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Sony Xperia XZs Review

Sony Xperia XZs

Posted: , by Damian M.



Interface and Functionality

Android 7.1.1 got the Sony treatment.

Sony Xperia XZs Review

Despite the fact that the Xperia XZs comes with Android 7.1.1 on board, its interface still feels satisfyingly familiar. If you've used a Sony phone before, you will have no troubles when you pick up the XZs, as everything is pretty much the same.

When it comes to the standard pre-installed themes, they're pretty much the same as those of the Xperia XZ, safe for the new Xperia Loops live theme, featuring some beautiful elliptical shapes that shift under your touch.

Unfortunately, the similarities don't end there and Sony opted to continue using the SwiftKey keyboard. Needless to say, we're far from thrilled about this one. The layout is somewhat questionable and confusing, and punctuation is awkwardly placed in all possible cases.

And in case you don't like using predictions while typing, we have some bad news. Not only that they can't be turned off with SwiftKey, but they also take a solid chunk of your screen above your keyboard.

Processor, Performance and Memory

This is not the upgrade you're looking for.

Just like its predecessor, the Sony Xperia XZs employs the Snapdragon 820 chipset with Adreno 530 GPU. While it's not top-of-the-line anymore, the 820 is still a solid chip. However, we expected more from a so-called “upgrade”. The RAM did get some love, though, and an extra gigabyte has been added for a total of 4 GB of memory.

The rest of the internals stayed the same, with 32 GB of internal memory, expandable through a microSD card, and a 2,900 mAh power pack, but we can't complain for the lack of upgrade here. These should be more than enough in most cases.

Performance benchmarks

Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZs 126895
Sony Xperia XZ 127482.66
OnePlus 3T 160646
Huawei P10 116267.66
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZs 3493
Sony Xperia XZ 3447
OnePlus 3T 4175.33
Huawei P10 2730
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZs 5186
Sony Xperia XZ 5333.66
OnePlus 3T 6302.33
Huawei P10 5609.33
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZs 45.789
Sony Xperia XZ 45.556
OnePlus 3T 49.402
Huawei P10 57.971
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZs 60
Sony Xperia XZ 59
OnePlus 3T 59
Huawei P10 58.33
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZs 33
Sony Xperia XZ 32
OnePlus 3T 32
Huawei P10 23.33
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZs 2174
Sony Xperia XZ 1892.66
OnePlus 3T 2185.33
Huawei P10 2669
Geekbench 4 single-core
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZs 1745
Sony Xperia XZ 1526.33
OnePlus 3T 1854
Huawei P10 1906
Geekbench 4 multi-core
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZs 4002
Sony Xperia XZ 3520.66
OnePlus 3T 4175.66
Huawei P10 5762.66
View all

Internet and Connectivity

Thankfully, Sony's default browser is still Google Chrome, so you'll be getting the best possible Android compatibility.

The Xperia XZs also comes with support for all standard bands, but there will be a difference between the US and International models, so do make sure to double-check what you're buying and if it supports the bands you need.

The phone also supports all standard connectivity options – the latest Wi-Fi standards, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS and so on.

  • Options

posted on 04 May 2017, 09:44

1. zeeBomb (Posts: 2304; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

Another Sony flagship, the same story of the camera...

posted on 04 May 2017, 11:50 3

11. sgodsell (Posts: 5057; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

This is not Sony's flagship for this year. If it came out last year it would be close. However Sony's flagship device this year is their Xperia XZ premium which is using the SD 835. Not to belittle the SD 820, which is a great chip as well. Especially since we that same chip in last years flagships, like the Galaxy S7, LG G5, or others.

posted on 10 May 2017, 11:58 1

31. shamrock_sean (Posts: 31; Member since: 27 Apr 2017)

And what is exactly wrong with the camera?? Images look great

posted on 04 May 2017, 09:51 4

2. Djz89 (Posts: 370; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)

Been using it for a couple of days, loving it. Went from z5 and it's a substantial upgrade. Wish the battery was bigger. But other than that it's a great phone, and in Norway it was cheaper than the p10 when released so i went for it.

posted on 04 May 2017, 09:57 1

3. Ray.S (Posts: 391; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)

Seems like a great choice to me!

posted on 04 May 2017, 10:30 6

4. Xperia14 (Posts: 935; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)

And yet it only got a 7.5 while it has a better camera and probably better performance than the G6.

posted on 04 May 2017, 11:13 2

7. Settings (Posts: 2411; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)

Scores are negligible when in PA. Its not that accurate. Plus, the bias in non Apple and non Samsung reviews are always cringy though it was lessen in recent reviews.

posted on 04 May 2017, 11:38 3

10. Lumberjack (Posts: 258; Member since: 04 May 2017)

Youtube videos.... So far XZs is the fastest phone now.. It has defeated S8+, OP3T, G6, i7+, U Ultra and Pixel.

