Sony's XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are all about the camera tricks

Both phones let you 3D scan your friend's face to set as your wallpaper or print into figurines.

Andrew Lanxon

Andrew Lanxon

Lead Editor, CNET Advice, Europe; Lead Photographer, Europe

Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

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Sony's new XZ1 and smaller XZ1 Compact have plenty of bragging rights but it's the new camera tricks that are most exciting.

They both feature a new 3D scanning mode. Line up your friend's face in the guidelines, and by moving the phone steadily around them, you can build up a full 3D image of their head. It actually seemed to work really well in our testing time, and you can do it with food or other objects, too.

You can set that 3D head as a live wallpaper for your phone, put the face into augmented reality avatars, or even send it to a 3D printer if you want a physical copy of their head on your desk. Which you do, of course.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There's also a great burst mode, which shoots full 19-megapixel resolution photos at 10 frames per second and tracks the focus of the subject at the same time. As the person gets closer to the camera, the auto focus will shift to make sure they remain in focus.

Finally, the new face detection aims to automatically snap a shot of your friends' smile before you miss it and they start frowning again. You can then choose between the shot you took yourself or the shot that the phone thinks looks better.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Beyond the camera, you'll find a top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, a waterproof design and the latest Android Oreo software. The 5.2-inch display has a full HD (1,920x1,080-pixel) resolution.

It's joined by the Xperia XZ1 Compact. It has the same camera -- including all the tricks -- and internal specs as its big brother but a smaller 4.6-inch full HD display. 

Pricing for the phones isn't yet known, but we'll find out in the coming weeks as both phones are due to go on sale globally from mid-late September.