MP, 1.22 μm sensor supporting PDAF and Laser autofocus with 1GB memory. That allows it to take multiple stacked images and combine for the best one. Maximum res is 19MP, 5056 x 3792 in 4:3 and 17MP, 5,504 x 3,096. It is impressive in the amount of detail it is can collect.

It is the same sensor used in last year’s Xperia XZ Premium. This sensor enables [email protected] super slo-mo due to it being able to read the full 19MP in under 1/120 second.

While it can do [email protected] HDR, it is far more flexible at [email protected] where the sensor has the power to spare.

Coupled with the Qualcomm Spectra 280 ISP, this is a top-drawer single lens solution with one caveat. Gyro EIS is not as good as optical image stabilisation, and blur was evident in many shots. You get far better results with a tripod or by taking more care.

We test everything on full auto so here goes.

Daylight – overcast

Realistic colours, good detail and dynamic range. Sony’s BIONZ processing algorithm is hard at work reducing noise. The result is that is it easy to take a great photo.

It is quite a wide-angle lens yet captures great details. On my colour calibrated screen I can blow the image up 200% and before it starts to become pixelated.

Images sizes are large – nearly 9MB. The below was at ISO40, f/2.0 and 1/640s.

Sony XZ2

Indoors office light

The image below is 5.12MB. It was at ISO80, f/2.0 and 1/50s. Even though there was office lighting, it was a dull day outside, so ambient light was lower.