Sony unveils new Xperia XZ2 Premium with 4K HDR screen and dual camera
After announcing the flagship Sony Xperia XZ2 in late February, now, nearly two months after that, Sony unveils an even more premium handset for those craving more features: enter the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium.
The XZ2 Premium has one of the highest resolution screens ever put in a smartphone, a 4K HDR display, and it features a new dual camera system that supports very high sensitivity so you can take pictures in nearly complete darkness. The XZ2 Premium can also record 4K HDR videos.
Think about the XZ2 Premium as a super-powered version of the regular Xperia XZ2 in almost every way imaginable: while the two have a nearly identical design with a glass back and a curvy look, the XZ2 Premium comes with a higher-resolution screen, a dual camera with new capabilities, and a high-resolution audio experience.
So, here is a quick look at the main highlights of the Xperia XZ2 Premium and how it differs from the XZ2:
- Platform: Android 8.0 Oreo
- Dimensions: 3.1" x 6.2" x 0.3"-0.5" (80mm x 158mm x 6.4-11.9mm), 236g weight
- System chip: Snapdragon 845 with 6GB of RAM
- Display: 5.8" 4K HDR LCD, 16:9 aspect ratio
- Rear Cameras: New dual camera, 51200 max ISO for photos, 12800 max ISO for video
- Front Camera: 13-megapixel with 1/3.06" low-light sensor
- Battery: 3,450mAh
- Extras: Live vibration response (a la Xperia XZ2), Water protection, Wireless Charging, No headphone jack
Xperia XZ2 Premium vs XZ2: key differences
The XZ2 Premium and XZ2 basically share the same base architecture as both are powered by the flagship Snapdragon 845 chip, but the XZ2 Premium has more RAM: 6GB RAM vs 4GB RAM on the XZ2. The XZ2 had a 5.7" Full HD display versus the slightly larger and much higher-res 5.8" 4K screen on the XZ2 Premium. Then, there are the new cameras: the XZ2 has a 19-megapixel single camera, while the XZ2 Premium has a dual cam. Up front, the 5-megapixel camera of the XZ2 gets upgraded to a 13-megapixel shooter on the XZ2 Premium. Finally, the XZ2 Premium has a larger battery (3,450mAh vs 3,180mAh), but we are yet to see whether this will actually result in better battery life.
A focus on the cameras
While the Xperia XZ2 had a single camera on its back, the new XZ2 Premium steps up to a dual camera system. The main camera captures color, while the second one records a monochrome image, an approach that is different than dual camera systems used by Apple and Samsung, where the second camera has a zoomed-in, telephoto lens. Sony use the black-and-white pictures from the secondary camera to get more light from an image and then smartly combines the images from the two camera into one using its dedicated "Aube" fusion image processor. Sony boldly claims that "the camera’s ultra sensitivity with clean, noiseless images was previously only possible with interchangeable lens cameras," so we are curious to test this new camera in real life.
Using this new dual-sensor camera, you can shoot in ISO of up to 51200 for photos and up to 12800 ISO for videos. These levels are unprecedented for a phone camera, but of course, expect images shot at those extreme ISO settings to look very grainy.
There are a few new creative options as well: the ability to shoot photos in "Select Bokeh" mode, which is a glorified portrait mode that will blur the background of an image for a DSLR-like look. You will also be able to desaturate parts of an image and and leave only your subject in color, for a more impactful image.
Other features that carry over from the XZ2 include 4K HDR video recording that is also supported by the high-resolution 4K HDR display. You also have 960fps super slow motion recording here.
Sony has not yet unveiled an official price for the new Xperia XZ2 Premium and has only said that the premium smartphone will be available in the summer of 2018, but there is no specific release date just yet. The phone will be available in two finishes: a chrome black and chrome silver.