13 December 2018

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact review (H8314)

In September, I decided it was time to get a new phone to replace my LG G5 that I got in November 2016. The straw that broke the camel's back was the GPS stopped working while I was out of town.

Here is the list of issues I was having with my LG G5:
  • Didn't like to stay connected to LTE
  • Screen retention
  • Poor battery life (tried a replacement battery, but was unable to find an official one from LG)
  • GPS would only work after a reboot, then finally quit altogether
  • Software had not been updated since January (and still hasn't!)

My wish list for a new phone included:
  • Smaller phone for a better one-handed feel
  • Great screen and not curved (preferably LCD)
  • Fingerprint reader (preferably on the back)
  • Consistent updates
  • Preferably a Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Nice to have: Wireless Charging
  • Good price to value ratio

That boiled down to 2 phones, the yet to be announced Google Pixel 3 or the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact. In the end, I went with the XZ2 Compact because of three reasons. First, it was immediately available. Second, it was on sale for $500 vs at least $650 for the Pixel. Third, my wife's Pixel 2 did not feel/look much smaller than my LG G5 and I wanted something that was easier to use with one hand.

Now onto the review. I purchased the XZ2 Compact in Silver on September 8th from Best Buy for $500 ($450 if purchased with Cricket Wireless Sim and Refill card) plus tax. I immediately put it into a clear slim TPU case and put a tempered glass screen protector on it. I have had the XZ2C for a little over 3 months, and it has been a joy to use.

  • Monthly software updates (was a pain when I first got the phone that I had to install 5 updates)
  • Android Pie released in October
  • Battery life has been phenomenal, some examples:
    • on WiFi with light browsing:
      • 4 hours of on screen time in 16 hours with 60% battery left
      • 6 hours of on screen time across 48 hours with 22% left
      • 3.5 hours of on screen time across 72 hours
    • typically go at least 2 days between charging
  • One handed feel is great and easy to use
  • GPS and Fingerprint reader are quick
  • Close to stock android
  • Venom, Halloween, and Christmas Themes have been fun to play around with
  • Sometimes miss the bigger screen
  • Screen has slight curve at the edges so screen protectors either don't cover the whole screen or only adhere at the edges
  • Miss the ability to pin apps to not be accidentally swiped away
  • Miss the convenience of the headphone jack (Added 2019-01-28)