For those who have stuck to Apple and Samsung phones for many years, it’s time to take a second look at Sony’s latest flagship smartphone, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. From the design and performance to the features and quality, the phone hits all the right notes.
Before we discuss the specifications, the phone looks and feels beautiful right out of the box. The model we got was Deepsea Black, a colour that we instantly fell in love with. The Gorilla Glass 5 front and rear provides protection and gives it an air of sophistication. Look wise, we were slightly disappointed that the sides of the phone were made of plastic instead of higher quality materials like the metallic finish used for the top and bottom of the phone. After all, the phone is priced over $1,000.
We felt that the positioning of the buttons seems more intuitive for left hand use, even though using with the right hand shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. The volume, on/off and camera buttons are located on the right side of the phone while the SIM card tray is on the left.
Another thing to note is that the front and back glass design of the phone also means that it’s a fingerprint-magnet. If you have OCD and can’t stand the sight of fingerprints on your phone, then the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is not for you. Luckily for us, that wasn’t an issue.
4K HDR display
The Xperia XZ Premium features a 4K HDR 2160 x 3840 5.5-inch display built with Sony’s very own BRAVIA TV technology to give you an immersive 4K HDR viewing experience. Whether you are browsing the internet, using maps or looking through photos you’ve just shot, the sharp and vivid quality of the display is pleasing and not over saturated.
Performance and battery life
The performance is excellent, thanks to the Snapdragon 835 chip and 4GB of RAM. From unlocking the phone to multi-tasking, the phone is fast and you don’t feel the lag you sometimes get when opening up multiple apps at the same time.
With its 4K display, you would think that the phone is a potential battery guzzler, but the phone manages to last us a full day with reasonable usage. What’s reasonable? We checked emails, watched videos, used maps for navigation and shot an album full of images and videos all day long before its 3,230mAh non-removable battery suggested that we activate the Stamina Mode. That’s when the phone hits under 15% of battery life.
However, the most important and the single reason for us to pick the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is its insanely good phone camera. The rear shooter has a 19-megapixel Sony-made sensor which features HDR, face detection, electronic image stabilisation, predictive phase detection and laser autofocus. We were particularly impressed with the phone’s ability to shoot at night and how it handles different lighting conditions. Here are some images we shot and published straight out of the camera with no editing (however, we did cropped the images by 50% as the file size was quite large). Click on the images to view the full size.
But that’s not all. XZ Premium can shoot in super slow motion, capturing amazing footages at a staggering 960 frames per second. In comparison, the slow motion video recording on even the latest iPhone X is only 240 frames per second. This is all made possible by equipping the phone with a new Motion Eye camera, memory stacked ExmorTMRS sensor with technologies found on premium compact cameras.
You know that Sony built this phone for the shutter bugs when they included a physical camera button on right side of the phone. The button works like your compacts or DSLRs, where a half press focuses the shot and depressing it all the way down captures the image. Pressing it when the phone is on sleep mode also activates the camera immediately, saving precious seconds for that fleeting moment you want to shoot.
All in all, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a great phone to own. There are many reasons why we would want to get this phone but the singular, most desired feature, is the phone’s camera with its slow motion mode. If all you carry is a phone snapper, the Xperia XZ Premium will not disappoint.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium comes in 3 colours, Deepsea Black, Luminous Chrome and Bronze Pink. The phone is going for S$1098 at Sony Store, Sony Centre, M1, Singtel, StarHub and authorised Sony retail partners. For more information on the Xperia XZ Premium, visit www.sonymobile.com.