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Tested: The Sony Xperia XZ Premium

by MichelBits & Bytes24/05/2017

Tested: The Sony Xperia XZ Premium
This past year, we haven’t head much from Sony in terms of smartphones. But that doesn't mean they've been sitting idle.

With the Xperia XZ Premium, Sony have really made a comeback. This is their latest flagship smartphone, together with the slightly smaller Xperia XZ. It will be available in our webshop and Centers in early June, but you can order it already.

But is the latest Sony really as good as they would have us believe? And what about the camera, always a solid feature with Sony? We decided to find out for you.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium 

"An innovative smartphone that also looks good."

9/10

Plus points :
  • Large, sharp display
  • Camera with nice extras
  • Razor-sharp videos in 4K
  • Superior audio quality
  • Water resistant
Minus points :
  • Battery not as powerful
  • Prone to fingerprints
The results: a luxurious smartphone
Display

With a 5.5-inch display, the touchscreen is nice and big. And the quality is also good given that the XZ Premium is the world's first smartphone with a 4K and HDR display. HDR makes dark and light colors look better on your smartphone. This is particularly useful for viewing certain videos. It also means the device has the image quality required for future VR applications.

HDR content is currently quite limited, however, but you need it to get the most out of the technology. The Netflix catalog already has movies and series available in 4K and HDR, but although the images are razor sharp thanks to 4K, it’s difficult to see the difference with Full-HD with the naked eye.

Design

What really impresed us was the stunning design of the phone, which has a single glass surface that seems to wrap around the device. It's made with Gorilla Glass 5, so it can take a few knocks. The whole phone has a sleek and attractive exterior and will certainly appeal to design lovers. Like many of its competitors, the Sony XZ Premium is also water resistant and dust proof.

However, although the back looks very stylish thanks to the glass, it's also quite prone to fingerprints.

Camera

Just like previous Sonys, the Xperia XZ Premium has a really amazing camera. Its 19-MP rear camera is packed with quality. The aperture may be smaller than in other high-end phones, but we could still take beautiful photos with low noise in low natural light. This was probably due to the bigger pixels of the camera sensor.

And the Predictive Camera mode is really handy. It takes a photo just before you press the button – ideal if you're just too late to capture that unforgettable moment.

Another nice feature is Super Slow Motion, which allows you to take 960 frames per second at 720p resolution – much more than the traditional slow motion of other manufacturers. However, Super Slow Motion is only possible for a fifth of a second, which means you could just miss out on the essence of a shot.

What we do miss is optical image stabilization, which you often get with these high-end devices. But it does have an electronic version, which more or less absorbs the heaviest shocks. 

Battery

With 3230 mAh, the phone has quite a large capacity. Yet, given the powerful display, this isn’t exactly enormous. But it's plenty for normal use and keeps you powered up.

What's really useful is the fast charge function, which allows you to charge the battery up to four times as fast.

Multimedia

The Xperia XZ Premium is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip. Only the Samsung Galaxy S8 has such a powerful chip under its hood: it's the fastest currently available for mobile phones. In practice, this means that it can handle the heaviest apps, games, and 4K videos without choking. Especially in combination with about 4 GB working memory and 64 GB internal memory.

Sony has also spoilt mobile music fans, since this phone can play Hi-Res Audio, which is better than CD quality. 

Highlights

A number of nice features stood out for us:

  1. 4K and HDR display

    This combination = a razor-sharp image plus natural colors!

  2. Super Slow Motion

    Capture the smallest detail at 960 frames per second.

  3. Water resistant and dust proof

    Calling your sweetheart in the pouring rain? Phone fell into the toilet bowl? Want to take photos underwater? Not a problem!

In short:

With the Xperia XZ Premium, Sony has shown that it can still compete at the highest level in the smartphone world. The device is innovative and, in terms of its look, has an edge over other smartphones in its range. It doesn't come cheap however, due to its innovation, but you certainly get your money's worth. And the competition offer their own high-end smartphones for a similar price. So it's really up to you, whether you want to all this new hardware.

We would certainly recommend it to photo enthusiasts. The camera is awesome and thanks to the extra memory in the camera itself, this smartphone has a lot of nice extra features.

Specifications

Display: 5.5 inch IPS LCD touchscreen (3.840 x 2.160 pixels)

Camera: 1x19-MP (front) + 1x13-MP (rear)

Storage capacity: 64 GB (up to 256 GB)

RAM: 4 GB

Battery: 3230 mAh

Operating system: Android 7.1 Nougat

CPU: Snapdragon 835 (4 x 2.45 GHz + 4 x 1.9 GHz)

GPU: Adreno 540

Connectivity: USB (type C), Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; NFC

Other spearheads: water resistant (IP68), Gorilla Glass 5

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