So speaking of underrated, we just took a look at a lg phone, the v35 and its a perfect example of a phone that was just unfortunately underappreciated at the time and, as a result, has depreciated a lot in terms of value and, like lg, im afraid that Sony is a brand that is just these days, not the most popular in terms of consumers. Minds, especially here in the us part of the fault, might lie with the marketing another might be with the pricing and the consequence is these days. Sony phones, just like lg. Just like htc have depreciated a lot in terms of value and attention, and the xc2 compact, for instance, is another phone that also came out in 2018, has a pretty decent snapdragon 845 processor, which is still extremely fast and responsive and now can be found for well Under a hundred bucks, in fact, this model here, i picked up for sixty dollars and that puts it into the super budget territory, and i just thought that its really fitting to again remind folks out there to shop around that. There are options which exist outside of the main players that we commonly hear and see so the xc2 compact, actually, that name compact, is really special, because sony is one of the last smartphone oems that actually still made compact smartphones with flagship level specs, and unfortunately this Was pretty much the end of the compact line, as we knew it? It has a 5 inch full hd display, with a tall 2×1 aspect ratio against other, similar ratioed phones.

That are much more typical. I would say these days like this lg g8x or even sonys own standard edition phones like the xperia z3, that we reviewed also a while back. This one has the older 16 by 9 aspect ratio, but it has about a 5.2 inch display. You can tell how just smaller this phone here, the xz2 compact is and its so much easier to grip with one hand and, as many folks have pointed out, the unfortunate truth is these days. Larger phones are kind of the norm. So something like this, which is ultra compact, will never be in the majority, even though about a decade ago, phones started off with sizes like this, if not even smaller, so immediately, if you are looking for a compact smartphone these days with competitive specs, the xz2 compact, Pretty much is one of the only options, even today on the android world still is a very decent processor, a 10 nanometer chip – and this is coupled with four gigs of ram, which is the only spec there that is starting to show its age a little bit More, the xc2 compact, in my opinion, still looks quite classy, even though again bezel sizes are definitely not invisible, a little bit of a larger top and bottom section, but still because the aspect ratio very compact to hold. Now we do have 5 megapixel camera, which was actually wide angle, so you can get quite a lot within the frame of shot, which is appreciated, even though its not the highest resolution, earpiece proximity sensor and an led notification light.

The bottom here just has a sony logo. There is stereo speakers by the way on this phone, so youll find it both on the bottom edge and the earpiece doubles as the second speaker, so kind of like hdc and boom sound its actually quite loud and clear. For a compact smartphone, but unfortunately, the xc2 line was also the first time where sony had removed the headphone jack again going with industry trends, but not necessarily a good trend and lg is pretty much the only option at that point which still retained the headphone jack Inside of the phone, it did have a 2870 milliamp hour capacity battery, which the number of course seems small, but keeping in mind that you have a pretty energy efficient, 10 nanometer chip, along with a smaller display, which is at full hd plus resolution, not quad hd. Actually gave it pretty good endurance. I was still able to use this phone for throughout an entire day over five hours of screen on time. Although it originally came out with android oreo, it is now running on android 10.0 and you can still download and install pretty much any program that you would want. The backer houses, a single lens, its 19 megapixels, its the same camera, also used on the larger full sized xz2. So the compact edition has almost identical specs as the larger variant. Its a motion eye lens with laser autofocus led flash, and this was also a little bit different from the time where a lot of other phones were starting to adopt dual or triple camera lenses.

So with sonys approach, its kind of like the pixel, where this one sensor is very good in terms of capturing images, but you lose out on some of the flexibility of having a wide angle, for instance. Now. The bottom here also has a fingerprint scanner, which is actually pretty good in terms of its placement. The larger xc2 did have a lot of criticism because it actually placed the fingerprint scanner too low to comfortably reach, and a lot of people would accidentally press on the camera instead. But on the compact edition here it still feels quite comfortable and youre not going to be accidentally reaching the camera. The back also came with this frosted texture, which was polycarbonate, although the frame was made out of a brushed aluminum. So the back here, isnt glass, like on the full sized xz2 but thats, actually preferred, in my opinion, because its more durable the full glass texture on that version was too slippery and because it was curved, it has a tendency to randomly slide off of things. Once you put it down so with this model, because its frosted its not as easy to slide out of your hands, it also hides wear and tear a little bit more easily. Otherwise the frame here also houses another specialty, a dedicated camera button with a two stage. Shutter, so you can press on it lightly to focus and then all the way down to snap the shot. In fact, you can actually launch into the camera just by long pressing here, even if the phone is turned off, so its a quick launch command, which is very convenient and as a whole.

