MWC 2018: Sony's Xperia XZ2 smartphone adds 3D scanning capabilities

The Sony Xperia XZ2 comes with 3D scanning capabilities on its front-facing camera, S-Force surround sound, Bravia screen tech, and a dynamic vibration system adapted from its PlayStation controllers.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor
(Image: Sony Mobile)

Sony Mobile has taken the wraps off its new Xperia XZ2 flagship smartphone and compact version during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona, with the company telling ZDNet it is focused on entertainment.

"Typically, Sony customers understand us certainly not only as an electronic company, but an entertainment company. And so for us, the sweet spot, the bullseye, is certainly those Sony customers that understand that about us, and then we'll extend from there," Oceania MD for Sony Mobile Communications John Featherstone told ZDNet.

According to Sony, the Xperia XZ2 takes the best tech from all of the company's consumer products for the new line of smartphones: S-Force surround sound and LDAC wireless high-resolution audio from its audio range; screen technology from its Bravia TVs; photography tech from its Alpha and Cyber-shot cameras; five-way image stabilisation from its Action Cam; and the dynamic vibration system and augmented reality from its PlayStation engine. Also new: a center-aligned fingerprint scanner.

The vibration system causes the Xperia XZ2 to vibrate when playing audio with bass-heavy sounds, which Featherstone said adds the sense of touch to the experience -- much like when watching a trailer in a cinema or listening to music at a concert.

"What we're doing is we're taking the knowledge out of a gaming environment, and you can feel what you're seeing and experiencing as well," Featherstone told ZDNet.

"Whatever entertainment you're watching -- movies, gaming, whatever -- you'll be fully immersed in the moment, and that's what it's about, that's what we're trying to get people to experience.

"There's a number of theoretical world firsts [with this handset] ... but certainly with that dynamic vibration system, it really starts to become an entertainment device."

Read also: MWC 2018: Intel working on 5G PCs and phones

The Xperia XZ2 also features a 5.7-inch high dynamic range (HDR) full HD+ 18:9 display; front-facing stereo speakers that make it 20 percent louder than the XZ1; 4K HDR video recording; full HD 960 FPS super slow-motion capture; a Motion Eye camera with smile detection, predictive capture, autofocus burst, and predictive autofocus; a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform for 1.2Gbps 4G speeds; Bravia Xreality tech that up-converts content to near-HDR, improving the quality of non-HDR videos; a 3D glass surface with a metal frame; Corning Gorilla Glass 5; and Android 8.0 Oreo.

Sony has additionally added 3D Creator's scanning capabilities to the front-facing camera so users can create three-dimensional selfies that can be uploaded to Facebook and used for avatar creation -- something that could be extended to Sony's gaming range in future, Featherstone told ZDNet.

The rendering of the 3D scan was previously performed on the handset, with Sony now adding server file processing instead for greater accuracy and detail.

It comes in four colours: Liquid silver, ash pink, deep green, and liquid black.

The XZ2 has a 3180mAh battery with wireless and wired charging; its Qnovo adaptive charging also improves the device's battery lifespan, preventing the battery from overcharging by charging it to 80 percent when first plugged in, and then completing the remaining 20 percent in the last hour based on usage patterns.

The Compact XZ2 version, meanwhile, comes in a 5-inch model with a non-scratch polycarbonate finish. While it has an HDR full HD+ display, stereo speakers, Motion Eye with 3D Creator, super slow motion, hi-res audio, and front-facing stereo speakers, it does not include the wireless charging or dynamic vibration technologies.

The Compact smartphone is also kitted out with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 mobile platform and Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and comes in four colours: White silver, black, moss green, and coral pink.

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