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Xperia XZ Premium is official: 4K is back with a vengeance!

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Xperia XZ Premium is official: 4K is back with a vengeance!

About 18 months ago, Sony shocked the tech world by releasing the first-ever smartphone with a 4K (that's 2160 x 3840 pixels) display. Naturally, it stirred some controversy, especially when it was revealed that the phone is only working in 4K when displaying pictures and movies in its native gallery apps. Some people were wondering "Do we really need that many pixels on a 5.5-inch phone screen, or is this just a gimmick to grab my attention?", while others were embracing the new tech, doused in appreciation for the kind of technological advancements this screen signifies.

READ MORE ABOUT SONY'S NEW PHONES



In any case, Sony appears to not be deterred, as it is back with another Premium device — one from the new XZ flagship line. Meet the Sony Xperia XZ Premium:

Design


Xperia XZ Premium is official: 4K is back with a vengeance!

Sony has been pretty faithful to its "Omnibalance" design — even after discontinuing the Xperia Z line to "start fresh", with reimagined Xperia Z and Xperia XZ families, we can still see that the basic shape and many design decisions have remained the same. Of course,
Xperia XZ Premium is official: 4K is back with a vengeance!
Xperia XZ Premium is official: 4K is back with a vengeance!
we are in no way saying this is a bad thing — loyalists and the more conservative folk will definitely appreciate the stark rectangular shape of the Xperia XZ Premium.

But not all has remained unchanged. Unlike the old Z5 Premium, the new phone has nicely rounded-off sides. The XZ Premium is, again, a glass sandwich, and both the front and back panels arch nicely towards their sides, meeting the metal frame of the device in a seamless way. As expected, the XZ Premium can take being wet with no issue, as it's rated for IP 68 ingress resistance.

The volume rocker has finally moved, too — instead of being awkwardly placed towards the lower end of the phone, it now sits in a more orthodox location, above the power key, on the right frame of the device. The fingerprint sensor is also back, embedded in the wake button on the side, but, unfortunately, it will again not be available on the US variants of the phone.

Unlike the Xperia XZs, the new Premium's camera module remains completely flush with the device's body. In case you are a camera-hump-o-phobe, rest assured this phone will not disappoint you in that aspect.

The dazzling mirror finish is back — the XZ Premium comes in Deepsea Black and Luminous Chrome, and the latter is very, very reflective. However, do expect it to attract an unsightly amount of finger grease as well.

Display


Xperia XZ Premium is official: 4K is back with a vengeance!

Of course, that's one of the XZ Premium's key features — the 4K display. It's still a 5.5-inch screen, and it still has a resolution of 2160 x 3840 pixels, but now it also supports HDR content — something that seems to be becoming a trend in smartphones this year. This means that you'd be able to enjoy content with punchier colors and better contrast, with more details shining through the shadows of an image.

As far as actually utilizing the full 4K resolution — this time around, we will actually get to see it used for more than just the Xperia Gallery app. Yes, you will be able to enjoy the full interface of the Xperia XZ Premium in glorious 4K. Note, however, that games and other 3rd party graphical content will still be rendered in 1080p, which is not necessarily a bad thing — the processor and battery need their room to breathe!

Hardware


A proper Premium phone needs to live up to its name — the XZ Premium will pack the latest-and-greatest in smartphone processors, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 humming under its hood — an octa-core SoC, built on a 10 nm process. The phone has 4 GB of RAM to load apps in and 64 GB of internal storage for all that juicy 4K media. Of course, that's not going to be enough, so there's a microSD card slot for cards with up to 256 GB.

Xperia XZ Premium is official: 4K is back with a vengeance!


As can be expected, the stereo front-firing speakers make a return — this has been a Sony signature feature for years now. We do hope they sound louder and fuller than the previous Premium, though, where they were a bit quiet and tinny.

The new Xperias come with Android 7 Nougat right out of the box and you will be able to enjoy Sony-exclusive features, such as a Remote Play connection with your PlayStation 4 (if both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network). It's also worth noting that, thanks to working in close partnership with Qualcomm, Sony has been able to achieve 1 gigabit LTE download speeds on its new XZ phones. So, you'll have plenty of speed to download that 4K HDR content with!

Camera


Xperia XZ Premium is official: 4K is back with a vengeance!
It has been said time and again that more megapixels does not equal better image quality. There are also things like sensor and individual pixel size to consider. We are happy to see that Sony decided to take a step back on the megapixel race (admittedly, not by much), and have introduced a new 19 MP sensor for its high-tier devices.

That aside, we've got plenty of under-the-hood features, making sure that our shots are crystal-clear. Hybrid autofocus is back to ensure that the camera snaps to the right point in 0.03 seconds. An anti-distortion shutter makes sure we don't tear up our images, predictive autofocus follows our object of interest, and SteadyShot takes care of our shaky hand footage thanks to a 5-axis stabilization feature.

The XZ Premium will also be capable of recording ultra slow-motion video of 960 FPS. Currently, the norm is about 240 FPS, and that's already pretty slow. Sony's frequency is extremely impressive — a time-stopper if you will!

Release date


The Sony Xperia XZ Premium will hit the markets some time in Spring of 2017. Unfortunately, no price has been announced just yet. If we were to guess ballpark price, we'd have to look back at the Z5's release. First, it was a bit slow and hard to obtain in the US, and its price hovered around $800. So, yeah — premium price for a Premium.

