Sony Xperia XZ Premium specs review: The mightiest Xperia to date


The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is one of those phones that could change things for its manufacturer. It's beefier than all other Xperias to date, and it easily outpowers all phones from 2016, at least on paper. Then again, Sony's phones are known for looking great when it comes to specs sheets, but lagging behind in reality. So, could the XZ Premium make a splash, or will it just drown in the over-saturated ocean that is the smartphones market? We'll have to wait and see. For the time being, let's take a look at the XZ Premium and how it fares on paper.

Design



The Xperia XZ Premium is a big phone. The handset measures at 6.14 x 3.03 x 0.31 inches (156 x 77 x 7.9 mm), and it weighs 6.87 oz (195 g). That's one pretty thick phone, but it's still just a tad thinner than Sony's 2016 flagship – the Xperia XZ.

The whole design screams Xperia. It's quite flat, with sharp curves, staying true to Sony's trademark looks. And while everyone strives to trim down the bezels of their smartphones, the Japanese tech giant seems to go the opposite way, as the XZ Premium's frames are anything but slim.

Just like previous Xperias, the fingerprint scanner is awkwardly placed on the right side, on the power button, so you can forget using it if you have a case. It's also unavailable for the US models, just like before. The volume rockers and the camera shutter button are on the same side, while the SIM and MicroSD tray sits on the left.

The design is not a major leap from the XZ. In fact, the two can barely be distinguished on the outside, unless you have a sufficient experience with smartphones.

Display


The display on the Xperia XZ Premium measures at 5.5 inches, making the device fall into phablet category. However, with its 4K resolution it will be more than sharp, easily going over 800 ppi. The panel itself is using Sony's in-house “Triluminos” technology for IPS LCD displays. It appears this will not be the year for Sony to thread into OLED territory, but we can't really complain as their screens so far have been okay. Not great, but not bad either.

Hardware

Processor


Here's the big one – Sony is one of the first companies to employ the Snapdragon 835. A chipset that we're all pretty excited about. Qualcomm promised us the best Snapdragon ever made, with “lifelike VR and AR experiences” that will be further boosted by the 4K display.

The eight Kryo cores on the 64-bit chipset should provide enough power for even the heaviest apps and games, and then some. And we expect the Adreno 540 GPU to be an upgrade to the previous one.


But Sony didn't tap into the chipset's full potential. The Snapdragon 835 comes with Quick Charge 4 support, yet Sony announced the XZ Premium with Quick Charge 3.0. Considering that the fourth version is brand new, though, that's not much of a surprise.

Memory


The Xperia XZ Premium comes with 4 GB of RAM on board, which should be plenty for both regular daily usage and heavy apps alike. Additionally, the phone has 64 GB of storage which could have been a problem for some users. Thankfully, the device has a MicroSD slot for cards with up to 256 GB of capacity.

Battery


The power pack inside the Xperia XZ Premium clocks at 3,230 mAh, which is not great, but it would be sufficient for other phones of the same size. However, we can't predict whether or not it will provide enough juice for this particular handset. It's highly likely that the 4K LCD display will prove to be a battery hog, but the more power-efficient Snapdragon 835 could balance it out. We'll just have to wait and see for ourselves.

Camera



The 19MP rear camera's sensor is more on the big side, measuring at 1/2.3”, so in theory it should produce better low-light images. But considering Sony's history with camera software, we're not too keen on making any predictions. What's interesting here is that the new sensor is capable of recording 960 fps video, for some super slow-motion shots that could make your videos far more thrilling.

The selfie camera uses a smaller 13MP 1/3.06” sensor, with f/2.0 aperture, and 22mm wide angle lens. This is pretty much the standard for Sony, and we already saw it in the Xperia XZ from last year. So, don't expect any miracles there.

Expectations


The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is nothing fancy, but it has the potential to be very good. Its pros are the 4K resolution, super slow-motion video capabilities and the new Snapdragon chipset. We can't know how the advantages on paper will play out in the field, though. Considering we've seen some disappointing software from Sony before, we'd rather not make any assumptions before we test the device ourselves.

Related phones

Xperia XZ Premium
  • Display 5.5" 2160 x 3840 pixels
  • Camera 19 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3230 mAh(24.7h 3G talk time)

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24 Comments

1. raerae

Posts: 56; Member since: Jul 30, 2015

No OIS for 2017? Really Sony?

