Sony makes a damn fine phone, but historically it’s been pretty difficult to get your hands on one in the US. It usually requires smuggling it in from another country. So Sony’s plan to launch it’s newest Android Xperia phones in the US, just two months after it finally launched last year’s model here, is big news.
Sony has historically just let Samsung and Apple duke it out for smartphone superiority in the US. So this is a significant departure for the consumer electronics brand. But it’s fantastic for consumers, because Sony is the rare top tier phone maker that releases high-powered phones for tiny hands.
The new 4.6-inch Sony Xperia X Compact might have a less powerful processor than the new flagship 5.2-inch Xperia XZ (Snapdragon 650 vs Snapdragon 820), and it won’t have the Xperia XZ’s 13-megapixel front-facing camera, or its water resistant powers. But it will have the Xperia’s XZ’s biggest selling point.
A 23-megapixel camera on the back with the same image stabilization tech (SteadyShot) that Sony packs into its camcorder and light sensitivity up to 128000 ISO—useful when shooting in low light situations.
For reference, the Samsung S7 has just a 16-megapixel camera. Samsung also doesn’t have Sony’s pristine reputation for camera optics (its mirrorless and bridge cameras are universally considered to be amongst the best you can buy). Sony’s sensors are also found in nearly every major phone (including the S7), so we can expect that they’ll be out to wow us and prove they do smartphone cameras better than everyone else.
And we at Gizmodo, along with the rest of you grubby Americans, will be able to test the smartphone cameras yourself. The Xperia XZ is expected to launch in the US on October 23, and the Xperia X Compact will be here even sooner, arriving later this month on September 25. Sony has yet to announce carriers, pricing, or vendors, but just knowing it’s promised to release the phones here in the US in is exciting enough. Welcome to the States. Please blow us all away.