Sony Xperia XZ Premium first impressions

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The Sony Xperia XZ Premium was announced back in February during MWC 2017, but the phone is just now going up for pre-order in various markets around the world, like in the US on June 12. We will have a full review shortly, but while in Taipei for Computex 2017, I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with Sony’s latest flagship. Here are my first impressions about the Sony Xperia XZ Premium!

Starting off with the design, the Xperia XZ Premium does feel a touch too big, despite featuring a 5.5-inch display. The display doesn’t feel too large given what other OEMs are doing with smartphone designs nowadays, though the top, bottom, and side bezels around the display make the phone feel chunkier than it needs to be. It certainly appears as though Sony doesn’t really know how to make their devices compact. Plus, with the current focus on bezel-less designs, this could be a letdown for some.

The unit I’m using features a blue hue that shines through the metal and glass construction, and the finish is also very glossy. While that allows for a nice mirror-like effect, it also makes it a huge fingerprint magnet. It will take some work to keep the phone in a pristine state. It is definitely a great looking phone though, even if handling takes a bit of a hit because of its size.

Part of why it’s a great looking phone is because of the 5.5-inch display, which comes with an incredible 4K resolution and HDR capabilities. I’ll dive into the display capabilities more in the full review. However, one thing I can say now is that the resolution makes everything look incredibly sharp.

One thing I did notice was that the display settings includes a few options to change the coloration of the screen. These include a Super Vivid mode that really bumps up the saturation, and there is also an sRGB mode if you’re looking for more accurate color reproduction.

The 19 MP rear shooter is definitely one of the marquee features of this phone. Not only is it capable of recording slow motion video at 960 fps (which I’m really excited to try out), but the quality of the pictures and videos the phone is able to capture are incredible as well. I’ve been using the camera a lot of vlogging and to take a lot of pictures around Taipei.

Recording video is something I’ve been particularly happy with so far. Color reproduction looks great, there’s a lot of detail in each video, and the Steady Shot set to Intelligent Active mode does a good job of making sure that my jitters aren’t showing up on the screen. And if there is one thing I’m always going to love about Sony Xperia smartphones, it is the availability of the physical camera shutter button on the side.

If there is one negative about the camera experience so far, it has to do with the camera interface. Navigating around the camera app is a bit cumbersome at the moment, mainly because the features you’d normally want to quickly access are hidden in different mode selection menus. For example, to record a video, you have to slide over to enter video mode, or open the mode selection screen just to get to 4K video. These are a few too many steps in my opinion.

The rest of the specifications of the Xperia XZ Premium include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of built-in storage that is further expandable via microSD card, and Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. The phone comes with a 3,230 mAh battery that is backed by Quick Charge 3.0 and an adaptive charging layer on top of that so you should be able to get back to a full charge very quickly. Finally, the device also features an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.

The software experience on the Xperia XZ Premium is extremely smooth and snappy. I have yet to see any type of lag or stutter when navigating through various applications, or when using the camera.

 

I think the design of the Xperia XZ Premium shows that Sony is set in its ways when it comes to designing smartphones. But while the design may seem a bit dated at this point, the impressive specifications make this phone a solid competitor in the current flagship space.

A 4K screen means that you could be getting one of the best smartphone display experiences around, especially with everything that Sony packs into their Triluminos display. There is also the excellent camera with the 960 fps slow motion recording capabilities, various Intelligent modes, and a dedicated camera shutter button that will make for a great shutterbug companion.

Stay tuned with Android Authority for the comprehensive review of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium!

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