Sony Xpe­ria XZ Premium

£TBC • sony.co.uk

Android Advisor - - Contents -

MWC means new flag­ship phones and Sony is no ex­cep­tion. You might still be wait­ing for the Xpe­ria Z6 but you might want to let that go and get to know the Xpe­ria XZ Premium.

It might be less than six months since Sony launched the orig­i­nal XZ but we have a new one al­ready. Whether you want to call it the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion model or not is up to you, but the XZ Premium is the firm’s new flag­ship smart­phone for 2017. The firm also an­nounced the XZs in Barcelona though this smaller and more mid-range model won’t be com­ing to Europe.

A key thing we don’t know at the mo­ment is the Xpe­ria XZ Premium price but we can tell you that it will ar­rive in ‘Spring’. The XZ launched at £539 so you can ex­pect this phone to be more ex­pen­sive, quite pos­si­bly over £600.

Note: The Xpe­ria XZ Premium we saw ahead of MWC didn’t have fi­nal work­ing soft­ware, so we’re lim­ited on what we can say.

De­sign

Like the Z5 range, the XZ Premium is a big­ger ver­sion of the XZ which some higher specs (see be­low). It uses a sim­i­lar ‘Loop Sur­face’ de­sign which aims to mimic a seamless tube of glass. The main thing is the very rounded side which feel nice and we also like the bev­elled metal top and bot­tom.

As if it makes any dif­fer­ence, the phone is a tiny 0.2mm thin­ner at 7.9mm but is a fair amount heav­ier at 195g – this is mainly due to a larger

screen and big­ger bat­tery which might be a trade-off you’re fine with.

The XZ Premium is IP68 rated like many pre­vi­ous Sony phones which is nec­es­sary to com­pete with ri­val flag­ships and does in­clude a 3.5mm head­phone jack which is be­com­ing less com­mon.

Sony has de­cided, quite lit­er­ally to mir­ror, the style of the Z5 Premium. Both colour op­tions, Deepsea Black and Lu­mi­nous Chrome, are highly re­flec­tive and get grubby as soon as you pick the de­vice up. It’s shame there isn’t a matt ver­sion for those who aren’t keen on this look – in our ex­pe­ri­ence with the Z5 Premium, that’s a lot of peo­ple.

Hard­ware

One of the main things the XZ Premium bor­rows from the Z5 Premium is the large 5.5in screen with a 4K res­o­lu­tion. That means the de­vice is big­ger than the orig­i­nal as men­tioned ear­lier. In our re­view of the Z5 Premium we con­cluded that you don’t re­ally need a 4K screen on a phone, but the XZ Premium has an ad­di­tional fea­ture that might tempt you.

It sup­ports 4K HDR like many TVs and lends tech­nol­ogy from Sony’s Bravia range. Sony says HDR pro­vides bet­ter colour, con­trast and de­tail. How­ever, you’ll only be able to take ad­van­tage of this with se­lected titles on Ama­zon Prime Video like The Grand Tour and The Man in the High Cas­tle.

While the screen is cer­tainly brighter and more colourful com­pared to the Z5 Premium, the dis­play when util­is­ing HDR can look a lit­tle bit over the top be­cause of the in­tense colours.

(Note that it’s dif­fi­cult to cap­ture the dif­fer­ence in a pho­tog­ra­phy). De­spite ru­mours of Qual­comm’s lat­est chip be­ing re­served for the Sam­sung Gal­axy S8, Sony has put it in­side the Xpe­ria XZ Premium. The Snap­dragon 835 uses a 10nm process and should of­fer bet­ter per­for­mance and bat­tery life. We haven’t been able to use the phone enough to com­ment on ei­ther yet but Sony only goes as far as to say ‘re­li­able all day bat­tery life’.

It’s good to 64GB of stor­age as stan­dard and Sony con­tin­ues to of­fer a mi­croSD card slot so you can add more. The XZ Premium comes with a healthy 4GB of RAM.

Plenty of specs from its pre­de­ces­sor re­main in­clud­ing the fin­ger­print scan­ner, USB-C (now v3.1), NFC, Blue­tooth 4.2. The larger de­vice means the bat­tery ca­pac­ity is higher at 3230mAh – not quite as big as the Z5 Premium though.

It’s the cam­era that Sony is re­ally push­ing here, aside from the 4K HDR screen. The res­o­lu­tion has dropped to 19Mp but the firm has some in­ter­est­ing in­no­va­tions here in what it calls the ‘Mo­tion Eye’ cam­era.

You might be sur­prised that the res­o­lu­tion has dropped but pix­els are 19 per­cent larger com­pared to the XZ so that will help in low light. The XZ Premium is the world’s first phone to of­fer su­per slow mo­tion video at a whop­ping 960fps. We tried this on the XZs and the ef­fect is pretty spec­tac­u­lar, but it can’t record for long so tim­ing it right is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult.

An­other handy fea­ture is pre­dic­tive cap­ture where the phone de­tects mo­tion and takes four pho­tos be­fore you’ve even hit the shut­ter but­ton.

We haven’t been able to try this yet and while it sounds great, we won­der how quickly it will fill the stor­age be­cause of things like peo­ple get­ting into po­si­tion for a photo, and so on.

We’ll put it through its paces when we get a fi­nal sam­ple. The front cam­era re­mains at 13Mp with an f/2 aper­ture and 22mm lens.

There’s not much we can say about soft­ware at the mo­ment but the en­tire 2017 range in­clud­ing the XZ Premium will come with An­droid 7.0 Nougat out of the box with Sony’s usual in­ter­face. We do know it will sup­port PS4 Re­mote Play like pre­vi­ous smart­phones.

Ver­dict

We’ve not had enough time with the XZ Premium to give a ver­dict yet. We also need the price so come back soon. Chris Martin

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

• 5.5in 4K HDR Tri­lu­mi­nous dis­play • An­droid 7.01 Nougat • Qual­comm Snap­dragon 835 CPU • 4GB RAM • 64GB stor­age, ex­pand­able via mi­croSD • USB-C • Blue­tooth 4.2 • NFC • Dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi • 3230mAh bat­tery • 19Mp Mo­tion Eye rear-fac­ing cam­era • 13Mp front-fac­ing cam­era • 156x77x7.9mm • 195g

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