A Trip with the World’s Best Smart­phone

Premier Magazine (South AFrica) - - Contents - Text: Paula Ra­bel­ing Im­age © Sony Xpe­ria

I am an Ap­ple per­son. Not the fruit va­ri­ety, but the smart­phone. When I got my first Ap­ple iphone years ago, I thought that I could never stray from its sim­plic­ity and looks. But, re­cently I was pleas­antly sur­prised at the huge ad­vance­ments made in the world of smart­phones while I have been ded­i­cated to Ap­ple – most no­tably, the re­cent award-win­ning con­tri­bu­tion from Sony.

The Sony brand has cer­tainly come a long way since its in­cep­tion in the 1940s in Tokyo. Af­ter many years of cre­at­ing ap­pli­ances the world loved, in 2001 the Sony Mo­bile Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Inc. came into be­ing, more com­monly known as Sony Eric­s­son.

With the goal of pro­duc­ing cell­phones (now smart­phones) that can take dig­i­tal photos as well as down­load and view videos, the com­pany brought out the K750i with a two megapixel cam­era. From this first in­tro­duc­tion into the cel­lu­lar in­dus­try, the cur­rent flag­ship phone from Sony is the Xpe­ria XZ Premium – not only is it lightyears away from the K750i, this smart­phone has also beaten many op­po­nents in the to­day’s tech-ex­treme world.

Last year at the an­nual Global Mo­bile Awards (or Glomo Awards), the Xpe­ria XZ Premium was named as the Best New Smart­phone or Con­nected Mo­bile De­vice at the World Mo­bile Congress (WMC). This ac­co­lade is not the only one on Sony’s shelf thanks to its new flag­ship smart­phone. The de­vice has also been recog­nised as GSM Arena’s Best New Mo­bile Hand­set, UK Blog Awards Best In­no­va­tion, Tech Radar’s Reader’s Choice and Best Smart­phone, as well as Wired’s Coolest of WMC.

With such im­pres­sive honours, I was keen to see whether I would ei­ther love it, us­ing it dur­ing a trip to Lon­don, or miss my old­faith­ful. Spoiler: the Xpe­ria XZ Premium was the ul­ti­mate travel com­pan­ion.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing in Lon­don and get­ting a local sim card, set­ting up the Xpe­ria XZ Premium was sim­ple – I just had to fol­low the prompts for all my Google ac­count in­for­ma­tion to be loaded to the de­vice. In terms of pass­word se­cu­rity, the op­tions cov­ered many bases, in­clud­ing the choice of a num­ber pass­word, fin­ger print scan­ner, or a pat­tern. The fin­ger print scan­ner is on the side of the Xpe­ria, which did take some time get­ting used to.

Vis­it­ing the An­droid store, all my needto-have apps for my trav­els were ex­tremely easy to down­load, such as In­sta­gram, Face­book, Airbnb, and Tri­pad­vi­sor. All in all, set­ting up the Xpe­ria to my lik­ing took all of 20 min­utes, at most.

One morn­ing, the sim­plic­ity and ease of use of the Xpe­ria was dis­cov­ered when it be­gan snow­ing. When in the cen­tre of Lon­don, snow is not that much of a fre­quent oc­cur­rence, and com­ing from South Africa, I was ea­ger to cap­ture the mo­ment. Grab­bing the Xpe­ria, the video set­ting was found in a mat­ter of sec­onds, de­spite this be­ing the first time I was search­ing for it, and I was able to record the snow fall­ing in per­fect clar­ity, thanks to the 4K HDR dis­play – the first smart phone ever to have this – and Mo­tion Eye cam­era.

What is more com­mon in Lon­don than snow is rain. I had to have the Xpe­ria out a lot while out and about, in or­der to fol­low di­rec­tions on Google Maps, and take photos of all the sights I was vis­it­ing – and rain did not stop me. Luck­ily, the Xpe­ria is wa­ter re­sis­tant, so I did not have to sub­merge it in rice af­ter a day in the rain.

The fact that the Xpe­ria is re­in­forced with durable Corn­ing Go­rilla Glass 5 made me a lot less ner­vous run­ning around Lon­don with my phone in my hand.

All things con­sid­ered, the Xpe­ria XZ Premium was a fan­tas­tic travel com­pan­ion, and my time with it made it very easy to see why it has been named as the best smart­phone of 2017 – even mak­ing me re­think where my smart­phone loy­al­ties lie.

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