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When you hear about a smartphone that has a beautiful design, comes with 4K HDR display, sports a camera that can capture slow-motion videos, and is powered by the brand-new Snapdragon 835 SoC, wouldn’t you feel tempted to buy it? Or at least be tempted to check it out?

Well, that’s exactly what we felt when we first saw the

. Sony’s latest device on paper seems to be everything a flagship should be like. But, before we concluded if it’s worth a buy at a price of Rs 59,990, we spent a few days with it. This is what we could make of the phone.

Design and Display

 

We can’t recall a smartphone from Sony that didn’t score well on the look and feel factor. And XPERIA XZ Premium is no different. It looks sleek and classy. The front panel looks a lot like other XPERIA devices, but it’s when you flip over you see Sony XPERIA XZ’s ‘glass loop surface’. The body of the smartphone is completely made of glass coupled with metallic edges on top and bottom. And we personally have always felt that the combination of glass and metal makes a smartphone look all the more premium.

The smartphone does have the looks. However, we would also like to point out that unlike HTC U Ultra, the glass body does not only add a glossy polish to this smartphone, but it makes it so reflective that one see a clear reflection of themselves on it. Well, the ladies who are going to pick this phone would not need a pocket mirror.

On the flipside, it does make it a fingerprint magnet. We had to clean it a couple of times during the day or else it looked messy. Some people would advocate then why not use a cover? However, we say why hide the beautiful looks with a shoddy cover. It is also noteworthy that the device is very slippery like most other smartphones that come with a glass body.

The front panel of the device remains dominated by 5.5-inch 4K (2,160×3,840p) HDR display with a 2.5D curved glass panel and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. Users also get the usual ear piece, a speaker and a 13MP camera in the front. The on-screen navigation keys appear only when one touches the display. Switch it around and you will see that it has the Sony branding right above the NFC icon and the 19MP primary camera coupled with a LED flash. The sides of the smartphone are made of plastic.

While the right one has the volume and power buttons sandwiched on it, the left one houses the SIM tray. It is notable that each time we pulled the SIM tray out, the device restarted – something that we thought was very infuriating. The power button has the fingerprint sensor integrated in it and we found it to be very convenient. The top and the bottom edges, which were made of metal, had the 3.5mm jack and USB Type C port placed on them respectively.

Overall, we liked the design of Sony XPERIA XZ Premium and we think the smartphone looks extremely sleek. Nevertheless, it is prone to getting fingerprints. So, our suggestion is to keep a small microfibre cloth handy to quickly wipe it clean. Barring that, the aesthetics of the device still impressed us.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

vs

LG G6

Octa core performance Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 ProAdreno 530Quad core (2.3 GHz, Dual core, Kryo + 1.6 GHz, Dual core, Kryo)64 bit4 GB
5.5″ (13.97 cm) display IPS LCD83.47 %515 ppiCorning Gorilla Glass v35.7 inches (14.48 cm)1440 x 2560 pixelsYes Capacitive Touchscreen, Multi-touch
64 GB storage 64 GBYes Up to 2 TBYes
19 MP camera Exposure compensation, ISO control2.0 FDigital Zoom, Optical Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus4160 x 3120 PixelsExmor-RS CMOS SensorYes Phase Detection autofocus, Laser autofocusContinuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Burst mode5 MP Front CameraYes No1920x1080 @ 30 fps
3230 mAh battery NoUp to 136 Hours(3G)Up to 14 Hours(3G)Yes Quick, v3.0Li-ion3300 mAh
4 GB ram 4 GB

Jumping over to the display of the smartphone, we would start by saying that it is one of the key highlights. The company claims that the display they have used in Sony XPERIA XZ Premium is the same as the one found on their BRAVIA televisions.

We must say, that we were thoroughly impressed by the 5.5-inch 4K (2,160×3,840 pixels) HDR display of Sony XPERIA XZ Premium. The images projected are so sharp and clear that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it is a visual treat to watch videos and look at photos on the device.

However, the real test of the device happened when we watched 4K content on it. And we have to say that we were not disappointed. Various 4K videos played smoothly on the smartphone and even when we watched the videos on highest resolution, they looked incredible on Sony XPERIA XZ Premium. Over that it has accurate viewing angles and offer good sunlight readability.

If displays are an important factor for when picking a smartphone, then you can easily go for Sony XPERIA XZ Premium.

Performance

 

Talking about its hardware specifications, Sony XPERIA XZ premium is powered by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 835 SoC, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Users who want more storage can also install microSD cards of up to 256GB. The smartphone runs on Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box and its connectivity options include everything from 4G LTE to USB Type-C, with a 3,230mAh battery (having Quick Charge 3.0 support) rounding off the spec sheet. Also, Sony claims that the XPERIA XZ Premium will be getting Android security patches every month – something that we think is a plus.

Sony takes full advantage of the new Android N OS and gives it to the users with some nice tweaks. These include different icons for Music, Gallery, Contacts and Videos from the ones we see in stock Android. The app folders on the home-screen are circular and not square-shaped, and the smartphone has a section that recommends apps based on your usage. Neat if you ask us.