I have never seen a phone that fast while browsing

posted on 04 May 2017, 12:03 1

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


posted on 19 Aug 2017, 03:18

32. SvenHKCN (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Aug 2017)

What is the use of flagship, premium, fancy specs and performance if recent Xperia phones seem to have some (once affected) serious issues with their metal frames. minimum deviations in frame fitting literally caused my XZs falling into parts. forget about IP68. Once you take a closer look at those phones with bended frames they look like a piece of rubbish in comparison to their peers. this seems to be an issue for various generations of Xperia phones and I have no explanation why Sony is playing so hard on this issue with its warranty policy explicitly excluding frame issues. So my Xperia XZs purchase turned into a big disappointment.

posted on 04 May 2017, 13:36 1

17. Djz89 (Posts: 370; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)

Yeah, i am actually enjoying it quite a bit. If they had putt a 3500mah battery combined with the low launch price(in Norway at least) it would have been near perfect imo :)

posted on 04 May 2017, 19:07

22. Remmy (Posts: 151; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

Wow! Here in PH, the XZs is priced at $800+, Huawei meanwhile launched the P10 at $580. My Z5 will be turning 2 years this December, I want to consider the XZs since I'm only after the new camera and I rarely play graphic intensive games.

posted on 04 May 2017, 10:54 2

5. GreenMan (Posts: 1884; Member since: 09 Nov 2015)

Is that Sony's flagship...?

Wait a moment, gents...

(Cleans the glasses)


So as I was saying: IS THAT A BLOODY FLAGSHIP...???

Trust me when I tell you that when I saw this phone on Twitter, I thought its just another lower mid-range phone that's supposed to compete with the likes of Galaxy J Series and Huawei's X series... I swear...


What year it is again...?

(Glances at the calendar)...

Nope, its 2017... Not 2008, as I was expecting...

Bloody hell, this phone make me feel like I'm loosing my marbles...

What in the world was Sony thinking when they designed this so called 'flagship' phone...?

Just to make it slip under the radar of thieves and pocket-pickers...? I mean, anyone would mistake it for a $200 phone...!

Ah! Look at those acres of bezels... So feisty, eh?

Sony has MORE COURAGE than Apple... WAY MORE... Or so it seems... They've got guts to push such a 'thing' in the market as 'flagship'... REAL GUTS...

Oh well, eh?


posted on 04 May 2017, 11:11 6

6. Rocastle (Posts: 9; Member since: 02 Mar 2017)

What are yo smoking!?

posted on 04 May 2017, 12:04

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

cheap weed he found when peeing in slums

posted on 04 May 2017, 11:35 5

8. Settings (Posts: 2411; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)

It's not the flagship, that would be the XZ Premium.

Again, bezel haters attack again and again. Function over form.
Those bezels houses stereo speakers, REAL stereo speakers not just faux holes that gives the illusion of having stereo speakers. It can also serve as a thumb rest when playing at landscape mode.

Those bezels houses 3.5mm jack which have the most superior DACs in the mobile phone market which other OEMs havein their phones too especially Google wants LDAC on their Android O iteration. I'm sure you won't find those features on a 2008 phone.

posted on 04 May 2017, 11:58 1

13. cocoy (Posts: 73; Member since: 30 Oct 2015)

Yeah but at least it has dual stereo speakers and headphone jack unlike Iphone 7/7 plus

posted on 04 May 2017, 12:48

16. Xperia14 (Posts: 935; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)

It's not even their flagship. Oh, it's actually way cheaper than the S8 and the G6. And for that price you'll get an AWESOME camera (Only Xperia's use Sony's best IMX400), top-notch performance and fast Android updates. Did I mention Hi-res audio, IP68 and front facing stereo speakers?

Go troll somewhere else.

posted on 04 May 2017, 16:06 1

21. letosaw (Posts: 131; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

As I've always said PA's "reviews" are just plain rubbish and shouldn't be taken seriously. I just read tech news here, that's all.

posted on 04 May 2017, 19:11

23. Remmy (Posts: 151; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

Unfortunately, it's not the same case for all markets. IMO, the XZs will be hard sell here in our country, at 800 USD, it's priced along the S8, and priced even higher than the G6 and P10.

posted on 04 May 2017, 21:20 1

24. buccob (Posts: 2769; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Yes, that is completely true... In the US the XZs has dropped to $650 which is not bad at all.. but I do feel it should cost $600 even...

