There are few companies, if any, that launch as many smartphones in one year as Sony Mobile. We saw the death of the Z range and the rise of the X series at Mobile World Congress 2016, while at MWC 2017, we have the continuation of the X range with four new smartphones. Yes four.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs XZs vs XA1 vs XA1 Ultra: Design
- Xperia XA1 Ultra is the largest and heaviest
- XZ Premium and XZs have waterproofing and fingerprint sensor
- XZ Premium has most seamless design
All four of the 2017 Xperia smartphones look like Xperia smartphones. They all have the signature OmniBalance flat-slab design, large bezels above and below the display and they all have a side-mounted power button.
The Xperia XZ Premium and the Xperia XZs have the oblong power button with built-in fingerprint sensor and they are waterproof, while the XA1 and XA1 Ultra have the circular power button found on older Xperia devices and they don't appear to be waterproof.
The largest and heaviest of the bunch is the Xperia XA1 Ultra measuring 165 x 79 x 8.1mm and weighing 210g, which is followed by the glossy and most seamless in design, Xperia XZ Premium, that measures 156 x 77 x 7.9mm and weighs 195g. The XA1 is the smallest and lightest at 145 x 67 x 7.9mm and 145g, while the XZs sits in the middle at 146 x 72 x 8.1mm and 161g.
The XZ Premium comes in Luminous Chrome and Deepsea Black colour options, both of which are mirrored, while the XA1 and XA1 Ultra come in four metallic finishes comprising black, white, pink and gold. The Xperia XZs is available in three colours: Ice Blue, Warm Silver and Black.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs XZs vs XA1 vs XA1 Ultra: Display
- Xperia XZ Premium has 4K resolution and HDR
- Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra have edge-to-edge displays
The Sony Xperia XA1 has the largest display at 6-inches, while the Xperia XA1 has the smallest at 5-inches but both of these have edge-to-edge screens making them a little more exciting than the other two. The Xperia XZ Premium has a 5.5-inch screen, while the Xperia XZs has a 5.2-inch screen, like the Xperia XZ.
In terms of resolution, the XZ Premium is the clear winner, offering a 4K display like the Z5 Premium, which delivers a pixel density of 806ppi but it also adds HDR to the mix. The Xperia XZs and XA1 Ultra both have Full HD displays, offering pixel densities of 424ppi and 367ppi, respectively. The lowest resolution appears on the XA1 with its 720p screen, offering a pixel density of 245ppi.
The Triluminos and X-Reality Sony technologies are present on the XZ Premium and XZs devices, as well as something called Dynamic Contrast Enhancer. The XA1 and XA1 Ultra both have something called Super Vivid Mode, but they miss out on the other technologies.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs XZs vs XA1 vs XA1 Ultra: Camera
- Xperia XZ Premium and XZs have new Motion Eye camera
- 960fps super slo-mo video on XZ Premium and XZs
- 16MP front camera on XA1 Ultra with OIS
The camera element is where the four new Xperia devices differ the most in terms of hardware. The Xperia XZ Premium and the Xperia XZs both have Sony's new Motion Eye rear camera, which features a 19-megapixel triple sensor with 1.22µm pixels. They also both have a 13-megapixel front-facing camera.
The Motion Eye camera also comes with a new lens which is said to help deliver more clarity but the most exciting feature on board is its ability to capture super slow motion video at 960fps.
The Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra both have 23-megapixel single sensor rear snappers, with an 88-degree wide-angle lens and 0.7-second quick launch. The XA1 has an 8-megapixel front camera, but the XA1 Ultra pulls its selfie game out of the bag with a 16-megapixel snapper featuring OIS and a flash.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs XZs vs XA1 vs XA1 Ultra: Hardware
- Xperia XZ Premium has fastest processor and largest battery capacity
- All have microSD
- High-res audio support on XZ Premium and XZs
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There is a 3230mAh battery capacity on board, along with all Sony's latest battery technology including Smart Stamina, Battery Care and support for Quick Charge 3.0.
The Xperia XZs has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, 4GB of RAM and it comes in 32GB or 64GB storage options. It's battery capacity is 2900mAh and it too has Stamina and Battery Care, as well as support for Quick Charge.
The Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra both run on an octa-core MediaTek processor with 32GB of RAM. The XA1 has 3GB of RAM support and a 2300mAh battery, while the XA1 Ultra has 4GB of RAM and a 2700mAh battery.
All four devices have microSD support for storage expansion, as well as USB Type-C. The XZ Premium and XZs both support high-res audio and offer digital noise cancelling.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs XZs vs XA1 vs XA1 Ultra: Software
- All devices will have Android Nougat
All four of Sony's new devices will launch on Android Nougat with Sony's bloatware over the top, meaning the user experience will be similar across them.
There will be a few extra features on the Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs compared to the XA1 and XA1 Ultra, such as the camera functions and battery software, but overall, they will all look very familiar and almost identical.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs XZs vs XA1 vs XA1 Ultra: Conclusion
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the flagship device, with the flagship specs and probably the one to go for if your budget allows. It has the nicest design, most advanced display and it comes with the most powerful hardware and the newest camera. It will be expensive though.
The Xperia XZs gives you the camera and the RAM, but not the latest processor and it has a lower resolution display that lacks the latest tech, like HDR.
The Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra are going to be the cheaper options out of these four devices but they still get some pretty decent specs, including the edge-to-edge display and good camera resolutions, especially in the case of the XA1 Ultra.