I do miss shutter keys like this on android smartphones. I do think that more devices should bring it back. I love how sony has it here? We also have a power key and a volume rocker. These buttons are all made out of metal and feel quite nice and responsive. Then the other side houses the sim card slot, which can also hold a micro sd slot to expand on the 64 gigs of built in storage. The phone by the way, just like most sony devices, is fully waterproof, so you can use it in the rain. Now there are a few controversial parts about the design, for instance, this was kind of the first time that sony in many years had moved array from this boxy characteristics, this new aesthetic they coined as ambient flow. But what i do want to point out is this is really not the first time that sony has gone with a softer curvier appearance which again emphasizes comfort above aesthetics like the sony, ericsson vivos, which, by the way, was the first phone with hd video recording back In the late 2000s – and you can see how this phone also has, that kind of curved design, instead of being completely flat, which is just a little nicer to hold in my opinion, also reminds me of the hdc8x, because of how it also employs this kind of Pillow like design where, if you look at it from the edge, the frame here is very sharp, but then it extends outwards a little bit more as you are going out.

So again, i would say that, arguably its not really the first time sony has gone with a design like this. You just have to look a little bit further back and you learn that design in a way is cyclic. The phone does have kind of lift awake on the lcd. You can take a look at some notifications, but this is an ips lcd screen as opposed to amoled. Therefore, it doesnt really have say the most highest energy efficiency if its displaying a dark background, but at the same time it doesnt have issues like screen burn in. If you are looking at images for a long time and also colors are a little bit more pure in terms of whites, so it arguably gets a little bit brighter. It gets a little bit more accurate and this is definitely an example of a awesome, ips lcd screen, one of the best in the business that sony has crafted on here, especially at a five inch size. The full hd plus resolution still packs a very dense pixels per inch. Getting you just a crystal sharp image as youre looking at it. Colors are extremely vibrant and blacks. To be honest, for a non amoled screen are very convincing and its not curved at the edges. So if you like flat screens, you dont really like to see devices that have accidental triggers, because your palm is resting on it. This is also going to delight you. The xperia layer on top of android has also scaled down a lot over the years.

It used to be much more obtrusive, but just like lg and htc. They have really tried to tone it down, as android became more and more polished and as a whole. It feels quite good on here. We have access to the typical news feed on the side, and you can tell here in terms of swiping and animations. Everything is just lightning fast, with no delays, as expected from the snapdragon 845, which is still a beast in todays standards. Now the fingerprint scanner on this phone. It certainly works, but i wouldnt say its the fastest more of a sensor based thing than the processor, but overall, its still quite accurate. Really, the only thing i dont love about the ui is, for some reason, sony decided to lock down and restrict the ability for you to use gestures, so youre stuck with these hardware navigation keys at the very bottom. Obviously, by this time, android 10 already has support for swipe and gesture navigation. In fact, if you go into settings, you can even find that technically its inside of the os level code, but sony have just disabled you from actually accessing and changing this setting and ultimately they should leave the option up to the user instead of deciding themselves. But jumping into the camera performance. First again, this 19 megapixel lens offers very good performance. I have to say, maybe in terms of reliability, its not quite 10 out of 10, like a pixel but its up there.

I would rate it to be lets, say, 9 out of 10, and i have to say that the compact nature of the phone definitely contributes to me liking it just a little bit more because i can just reach for it really quickly, and everything is just very Fast and responsive, so, even though its not explicitly advertised sony also has excellent, auto scene detection. So it knows if youre pointing at lets say a document versus as you can see their food. The ui is pretty simple, but you do have the ability to adjust manual properties, theres, a lot of ar effects and filters stickers, which you can play around with also something called predictive image capture. So it tries to take an image just before you actually snap and take the actual shot, so it saves a few shots for you to then review and see if maybe one moment that youve captured is actually better than the other. Now there is no real dedicated night mode per se, so low light. Photography remains an area where its, not as good as a current gen pixel, for instance, but under moderate lighting. It still shines and very consistent fast to use one of the other specialties on. Here. Being the video capture just like the larger xz2, it was one of the first phones on the market with full hd super slow motion, video capture at 960 frames per second now its not a feature that youll use lets say every single time, but it still is Really fun party trick and i found that the overall kind of quality in the super slo mo effect to work best if you are in really brightly lit environments, still remains as a very neat selling point that you just wont find on many of the other competitors.