But pricing will vary strongly from country to country and Sony will be expensive in some places (and I wouldn't recommended there) but it is a lot more affordable than iPhones and Samsungs in other places...

In fact one of the pro/cons of them is that the value goes down very quickly and many people take that as a negative... but I tend to buy more devices than what I sell... so for me, buying cheap 6 month old Sony is better than getting a 2 years old iPhone for the same price....

For example:

An iPhone 6s 64GB is selling in Amazon (us) for 450$ REFURBISHED
The Xperia XZ 64GB is selling for 475$ brand new.

posted on 05 May 2017, 05:08

25. Remmy (Posts: 151; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

In a country where majority of buyers are price sensitive, almost every article from local tech blogs are flooded with "overpriced" comments.

Actually, I got the Sony a6000 mirrorless camera here in the PH for roughly $600 with some sellers going even less than that including 3 year-Sony warranty. A few bucks cheaper than overseas markets I think, only their mobile phones are ridiculously priced.

As much as I want to get the XZs, I don't like the fact that I'll be paying $800 for a phone with last year's hardware (it's still fast and more than capable, I know) and another XZ successor will be launched a few months later (September). Not to mention limited availability on the two major carriers which a lot of people would miss.

posted on 05 May 2017, 11:16

26. buccob (Posts: 2769; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

You are correct, and that is why I agreed with you... I wouldn't pay more than 600$ for that particular model.... But it doesn't take away the fact that it is a good choice for people who find it at that price...

Now 800$ is way overpriced... I was hesitant about paying 470 for the original XZ... but hey, I truly don't like other offerings out there, bezel-less, dual-camera, whatever... The XZ still suits me better at the moment

posted on 04 May 2017, 13:37

18. Djz89 (Posts: 370; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)

WTF, hehe.

posted on 04 May 2017, 14:03 1

19. buccob (Posts: 2769; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Designs are very subjective... I just happened to buy the original XZ which has dropped to sub $500 bucks... and I think it is a good deal, since it still remains a great performer with one of the best displays, camera and overall package...

I personally dislike the curve display of recent Samsung flagships, its extremely gimmicky and it distorts the light at the edges, so it really distracts when using them...

I like having bezels for usability, and the stereo speakers while not loud, the positioning is way better than any other configuration.

The camera is extremely good in daylight... and for low light, you just need to learn its manual mode (which PhoneArena dont even bother to try)...

And the software is IMO a better experience than what others currently offer.

posted on 04 May 2017, 11:35 1

9. Lumberjack (Posts: 258; Member since: 04 May 2017)

Even Android Authority that is always making critics on Sony has given 8.6 to XZs. Also said low light shots are impressive.
I have watched many youtube videos, everytime antutu is run XZs scores morethan 153.000 ...

Same cam of XZ Premium. I have seen shots of XZP and it is way better than iphone 7 plus...

When colors are lighter than the real ones, it means exposion issues.. Exactly what S7 shows..

posted on 04 May 2017, 11:54 1

12. cocoy (Posts: 73; Member since: 30 Oct 2015)

I have never seen a review of sony phone in this site that got at least 8.9 or 9. I don't know why but it seems to me that this site is not that objective when it comes to other brands. I'm not a sony fan but there are things that I've seen from sony phones which other OEM's don't offer on their flagship. Sony's music and video player is second to none, web browsing is faster compared to any Android so far for now. But I don't like the huge bezel of their phones, although it has a dual stereo speakers and headphone jack which Iphone 7/7 plus don't have.

posted on 04 May 2017, 14:16

20. Lumberjack (Posts: 258; Member since: 04 May 2017)

I bet XZ Premium can achieve 89 or 90 dxomark.
PA will say iphone 7s+ is better, even if its is 87 or 88 ...

You bet.....

posted on 08 May 2017, 15:19

27. Lita9 (Posts: 8; Member since: 07 May 2017)

PA can sukk sammy a s s

posted on 08 May 2017, 22:16

28. sunnyfpy (Posts: 136; Member since: 12 May 2013)

Over priced for dated phone spec's that under perform,,,poor battery life!

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PhoneArena rating:
Display5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (424 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera19 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz, Kryo processor
Size5.75 x 2.83 x 0.32 inches
(146 x 72 x 8.1 mm)
5.68 oz  (161 g)

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