The Sony Xperia XZ is the most blingy phone that I’ve come across in the last few years and it makes no effort to hide that. It's a big and heavy phone with a super reflective finish that can easily be used as a mirror. It’s also very powerful- equipped with the fastest processor the industry currently has to offer along with the world’s first 4K HDR screen. Let's find out what all that means for Sony’s new flagship.
Measuring 156 x 77 x 7.9 mm and weighing 195g, the Sony Xperia XZ is a large and weighty phone by any standard but it feels solid in your hands. As good as the super glossy and shiny finish also makes it very prone to fingerprint marks all over. But it trade-off I’m happy to make as the Xperia XZ has a finish like none other on the market.
Sony keeps their usual placement of buttons with volume keys on the right along with the power button that also has a fingerprint sensor built on it. This will come in handy for Sony whenever it decides to release a bezel free phone as it won’t have to worry about moving the fingerprint sensor position. The dedicated camera shutter button is still present on the right side while the left side holds the hybrid dual SIM/MicroSD tray.
While I like the fact that you don’t need a pin to access the SIM card like other phones, Sony has made the process of accessing these slots complicated- you have one tray for the second SIM and SD slot and another slot inside that for the primary SIM. The USB Type-C connector stays at the bottom and the 3.5mm jack on top.
Features & Performance
Coming to the specs, Sony has made sure the XZ Premium stays ahead of the race. It’s built on Qualcomm’s fastest processor- the 10nm Snapdragon 835 featuring four 2.45 GHz Kryo cores and four 1.9 GHz Kryo cores along with the Adreno 540 GPU. On top of that, you also get 4GB or RAM and 64GB built-in storage which makes the Xperia XZ truly worthy of the flagship status. The phone is incredibly fast, especially with the very light software add-ons and provides a near stock Android experience. Sony does add a few custom applications for photos, fitness tracking, and news.
What you won’t find on any other phone in the world is a 4K HDR display present on the Xperia XZ Premium. Sony was the first to build a 4K screen on its last Premium phone and it has upped that with HDR capabilities this time around. There is no denying that, as far as specs are concerned, this is the best LCD screen you can find on a mobile phone. However, the question to ask is if we really need that kind of display on a phone- and I’ll have to say no. HDR content is barely present and honestly, 4K is better enjoyed on much larger screens. However, the flip side of the argument is that if this isn’t really compromising other aspects of the phone such as pricing of battery life, there is no reason to not have it. And I can agree to that.
To match the video capabilities, Sony continues to keep dual front facing stereo speakers on the Xperia XZ premium above and below the screen. This is probably the best audio configuration for phone speakers, in my opinion, however, I found the loudness levels to be lower than what I was expecting. Even at full blast, the XZ Premium audio felt less loud that phones with a single speaker. The quality of sound was fine- good enough for a mobile phone, but loudness levels could be improved upon.
Let’s move on to the Motion Eye camera which features Sony’s new image processor- again, the first phone in the world to do so. I think Sony has had a fantastic camera in its for the last few years, however, my issue with Sony phone cameras has been the lack of speed in launching the camera and taking a picture.
Thankfully Sony solves both of these problems with the Xperia XZ Premium. While it’s not the fastest phone camera I’ve tested, it is reasonably fast to not necessarily miss a shot. Sony’s predictive capture starts takes 4 shots even before you press the shutter button making sure you don’t miss out on the action. The camera also has a super slow 960fps mode that can create very dramatic visuals. Unfortunately, you can only capture a couple of seconds in this mode so you really need to time it well but the results are well worth it.
The following are some shots taken using the Sony Xperia XZ Premium
I wasn’t expecting the best battery life out of the Xperia XZ Premium given the 4K screen but this is one area where the phone really surprised me. The 3200mAh battery on the XZ Premium has a ridiculously good standby time. I left the device at my office with a SIM card inside and connected to our office WiFi and was off for a week. Imagine my surprise to see the phone up and running after I returned to the office a week later. Using the phone as a daily driver, I still managed to get a full day every day and then some. Unless you're a very heavy user, the Xperia XZ Premium will surprise you with its battery life.
Let’s start with the obvious- the bling factor is quite high on the Xperia XZ Premium. It’s a massive phone that’s very shiny and will definitely get noticed. But here’s the thing- Sony makes no apologies for that. In fact, it makes a good selling point for the Xperia XZ as there is nothing else in the market quite like it. Add to that the top-of-the line specs and a good camera and you have a great phone that ticks all the right boxes.
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is available for AED 2499.