The ability to almost freeze time colors, look excellent thanks to the auto white balance and hdr effects plenty of detail, even in challenging environments such as in here where the sky is obviously brighter than the flowers here of the tree, but it still is illuminating. Overall, the shadows here and textures quite well and giving us a well exposed shot. So i really do like the camera experience on this phone a lot. The second specialty of this phone aside from the super slow motion, is the ability to capture 3d objects and allows you to even use that to 3d print, so the application is called 3d creator. Here is a sample face, scan where essentially, you just shoot someones face and slowly pan the camera around, and then it just stitches it together and saves it as this 3d copy. You can see the hair. You can see all of the kind of texture elements from the different angles and then again, youre able to print, share morph animate and even turn this into a emoji and youre able to also make this person gon na smile laugh cry its actually a little bit. Scary at times, but still is a really neat trick that i just havent seen on any other kind of smartphone. If you are a diy enthusiast, this sony phone is therefore going to be something that you definitely want to take a closer look at and something that they call a machi cara character.

So thats, essentially what you see right now on this home screen, this little cube floating around is one of the defaults. So now we have this persons 3d face on this virtual block. That is spinning on the side there that will display different things to amuse. You show you notifications as youre interacting with it, and you can hide it as well, if you dont, really like it, but its just a cute. Little touch reminds me of the kind of wii figures from back in the day. As far as settings on this phone is concerned, you also do have additional smart features like a battery stanima mode, which is essentially sonys version of the ultra power saving mode. You can also take out certain files. Youre not using the phone can also automatically kind of answer the call once you pick it up and put it over to your ear, so some other smart gestures that you can turn on. They even have an ai chat bot that can answer questions specific to your phone youll find things like clear, audio plus, which will further tweak the sound profile based on sonys kind of adjusted recommendations. There is also a dynamic normalizer which will try and minimize the differences and volume between different musics and video sources, so it gives you a more consistent listening experience. Youll also find things like a high res audio upscaling. You can even fine tune the equalizer even more and adjust those properties yourself boost the bass as well as turn on a virtual surround sound which can even work with the front facing speakers.

So, just a lot of settings that you have on here, even the type of sound quality that you want studio club concert hall, theres, even an automatic optimization mode, will try to get you the best sound depending on what headphones that youre using and it tries to Do a little bit of tuning behind the scenes to achieve that, so sound is another area where i think sony just like lg has a bit more attention to detail than most other manufacturers. Next lets take a closer look at how it performs in terms of the youtube, video, Music, Music Applause, all right so take away here. Being that the audio quality on here is excellent. Just because again, that stereo speaker is built on in its not tinny at all, and surprisingly has a touch of bass as well. Doesnt even just store at higher volume levels, and it is one of the better speakers ive heard out of a smartphone, recently very good job here from sony and again the screen. Here, surprisingly, i am still really impressed, even though i understand that its a small display, but because of the widescreen aspect, ratio and five inches – i personally think, is still sufficient for most folks when it comes to just watching a quick youtube clip. Something like that can still get you immersed and it feels bigger than it actually is. Lets jump into web browsing next see how long it takes to render, as we can see there very fast.

So the small screen here again coupled the snapdragon 845, is still working wonders. I barely see any hints of lag or stutter when it comes to using this phone. Everything for the most part, is just wicked fast. Reception. Quality is also excellent for making phone calls. No complaints here at all. Microphone is crystal clear and some of the sony apps on here are pretty stock looking, but slightly different in terms of their visual ui. So, just a little bit some flares here and there now one of the other specialties of sony phones is going to be their ps, app support so very similar to stadia and xcloud. Essentially, if you have a playstation – and you also are using this phone youre able to have a remote link to your playstation and game anywhere as long as your playstation is connected to the internet, last thing to talk about would be, if you are using this to Play back some games even heavier more demanding titles things like asphalt series pubg. They will still all load and play back at the highest graphic settings. Maybe it takes a little bit longer to load for the first time compared to the latest gen chip sets, but as a whole still is responsive and the screen looks beautiful as well. Everything is very smooth we can tell here, by the way, at the very top of our panel, that we are having 60 fps nearly pretty much. Even this, though, this is a pretty complex, 3d animation style game and everything is loading along here.

Just fine, of course, with games like this especially lets say: junction impact pub g, which maybe have smaller icons as a whole. You do have to be a little bit more conscious in the sense that some of the smaller details might require you to squint a little bit more compared to larger display panels since games on mobile devices. These days are just getting more and more like pc titles. In the sense that theres a lot of very intricate design work going on but as a whole, it still looks quite good, unlike on say, the iphone se, where you have a much more cramped experience, and that is despite the fact that it doesnt have lets, say A fluid or 90 hertz, 120 hertz display, but for what it is, it already is looking and performing very well, so that is more or less it. As far as a revisited review of the sony, xperia xz2 compact and, like i said at the beginning of this video, this is another phone which, in my opinion, unfortunately is just kind of underrated, just because of sony like lg, like hdc many brands. These days. In fact, or just finding it very hard to compete in the smartphone space, it just shows how hard it is to stay afloat, but its really unfortunate, because looking back at this phone, i can just tell how much attention was put into it. It is very solid in terms of the construction still fast performance, and i love the compact form factor.

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