Sony Xperia XZ Premium
£649 inc VAT from tinyurl.com/y7gzLwzf
MWC 2017 saw the introduction of many 2017 flagship smartphones from manufacturers including Sony. While you might still be pining after the Xperia Z6, you might want to let that go and get to know the brand-new Xperia XZ Premium. Read on for our thoughts.
The XZ Premium is a bigger version of the XZ with improved specifications. Like other Sony smartphones, it has a similar ‘Loop Surface’ design, which aims to mimic a seamless tube of glass.
It’s not quite as seamless as Sony would have you believe – there’s still a small seam between the display and the body, and between the sides and top of the device – but it’s not big enough to be noticeable most of the time.
The main thing is the very rounded sides that feel comfortable in the palm of our hand, an important factor when discussing a 5.5in smartphone. We’re also big fans of the bevelled metal top and bottom, which further adds to the premium look of the smartphone.
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 when compared to the standard XZ – 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 also IP68 rated like many previous Sony phones, a necessary step to compete with rival water resistant smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7. Speaking of the iPhone 7, we can confirm that the XZ Premium does include a 3.5mm headphone jack.
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 can get grubby quite quickly. We think the mirror finish looks absolutely stunning and it helps the smartphone stand out from a sea of metallic smartphones, but only
when it’s completely smudge free (and unless you carry a microfibre cloth with you, that won’t be often).
For those that aren’t a fan of Deepsea Black or Luminous Chrome, Sony has also announced a pink version of the premium smartphone.
Beside the dedicated Camera button on the side of the XZ Premium is the power button. It’s slightly dented in compared to the rest of the edge of the smartphone, making it easy to locate by touch, and hides a secret: a fingerprint scanner. That’s right, you’ll unlock your smartphone at the same time as you turn on the display. It’s quick and accurate, although the setup of the fingerprint scanner was a little bit fiddly for our liking.
One of the main features 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 standard XZ, but is a worthy trade in our opinion. The 4K display is gorgeous: it’s bright, vibrant (thanks to Sony’s Triluminos technology) and has an eye-melting pixel density of 807ppi, providing incredible detail unmatched by most other high-end smartphones – and that’s not all either.
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium supports 4K HDR like many modern TVersus and lends technology from Sony’s own Bravia range. Sony says HDR provides better colour, contrast and detail, something that we can vouch for after spending time with the smartphone. However, there’s a catch: you can only take advantage of HDR with selected titles on
Amazon Prime Video such as The Grand Tour and The Man in the High Castle.
If anything, we found the Xperia XZ Premium’s display to be a little too over the top at times due to the intense colours displayed, although that’s more of a personal issue and Sony does provide different display options for those that prefer something a little more subtle.
Battery life and connectivity
Despite rumours of Qualcomm’s latest chip being reserved for the Samsung Galaxy S8, Sony has put it inside the Xperia XZ Premium alongside 4GB of RAM and an Adreno 540 GPU. The Snapdragon 835 uses a 10nm process and offers better performance and