Sony Mobile has a tendency to launch a new smartphone every six months and it seems it has no intention of slowing down with four more announced at MWC 2017.
No sooner has the Xperia XZ arrived on shelves, than the next Sony flagship, or flagships, have been revealed. We aren't talking about the Xperia XZs though, even if it too launched at MWC and technically succeeds the XZ and therefore Z5. No, no, here we're talking about Sony's super flagship: the Xperia XZ Premium. This is everything you need to know.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Design
- OmniBalance design remains but more refined
- Metal build with 2.5D glass front and rear
- USB Type-C and fingerprint sensor both on board
Sony's design pattern hasn't changed as much over recent years as its naming convention has so it's no surprise the Xperia XZ Premium comes with the same OmniBalance, flat-slab finish as the Xperia devices that have gone before it.
The Xperia X range saw the move from tempered glass rears to all metal, with most models retaining waterproofing, as the new device also does with an IP68 rating. The XZ Premium changes things up a little elsewhere though. It retains the metal frame, but it adds 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass to the front and the rear, resulting in a much more seamless and refined look compared to the Xperia XZ and XZs.
The Xperia XZ Premium comes in two glossy finishes: Deepsea Black and Luminous Chrome, both of which are mirrored finish and fabulous. Those large top and bottom bezels are still hanging around, which is a shame, but the edges of the XZ Premium are more rounded, and slimmer at just 7.9mm, allowing the design to flow into the rear and front better. The rest of the footprint sits at 156 x 77mm and it weighs 195g.
An oblong side power button with built-in fingerprint sensor is present, as Sony fans would now expect, and the Xperia XZ Premium also offers USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Display
- 5.5-inch display
- 4K resolution, 806ppi
- HDR on board
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium has a 5.5-inch 4K 3840 x 2160 display, meaning a resolution of 806ppi, like the Z5 Premium. The new super flagship adds HDR to the party though, like LG has done on its new G6 flagship, and like Samsung did on its Note 7.
Sony has partnered up with Amazon Prime Video in order to deliver 4K HDR content to users, enabling them to take full advantage of the display's potential. The addition of HDR is said to improve brightness, clarity and contrast and "create levels of realism".
In addition to the 4K resolution and HDR, Sony also offers its Triluminos and X-Reality technologies, along with something called Dynamic Contrast Enhancer. The screen itself is LCD, so not AMOLED like many of its competitors, though LCD does tend to offer more realistic colours, even if not as vibrant.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Camera
- World first memory-stacked camera
- 19MP resolution, 960fps super slow motion video
- 13MP front camera
The camera has always been one of Sony's main focuses when it comes to its smartphones, which isn't surprising since the company not only makes its own professional cameras but supplies other smartphone manufacturers with camera lenses too. For the Xperia XZ Premium, and the XZs for that matter, Sony has attempted to combine technology from its Alpha and Cyber-shot cameras in the new Motion Eye system.
The new system has a memory stacked Exmor RS sensor for up to five times faster image scanning and data transfer. It offers a 19-megapixel resolution, which although is a couple less than previous flagship Xperias, Sony has said the pixels at 19 per cent larger at 1.22µm in order to capture more light. The Motion Eye camera has several features on board, including Predictive Capture, Anti-Distortion Shutter, and super slow motion video recording at 960fps.
The G lens has also been redesigned for the new camera, offering better optical clarity. The Xperia XZ Premium also features a 13-megapixel front-facing camera with an aperture of f/2.0 and a 22mm wide-angle lens.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Hardware
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage
- 3230mAh battery, Qnovo Adaptive Charging
- High-res audio
Sony is one of Qualcomm's most loyal fans, with almost all of its Xperia flagships featuring the latest and greatest Snapdragon chip at their time of launch. In this case it's the new Snapdragon 835, which the Samsung Galaxy S8 is also rumoured to be coming with.
Supporting the new chip is 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage with microSD for storage expansion, and a 3230mAh battery. The battery is charged via USB Type-C as we mentioned previously and it features Qnovo Adaptive Charging, supports Quick Charge 3.0, while also featuring Sony battery management software including Battery Care and Smart Stamina.
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium also comes with support for high-resolution audio and built-in digital noise cancellation. It also has Sony's native DSEE HX technology, which upscales tracks to near high-resolution quality.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Software
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium will launch with Android Nougat from the box, coupled with Sony's software. This means it will feature all the usual Sony additions on top of Android, as well as the likes of PS4 Remote Play and as we mentioned, Sony's battery software.
The battery software side of things means the Xperia XZ Premium learns how you use your phone and adapt and make recommendations to give you a better experience. Smart Stamina uses the Xperia learning engine to estimate how long your current battery will last based on your normal usage, adapting as necessary.
The device also offers Xperia Tips and a new feature called Xperia Actions that provide advice about the features you're using and suggest map downloads based on your location.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Release date and price
- XZ Premium will be available from late April
- No price has been announced as yet
Sony has said the Xperia XZ Premium will be available from late-April, though the company has yet to announce its price tag. We will keep you posted when we find out more.