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Sony Xperia XZ Premium Quick Review: Shiny And Chrome

Witness Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium!

Sony has finally shown off their newest flagship device, the Xperia XZ Premium to the Philippine press today. The new phone represents the cutting edge of Sony’s mobile efforts, armed with the best components and hardware available on the market today. Despite being a little late to the flagship party (their competitors have already announced and launched their flagships a month ago) Sony’s rather optimistic about the chances of the new phone in the Philippines. Has the wait really been worth it for Xperia fans?

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 64-bit processor
  • Adreno 540 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch 4K HDR Triluminos display, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, 3840 × 2160 resolution
  • 64GB UFS internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 19-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS Motion Eye rear camera with Hybrid AF, Super slow motion 960fps video capture, SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode (5-axis stabilization)
  • 13-megapixel 1/3.06-inch Exmor RS front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, Gigabit LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, IP68 certification, USB Type-C, Fingerprint sensor
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 3,230mAh battery

Initial impressions: the shiniest gadget in the block, literally

Sony hasn’t really changed their design philosophy in their Xperia phone lineup. It’s an iconic design that’s unmistakably Sony, so why change what isn’t broken, right? While the Xperia XZ Premium follows the design template of the less expensive XZs, Sony opted to use a full metal build with an exotic material, dubbed Alkaleido. The new material is a new kind of Aluminum alloy that removes the lines typically associated with aluminum bodied smartphones, resulting in a shiny, shimmering surface.

And what a surface it is. The Xperia XZ Premium has that chrome-like mirror finish all over the body. The front and back panel are layered with Gorilla Glass 5, though the phone does feel a little slippery and is a bit smudge prone thanks to the finish. The sides of the phone are curved for better ergonomics, and is IP68-rated just like its predecessors.

Compared to the other phones in the market today, the Xperia XZ Premium is a bit of a handful, thanks to the large top and bottom bezels. While Samsung, LG and Huawei are trying their damnedest to eliminate bezels of all kinds in their devices, Sony is more than content to let those bezels be.

The phone’s layout is similar to the Xperia XZs, with the rear 19-megapixel camera located on the upper left side. The flash and laser AF module is located on the right.

Moving to the sides of the device, you’ll see the physical shutter button, power button (which hides the fingerprint scanner) and the volume rocker on the right side, with the microSD/SIM slot on the left side. The 3.5mm jack is on the top, while the USB Type-C port is on the bottom. There aren’t speaker grilles on the bottom since the phone uses a dual-speaker setup located on the front.

Let’s go back to the Xperia XZ Premium’s camera. It’s virtually identical to the one in the XZs, and is able to capture super-slow mo video when needed. It’s able to capture video at the same 960fps as the XZs, though the same limitations remain: you can’t capture a full slow-mo clip, as the feature only works in short bursts. It’s an annoying limitation for sure, because timing the slow-mo capture is tricky at best.

The display of the XZ Premium is of particular note, as it’s 5.5-inch, 4K display with HDR, one of the few phones in the market today with that option. Sony reps tell us that the phone’s display is always in 4K mode, and there’s no way to downgrade the display to full HD or even 2K to save battery power.

Sony has clarified that the display goes 4K HDR depending on the content, while the UI resolution is at full HD. That’s a bummer.

Inside the phone beats Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. The stellar hardware choice makes the Xperia XZ Premium feel buttery smooth and quick – it’ll be able to handle anything you throw at it without breaking a sweat.

The XZ Premium truly is an impressive smartphone to behold. It has a bunch of new tech that we haven’t seen on other phones currently, though as its name suggests, it’ll command a premium price tag – Php 45,490 – when it arrives in stores in June.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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