Camera

A solid all-around camera, but low-light photos could have been better.


Every year we hope for the same thing when Sony phones come out – better-optimized camera app. Unfortunately, we have yet to see it, as the XZ Premium comes with the familiar clunky camera interface, which is surprising considering the rest of the software is optimized pretty well. The app is slow to respond to input and awkward to use, due to the placement of some of its essential elements, but at least it hasn't gotten any worse than before.

The emphasis of all marketing materials about the Xperia XZ Premium is placed on the main camera, and for a good reason. The shooter is quite impressive when it comes to medium and good lighting conditions. It takes pleasing photos with plenty of detail.

Also, thanks to Sony's new Motion Eye tech, taking photos of fast-moving objects no longer results in any distortion. Shooting a speeding car for example, will capture it just as well as if it was parked on the side of the road.


Of course, we can't talk about the XZ Premium without talking about slow-motion videos. The new Sony smartphone is capable of shooting clips at 960 fps, which is four times the speed of what we had available on smartphones up until now. This means that when you play the video with regular speed, it will be four times slower than the slow-motion you can capture with the Google Pixel, for example.

These prove trickier to make than Sony is making it look, though. Pressing the shutter button in just the right moment could prove to be nearly impossible. Even staged scenes take a few attempts to time right, and since the actual slow-motion video captures about 0.15 of a second, the action might happen right before or immediately after what you shot in 960 fps.



Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 1.5
1.7
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 1.2
1.3
730
622
LG G6 1.7
2.7
522
530
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 1.33
2.01
No data
No data

The selfie snapper is nothing to write home about, but it's not bad either. We would classify it as dully average. Our issue with it is the so-called “soft skin” effect, which does little to hide skin imperfections. In fact, selfies look better with it disabled, since it tends to give both your skin, and any spots that might be on it, a wax-like look.

When it comes to video recording, the Xperia XZ Premium is doing more than well. Both the 1080p and 4K clips look pretty crisp and pleasant. This persists at regular zoom levels too, with very little loss of detail when you zoom up to three times. Of course, the zoom is digital, so going above that, up to the maximum of eight times, will result in some reduced quality.

Multimedia

A TV set in your pocket.

When it comes to multimedia experience, the XZ Premium is about as good as it gets. The 4K HDR display provides the best viewing experience for just about any video content you might imagine, and when paired with the solid stereo speakers, it almost feels as if you have a pocket-sized TV.

In case you're a Sony user who also happens to own a PlayStation 4, the XZ Premium could become your best friend. The PS4 Remote Play app has never looked better. Just make sure that you have a stable Internet connection on both the console and the phone, otherwise you will be plagued by the constant buffering and graphical glitches.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 0.36
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 0.74
LG G6 0.78
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 0.992
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 70
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 80
LG G6 74
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 77.4


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89 Comments

1. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Did anyone try VR on this phone?

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

did it even support daydream?

51. sgodsell

Posts: 7235; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I have tried Cardboard apps on the Z5 premium. There is no screen door effect like you find on lower resolution displays. Daydream VR is not currently supported on the XZ premium.

44. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

It doesnt support Daydream it doesnt have an OLED display.

61. ecologer

Posts: 32; Member since: Jul 25, 2014

I'd also like to know more about its VR performance.

71. Cat97

Posts: 1865; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Its VR performance is ZERO :).

69. Damian.M

Posts: 19; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

We did. Thanks to the Snapdragon 835 and the 4K display, it both runs and looks pretty good. Unfortunately, it's not Daydream-ready, so you're stuck with whatever runs on Cardboard, pretty much.

2. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

what a surprise PA!! Good Job Sony for this awesome phone

8. maherk

Posts: 6775; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Ikr?!! Finally a fair score for a Sony device. Although I got the S8 and I'm loving it so far, the XZP is still my favorite phone of the year. It was just small stuff that I got used to have on my phone that kept with Samsung this year. I just hope reviewers will give this phone enough coverage for it to succeed, as Sony deserves it for the effort they brought with this one.

37. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Tried S8 and S8+ yesterday, compared it to my OP3 and the size impressed me. And as I suspected, the fingerprint scanner will need time to get used to. It needs quite a travel. But Sony here, they did a marvelous job...I'm super stoked with the Super slow mo.

58. aBoss

Posts: 164; Member since: Sep 15, 2014

yea this Sony Xperia XZ Premium is currently the greatest phone out right now. The only phone that may beat it is the Note 8 and thats only if it is coming with a removable battery as I doubt it will come with a 4k screen, 960p slow motion or the perfect fingerprint sensor placement like this Sony

3. dubaiboy78

Posts: 442; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Wow finally from iphonearena! Xz premium with Good grade!

13. yann

Posts: 613; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

Yea. 8.7:is good, but look at the cons: 1. Fingerprint magnet - how the same problem is not a con in Galaxy S 8 phones reviews? 2. Super slow-motion can be hard to time right - this is unique feature and you complained about it? At least it's there - even for 0.2 sec(not as you wrote 0.15); 3. Cumbersome camera UI - in iPhone 4K video shooting is also different app(not in video settings) but you didn't complain about it? Also it depends from the point of view.

15. maherk

Posts: 6775; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

To be fair to PA, everyone is talking about the slow mo feature and how you need lots of tries to get it right

30. yann

Posts: 613; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

At least it had slow mo at 960fps. Others don't. It can't be a con.

39. maherk

Posts: 6775; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

If you look closely, you'll notice how they have the 960fps feature as a pro, and that the process of taking one is a con ;)

18. NoAllegiance unregistered

The more ridiculous cons, the better the phone as they couldn't find fault in other aspects.

22. tyrion_lannister unregistered

Just because iPhone's camera UI is crap doesn't make the Xperia UI better. Sorry, but a camera UI that doesn't even allow HDR in auto mode, let alone auto HDR is a garbage UI.

40. josephnero

Posts: 779; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

it has HDR in auto mode.it's just called baclkit scence genious.

41. DanteTheGreat

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

It has HDR in auto mode. Don't state falsehoods like they are facts.

46. timaustin2000

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

Eh? It has got HDR in Suprior Auto - it's on by default. They call it "Backlight" but it's HDR.

54. kabiluddin

Posts: 275; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

@tyrion_lannister I'm not sorry to say that you are dumba**. Pretend to be known it all jacka** like you should eat $hit and shut up.

81. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

you're just jealous of him.................LOSER!

52. Valinor

Posts: 174; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

Actually, the real big cons for me are: - audio output (how can they build great audio players but put crappy audio in their phones) - lowlight photos (saw some samples, they really really suck. All my life i've been buying sony cameras, love the photo quality.... but their phone photos can be so much better) -that bottom bezel.... at least add physical buttons to it. Now its just useless space while the onscreen buttons are also taking up space. I was about to pre-order but lowlight photos and good audio are really important for me.

4. androiduser

Posts: 510; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

Nokia 9 and oneplus 5 . I'm waiting for those 2

5. nikhil23

Posts: 436; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

I wonder how the VR looks on this phone

7. tigas

Posts: 15; Member since: May 16, 2017

This year, it's Samsung Galaxy S8 Vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs Iphone 7s world.

20. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

iPhone 8*

23. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

It's going to be the 7s.

38. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

An iPhone 8 is being released alongside the 7s and 7s plus. Get your facts straight.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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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