Best Sony Xperia phones to buy in 2018

Best Sony Phones 2018

Sony is one of the biggest names in the smartphone industry. For years, Sony Xperia smartphones have been some of the best over the years, but with the fast-changing smartphone industry, the past few years have seen Sony dishearten a good number of loyal fans with the lack of progression in matters design.

Despite all that, Sony Xperia phones pride in the fact that they are powered by the latest hardware, have great cameras and most importantly, Sony is currently one of the best non-Google OEMs in terms of software updates.

With the only other reasonable time to expect a new Sony phone being September 2018 (IFA Berlin), here is our current ranking of the best Sony Xperia phones that money can buy you this 2018.

What are the Best Sony phones [June 2018]

Device U.S. UK India
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium Price to be confirmed Price to be confirmed Price to be confirmed
Sony Xperia XZ2 $699 £699 Price to be confirmed
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact $599.99 £529 NA
Sony Xperia XZ Premium $450 – $530 £599 INR 51,990
Sony Xperia XA2 $320 £299 NA
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra $399.99 £379 NA
Sony Xperia L2 $220 £199 INR 20,990

The table above has the best Sony Xperia phones that have been carefully selected by our team, ranging from the top-end right to the bottom end, including direct links to online stores selling the phones, where applicable. Some of the latest handsets in Xperia XZ2 Premium, Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XA2 have not yet hit all markets, but they should be available sooner than later.

Xperia XZ2 Premium

Xperia-XZ2-Premium-1A successor to the high-end Xperia XZ Premium that came out last year February, the Xperia XZ2 Premium is a bumped-up version of the standard Xperia XZ2. You are getting just about the same screen size, the same build, the same processing power and all that, but you are also getting a second camera on the back, a bigger battery unit, an even better display screen with a 4K resolution and so on, as you can see below.

  • 5.8-inch 4K (2160×3840) HDR display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB RAM and 64GB storage, expandable up to 400GB
  • Dual 19MP + 12MP main camera
  • 13MP front camera
  • 3540mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, Quick Charge 3.0, Wireless Charging, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, IP65/68, Dual-SIM, Smart vibration feedback system, 960fps super slow-mo video recording, LTE, NFC, Fingerprint scanner, etc.

Sony launched the Xperia XZ2 Premium in April and further made it official in Taiwan in June 2018. It is during the latter event that the company confirmed the expected release date, at least for those in Taiwan. Apparently, you will be able to buy the Xperia XZ2 Premium beginning the second half of July, but the pricing for this market is yet to be announced.

While those in Taiwan are only waiting for the price, those in other markets like the U.S., UK and India are still waiting to know when the phone will be available locally as well as the price. Given the Xperia XZ2, for instance, started selling in the U.S. priced at $799, we don’t expect anything lower than this for the Premium version. In fact, you can expect a higher price tag when the phone finally breaks cover.

We’ll update this post when we get the full details.

Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact

Sony-Xperia-XZ2

Sony’s Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are without a doubt the best from the company right now. Coming in with a changed design featuring thinner bezels and a rear-mounted scanner, the XZ2 handsets also happen to be the only phones on the market that can record 960fps slow-motion videos at 1080p. Let’s check out the specs:

Xperia XZ2

Specs:

  • 5.7-inch Full HD+ HDR 18:9 touchscreen
  • Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 4/6GB RAM and 64GB ROM (expandable up to 400GB)
  • 19MP back camera and 5MP front camera
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 3180mAh non-removable battery
  • Extras: Rear-mounted scanner, IP68 waterproofing, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 4G LTE, USB-C, fast charging, wireless charging, etc.
Xperia XZ2 Compact

Specs:

  • 5.0-inch Full HD+ HDR 18:9 touchscreen
  • Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 4GB/64GB memory (expandable up to 400GB)
  • 19MP back camera and 5MP front camera
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 2870mAh non-removable battery
  • Extras: Rear-mounted scanner (region dependent), IP68, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 4G LTE, USB-C, fast charging, etc.

The major difference between the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact is the size, something that also affects the battery capacity, but not the battery life. Also, given its price tag, the Compact misses out on wireless charging and the new Dynamic Vibration System that gives haptic feedback in time with audio and video content. Everything else remains the same.

Here’s more of our coverage on the Xperia XZ2 handsets:

Note that Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will start selling in most markets as from April onwards, so you might have to wait a little bit longer before getting the phone of your choice. Also, you might not like it that both phones have no 3.5mm audio jack.

Xperia XZ Premium

Xperia-XZ-Premium-update

Many expected to see a successor to the Xperia XZ Premium at the MWC 2018, but Sony did the unexpected and gave us the Xperia XZ2 family. Despite coming with a newer design and the latest hardware specs, the Xperia XZ2 are still behind the XZ Premium when it comes to display quality.

