It's OK to be confused about the Sony range, and which phone sits where. We would say the Xperia XZ lives between the Xperia X and the Xperia XZ Premium, but then there’s the Sony Xperia X Performance, and the Xperia XZs… which arrived as a sort of Xperia XZ 1.5.
For the true Xperia XZ 2 we’re expecting improvements on both the XZ and the XZs, and we've made a wish list of the form we hope those improvements will take.
You’ll find that at the bottom of this article, but first, here’s everything we’ve heard so far – and everything we suspect – about the Sony Xperia XZ 2 and when we might see it.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Sony's next flagship phone
- When is it out? Maybe September
- What will it cost? Probably at least $699.99/£549 (around AU$940)
Sony Xperia XZ 2 release date and price
The Sony Xperia XZ was announced in September 2016, so there’s a good chance we’ll see the Xperia XZ 2 in September 2017.
If we do, it will probably land at IFA 2017, happening from September 1-6, as Sony tends to take phones to that show.
There’s little news on price yet, but the XZ 2 will probably cost at least as much as the XZ, meaning a price of $699.99 (£549, about AU$940). That would make it pricey, but would still undercut the Xperia XZ Premium, which makes sense.
However, pricing for a Sony phone with the model number G8341 has appeared on a Polish website. It’s not clear what phone this is, but the price equates to roughly $860/£665/AU$1,130, which would make it high-end, and possibly the Xperia XZ 2.
Sony Xperia XZ 2 news and rumors
There aren’t a huge amount of Sony Xperia XZ 2 rumors yet but we have caught a few whispers. For one thing, back in January we heard word that five new Xperia handsets were on the way, and they haven’t all been accounted for yet.
Among them there’s one codenamed ‘BlancBright’, which supposedly has a 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 screen, 4GB of RAM, a Sony IMX400 camera and either a Snapdragon 835 or Snapdragon 653 chipset.
It’s unlikely to be the XZ 2 if it has the Snapdragon 653, but with the high-end Snapdragon 835 it could well be, as those specs would be an upgrade on the Sony Xperia XZ.
On the other hand, a Sony phone with the model number G8341 has popped up both on a Polish website and a user-agent profile. It apparently has a 1080p screen and runs Android O, so that too could be the Sony Xperia XZ 2.
We can also look at the Xperia XZ and Xperia XZs for clues, as the Sony Xperia XZ 2 is likely to match or better them in most ways.
That means we can expect at least a 1080p screen and 4GB of RAM, while the chipset is likely to be newer than the Snapdragon 820 in those phones, perhaps it will have the flagship Snapdragon 835 used by the Xperia XZ Premium?
The camera meanwhile could well be the same 19MP and 13MP rear and front pairing as the XZs and XZ Premium- although we could see a slightly better camera as any new technology would be pushed onto the new flagship handset.
Then again, there were some key upgrades to the XZ Premium – including predictive capture and Super Slo-Mo mode, so matching that wouldn't be all bad.
Sony Xperia XZ 2: what we want to see
That covers what we know about the Sony Xperia XZ 2, but what we want is a whole different story. From better speakers to a whole new design, here’s our wish list for the phone.
1. A QHD display
If you buy a flagship Sony phone you have a choice of either a 1080p display, which is far lower resolution than rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and HTC U11 offer, or a 4K one, which is arguably overkill.
It’s long past time that there was a QHD option, and the Sony Xperia XZ 2 would be the perfect candidate for such a screen, slipping in just below the 4K Sony Xperia XZ Premium in the company’s range.
It would make for sharper visuals when using the phone normally, and would be a huge boon for VR (if the XZ 2 was Daydream-enabled), as well as ticking one more box on the specs list.
2. A fingerprint scanner wherever you are
The Sony Xperia XZ and many other Sony handsets have fingerprint scanners, but not if you’re in the US.
The exact reason for this isn’t clear, though it’s likely that it was a necessary business decision. However, if there’s any way for that situation to change we’d like to see it happen. Most flagship phones now have fingerprint scanners and the lack of one on Sony phones holds the brand back in the US.
3. A new design
Although Sony tends to tweak the design of its phones with each new model, the overall shape and look hasn’t changed much in a long time.
So for the Xperia XZ 2 we’d like to see a complete overhaul of the look. Make it curvy, make it bendy… just do something innovative. There’s only so much you can do with a phone, but Sony is far from hitting those limits.
We want the XZ 2 to excite us from the very first moment we lay eyes on it, and a new design is the only way that’s going to happen.
4. Ditch the bloat
Sony’s software isn’t terrible, but the company does pack an unnecessary number of pre-installed apps into its phones.
Some of these are useful, others really, really aren’t, but in almost all cases we’d rather simply be able to download them from Google Play if we want them, rather than having them forced upon us.
So for the Xperia XZ 2 we want Sony to ditch the bloat and just stick with the basic suite of Google apps.
5. Powerful speakers
The Xperia XZ’s speakers aren’t bad, and are capable of a good stereo effect, but they’re simply not loud enough, to the point where we sometimes struggled to make things out properly.
So we want the speakers on the Sony Xperia XZ 2 to be given a boost, so they can deliver loud, crisp stereo sound.
6. A dual-lens camera
Sony’s phones tend to have good cameras, but they’re rarely the very best smartphone snappers you can get, so we want something better from the Sony Xperia XZ 2.
But more than that we want a dual-lens camera. That’s the new in thing and with good reason, as whether used to allow lossless zoom, wide-angle shots or fancy bokeh effects, an extra lens can really add a lot.
7. An OLED screen
Not only do we want the screen on the Xperia XZ 2 to be sharper, but also to use OLED rather than LCD.
Apple is rumored to be switching to OLED with the iPhone 8 and Samsung’s been using it for years, so it could soon become the flagship standard and we don’t want Sony getting left behind.
Although not objectively better than LCD, it has some clear advantages, such as blacker blacks and a tendency towards more vivid colors.
- The Sony Xperia X2 could launch at the same time.