Story timeline

This story is part of: Sony at MWC 2017(11 updates)

18 Comments
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posted on 27 Feb 2017, 01:47 1

1. liberalsnowflake (banned) (Posts: 273; Member since: 24 Feb 2017)


For 800$ i can buy two one plus 3T and couple of beers .

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 02:10 6

5. Settings (Posts: 2266; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


What features above can your OnePlus can do?.
$800 is the price to pay especially in my country, PH, OnePlus doesn't have after sales service. When somethings wrong with my unit, I want professionals to handle it. Im not settling for unexperienced techs.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 02:14 5

6. Bondurant (Posts: 545; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


you mean the phone available online in like 1 or 2 countries ? And not known to 95% of consumers ?

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 04:44 3

8. strawhat67 (Posts: 57; Member since: 16 Jul 2015)


Snapdragon 835 and 4K HDR display + new sensor with 960fps, HiRes audio support and noise canceling...this phone is way more better than G6!

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 18:55 1

12. cheetah2k (Posts: 1714; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


Yeah, I don't agree with LG using old hardware. The SD821 is a good CPU but seriously, the G6 is what their flagship of 2016 should have been... the G5 was a major flop

posted on 04 Mar 2017, 20:26

18. Tabby_Tiger (Posts: 231; Member since: 23 Jan 2017)


Sony can't compete with the One Plus in terms of value. Given the price I assume the camera will be good.

I think most people will overlook this device because the bezels are rather big for today's standards.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 01:48 2

2. josephnero (Posts: 585; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


badass

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 01:55 3

3. kumar1234 (unregistered)


Great phone, much better than upcoming s8, despite having a big bazel.

It's better than s8 in every aspect.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 02:01

4. josephnero (Posts: 585; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


@kumar1234
agreed.shadows everything else

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 03:58 4

7. SailfishOS (Posts: 93; Member since: 06 Nov 2016)


800 ppi? Wwwooooooooohhh

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 06:56 2

9. avalon2105 (Posts: 301; Member since: 12 Jul 2014)


Hopefully 1080p for interface will be an option. There's really no need for 4k outside of Video/Photo and VR. Just put a toggle in app properties where users can choose for each app to run in 1080p or 4k.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 11:51

10. sachouba (Posts: 209; Member since: 08 Jun 2014)


And Sony used to say they didn't want to use QHD resolution on their flagships because it was useless on such a small display...
But I guess our eyes can see better, now!
They sound just like Apple...

posted on 28 Feb 2017, 08:38 2

14. zenun12 (Posts: 156; Member since: 31 Oct 2016)


You could have said that statement when the Z5 Premium was released, not now.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 16:36 1

11. cheetah2k (Posts: 1714; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


Boom! Shove that up ya fanny Apple!!

I friggin hate how iPhonearena has a go at the omnibalance design - EVERY TIME!. Every farking manufacturer has their own style. Samsung, Apple, LG, all of them. Why change to curved edges like every man and his dog? Straight away if someone pulls out a sony phone I can tell that its a Sony. Rather than an S7 or an Apple iphone, even a Google Pixel - all looks the same. That's sony's "Signature" so get over it!!!!

Keep it up Sony. First with water resistance, first with 4k, first with 960fps slo-mo.

posted on 28 Feb 2017, 07:20 1

13. riteshrkm (Posts: 62; Member since: 15 Apr 2015)


It will be S8 v/s iphone 8 for 2017. LG,Sony,Huawei will compete for 3rd place.

posted on 01 Mar 2017, 10:14 1

15. gigicoaste (Posts: 84; Member since: 21 Feb 2016)


any particular reason outside of the group of fans behind the two? I mean.. except the ratio of screen and the bottom and top bezels I cannot see a single downside. At least from Europe version perspective where fingerprint sensor is working. Side by side, from leaks.. Sony stays pretty good vs Samsung.. vs. Apple, people don't want to understand that you cannot compare since is a different OS! Specs wise, Iphone was most of the time down there vs. so many other brands.. but thanks to the software.. it is seen that well.

I like Sony a lot and I was hopping that they will reduce a bit the bezels.. and improve big time their marketing.. such a pity for a great device.

posted on 02 Mar 2017, 20:30 1

16. LiveFaith (Posts: 80; Member since: 04 Jul 2015)


But those bezels! I have never seriously considered a Sony phone for the past 6 years or so. Why, because they usually have some compelling stuff? It's those sharp corners and huge top and bottom bezels that make the phone huge in hand and huge compared to display value.
After Sammy, LG, maybe Apple, and the Chinese guys etc shrink the bezels this cycle, I think Sony will finally go back to the drawing board. (Conversely, the Japanese seem to love that sharp edged design language.)
Would like to consider Sony, but every year I see this design language regurgitated, I don't really pay attention. I don't want an "iPad Mini with 5.5" screen" squeezed into my pocket Sony.

posted on 03 Mar 2017, 03:50

17. darksantacruz (Posts: 25; Member since: 09 Jun 2014)


I simply don't understand why those big bezels? Is it so hard to reduce them? This phone is a quality phone but as its predecessors it won't sell as much as other brands due to those big bezels and they keep on insisting on the same defeated formula.

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