There’s a decent 4K HDR display that is bright and vibrant and thanks to the Motion Eye camera, you get some of the best shots on the Xperia XZ Premium. Even better is the support for 960fps slow-motion video recording, but unlike the XZ2, you can’t get past 720p.

Specs:

  • 5.46-inch 4K HDR 16:9 screen
  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4/64GB memory
  • 19MP back camera and 13MP front camera
  • 3230mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 7.1, upgradable to Oreo and P
  • Extras: Side-mounted scanner, IP68 waterproofing, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 4G LTE, 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C, fast charging, etc.

Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra

25702349608_4d64e07e82_hUnveiled earlier this year, the Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra bring you solid performance specs for their price, but as usual with Sony phones from the recent past, the design looks dated and chunky, especially when compared to the competition. First, let’s check out the specs:

Xperia XA2

Specs:

  • 5.2-inch full HD 16:9 LCD screen
  • Snapdragon 630 processor
  • 3/32GB memory
  • 23MP back camera and 8MP front camera
  • 3300mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Extras: Rear-mounted scanner, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 4G LTE, 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C, fast charging, etc.
Xperia XA2 Ultra

Specs:

  • 6.0-inch full HD 16:9 LCD screen
  • Snapdragon 630 processor
  • 4GB RAM and 32/64GB memory
  • 23MP back camera and dual 16MP + 8MP front camera
  • 3580mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Extras: Rear-mounted scanner, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 4G LTE, 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C, fast charging, etc.

Despite Sony being one of the major names in the photography industry, the budget nature of the XA2 means that you don’t get the best in class. But if all you want is a phone that can record 4K or slow-motion videos yet spending over €600 on any of the Xperia XZ2 handsets or even the XZ Premium is out of the question, you can’t do better than the Xperia XA2.

Those who love big-screen devices will for sure enjoy the massive 6 inches of display real estate on the Xperia XA2 Ultra. Most of the specs and performance levels remain similar to the Xperia XA2, but with some upgrades here and there, you’ll be getting a slightly more powerful handset in the XA2 Ultra.

Selfie lovers will also be impressed by the dual-lens package on the front that includes features like optical image stabilization and autofocus, among others.

Xperia L2

xperia-l2-all

If you are in the market for a budget Sony phone, the Xperia L2 is your best bet. The facts that the L2 has a design language that resembles the high-end Xperia handsets and rocks a huge display screen make it one of the best in its category. However, if you plan to execute heavy tasks like gaming or video streaming, you might not like the occasional slowness of the phone, otherwise, the Xperia L2 is a great piece of hardware that should do all the basic tasks of a phone.

Specs:

  • 5.5-inch HD 16:9 LCD screen
  • MediaTek MT6737T processor
  • 3/32GB memory
  • 13MP back camera and 8MP front camera
  • 3300mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • Extras: Rear-mounted scanner, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, 4G LTE, 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C, etc.

One little problem with the Xperia L2 is its availability. For instance, in India, the phone isn’t available for purchase, but if you really want a budget Sony Xperia phone in this market, you can always turn to Xperia R1 or the slightly more powerful Xperia R1 Plus.

sony-xperia-r1-plus-image

The Xperia R1 and R1 Plus are only differentiated by the RAM and storage capacity, where the latter has 3GB and 32GB compared to the former’s 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. As for the rest of the specs, they remain unchanged, among them a 5.2-inch HD display, Snapdragon 430 chipset, Android 7.1 Nougat and a 2620mAh battery.

In fact, with the R1 and R1 Plus, despite their modest price tags of just INR 11,990 and INR 13,990, you still get the latest USB-C port and a ready upgrade to Android Oreo, but there’s no fingerprint scanner, which is a disappointment considering devices in this category not only have fingerprint scanning, but also facial recognition technology.

We are talking the Honor 9 Lite, Mate 10 Lite (Honor 9i), Honor 7X, Redmi Note 5 Pro, and ZenFone Max Plus M1, just to name but a few.

Upcoming Sony Xperia phones

Sony doesn’t have such a huge repository of phones to update every year. In fact, the company is mostly done with its 2018 lineup, at least when it comes to the midrange segment, but there’s more to come in the high-end category.

At the IFA 2018 in Berlin, Germany, we expect to see the new Sony Xperia XZ3 unveiled. Whether Sony will accompany it with another variant or even a different model is still unknown, but it’s unlikely that only one phone will be launched. So far, we don’t know much about the Xperia XZ3, but we should get more details as we approach the event scheduled for September this year.


So, which Sony Xperia phone are you buying and why? If not on this list, please let us know your choice for the best Sony Xperia phone in your comments below.

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A fan of all things Android. Not the geeky stuff, but the cool stuff. If not buried deep into the latest trends in technology, you'll find me enjoying a game of football. Real football. Oh, and I'm a staunch Chelsea FC fan.

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