Sony Announces Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact And Xperia Ear Duo Buds With Integrated AI Assistant

Xperia XZ2

We have been hearing quite a bit about Sony's Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact handsets leading up to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, just none of the information prior to today was official. Now it is, with Sony unveiling both new smartphones at MWC, along with a set of Xperia Ear Duo wireless earbuds with a built-in support for digital artificial intelligence (AI) assistants.

Starting at the top of the stack, the new Xperia XZ2 boasts an "extended" 5.7-inch Full HD+ display with a 2160x1080 resolution (18:9 aspect ratio) and HDR support. It's powered by Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 845 processor and 4GB of RAM, and has 64GB of built-in storage along with a microSDXC card slot supporting memory cards up to 400GB.

For taking photos, the Xperia XZ2 has a 19-megapixel main camera on the rear featuring a 25mm wide lens with an f/2.0 aperture, HDR photo support, 8X digital zoom, and 5-axis stabilization. The rear camera is capable of recording 4K HDR videos, along with 960 frames per second slow motion video in Full HD (1920x1080) and HD (1280x720). On the front, there is a 5-megapixel shooter a 23mm wide angle lens and f/2.2 aperture. It offers 5-axis stabilization as well.

The Xperia XZ2 is a premium handset with a metal frame and Gorilla Glass 5. It comes in four different finishes, including Liquid Silver, Liquid Black, Deep Green, and Ash Pink. Each one is certified IP65/IP68 to "withstand splashes and spills so you don't have to think twice about answering your phone in the rain."

As for the Xperia ZX2 Compact, it is a smaller sized handset with a 5-inch Full HD+ display that offers the same 2160x1080 resolution and HDR support as its bigger brother. It also features the same Snapdragon 845 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of built-in storage, along with a microSDXC card slot.

This is essentially just a smaller version of the Xperia XZ2, as most of the features are exactly the same, including the camera arrangement. Both devices also come with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, and will be available in March. No word yet on price.

Xperia Ear Duo

In addition to new phones, Sony introduced its Xperia Ear Duo, a "highly anticipated" wireless open-ear stereo headset that promises to play back music and notifications at the same time.

"Xperia Ear Duo represents what we’ve learned from audio and acoustics research," said Hiroshi Ito, Deputy Head of Smart Product Business Group at Sony Mobile Communications. "Ear Duo is the first wireless headset to deliver a breakthrough Dual Listening experience—the ability to hear music and notifications simultaneously with sounds from the world around you."

According to Sony, these earbuds can last up to four hours on a single charge. The compact case it comes in doubles as a charger, providing up to three times more power when you're on the go, the company says.

Made from stainless steel and soft rubber, the Xperia Ear Duo sits under the ear so as not to interfere with glasses or other accessories. It also has sensors that respond to head gestures, so you can answer or decline a call by shaking or nodding your head, and skip music by shaking your head left or right.

The Xperia Ear Duo has voice control that works with digital assistants, including Siri and Google Assistant. You will be able to purchase these earbuds sometime this spring. No word yet on price.