By David Meyer
February 26, 2018

Sony has unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia XZ2, which is a significant redesign of the handsets it has been selling for the last few years.

While those older models have been markedly block-like and have had wider bezels than is currently fashionable, Sony’s new Android phone has a curvaceous back and less space between the screen and the sides of the device.

The XZ2 can also shoot video at 4K resolution, and is the first handset to do so using “high dynamic range” (HDR) technology. However, unlike some of Sony’s recent top-end models, it doesn’t have a 4K-capable screen.

That’s not a big loss, as 4K screens are just gimmicks on phones—with a screen measuring 5.7 inches diagonally, the human eye is unlikely to see a difference between 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) and the Full HD+ resolution (2160 x 1080 pixels) found on the XZ2. What’s more, higher resolutions eat more battery, so Sony’s decision should have a positive impact on battery life.

Other notable features of Sony’s new flagship include a “dynamic vibration system” that will make the phone shake when the user is watching a movie, so you can “feel the action in your hands,” and wireless charging using the Qi industry standard.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sony also unveiled the Xperia XZ2 Compact, a smaller (5-inch-screened) version of the same device, minus the wireless charging and “dynamic vibration system.”

Sony isn’t as big a player in the mobile space as it once was, shipping just four million units in the last quarter of 2017, down from 5.1 million the year before.

“Sony was held back by a design with an uncompetitively large bezel which was out of step with rival products,” CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood told Reuters.

The Japanese firm hasn’t detailed its pricing for the new phones just yet, but its previous flagship, the Xperia XZ2, launched at around $700.

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