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Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Posted: , by Damian M.

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Camera

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

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium - Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium - Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium - Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium - Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

Camera interface of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium


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.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium - Fast-moving objects - Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review
LG G6 - Fast-moving objects - Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

LG G6

Fast-moving objects


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.


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Use our samples comparison tool to see photos from more phones

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)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
View all

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.

Audio output

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
View all


91 Comments
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posted on 16 May 2017, 09:27 1

1. Ordinary (Posts: 2453; Member since: 23 Apr 2015)


Did anyone try VR on this phone?

posted on 16 May 2017, 09:34

6. ibend (banned) (Posts: 6747; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


did it even support daydream?

posted on 16 May 2017, 17:20 1

51. sgodsell (Posts: 5038; Member since: 16 Mar 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.

posted on 16 May 2017, 14:51 3

44. HomerS (Posts: 418; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


It doesnt support Daydream it doesnt have an OLED display.

posted on 17 May 2017, 05:31

61. ecologer (Posts: 31; Member since: 25 Jul 2014)


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

posted on 17 May 2017, 16:32

71. Cat97 (Posts: 409; Member since: 02 Mar 2017)


Its VR performance is ZERO :).

posted on 17 May 2017, 09:13 3

69. Damian.M (Posts: 19; Member since: 01 Nov 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.

posted on 16 May 2017, 09:29 4

2. pyradark (Posts: 887; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


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

posted on 16 May 2017, 09:48 13

8. maherk (Posts: 4984; Member since: 10 Feb 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.

posted on 16 May 2017, 12:51

37. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4375; Member since: 07 Mar 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.

posted on 17 May 2017, 03:59 1

58. aBoss (Posts: 148; Member since: 15 Sep 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

posted on 16 May 2017, 09:29 4

3. dubaiboy78 (Posts: 286; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


Wow finally from iphonearena! Xz premium with Good grade!

posted on 16 May 2017, 10:11 11

13. yann (Posts: 404; Member since: 15 Jul 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.

posted on 16 May 2017, 10:39

15. maherk (Posts: 4984; Member since: 10 Feb 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

posted on 16 May 2017, 12:07

30. yann (Posts: 404; Member since: 15 Jul 2010)


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

posted on 16 May 2017, 13:05

39. maherk (Posts: 4984; Member since: 10 Feb 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 ;)

posted on 16 May 2017, 11:06 5

18. NoAllegiance (Posts: 448; Member since: 21 Mar 2016)


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

posted on 16 May 2017, 11:25 1

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.

posted on 16 May 2017, 13:12 8

40. josephnero (Posts: 598; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


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

posted on 16 May 2017, 13:57 7

41. DanteTheGreat (Posts: 59; Member since: 31 Jul 2014)


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

posted on 16 May 2017, 15:05 5

46. timaustin2000 (Posts: 42; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


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

posted on 17 May 2017, 02:03 4

54. kabiluddin (Posts: 224; Member since: 28 Feb 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.

posted on 22 May 2017, 05:33

81. AmashAziz (Posts: 1602; Member since: 30 Jun 2014)


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

posted on 16 May 2017, 20:46 1

52. Valinor (Posts: 53; Member since: 26 Mar 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.

posted on 16 May 2017, 09:31

4. androiduser (Posts: 285; Member since: 18 Jun 2014)


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

posted on 16 May 2017, 09:32 1

5. nikhil23 (Posts: 206; Member since: 07 Dec 2016)


I wonder how the VR looks on this phone

posted on 16 May 2017, 09:43 2

7. tigas (Posts: 4; Member since: 16 May 2017)


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

posted on 16 May 2017, 11:16

20. AmashAziz (Posts: 1602; Member since: 30 Jun 2014)


iPhone 8*

posted on 16 May 2017, 11:29 4

23. omnitech (Posts: 970; Member since: 28 Sep 2016)


It's going to be the 7s.

posted on 16 May 2017, 12:58

38. AmashAziz (Posts: 1602; Member since: 30 Jun 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.

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PhoneArena rating:
8.7Excellent
Display5.5 inches, 2160 x 3840 pixels (801 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera19 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz, Kryo 280 and ARM Cortex-A53 processor
4 GB RAM
Size6.14 x 3.03 x 0.31 inches
(156 x 77 x 7.9 mm)
6.88 oz  (195 g)

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