Sony Xpe­ria XZ Pre­mium

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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.

De­sign

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.

Dis­play

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

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