5. bossman

Posts: 264; Member since: Jan 27, 2016

The spec sheet on phone arena and gsm arena says it has ois, but the unveilings I've watched says it has 5-axis stabilization.

7. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

They don't need it, Sony had a breakthrough with 5 axis EIS and it works just as well as OIS, when it's being used anyway so here is to hoping that the 5 axis eis will be used at all time with the new phone, otherwise i'll have to agree with you.

13. hansip87

Posts: 226; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

OIS isn't the only way i believe. Because even with OIS, there are still a limit on how slow a shutter can go for such a small sensor. The best result is still only achievable with manual mode/using a small tripod.

2. .KRATOS.

Posts: 442; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

How come it came equipped with the snapdragon 835 while the LG g6 didn't

4. hansip87

Posts: 226; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

this XZ Premium Will be released on the same timeframe of S8 apparently, and Sony expect to sell small number of Xperia phones (while enjoying PSVR and PS4 sales figure as their main income) so announcing with 835 is a better strategy while keeping the fans in drool state with such halo product. If i'm on the market today, i'd better get the old XZ which should be cheaper by now. Meanwhile LG is in dire need of cash cow now (due to G5 failure), so 821 it is.

6. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2262; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

LG was late to the Snapdragon party, Sony beat them to it..

8. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

And someone starts salty.

14. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

From what i've heard Kazuo Hirai stormed Samsung Headquarters in full Samurai Armor and Katana demanding a small supply of Snapdragon 835. At first Samsung employees try to fight back by throwing Galaxy Note 7 but Kaz sword technique is proven too great for them because Kaz manage to cut the phone in half at the right place thus preventing the Note 7 from exploding. After long and grueling battle Samsung finally agree to give Sony a small supply of Snapdragon 835.

16. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3100; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

This should be a movie LOL.

19. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

You're trying too hard to be funny with this^^ post, but fail miserably, duh!

24. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

Story is not funny but atleast it is interesting.

3. Madmax

Posts: 110; Member since: Aug 19, 2016

Then again, Sony's phones are known for looking great when it comes to specs sheets, but lagging behind in reality. Really that's what you can come up with PA... That's a stupid remark really... Stop demeaning Sony please... Their phones might not sell much, but they are amazing, both in specs and daily performance.

9. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Few things is not mentioned in the article. The display is not only about 4K resolution but also support HDR content. With 1.22μm the image sensor has bigger pixel (photosite) than the one in XZ and it reads out faster so it will reduce the rolling shutter / jello effect significantly.

10. kumar1234 unregistered

If specs is your only thing then you wouldn't be able top this phone. Sony just outplayed Samsung in their own game. Well done Sony.

15. liberalsnowflake

Posts: 273; Member since: Feb 24, 2017

Samsung isn't even relevant after that horrific fiasco of note 7.

18. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 554; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

Lol the S8 is the most hyped phone more than Sonys and LGs offerings. Samsung are more relevant than anyone since they make their own phones and components for other devices. Even after the Note 7 they still more relevant than Sony and Lg :D

20. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

True story ^^.

22. TerryTerius unregistered

I am extremely curious about why people continue to make declarative statements about (insert company here) being finished, only to be frequently proven wrong. Whether that is Apple, Samsung, LG, Huawei, or anyone else. GM for example deliberately ignored the ignition switch problem for years which led to the deaths of over 100 people, and injuries for over 200. They are literally selling more cars now than they ever have before. All I'm saying is, don't make assumptions. The smart thing to do, is to wait and watch.

23. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Good and rational speech for them delusionals. Well done, mate.

11. josephnero

Posts: 779; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

BTW the new screen is 40%brighter

12. therons

Posts: 57; Member since: Feb 25, 2014

Its a very beautiful phone. Prefer this than LG G6. I dont have a problem with the bezel.. Bezel less is uncomfortable for me. But it should comes with bigger battery capacity..3.600 at least. Camera is upgraded..but dual camera is 2017 thing...just nice to have. Sd 835 just great move.. I dont know why.. I loved sony XZ..so probably im gonna buy this one. But Samsung S8 is a game changer...more feature.

17. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3100; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

This looks stunning. Good job Sony.

21. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 554; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

The cameras seem amazing on this phone but I have an note 4 with a 1440p screen and I get 4-5 hours screen on time. This has a slightly bigger battery but its 4k, I hope the 835 is really efficient. Or are they going to do what they did with their other 4k phone and it only enables when you watching 4k content?

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