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Three new Sony phones put more you in your selfies

Fresh for CES 2018, the trio also includes a first for Sony phones.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony has a trio of new Xperia phones that are designed to fit more of the world around you into your selfies.

Unveiled at the annual CES 2018 show here in Las Vegas on Monday, the Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra and L2 feature a camera that can shoot 120-degree selfies at 8 megapixels. (The XA2 Ultra also lets you shoot 16-megapixel selfies without this wide-angle option.)

The very wide angle means you'll be able to see more of your environment than with other cameras: more friends, or a sweeping landscape, or maybe the hijinks behind you. 

Now playing: Watch this: Hands-on with the Sony Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra

Some phones tackle the problem of cramped selfies by forcing you to take a three-pane panorama from the front-facing shooter, which takes more time to set up and shoot.

Image quality and solid performance are typically high points with Sony phones, but in past years the company has struggled to maintain its edge against rivals with bolder designs or lower price tags. 

The three Xperia devices kick off Sony's midrange lineup for 2018, with the XA2 Ultra taking the lead in higher-end hardware, followed by the XA2 and L2. 

In the US, you'll be able to preorder all three phones online at Best Buy and at Amazon.com.

Sony Xperia L2, XA2, XA2 Ultra prices

Price Amazon, Best Buy (online) sale date In-store sale date
Xperia L2 $250 Feb. 9 March 4
Xperia XA2 $350 Feb. 16 March 4
Xperia XA2 Ultra $450 Feb. 16 March 4

'New' fingerprint sensor finally comes to Xperia

In addition to sharing the same front-facing wide-angle lens, many regions will also get a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, which will likely become a fixture in future Xperia phones this year. If you know Sony phones, this placement is a design change; the reader used to integrate into the power/lock button.

Here's something else that's new: The finger unlock button will actually work in the US, whereas before Sony turned it off on Xperia phones sold Stateside. Hallelujah!

All three phones will sell in select markets in late January. Sony says it will announce prices closer to launch. Skip to the end for the full specs!

Xperia XA2 Ultra highlights

  • 6-inch display with 1,920x1,080p-pixel resolution
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 23-megapixel rear camera (Sony Exmor RS image sensor)
  • 16-megapixel front-facing camera with optical image stabilization (OIS)
  • Option to shoot 120-degree wide-angle images at 8 megapixels
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor
  • 3,580mAh battery
  • 32GB or 64GB internal storage
  • 4GB RAM
  • Up to 256GB external storage

Sony Xperia XA 2 Ultra, XA 2, L2

Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra Sony Xperia XA2 Sony Xperia L2
Display size, resolution 6-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels 5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels 5.5-inch; 1,280x720 pixels
Pixel density 367ppi 424ppi 267ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.4x3.1x0.37 in 5.6x2.8x0.38 in 5.9x3.1x0.39 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 163x80x9.5 mm 142x70x 9.7 mm 150x78x9.8 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 7.4 oz, 210g 6oz, 171g 6.3oz, 178g
Mobile software Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Camera 23-megapixel 23-megapixel 13-megapixel
Front-facing camera 16-megapixel (with 8-megapixel 120-degree option) 8-megapixel with 120-degree lens 8-megapixel with 120-degree lens
Video capture 4K 4K 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 1.5GHz quad-core
Storage 32GB; 64GB 32GB 32GB
Expandable storage 256GB 256GB 256GB
Battery 3,580mAh 3,300mAh 3,300mAh
Fingerprint sensor Back Back Back
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack Yes Yes Yes
Special features 120-degree sefie photos 120-degree sefie photos 120-degree sefie photos
Price off-contract (USD) TBA TBA TBA

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Updated Jan. 29, 2018, at 4:25 p.m. PT: US sales dates and prices.