Sony Xperia XZ2
The Xperia XZ2 is Sony's top-of-the-line flagship — that is, until the XZ2 Premium hits stores this summer. It lost some of its "Sony" look in the last generation, but in the process gained a nice rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, smaller bezels thanks to an 18:9 display, and a better overall design in terms of ergonomics.
With just a 5.7-inch display, it's relatively compact — and the 3180mAh battery inside is pretty large for the size. Inside you get all of the latest specs, led by a Snapdragon 845 processor. The new 19MP camera still isn't optically stabilized, but it's Sony's best yet in terms of final image quality.
Bottom line: Sony lost some of its unique design, but made what's easily its best overall phone.
One more thing: The XZ2 Premium is on its way, but it doesn't offer a huge upgrade and will cost a lot more — don't let it keep you from the standard XZ2.
Best small phone
Xperia XZ2 Compact
Sony's Xperia XZ2 Compact brings all of the features one expects of a flagship down to the palm-able size. The line is one of the few that balances features, performance, and dimensions, and the XZ2 Compact is no exception, with a Snapdragon 845 and all the camera improvements of its Xperia XZ2 counterpart. Even though it has a 5-inch display, it's still much smaller than the Google Pixel 2.
Bottom-line: You won't find another 5-inch phone with such high-end specs and small bezels, and it's made even better with Android 8.0 Oreo on board.
One more thing: There's now a fingerprint sensor on the back, and it works in the U.S.
Best for less
Sony Xperia XA2
Sony has seen a considerable amount of traction with its mid-range line, and it's easy to see why when you pick up the Xperia XA2. You get much of the design and solid build from the XZ2 series, but with lower-end specs to keep the price reasonable — about $350.
A solid 5.2-inch 1080p display on front is complemented by a Snapdragon 630 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a sizeable 3300mAh battery. You get a decent 23MP camera on the back, along with a functional fingerprint sensor, and it even has a headphone jack.
Bottom line: The XA2 is a solid phone with very few shortcomings or caveats, and a great price.
One more thing: You can step up to a 6-inch display and larger battery for about $120 more with the XA2 Ultra.
Update, May 2018: We've overhauled our picks with new recommendations for May 2018, adding the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact as our top picks. The new XA2 also joins the list as a less expensive option.
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