We list our pick of the best Sony Xperia smartphones that you can buy in 2018, from budget Sony mobiles to the very best flagship Xperia handsets.
Sony is one of the biggest global smartphone manufacturers right now, launching fresh new Xperia mobiles every year. Slick, iconic design, serious media chops and industry-leading camera tech. That’s what you can expect from Sony Xperia. You can even get some solid budget blowers, if your wallet or purse won’t stretch to a premium device.
But which are the best Xperia mobiles right now? Here’s our favourite handsets from the Japanese giant in 2018. And check out our best budget Sony phones feature for a look at the most affordable Xperia handsets.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
|Release Date:||Spring 2017|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia XZ Premium review|
If you’re after a portable media pocket monster and your wallet is stacked, good news: you’ve already discovered your perfect Xperia. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the world’s first 4K HDR smartphone, pumping out gloriously crisp and highly realistic visuals. With support from the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, you can enjoy some stunning movie playback on your daily commute.
The XZ Premium is far from a one-trick phone, however. This handset sports the nippy and super-smart Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, one of the most powerful mobile platforms around. Performance is so fast that our hands practically blistered, while connectivity is fully future-proofed.
Just as impressive is Sony’s Motion Eye camera, which can capture detail-packed and realistic images as well as jaw-dropping Super Slow Motion video footage. Check out our full Xperia XZ Premium camera review for samples and more info.
Sony Xperia XZ1
|Release Date:||September 2017|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia XZ1 review|
The Xperia XZ1 is Sony’s latest flagship handset, launched at IFA 2017, and one of our favourite mobiles from the Japanese giant so far.
The XZ1 is kind of a brilliant hybrid of last year’s Xperia XZ (see below) and the fresher Xperia XZ Premium. While the look and feel will be familiar to XZ owners, you get some of the best features from the mighty Premium model packed inside the Xperia XZ1. That includes HDR video support (although you don’t get Ultra HD resolution visuals here) and the brilliant MotionEye camera, complete with that excellent Super Slow Motion mode.
Check out our Xperia XZ1 tips and tricks guide for more info.
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
|Release Date:||September 2017|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review|
We’re big fans of Sony’s Compact phones, which offer more or less the same specs and features of their larger Xperia counterparts, in a pleasingly dinky and adorable form. Well, the Xperia XZ1 Compact is no different, and in some ways more enticing than the standard XZ1 on which it’s based.
At just 4.6-inches, this colourful handset is easy to grip and play with one-handed. You get full water resistance, a very attractive IPS screen, the mighty Snapdragon 835 chipset, and Sony’s rather great MotionEye camera complete with Super Slow Motion video capture. Wonderful stuff.
Sony Xperia XA2
|Release Date:||Feb 2018|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia XA2 review|
Last year’s Xperia XA1 (see below) has just been updated, in spectacular fashion. The Xperia XA2 is one of the first smartphones launched in 2018 and it’s already set a precedent for mid-range mobiles.
For one, that already slick design has been reworked for an even more premium finish. Meanwhile the impressive battery life and rather attractive display also boost this phone over most other rivals. For just £300 here in the UK, you won’t find many handsets that offer the same fantastic all-round experience.
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
|Release Date:||Feb 2018|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra review|
Sony’s Xperia XA2 Ultra is a mighty 6-inch version of the standard XA2 smartphone. With that growth, this behemoth offers two main advantages over the original phone. The first is a more spacious screen, which is a major draw for anyone who consumes lots of video on the go. The second is that updated dual selfie cam. This comes packing an LED flash of its own, for low light and night shots.
Of course, if you’re not bothered about either of those features and simply want a great all-round mid-range mobile, we’d point you at the standard Xperia XA2. For £50 less you get an easier-to-handle smartphone, boasting solid specs and impressive customisation.
Sony Xperia XA1
|Release Date:||May 2017|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia XA1 review|
The old Xperia XA was sadly a bit slow and underwhelming, despite that impressive and gorgeous design. Thankfully Sony made full amends with the 2017 sequel, the Xperia XA1.
This phone brings a much-needed performance boost and general specs upgrade, for a more satisfying everyday experience. Thankfully Sony hasn’t scrapped that beautiful edge-to-edge screen, instead choosing to refine it with more rounded edges and the Xperia XZ’s flat top and bottom finish.
Battery life has also been boosted, so you can expect at least a day and a half of life between charges. However, the most impressive feature is the new camera tech. That 23-megapixel rear camera is truly sublime for the price point, capturing realistic, detail-packed photos that really shine. Check out our in-depth Xperia XA1 camera review if you don’t believe us.