Speaking of apps, Sony’s smartphone comes with a few pre-installed apps including the entire suit of apps from Google, and some native apps from Sony like SonyLIV, XPERIA Lounge, News Suite, PlayStation, etc. On to of that users also get AVG protection, Modern Combat 5, Midnight Pool, Asphalt Nitro, Sketch, LifeLog and more. We do like extras coming with our phones, but this is prejudicing towards bloatware.
We expect the phone to be good with everyday tasks including switching between multiple apps and various tabs of Chrome browser, and it could do all of that with perfect ease. We encountered absolutely no trouble with the phone even after prolonged use.

The phone kept pace with us even when we did multiple thigs on it simultaneously. For instance, we often listened to music on the device while using Google Maps for navigation, and Sony XPERIA XZ Premium could easily take that.

Since the smartphone has a good 4K display, one would want to invest in a SD card for this smartphone. Since 4K content uses a lot of the memory quite quickly. Another aspect of the phone that we liked a lot was its front facing speakers. It made the sound output a lot better than it is in smartphones, which have the speaker grilles placed on the bottom edge. Also, the sound output was great over headphones.

We played a few games on our Sony XPERIA XZ Premium and have to say, the smartphone can handle games with heavy graphics like Asphalt Nitro just as well as it does games like Pac-Man. The gamer in us was very happy.

As said before, the Sony XPERIA XZ Premium packs a 3,230mAh non-removable battery. Although it’s lesser than what other flagships like

,

and

have to offer, we don’t jump to conclusions based on just the battery size. Even with usage that involved watching native videos, 4K content on YouTube, social media, browsing the web, listening to music and using the phone for navigation, it lasted us an entire day. We didn’t have to charge it again. So, by the time our office hours were over, we still had 20 percent juice left.

One feature that deserves a mention is its Stamina Mode. Whenever the phone’s battery levels hit 15 percent, you can switch on the Stamina Mode that closes all battery draining apps running in the background and turns data off. The mode ensures that the leftover battery of the device lasts for a long time before the phone shuts down. Also, the phone doesn’t take very long to charge, considering it supports Quick Charging.

As far as the call quality of the device goes, we encountered no problem with it. 4G worked just fine and we didn’t face any issue when we made or received calls in areas like basement or an elevator.

Sony XPERIA XZ Premium’s fingerprint sensor is another plus. There wasn’t a single time when it didn’t work properly. It was always quick and accurate. We also ran a few benchmark tests on the device. While it scored 1,904 and 5,072 in single core, and multi core of Geekbench 4, it got a score of 1,58,686 on Antutu.

Now let’s talk about the cameras of Sony XPERIA XZ Premium. Sony XPERIA XZ Premium has a 19MP rear camera with OIS, PDAF and LED flash. Having a sensor size of 1/2.3″, the smartphone’s camera is capable of recording 4K resolution video at 30fps, as well as HD quality super slow-mo video at 960fps. There’s also a 13MP front-facing snapper, which can record videos in Full HD resolution.

Let’s pick up the slow-motion mode in XPERIA XZ Premium’s camera first. Using the feature, you can capture key moments in a video in super-slow motion. There are three kinds of slow motion modes in the camera app of Sony XPERIA XZ Premium. One records at 120fps (can be used anytime during a normal video), the other two are Super Slow one-shot (that shoots the entire video in slow motion) and Super Slow Motion, which snaps at 960fps (that can be edited later).

We recorded a few videos using slow motion and they turned out to be great. Provided we clicked the button at the right moment, it slowed down the video and result was beautiful. Do remember, getting the right slow-mo shot may take a few attempts. Also, a point to remember here is that the slow-motion videos turn out to be good when they are shot in brightly lit areas. We were disappointed when we tried shooting one in an area that way dimly lit. The video quality deteriorates a lot.

The pictures taken by the primary camera of the device turned out to vibrant and very clear. The images were sharp and had very good quality. The colours and brightness were accurate too and there was no noticeable noise. We have no complaints as far as the primary camera goes. It worked well in brightly and dimly lit areas alike.

 

The camera app also comes with various other features like AR effect, 4K wide, Panorama, Sound photo and Creative effect. We tried all the effects on the device and we loved the AR and Creative effects. With AR effect, you can click pictures with various themes on it. Certain objects from that theme would appear once you click the picture and you can then place these objects according to your will.

 

Creative effect on the other hand, offers adding various filters to your picture before you click it. The selfie camera also did a good job, but we have seen better front facing snappers in this price segment.

 

Verdict

 

There are a number of things that we found very impressive about Sony XPERIA XZ Premium. The smartphone has a beautiful design and a superb display. The performance is simply excellent and it comes with features like slow motion videos. Over that, it’s a visual treat to watch 4K content on it.

 

If these are the features that you are looking for in a device, then you should go for it. However, in case you want to look at other options in the same price bracket, then you might want to check out Samsung Galaxy S8,

, LG G6 and Google Pixel.

 

 

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