Master your Sony Xperia XZ2 with these handy tips and tricks

Samsung and Apple tend to be the first two brands you think of when it comes to smartphones, but there are plenty of other excellent phones available. For example, Sony just released its latest trio of flagships, the Xperia Xz2, Xperia XZ2 Premium, and Xperia XZ2 Compact. The trio feature gorgeous design along with high-end hardware that can easily compete with any major flagship.

Whether you’re new to Xperia phones or you’re just upgrading, here are a few tips and tricks for the Sony Xperia XZ2 family.

How to use Xperia Assist

Xperia Assist is one of our favorite apps that comes baked in on the Sony Xperia XZ2. Xperia Assist is a hub for all of the utility apps on the phone. You’ll find apps to optimize your phone, extend battery life, and even request support. You can access all of these apps simply by tapping on the lightbulb icon and pressing the tools icon.

Of the apps you’ll find in Xperia Assist, the Xperia Actions app is particularly useful. Xperia Actions allows you to customize phone settings based on certain events or circumstances. You can make adjustments for your morning commute, when traveling abroad, or even while gaming.

To use Xperia Actions, you similarly tap the lightbulb icon followed by the Tools button. Then select Xperia Actions and tap on the menu selection you’d like to customize. Choose the time and/or location where you’d like to use the action and tap the blue menu bar at the bottom of the screen. Select the items you’d like to adjust when the action is enabled and tap the back button to return to the main screen. When finished, toggle on the Action.

How to disable unwanted apps

In addition to the usual array of apps you’ll find on a new smartphone, the Xperia XZ2 packs in a lot of bloatware. While you can’t delete many of these apps, you can disable them. Disabling an app removes unnecessary data from your phone and ensures it will not continue running in the background.

To disable unwanted apps simply long press on the app and select Disable. You’ll see a popup window appear asking you to confirm your option: Tap Confirm. You may be asked if you want to revert to an older version of the app in question; if so, select OK. Once the app is disabled you’ll no longer see it in the App Drawer and you’ll see a disabled indicator in the Settings menu.

How to use 3D Creator

While there are a lot of questionable apps that ship with the Sony Xperia XZ2, the 3D Creator app is one we actually enjoy. With 3D Creator you can easily create 3D scans of people and objects.

If you want to create a 3D scan, simply open the app and tap the 3D icon. Select the type of object you wish to scan and press the Tutorial button. The first time you take an image you’ll need to calibrate the camera, and you can do so by moving the camera around the object and connecting a series of dots. To get the best scan, you’ll want to capture the scan in an evenly lit room: You’ll know you’re in good light when the lightbulb icon has more than two rays.

For facial scans, you’ll want to remove your glasses. The first time you complete a scan you’ll need to calibrate the camera by connecting a series of dots. For other images, you’ll want to avoid taking photos of glossy or transparent objects. Once you’ve completed a scan you may be asked to further sculpt your scan by moving the camera around in a “figure eight” formation.

How to enable or disable App Drawer

Hate having the App Drawer button waste precious space in the app bar? You can easily remove it in just a few steps.

If you want to enable or disable the App Drawer button, long press on the home screen and tap Settings. Adjust the toggle bar next to Enable swipe up to your desired preference.

How to sort apps by name

While there is a lot we like about the Xperia XZ2 trio, we aren’t fans of the bloatware that ships with the phone. To make things worse, apps are arbitrarily organized. Luckily it’s easy to sort apps by other criteria. If you want to organize your apps, simply open the App Drawer and tap the overflow (three dot) icon. Tap the Sort apps option and select the radio button of your choice.

How to customize your home screen

Want to cram a few more apps in on your home screen? Or maybe change the way your phone transitions between screens? You can make changes to the home screen pretty easily on the Xperia XZ2.

To alter your home screen, just long tap on it. A series of options will appear on the bottom of the screen. From here you can add widgets, change your wallpaper, or even update your entire theme. When you’ve finished making changes, simply tap the Apply button.

How to turn on Ambient display

The Xperia XZ2 makes it easy to see when notifications arrive, even if you’re not using your phone. With Ambient display, your screen will illuminate each time you receive a notification.

To turn on Ambient display, go to Settings > Display. Toggle on the option for Ambient display. 

How to use Super Slow Motion

If you want to record Matrix-style slow motion video the Xperia XZ2 has an awesome feature built into its camera. With Super slow motion, you can record short bursts of video at 960 frames per second (fps).

To use Super slow motion, open the camera app and swipe right on the top menu bar until you enable video mode. Next, tap the Super slow motion icon to the right of the shutter button. Tap the shutter button to begin recording, and when you want to capture slow motion, simply tap the shutter button again: The camera will record at 960 fps for a short period of time before returning to its regular frame rate. When you’re finished with recording video, just tap the Stop icon.

Super slow motion works best in bright light. If you’re using the Xperia XZ2 Premium you’ll find an option to turn on the dual lens to record in ultra-low light.

How to record 4K HDR video

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Sony Xperia XZ2 allows you to easily record 4K video. To record in 4K simply open the camera app, tap Video > Settings. Select Video resolution and choose the 4K option. If you want more contrast in your video, simply select the HDR option at the top left side of the screen. To begin recording, simply tap the shutter button.

If you own the Sony XZ2 Premium, the secondary lens can be used in conjunction with the main lens to record 4K video in low light. To record in low light you’ll need to make sure HDR is turned off, and that the Low light sensitivity icon — at the top right side of the view finder — is set to auto.

How to disable Sony Dynamic Vibration System

This year Sony added its Sony Dynamic Vibration System to its Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Premium smartphones. The Sony Dynamic Vibration System uses haptic feedback to accompany video and gaming on the phone. While some may think it improves the overall user experience, others may just find the feature annoying. Luckily it’s easy to turn off.

If you want to turn off (or decrease) Dynamic Vibration on your phone, simply open YouTube or another streaming app and start a video. Tap the volume down rocker button and you’ll see a Dynamic Vibration slider that you can adjust to your preferences.

Product Review

With outstanding image quality, the ‘basic’ Sony A7 III excels in every way

Replacing the four-year-old A7 II as the new entry-level model in Sony's full-frame line, the A7 III is an impressively capable camera that gives more expensive models a run for their money.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Wearables

Check out 25 of the best Wear OS apps for your smartwatch

Looking for some ways to spruce up that new Android smartwatch of yours? Here are the best Wear OS apps to download and use with any Android smartwatch, including a few specially enhanced for Wear OS 2.0.
Mobile

Master your new Nokia 7.1 with our favorite tips and tricks

At $350, the Nokia 7.1 is a nearly perfect budget phone. It has a gorgeous body, good hardware, and a capable camera. Recently purchased the Nokia 7.1? Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to get you started with your new phone.
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Computing

Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 
Mobile

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…