Same old looks, wild new features

Same old looks, wild new features

Sony’s IFA 2017 smartphone lineup is a bit crowded by industry standards: where most manufacturers would be okay with showing off a single flagship and calling it a day, Sony once again said “oh hell no” and dropped three new smartphones instead: the best-in-line XZ1, its smaller variant XZ1 Compact, and the mid-range XA1 Plus.

But being the mainstream flagship, the former is definitely the most interesting out of the three. Though this is most definitely not what most people’s first impressions would be — the XZ1 is a derivative both in name and in design, which is a problem Sony has been criticized for many times in the past.

But first impressions never really tell the full story, and this being Sony’s next major flagship means the company has decked it out with some pretty sweet features right under the surface. So without further ado, let’s dive right into them:

Design and display

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for not immediately recognizing that the Xperia XZ1 is an entirely new device. When compared to last year’s XZ, the differences are almost laughably minute — a slightly moved button here, a rotated sensor array there — which is a tad disappointing, as past smartphone generations of the company have had much more variance in terms of design.

But if we move past that and take a look at the XZ1 on its own, it starts looking considerably more interesting: in the year of the shrinking bezel Sony took a risk and released a device that not only bucks the trend, but also laughs right in its face.

On the front of the XZ1 you’ll find a 5.2-inch, Full HD screen — the same as the XZ — but…

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