The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a real flagship smartphone. It boasts a market-leading 4K show, the most recent high-end energy below the hood and Sony’s skilled images heritage, together with tremendous sluggish movement seize, around the again.

[Update: Sony has rolled out the Android 8.0 Oreo update to the Xperia XZ Premium, bringing with it the latest features and security updates. Its price has also dropped, making it a much more attractive offering.]

There’s so much to love concerning the XZ Premium on paper – however a feature-packed spec sheet doesn’t at all times produce the top-notch expertise we’ve come to anticipate from high-end smartphones.

Sony remains to be caught in a little bit of a design rut, and it’s struggling to compete with the may of Apple and Samsung, whereas the likes of LG, Huawei and Motorola proceed to supply stiff competitors. 

The Xperia XZ Premium is Sony’s probability to place itself firmly again on the smartphone map, however has it succeeded?

Sony Xperia XZ Premium worth and launch date

  • Launch worth: £649 ($799, about AU$1,100) SIM-free
  • Present worth: £515 ($550, about AU$720) SIM-free
  • Launch date: June 2017

This may seemingly come as no shock, however this was not an affordable telephone at launch. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium worth initially was £649 ($799, round AU$1,100), which noticed it rub shoulders with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 Plus by way of value.

The excellent news is that, since its June 2017 arrival, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium worth has now dropped and, when you store round, will be discovered for £515 ($550, about AU$720) SIM-free. 

It means contract offers are additionally extra engaging now, when you’d reasonably unfold the fee over a few years.

Discover out what the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is prefer to stay with by watching our ‘week with’ video.

Design

  • Glass, steel and plastic construct is not essentially the most premium
  • Aspect-mounted fingerprint scanner is helpful
  • SIM slot is fiddly
Xperia XZ Premium Specs

Weight: 195g
Dimensions:  156 x 77 x 7.9mm
OS: Android Eight
Display dimension: 5.46 inches
Decision: 2160 x 3840
CPU: Snapdragon 835
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB
Battery: three,230mAh
Rear digital camera: 19MP
Entrance digital camera: 13MP 

Sony’s telephone could also be Premium in title, however it’s not overly so in nature. On the subject of design the Sony Xperia XZ Premium leaves one thing to be desired in comparison with its flagship rivals.

The Gorilla Glass 5 entrance and rear a minimum of supplies some powerful safety, however the sides of telephone are noticeably plastic, and it’s this materials which you’re feeling while you maintain the telephone.

It’s a disgrace, because it makes the handset really feel cheaper than it’s – one thing you don’t need when spending prime greenback – and the flat back and front means it doesn’t nestle within the hand as neatly as among the extra curved units in the marketplace.

We discovered the glass was an actual fingerprint magnet – very like the Galaxy S8 and Jet Black iPhone 7 – so it will probably rapidly find yourself trying messy.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium arms on gallery

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There’s additionally quite a lot of bezel across the show, which pushes the size of the XZ Premium to 156 x 77 x 7.9mm, making it taller and wider than the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8 – telephones which boast greater screens than the Sony.

These bezels do enable for stereo front-facing audio system, and supply house so that you can maintain the telephone in panorama orientation when gaming or watching movies with out your fingers blocking the show.

The ability button on the appropriate of the handset additionally falls properly below thumb when held in your proper hand, or finger when in your left hand, and it’s enhanced by the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner constructed into the important thing, permitting you to unlock the telephone with out coming into a pin, sample or password.

We discovered it was quick at unlocking more often than not, however every so often we’d must have a second try to get it to register.

It’s value noting that earlier fingerprint-reading Sony handsets have dropped the digit scanner tech for his or her US fashions, so there’s no assure that if/when the Xperia XZ Premium hits the US it’ll have the characteristic.

The highest and backside edges of the XZ Premium are steel, and we’d have preferred to have seen this end lengthen up the perimeters of the telephone, as it will have offered a greater appear and feel within the hand. On the bottom of the handset there’s a USB-C port whereas on prime there’s a headphone jack – which is able to please those that have  watched in horror as Motorola and Apple eliminated it from their telephones.

One other constructive with the Xperia XZ Premium is its IP68 mud and water resistance, which suggests it’ll survive a dip within the tub and heavy rain – simply don’t go deep-sea diving. The IP safety solely affords the telephone safety as much as depths of 1 meter in recent water.

One thing else that is barely disappointing is the SIM and microSD flap and tray. The plastic insert feels fragile, plus it solely has house for the microSD card. The separate SIM tray (which is below the identical flap) requires you to dig a nail into the facet of the telephone and tease it out.

For a lot of this might be an operation they will solely have to carry out a few occasions, however the plastic flap feels prefer it may show a weak hyperlink within the waterproof chain when you’re somebody who swaps microSD playing cards frequently.

Lined up alongside its friends the Sony Xperia XZ Premium doesn’t fairly pull off the identical flagship finesse – and much more reasonably priced handsets, such because the OnePlus 3T and Honor 8, have arguably smarter finishes.

Show

Whereas the design of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium could not set it aside, its display screen is definitely in a league of its personal.

Following on from the Xperia Z5 Premium, the XZ Premium is Sony’s second smartphone to boast a 4K show backed up by the agency’s Bravia TV tech – and in most markets it’s going to be the one telephone you’ll discover with such a decision.

That equates to a decision of 3840 x 2160, which when stretched over 5.46 inches offers you an eye-popping pixel density of 807ppi. To place that in perspective, the gorgeous Infinity Show on the Galaxy S8 manages 570ppi, whereas the LG G6 offers up 564ppi.

You received’t discover a sharper display screen on one other smartphone, and in contrast to its 4K-toting predecessor you truly get the complete decision on a regular basis. The Z5 Premium would solely ship the complete 4K expertise while you have been watching video of the identical decision, whereas on the brand new Xperia XZ Premium it’s 3840 x 2160 all the way in which – from the house display screen and browser to the app retailer and your social media profiles.

There is no possibility within the settings to scale back the decision of the show to avoid wasting processing energy and battery life, the place because the QHD toting Galaxy S8 does provide the possibility.

On the Xperia XZ Premium although, we did not discover a have to have the decision lowered at any level because the battery life was pleasing. You’ll find out simply how properly it lasted in a while on this assessment.

The display screen panel makes use of LCD know-how, delivering a crisp, clear picture; it doesn’t have fairly the identical pop because the AMOLED shows discovered on the Galaxy S8, Moto Z and OnePlus 3T, however the Triluminos Show know-how does improve colours over customary LCD panels. This can be a display screen you’ll nonetheless need to ogle.

It additionally feels somewhat small, particularly now that the 5.7-inch LG G6 and 5.Eight-inch Samsung Galaxy S8 have began to interrupt new floor relating to display screen dimension in 2017.

That mentioned, when you haven’t had the luxurious of utilizing these telephones but, you’ll nonetheless discover the Xperia XZ Premium supplies ample house – particularly when you’re upgrading from a two-year-old telephone.

Whereas it is definitely good to say your telephone packs a 4K decision, the truth is it provides little or no over and above the superb QHD shows you get on the likes of the Galaxy S8, LG G6 and HTC U11.

Watch 4K content material on the Xperia XZ Premium and it is the most effective visible experiences you will get from a smartphone – however discovering that content material is not straightforward, and there is truly not all that a lot available.

Sony will argue that the XZ Premium is future proofed, as 4K content material will solely enhance in availability – which is true – however at this display screen dimension QHD normally greater than suffices.

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