It's essentially a beefed-up XZ2 with what should be a superb dual-camera setup plus a 4K HDR display.
We wondered if it might be called the Sony Xperia XZ Pro but that rumour proved false.
The headline features for the XZ2 Premium are an ultra-high ISO 12800 sensitivity dual camera, 4K HDR recording, 16:9 4K HDR display powered by Sony's from-TV X-Reality for mobile tech and Qi wireless charging.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium price and release date
Sony has announced that the XZ2 Premium will be priced at $999.99 in the US, which converts to around £762. If and when the XZ2 Premium eventually arrives in the UK, that price may be rounded up to £800 given that the existing XZ Premium is £650 from Sony itself and the XZ2 is £699.
It will be available to pre-order from 9 July, before being officially released on 30 July. It will ship with Android 8.0 Oreo.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium design and dimensions
The "fluid design" feel of the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact is extended to the XZ2 Premium, with what Sony calls a "3D Glass" surface surrounding the fully metal and glass handset which also boasts Corning Gorilla Glass 5 - the latest and strongest yet.
The Xperia XZ2 colours are Chrome Black and Chrome Silver.
As you'd expect from a top-range Sony handset, there's iP65/IP68 dust and water resistance, too (note that Sony doesn't recommend full submersion).
The phone is 158 x 80 x 11.9mm at its thickest point and 6.4mm thick at the edges. The handset weighs 236g, quite a bit heavier than the (smaller) XZ2 at 198g.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium display
Sony reckons the 5.8-inch 4K HDR display is 30 percent brighter than the previous 4K HDR display on last year's XZ Premium. No, it's not OLED.
As we mentioned Sony's X-Reality for mobile tech is on hand to upscale content and as you can record 4K HDR video footage you can also play it back in full quality on the handset, too.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium cameras
There are dual cameras on the back of the phone - the key one is a Motion Eye 19 megapixel snapper with a 25mm wide Sony G lens f1.8. There's a 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS sensor.
Then there's a black and white 12 megapixel camera, again with a 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS sensor and a Sony G Lens f1.6.
According to Sony, the phone offers the "world’s highest ISO sensitivity video recording in a smartphone", an incredible 12,800 for video and 51,200 for photos. There's 960fps super slow-mo and Steady Shot stablisation, too.
We saw a preview of the new camera in February - check out: Sony Xperia dual camera system boasts low light supremacy.
Bokeh and monochrome photo effects will be available in a software update later this year.
The front camera is a 13 megapixel unit with a 1/3.06-inch sensor and Steady Shot stabilisation.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium specs
Like many of this year's flagship handsets, the phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform and there's 6GB of memory, too in addition to 64GB of storage. Naturally, you can add a microSD card into the mix as well.
The battery is larger than the standard XZ2 - 3540mAh rather than 3180mAh. As you'd expect Quick Charging is supported over USB-C and there's Sony Mobile's Stamina mode for longevity, too. Like the standard XZ2, there's also Qi wireless charging support.
You can use one or two nano SIMs with the phone, while there's all the usual wireless tech you'd expect including NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Apparently, the speakers are also the "loudest Xperia speakers ever", beefed up by Sony's S-Force surround sound tech. There's also support for aptX HD Bluetooth audio and you get a USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter in the box. No, there's no headphone jack.
Oh, and as you'd expect from Sony, there's Hi-Res Audio support too (LPCM, FLAC, ALAC, DSD).
Here are all the previous XZ Pro rumours:
Now that Mobile World Congress is out of the way, we'd expect that Sony will launch the XZ Pro at IFA 2018 in early September. Sony usually has a big presence at that show, and last year dropped the Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact and the XA1 Plus.
With Sony's naming convention changing drastically in the last few years, it's difficult to pick apart exactly where its smartphone naming might go next.
The Xperia XZ Premium appeared in early-2017 as a loose replacement for the Z5 Premium, defined by the 4K display and otherwise flagship specs.
It wasn't until August 2017 that the aforementioned Xperia XZ1 appeared, sitting in Sony's conventional flagship space, with a Full HD display and again offering Flagship specs.
The Premium device should be due for an update and that would fit with the XZ Pro name.
Sony Xperia XZ Pro Design
- Slimmer bezels expected
- Increased screen-to-body ratio
- IP65/68 as usual
Sony Mobile has been using the OmniBalance design since the launch of the original Xperia Z and through into the X family.
It has changed incrementally over the years, but on the whole, Xperia brand design has been fairly consistent with the occasional change to devices like the Sony Xperia XA with its really slim bezels.
With the XZ2, a curve from the display front around to the rear; that rear is curved to fit into your hand, rather than being a slab of a device that bridges your palm. We'd expect that the XZ Pro would have even smaller bezels than the XZ2.
Given that there's not a headphone jack in the XZ2, we believe that any new XZ Pro won't have a headphone jack. Naturally, there will also be IP65/68 waterproofing.
Sony Xperia XZ Pro specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845?
We'd suggest that the new XZ Pro will feature the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform that's in the XZ2. Surely there will also be Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.
As for the display, we'd expect HDR, as in the XZ Premium and XZ1.
Sony Xperia XZ Pro camera
- A new dual camera unit is expected
- Sony has previewed it at Mobile World Congress 2018
As well as the XZ2 and Compact at Mobile World Congress 2018, Sony Mobile also showed a new dual camera system on its booth at the show. Now we don't know what handset this will come to, but it stands to reason it's got to come to a handset soon and we believe that will be the XZ Pro.
So far, Sony hasn't joined the likes of Apple, Samsung or Huawei in offering a dual camera on its phones.
Unfortunately, the demo didn't have any specs, but we saw it was a clear step up from the existing single camera, especially for extreme low light performance; it can offer video capture up to ISO 12,800 and for still photos ISO 52,100.
The new ZX2 has 4K HDR video capture which is a big step-up in quality. The slow-mo at 960fps is now Full HD too. Expect that to also be present in any new XZ Pro.
Read more about the possible XZ Pro camera: Sony Xperia dual camera system teases future low light supremacy
We'll bring you more spec details as extra rumours circulate.
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