(Pocket-lint) - If you are a Sony Mobile fan, you'll know that Sony likes to release Xperia handsets. The new flagship, the Sony Xperia XZ2, was announced in February 2018 and went on sale in April 2018, but there's now a new model, the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium.
That's right, Sony has released a higher-tier phone. We knew it was coming, but we had no idea it would be so soon. So what is this phone and how does it compare to Sony's other new phone?
Here's how the Xperia XZ2 compares to the Xperia XZ2 Premium.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium vs Xperia XZ2: Design
- Both offer similar Loop Design
- Xperia XZ2 Premium is larger and heavier
- Xperia XZ2 Premium has a 16:9 display
- Both are waterproof
Glace at the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium and you'll see that it has adopted Sony Mobile's new design language. Sony calls it "Loop Design", giving you a curved rear panel that seamlessly wraps around the phone for a seamless finish.
Gorilla Glass 5 sits on the front and back of these two phones, but the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium is larger, measuring 158 x 80 x 11.9mm compared to 153 x 72 x 11.1mm of the Xperia XZ2. It's larger in all dimensions.
It's also some 38g heavier, but the biggest design difference from the front is the fact that the Xperia XZ2 Premium retains a 16:9 display, so the bezels are bigger, especially to the top of the display. The regular XZ2 has an 18:9 display.
There's also a detail around the back of the new phone - a dual camera system which we'll talk about in a second. The fingerprint scanner is on the rear of both phones, quite a long way down the back of the phone.
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium will come in black or silver colours.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium vs Xperia XZ2: Display
- Xperia XZ2 Premium: 5.8-inch, 4K, 16:9
- Xperia XZ2: 5.7-inch, Full HD+, 18:9
The Xperia XZ2 Premium steps the display up a fraction of an inch to 5.8 inches over the 5.7 inches of the Xperia XZ2. As we mentioned, it also switches the aspect back to 16:9, but there's a seemingly good reason for those.
Sony's Premium models have a 4K display - on the few smartphones that do - and the 16:9 aspect gives you a native 3840 x 2160 pixels, 780ppi. Yes, that's incredibly sharp, but Sony's argument will be that the phone captures and plays back native 4K content.
The Sony Xperia XZ2 has a Full HD+ display. That's a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels in an 18:9 aspect, giving you 423ppi, a good deal softer than the XZ2 Premium.
The important part about the Xperia XZ2 display is the change in aspect to 18:9, designed to give you more display for the size of the body. That means the Xperia XZ2 has smaller bezels than the XZ2 Premium.
Both these displays are Trilumios HDR displays with X-Reality enhancement to upscale your content for better visuals. The Xperia XZ2 display is impressive, so we suspect the XZ2 Premium display will be great too.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium vs Xperia XZ2: Hardware
- Both powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- XZ2 Premium gets boosted to 6GB RAM
- Xperia XZ2 Premium has larger 3540mAh battery
- Both support wireless charging
One of the things that these phones have in common is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform that they run on. We were impressed by how slick and fast the Xperia XZ2 was and we'd expect a repeat of that in the XZ2 Premium, boosted by the expanded 6GB RAM.
There's 64GB storage as standard in both models, with support for microSD expansion.
Neither device offers a 3.5mm headphone socket, so it's USB Type-C for the audio and charging. However, both also support Qi wireless charging.
There's a big difference in the battery capacity too. The Xperia XZ2 gets a 3180mAh battery while the XZ2 Premium takes this up to 3540mAh. That might be consumed by pushing all the additional display pixels, but generally speaking, a bigger battery is better.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium vs Xperia XZ2: Cameras
- Xperia XZ2 Premium: Motion Eye Dual camera, 19-megapixels colour f/1.8, 12-megapixel black and white f/1.6
- Xperia XZ2: Motion Eye camera, 19-megapixels f/2.0
There's a world of difference in the cameras, but let's start with the shared features: both have a Motion Eye main camera. This is a 19-megapixel 1/2.3in Exmor RS sensor with 1.22µm pixels. It's of a stacked RAM design, offering 4k HDR video capture and 960fps super slow-motion.
There's a difference in the aperture of the lens, however, giving the XZ2 Premium f/1.8 while the XZ2 is f/2.0. This will give the XZ2 Premium more light when shooting in darker conditions.
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium then gets a second rear camera. This is a 12-megapixel sensor with 1.55µm pixels and paired with an f/1.6 lens. Yes, the aim is to give you better low light imaging and everything about that camera screams "low light". Using the Aube fusion image signalling processor, data from both cameras are combined on the XZ2 Premium for better low light imaging.
There's also a massive difference in the available ISO: the XZ2 offers ISO 12800 for photo and ISO 4000 for video, while the headline feature of the XZ2 Premium is that it offers ISO 51200 for stills and 12800 for video.
There's also a difference on the front camera. The XZ2 has a 5-megapixel 1/5in f/2.2 camera, while the XZ2 Premium has a 13-megapixel 1/3.06in f/2.0 camera, offering higher ISO - again, it's probably going to be a lot better in low light.
While we don't know exactly how the new XZ2 Premium camera will perform, we have seen a preview of the tech already showing some keen low light skills. To be fair, the Xperia XZ2 camera isn't the best around, so the Premium has plenty to prove.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium vs Xperia XZ2: Price and availability
- Sony Xperia XZ2: £699 SIM free, available now
- Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium: £TBC, available summer 2018
The Sony Xperia XZ2 is available now with a SIM free price of £699, but a range of deals and offers are available.
There's been no word on what the Xperia XZ2 Premium might cost. The previous model cost £649 at launch, which the new model obviously won't, so we suspect it will be £799 - but obviously nothing has been confirmed.
Availability is slated for summer 2018, but we don't know when pre-orders will open.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium vs Xperia XZ2: Conclusions
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium comes soon after the launch of the XZ2, casting a shadow over Sony's new phone. While the XZ2 offers some attractive elements - the display is great, the new design is appealing and there's lots of power - the XZ2 Premium looks like it will better it in the most important area, the camera.
Although Sony has its sensors in most of the best smartphone cameras, it's struggled to have one of its Xperia phones which really leads the pack. The XZ2 Premium is a bigger play in this direction with the dual camera system - but it does beg the question - why not put this in the Xperia XZ2 - and leave the 4K display out of the equation?
Price will be a big factor here. While the Xperia XZ2 is reasonably priced alongside competition, the XZ2 Premium will have to ensure it doesn't become a handset no one can afford to buy.