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Sony Xperia XZ2 review: The Sony Xperia XZ2 is a good phone overshadowed by better ones

That said, the Xperia XZ2's aggressive image processing can muddy up some details for photos taken indoors or in suboptimal lighting conditions. Like the Xperia XZ ($279 at Amazon) before it, HDR mode isn't accessible right away; you'll have to go to manual mode to fiddle with it. The Intelligent Auto+ mode is pretty good at telling you the scene you're shooting -- from food to landscape to night shots -- though I wasn't quite sure if it helped improve the picture by tweaking settings in the background.

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The XZ2 also does a great job with food pictures. 

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With enough light, the XZ2 takes really good shots of anything.

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HDR needs to be turned on manually (it's not available for selection in Intelligent Auto mode).

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If you like shooting shots of the city at night, the Xperia XZ2 will serve you well. 

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Low-light shots taken with the XZ2 were well-controlled without overexposing the lights.

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As for 960fps slow motion video, being able to shoot in full-HD (1080p) sounds great compared to the Galaxy S9 and Huawei P20 ($443 at Amazon) and P20 Pro's lower 720p quality, but you'll need plenty of outdoor light to really take advantage of this. Otherwise, you'll end up with a lot of noise in your video or flickering from your fluorescent lights if shooting indoors. You have to also be very good at guessing when you need the slow-motion magic to happen, which isn't as easy as it sounds. Blink and you'll miss the action and end up with a slow motion shot of a boring scene.

When all the conditions are right, though, super slow motion video makes for a great addition to your Instagram stories, such as a soap bubble bursting or catching that skateboard flip in the air.

In a bid to come up with more features, Sony's Xperia XZ2 highlights apps that let you scan objects in 3D, watch augmented reality scenes and create a portrait mode shot that takes photos with background blur called Bokeh. Why didn't Sony integrate these features into the main camera, especially when that's what their competitors do? Instead, by splitting the features up, Sony has made you have to hunt for what you want.

Apart from the Bokeh app, the 3D and AR apps are fun to try once, but you'll probably not have any reason to use them after.

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The phone isn't the thinnest in the market, in fact, it's quite thick.

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The Xperia XZ2 is very fast, but battery life could be better

The Xperia XZ2's 3,180mAh battery lasted a full day of use, and in our video looping tests, managed to go on just shy of 12 hours, unlike the Galaxy S9, which clocked almost 17 hours. With the phone supports Qi fast wireless charging (9W), you can use any Qi charging pads to juice up, though you'll want the Sony wireless charger to get the maximum speed -- in our test, the phone was able to juice up to 36 percent from flat in one hour, though it was noticeably faster using the standard wired charging cord.

Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, the Xperia XZ2 is fast and zippy. You'll find gaming on this phone a breeze, especially with the powerful speakers turned up. I was totally impressed with how powerful the sound was, at full volume you'll have no issue hearing it in a crowded place, though you'll probably annoy the heck out of everyone around you. It's also great for watching YouTube videos.

Like the Samsung Galaxy S9, the Xperia XZ2 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and our benchmark tests show pretty similar performance, check the graph below for benchmark scores.

Sony's own skin on top of Android 8.0 keeps most of the basics, but you'll want to decrease the font size and increase the phone's grid size as the first thing you'll do when you get the phone. Sony's default makes everything way too large.

Hardware specs comparison

Sony Xperia XZ2 Samsung Galaxy S9 Huawei P20 Pro LG G7 ThinQ
Display size, resolution 5.7-inch; 2,160x1,080 pixels 5.8-inch OLED; 2,960x1,440 pixels 6.1-inch; 2,240x1,080 pixels (OLED) 6.1-inch IPS LCD; 3,120 x 1,440 pixels
Pixel density 424 ppi 570ppi 408ppi 563ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.02x2.83x0.44 in 5.81x2.70x0.33 in 6.1x2.9x0.31 in 6x2.8x0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 153x72x11.1mm 147.7x68.7x8.5 mm 155x73.9x7.8mm 153.2x71.9x7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.98oz; 198g 5.75 oz; 163g 6.3 oz; 180g 5.7 oz, 162g
Mobile software Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.1 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo
Camera 19-megapixel 12-megapixel 40-megapixel RGB, 20-megapixel monochrome, 8-megapitxel telephoto Dual 16-megapixel (71 degree, f/1.6 and 107 degree, f/1.9)
Front-facing camera 5-megapixel 8-megapixel 24-megapixel camera 8-megapixel (f/1.9)
Video capture 4K 4K 4K 4K
Processor 2.7GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (2.8GHz + 1.7GHz), or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 (2.7 GHz + 1.7 GHz) 2.3GHz octa-core Kirin 970 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Storage 64GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 128GB 64GB
Expandable storage 400GB 400GB None Up to 2TB
Battery 3,180mAh 3,000mAh 4,000mAh 3,000mAh
Fingerprint sensor Back Back Below screen Back
Headphone jack No Yes No Yes
Special features 960fps super-slow-motion in 1080p or 720p resolution Dual-aperture camera, water-resistant (IP68); super-slo-mo video; wireless charging; iris scanning Three rear cameras, super slow mo video (960fps), 3X optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom, water-resistant (IP67) Water resistant (IP68), wireless charging, DTS:X 3D Surround, Quad DAC
Price off-contract (USD) $799 Varies: $720-$800 (64GB) Converts to $1,140 TBA
Price (GBP) £699 £739 £799 TBA
Price (AUD) Converts to AU$780 AU$1,199 (64GB), AU$1,349 (256GB) Converts to AU$1,470 TBA

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