Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact review

GSMArena team, 17 March 2018.

Display

The most obvious upgrade on the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is the screen. Sony has opted for the new tall aspect ratio and increased the diagonal to 5". But the larger size is not the only upgrade. The screen resolution is now 1080p - for the first time ever on a Compact phone. That's a flagship-grade 483ppi density.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact review

The LCD screen features all of Sony's proprietary display tech - Triluminos display and the X-Reality Engine. There is also HDR support - the panel supports 10-bit colors and is certified for the BT.2020 standard.

The new screen has deeper blacks but lower maximum brightness if compared to the XZ1 Compact. Then again, the XZ2 Compact screen is very bright at 576 nits and thanks to the improved blacks it achieved an excellent contrast ratio of 1315:1.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact 0.438 576 1315
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact 0.515 640 1243
Sony Xperia XZ2 0.431 618 1434
Sony Xperia XZ1 0.409 575 1406
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 0.463 573 1238
Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone) 0.397 554 1395
Samsung Galaxy S9 0 370
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Max Auto) 0 658
Huawei P10 0.416 592 1423
Xiaomi Mi 6 0.462 603 1305
LG G6 0.228 468 2053
Nokia 8 0.382 703 1840

Sunlight legibility turned out great for an LCD and you won't find yourself struggling with outdoor light when using the Xperia XZ2 Compact.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (pre-update)
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
    3.675
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    3.58
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Archos Diamond Omega
    3.305
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Oppo R11s
    3.153
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • LG Q6
    2.987
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Huawei Honor View 10
    2.896
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Nokia 2
    2.752
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    2.737
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Huawei Honor 7X
    2.734
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • vivo V7+
    2.671
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    2.654
  • Oppo F5
    2.653
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Huawei P Smart
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A (Y1)
    2.556
  • HTC U11+
    2.556
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • BlackBerry Motion
    2.494
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Vivo V7
    2.404
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • Razer Phone
    2.328
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Sony Xperia L2
    2.266
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • HTC U11+ (EU)
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • vivo V5
    2.059
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

The LCD panel on the XZ2 Compact is well-calibrated against the DCI-P3 color space, which we typically test against. The default Standard color mode gives an average deltaE of 4.4 and a maximum of 8.5. No matter how much we tried, whites and grays always retained a certain level of blue tint.

Finally, let's talk about the HDR video support. As we established, there is support for 10-bit colors, and there is a certification for the BT.2020 standard. Determining how that correlates to other industry standards, like HDR10 video is a bit difficult and needlessly technical. In practical terms, all that really matters is whether content vendors, like Netflix, enable their HDR content for the XZ2 Compact. For now, the best way for early adopters to take advantage of the HDR panel is by watching the compatible 4K HDR clips captured by the phone itself.

Sony also offers an automatic conversion system, as part of its "Advanced X-Reality for mobile" engine. It takes SDR video content and seamlessly tries to upconvert its colors to HDR levels during playback. If you've seen an HDR TV attempt to do the same, you probably already know that it looks great only on cherry-picked demo videos. Real-world usefulness depends strongly on your content. You can probably expect to salvage some detail in shadows and fix some light smear in low-light shots, but it can't do miracles. If the data isn't there, it isn't there.

Battery life

The Xperia XZ2 Compact comes with a larger battery capacity at 2,870 mAh than the Xperia XZ1 Compact. It goes from 0 to 32% in half an hour when using its 1.5A charger. The units bundled with a QC3.0-compatible charger will have up to 41% of their depleted battery fill in 30 mins.

Sony has proven quite proficient in optimizing the software for long-lasting battery autonomy, so we had high hopes for the XZ2 Compact. And indeed, the phone posted an excellent 88 h endurance given the provided battery capacity and the hardware at hand.

The Xperia XZ2 Compact did great on all battery routines. Combining those great scores with a frugal standby consumption, it achieved a great endurance and Sony's claim on battery efficiency lives on.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact review

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Loudspeakers

Despite the increased screen size, Sony has still managed to fit a good stereo setup inside the new XZ2 Compact body design, and we appreciate that. And it is one of the better ones we have seen.

Our tests can mostly confirm Sony's claim - the stereo speakers are about 20% louder than the XZ1 Compact and scored a Very Good loudness in our test. The speakers sound great with rich sound and there is no distortion at maximum volume. It's a significant improvement over the previous generation.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 62.9 65.2 71.6 Below Average
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact 66.4 70.9 68.4 Average
Sony Xperia XZ2 66.1 71.8 78.1 Good
Xiaomi Mi 6 66.1 69.0 84.1 Very Good
Huawei P10 67.7 70.0 83.6 Very Good
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact 66.7 73.3 83.3 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy S9 68.5 74.3 81.1 Very Good
Apple iPhone 8 71.7 77.8 80.3 Excellent
Nokia 8 88.0 77.1 81.4 Excellent

Unlike the Xperia XZ2, the Compact model doesn't come with the new Dynamic Vibration System, which vibrates in tune with any sound the phone gives off.

Audio quality doesn't disappoint

The Xperia XZ2 Compact is a perfect match for its larger Xperia XZ2 sibling when it comes to audio output. When hooked to an active external amplifier the XZ2 Compact had above-average loudness and perfect clarity.

Plugging in a pair of headphones dropped the loudness to only average, but the accuracy of the output didnít see much damage. The hike in stereo crosstalk was well contained and while some intermodulation distortion did creep in, itís nothing you will notice without dedicated testing equipment.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact+0.01, -0.03-93.493.20.00240.011-92.7
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact (headphones)+0.15, -0.29-92.390.30.00580.220-60.4
Sony Xperia XZ2+0.02, -0.01-90.691.20.00200.0096-89.2
Sony Xperia XZ2 (headphones)+0.04, -0.26-89.491.90.00500.219-60.7
Samsung Galaxy S9+0.01, -0.03-93.493.50.00570.0074-93.9
Samsung Galaxy S9 (headphones)+0.02, -0.03-93.092.90.00380.048-75.5
HTC U11+0.05, -0.11-94.194.10.00170.0067-94.5
HTC U11 (headphones)+0.05, -0.02-93.793.80.00180.105-53.7
LG V30+0.02, -0.01-93.293.10.00080.0069-94.2
LG V30 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-92.992.90.00570.051-68.1

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact frequency response
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.