Sony Xperia XZ
|Release Date:||October 2016|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia XZ review|
Sony’s big flagship phone of 2016 was the Xperia XZ, a premium mobile boasting the still-powerful Snapdragon 820 processor. It’s pleasingly nippy and looks great, but the real draw is the super-smart 23-megapixel camera that Sony has slapped on the back end.
You get a laser-guided autofocus and built-in 5-axis image stabilisation, which in combination give you sharp, blur-free shots even when your subject is moving all over the place. Video can be shot in up to 4K UHD resolution, for impressively detailed home movies.
You can pick up the Xperia XZ in three cool colours, with the forest blue version being our personal favourite. If you’re after a premium mobile experience and have cash to spare then the XZ is a solid choice, although a bit of extra moolah bags you the even better XZ Premium (see above).
Sony Xperia X
|Release Date:||June 2016|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia X Review|
The Xperia X is a premium handset like the Xperia Z5, with a few little cuts to trim down the price and undercut rival flagships like the Galaxy S7. Gone is the water resistant design and you get a less powerful processor compared with most premium 2016 phones, but the best-in-class camera is still on board and the X’s selfie cam is particularly impressive – check out our Xperia X camera review for more info.
We also love the sexy new unified design, which sees your desktops matching the Xperia X’s exterior (or, to put it another way, the curtains finally match the drapes).
Check out our Sony Xperia X hub for reviews, guides and comparisons.
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
|Release Date:||October 2015|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review|
‘Mini’ versions of flagship phones are often mere shadows of their bigger brethren, with watered-down specs and frankly crap features. But with the 4.7-inch Xperia Z5 Compact, you get the exact same awesome camera, gorgeous HD visuals and responsive fingerprint sensor of the bigger Xperia Z5.
But the best part is, the same great Sony Xperience (sorry, obvious joke) has been shrunk down into a colourful, fun little frame, which is now much easier to operate with one hand. For that reason, we highly recommend the Xperia Z5 Compact (which just also happens to be a wee bit cheaper). And unlike the newer X Compact, the Z5 Compact is fully water resistant.
These days you can pick up the Z5 Compact for under £300 too, which is well worth it.
Read our full Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review and our long-term Xperia Z5 Compact re-review after three full months of use. And check out how the Z5 Compact stacks up to other mini phones in our best compact phones feature.
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
|Release Date:||November 2015|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review|
If you really like the look of the Xperia XZ Premium and its 4K display but can’t afford that hefty asking price, the Xperia Z5 Premium may be the Sony phone for you.
This 5.5-inch beast boasted the world’s first 4K phone screen, which might seem rather extravagant compared with the Full HD displays on Sony’s other premium mobiles. However, the good news is that there’s now plenty of 4K content to stream via services such as Netflix, so at least you can make use of that Ultra HD panel. Plus, the Z5 Premium’s price has come right down now, making it quite affordable.
You also get the same super-powered camera as the Xperia Z5, which can take detailed shots in almost any conditions, as well as shoot 4K video – which of course you can view back in all of its glory right there on the Premium’s screen. Dependable performance is another highlight, although battery life isn’t quite as strong as the original Z5’s.
Read our in-depth Sony Xperia Z5 Premium 2016 review to see what we think of this 5.5-inch beast a full year after its launch, as well as how it compares to similarly-sized rivals like the OnePlus 3.
Sony Xperia E5
|Release Date:||July 2016|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia E5 review|
The Xperia E5 is the cheapest 2016 Sony phone at just £99. Despite this it packs almost the same specs as the Xperia XA and the same gorgeous desktop experience too. In fact, the Xperia E5 actually boasts smoother performance and better battery life, although the 13-megapixel camera is very basic and best used only for simple, shareable shots.
Sony Xperia L1
|Release Date:||June 2017|
|Our Review:||Sony Xperia L1 review|
A more recent affordable addition to the Sony Mobile line-up is the Xperia L1. This value handset offers that lovable Sony styling, reminiscent of the more premium phones for a much reduced £150 asking price.
In some areas the Xperia L1 lags behind other cut-price rivals such as the Moto G5. Performance is one key area where it can’t quite hold up to the competition. We were hoping for stronger optics from the handset too. Still, the capable screen, expandable storage and user-friendly interface combine for a satisfying everyday experience.
Too many words up there to read in one sitting? Check out our full video round-up of the best Sony phones you can buy in 2018!