MWC 2017 means new flagship phones and Sony is no exception. You might still be waiting for the Xperia Z6 but you might want to let that go and get to know the new Xperia XZ Premium. Here's our hands-on review about probably the best phone that Sony ever made.
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium tiptoes into phablet territory, but by modern smartphone standards it's relatively compact, and easy to hold in one hand. The body of this model measures 156 x 77 x 7.9 mm (6.14 x 3.03 x 0.31 in) while the display measures 5.46 inches (~68.4% screen-to-body ratio). The display is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 back panel.
The World's First 4K HDR Display
The XZ Premium has the world's first 4K HDR (2,160 x 3,840, High Dynamic Range) display in a smartphone. This technology is the most desirable new tech combo for TVs. Sony now cooperates with Amazon for 4K HDR content, and the HDR element truly does wonderful things for color reproduction. In one of Sony's demos against the Z5 Premium, the XZ showed off warmer, more natural yellows and a broadly more realistic and inviting reproduction of the street. It is officially confirmed that the XZ Premium display was more faithful to the real street.
Sony has put Qualcomm's latest chip inside the Xperia XZ Premium. The Snapdragon 835 uses a 10nm process and should offer better performance and battery life, which can be described as reliable all day battery life.
In addition, it's good to have 64GB of storage as standard and Sony continues to offer a Micro-SD card slot so you can add more. The XZ Premium comes with a healthy 4GB of RAM.
Plus, the phone supports fingerprint scanner, USB-C (now v3.1), NFC, and Bluetooth 4.2.
Beside the nice appearance and high configuration, Sony's new flagship phone also has a new camera system called Motion Eye. The curious thing with this setup is that Sony has embedded fast memory right into the camera stack, allowing it to produce super-slow motion of 960fps at 720p resolution. This rapid burst lasts for only 0.18 seconds so you can capture something closer to 180 frames.
Sony has a habit of over-processing the images, with excess sharpening and noise-reducing blur leading to results that looked too digital and not particularly pleasing to the eye. There's still time for this to improve before the Xperia XZ Premium is released, but I fear that what I'm seeing is already Sony's idea of a good photo.
Release Date and Price
We've not been given either of the above pieces of information as yet, other than being told to expect the phone in 'late spring'. In terms of price, don't be surprised if it heads well over the £600/$600/AU$800 level.