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Sony Xperia XZ Premium First Impressions

Apart from the Xperia XZs, Sony has unleashed another premium smartphone, the XZ Premium. As the name suggest, this is the flagship handset from Sony.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium First Impressions
Is this the all-around flagship phone to beat?

They're also Sony's chance to make a dent in the highly competitive smartphone game. This time, the Xperia XZ Premium combined most of the modern features most want on an expensive flagship smartphone.

In particular, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the first smartphone to load with the latest and greatest Snapdragon 835 octa core processor, has the highest pixel density per inch on a 5.5 inch display, and has the 19 MP Motion Eye camera with 960 fps super slow motion.

Given all those traits, the Xperia XZ Premium arguably has the best specs you'll find on a smartphone today. Now, let's check out if it is worth all the hype.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch 4K HDR Triluminos 3840 x 2160 pixels w/ 2.5D curved glass and Gorilla Glass 5 protection at 807 ppi
CPU: 2.45 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 835 octa core processor
GPU: Adreno 540
RAM: 4 GB
ROM: 64 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 256 GB
Back Camera: 19 MP f/2.0 1/2.3 Inch Exmor RS w/ Motion Eye, Hybrid AF, SteadyShot, and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 13 MP f/2.0 1/3.06 Inch Exmor RS sensor
Battery: 3,230 mAh w/ Qnovo Adaptive Charging
OS: Android 7.1 Nougat
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer,  orientation, magnetic,  light,  proximity, gravity, rotation, gyroscope
Others: Fingerprint sensor, IP68 water and dust resistance, USB Type C, HiFi audio, Colors: deep sea black, luminous chrome, bronze pink
Dimensions: 156 x 77 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 195 g
Price: PHP 45,490

Disclaimer: This was just a borrowed unit for a limited time from Sony Philippines.

Build Quality / Design

Glossy back, more solid feel
Glossy back, more solid feel

No doubt, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the bigger and better version of the Xperia XZs. Materials used simply looks better, tougher, and sleeker overall. Coming from the metal back plate construction, this handset now has a metal sandwiched in Gorilla Glass 5 build.

Build is definitely better compared with XZs

Behind, the glass is chrome like that gives it a beautiful mirror like appeal. However, it is prone to fingerprint smudges. It still has the IP68 rating for water and dust resistance where you can submerge the phone for 1.5 meters deep for 30 mins.
Mic and 3.5 mm headphone slot on top
Mic and 3.5 mm headphone slot on top
USB Type C port and mic below
USB Type C port and mic below
Removable flap for SIM and micro SD card
Removable flap for SIM and micro SD card
Power button / fingerprint scanner and volume rocker at left
Shutter button at left
Shutter button at left

Design-wise, the Xperia XZ Premium still has Sony's OmniBalance design. It is boxy, stylish from afar, and generally looks okay. But, it lags in style against most modern flagship smartphones. Why? It still has that thick top and bottom bezels. The side bezels are very slim though.

Chrome glass finish looks nice, but it is prone to fingerprint smudges!

Like the XZs, the power button / fingerprint scanner is easy to reach. Reaching the volume rocker on one handed operation will make you exert more effort. There's a dedicated camera shutter button as well.

Ergonomically, the phone is just fine and feels refined. Surprisingly, it isn't as slippery as expected. It is simply great to hold overall.

Initial findings

The 19 MP Motion Eye behind
The 19 MP Motion Eye behind

1. Design and construction fells much better than the Xperia XZs. The 5.5 inch 4K HDR display is arguably the best in the market. It just doesn't have the near borderless design of S8 and G6. The top and bottom bezels are still thick.
2. It is equipped with Snapdragon 835 octa core processor, the flagship processor we wanted to see on a high-end smartphone. That is paired with Adreno 540 graphics and 4 GB of RAM.
3. There's a clean type of Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. Bloats are minimal.
4. Like the Xperia XZs, the 19 MP Motion Eye camera both interesting and promising. However, the 960 fps super slow motion only works well in daylight. The selfie camera is vibrant and wide.
5. We're excited about the Hi-Res audio capabilities of this handset. OTG also works and there's LED notification available. Physical Android keys were replaced on-screen buttons. Speaker is front firing and the fingerprint scanner / power button is located on the right side.

As of the moment

Get the Sony Xperia XZ Premium over the Xperia XZs at all cost. It is simply the better buy with a little price hike. This is the real flagship smartphone of Sony. It's made out of premium materials, equipped with the latest specs, and simply looks better overall.

This is the right handset that Sony can pit against the heavyweights from Samsung, Huawei, and LG. Why? So far, this device seems to have that good sense of balance in style and overall performance.

It has the potential to put Sony back on top. We'll verify that in our full review.
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