The 7 Best Sony Phones to Buy in 2018

Check out our favorite picks from Sony's most popular lineup

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

  • Best Overall: Sony Xperia XZ3 at Amazon, “Powerful and gorgeous in equal measure, the Xperia XZ3 is one of the best smartphones out there.” 
  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: Sony Xperia XZ1 at Amazon, “It may be a year old now, but the Xperia XZ1 can still go head-to-head with the latest and greatest.”
  • Best Budget: Sony Xperia L2 at Amazon, “There are many affordable smartphones that are perfect for this kind of light usage, and one of them is the Sony Xperia L2.”
  • Best Value: Sony Xperia XA2 at Amazon, “The 23-megapixel main camera with a 1/2.3-inch Exmor mobile image sensor captures 24mm wide-angle photography and 4K video recording.”
  • Best Splurge: Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium at Amazon, “Bursting at the seams with powerhouse features, this is undoubtedly among the most premium smartphones available today."
  • Best Battery: Xperia XA2 Ultra at Amazon, “3,580 mAh battery that combines with software optimizations to last at least 48 hours without charging.”
  • Best Compact: Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact at Amazon, “What it lacks in screen size it more than makes up for in usability.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Sony Xperia XZ3

Powerful and gorgeous in equal measure, the Xperia XZ3 isn’t just the best Sony smartphone, it’s one of the best smartphones out there, period. Launched at IFA 2018 in Berlin, the Sony Xperia XZ3 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset. It also has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage with support for microSD cards of up to 512GB.

A flagship through and through, the Xperia XZ3 is the first Sony smartphone to have a P-OLED panel, with enhanced contrast levels and vibrant colors. Sporting a resolution of 1440x2880 pixels and an 18:9 aspect ratio, the six-inch display is further enhanced by Sony’s X-Reality engine. The smartphone runs Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, with Sony’s UI overlay baked on top. The Sony XZ3 features a 19-megapixel (f/2.0) rear camera that can record super slow-motion Full-HD videos at 960fps, as well a 13-megapixel (f/1.9) front-facing camera for all your selfie and video-calling needs. From Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac to USB Type-C, it has all the modern connectivity features. The smartphone is backed by a 3300mAh battery with both fast- and wireless-charging support.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Sony Xperia XZ1

It may be a year old now, but the Xperia XZ1 can still go head-to-head with the latest and greatest. If the ‘Ambient Flow’ design aesthetic of the XZ3 isn’t your thing and you’d rather have something timeless, look no further than the Xperia XZ1, which continues to be one of Sony’s best smartphones.

Crafted from aluminum, Sony Xperia XZ1 is an absolute stunner. The smartphone’s 5.2-inch IPS LCD panel has a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels and is further enhanced by Sony’s X-Reality engine. Delivering horsepower to the XZ1 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, which is built using the 10nm process and has eight Kryo cores. There’s also 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.  

Even though the flagship smartphone runs Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box, it’ll get the Android 9.0 Pie update. And speaking of cameras, you get a 19-megapixel (f/2.0) sensor with 4K video recording as well as a 13-megapixel (f/2.0) selfie shooter. Sony Xperia XZ1 is IP68-certified for dust and water resistance and has everything in terms of connectivity features (including the beloved 3.5mm headphone jack). The smartphone is backed by a 2700mAh battery with support for fast charging.

Best Budget: Sony Xperia L2

There’s no need to shell out thousands of dollars on a top-tier smartphone if you’re only going to use it for basic tasks like calling, texting, and occasional web-browsing. There are many affordable smartphones that are perfect for this kind of light usage, and one of them is the Sony Xperia L2.

With a lightweight yet sturdy construction, the Xperia L2 is powered by a MediaTek MT6737T chipset, with a quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU and 3GB of RAM. There’s also 32GB of internal storage with support for microSD cards of up to 256GB. Running Android Nougat, the Sony Xperia L2 has a 5.5-inch HD display with a resolution of 720x1280 pixels. It’s not too shabby in the camera department either, with a 13-megapixel (f/2.0) rear camera and an 8-megapixel (f/2.4) front-facing camera capable of capturing wide-angle selfies.

All standard connectivity features like Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n and USB Type-C are included in the mix, with a 3300mAh battery rounding off the spec sheet. Sony Xperia L2 is compatible with all major GSM carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Simple Mobile, Straight Talk, and Cricket Wireless.

Best Value: Sony Xperia XA2

The Sony Xperia XA2 has a 5.2-inch, edge-to-edge 1080p display with Gorilla Glass. On the rear of the device is a 23-megapixel main camera with a 1/2.3-inch Exmor mobile image sensor that captures 24mm wide-angle photography and 4K video recording along with 120fps slow-motion video. An eight-megapixel front-facing camera offers the same Exmor sensor and a 120-degree super wide-angle lens for capturing wider landscape photos than before. Rounding out the rest of the features are a Snapdragon 630 processor, an always-on fingerprint sensor, a 3,300 mAh battery for all-day battery life and Android 8.0 software.

Best Splurge: Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium

Bursting at the seams with powerhouse features, Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium — as its name suggests — is undoubtedly among the most premium smartphones available today. If money is no object, this is the Xperia for you.

What separates the Xperia XZ2 Premium from other flagships is its display. With a resolution of 2160x3840 pixels and an eye-popping pixel density of 765 ppi, the 5.8-inch IPS LCD panel of this smartphone is a sight to behold. The Triluminos display is also HDR10 compliant. The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium is powered by Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 SoC paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The smartphone features a dual-camera system at the back with a 19-megapixel (f/1.9) sensor and a 12-megapixel (f/1.6) sensor that will definitely give you photos a boost. For selfies and video calls, there’s a 13-megapixel (f/2.0) sensor up front. The Xperia XZ2 Premium comes with Sony’s ‘Dynamic Vibration’ system and ‘S-Force’ surround stereo speakers for an unparalleled multimedia and gaming experience. Backed by a 3540mAh battery (with both fast and wireless charging support), the smartphone is compatible with carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile.

Best Battery: Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

The Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra has a long-lasting 3,580 mAh battery that combines with software optimizations to last at least 48 hours without charging, which is a welcomed addition to an already impressive smartphone. The XA2 has a six-inch, edge-to-edge HD display that is an optimal size for movie or TV watching while on the go. A rear 23-megapixel camera is equipped with a Sony’s Exmor RS image sensor and a 24mm wide-angle F2.0 lens that is capable of 4K video recording and shooting 120fps slow-motion video. A 16-megapixel front-facing shooter adds a smart selfie flash and 120-degree wide-angle lens for satisfying selfie photography, while video recording benefits from Sony's SmartAmp technology for even more immersive sound during playback.

Best Compact: Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

Widely regarded as one of the most compact flagship-level smartphones in the Android universe, what the XZ1 lacks in screen size it more than makes up for in usability. It has a 4.6-inch HD TRILUMINOUS display that pairs well with the full-metal exterior and pleasantly fits right in the palm of your hand. The rear 19-megapixel camera adds Sony’s hybrid autofocus system that is great for capturing fast-moving subjects without unwanted blur, while a 13-megapixel front-facing camera allows for steady shot performance in case you want to snap the perfect selfie. It's also packed with Sony’s SmartAmp and stereo speakers for hi-res audio. A 2,700 mAh battery is equipped with Qnovo adaptive charging and Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for USB-C charging that adds hours of battery life in just an hour of charge time.

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