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Sony unveils its full-screen Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact smartphones with world’s first 4K HDR video recording

February 26, 2018 12:55 PM
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Sony is turning its focus to 4K high-definition video recording in its new Xperia XZ2 smartphones.

The Japanese firm is hoping that its advanced imaging system will help the handset to stand out from rivals that have caught up in camera technology.

In a world first it will record video in 4K HDR, a quality previously only available in top-of-the-range camcorders.

The XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, which also feature vibrating feedback, will go on sale globally from next month.

Unwrapped at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress this morning, the XZ2 features Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back.

It also has a longer 18:9 aspect ratio display, which reduces the size of the bezels on the front of the handset.

This ratio size, which means that the screen is twice as long as it is tall, is a widescreen format commonly used in professional cinematography.

The XZ1 launched at £599 ($699) and the XZ1 Compact at £499 ($599) and this year's model is likely to be around the same mark, if not slightly higher.

'If entertainment is your priority, then our new Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are your smartphones,' said Hideyuki Furumi, the firm's executive vice president of global sales and marketing, speaking at MWC.

'From what's inside - world-class technology, to a new sleek, sophisticated design, these smartphones are everything you need and probably a lot more.

The XZ2's Motion Eye camera includes super slow-motion film capture in 1080p high definition resolution, introduced by Sony in its XZ Premium last year.

This was a market first that was copied by Korean rival Samsung in its Galaxy 9, unveiled on Sunday.

Sony's device can also upscale standard dynamic range (SDR) video to near HDR quality video, using technology developed with engineers working on the company's Bravia televisions.

HDR helps to improve contrast, making blacks appear blacker and colours appear brighter.

Both the XZ2 and its smaller stablemate, the XZ2 Compact, will be powered by a Snapdragon 845 chip.

They will be 5G compatible, capable of transferring data at 1.2 GB/s , and will feature fast wireless charging.

The XZ2 will have a 5.7” display with HDR and the smaller XZ2 Compact will have a 5" display.

Both handsets use Sony’s brand new Dynamic Vibration System. This analyses audio data and lets you feel the action in your hands, bringing your movies, games and videos to life.

This is a feature that will be familiar to anyone who has used a dual shock controller for the firm's PlayStation games console.

The Compact will be available in white silver, black, moss green and coral pink.

While Sony has won plaudits for technical innovations, its sales have declined and it is adrift of the top-10 vendors.

It sold four million units in the quarter to end-December, down from 5.1 million a year ago, according to results published earlier this month.

Analyst Ben Wood at CCS Insight said Sony, at last, had a competitive design to match the market leading specifications it had on previous flagship models.

'It will be ruing a missed opportunity in 2017 given it beat rivals such as Samsung by a full year when it comes to features such as super-slow-mo video capture,' he said.

However, he said Sony faced the same up-hill challenge as most smartphone makers in standing out in the market.

'Taking on Apple and Samsung requires eye-watering investment that rivals such as Sony, HTC, LG and others are always going to struggle with,' he added.


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