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Sony Mobile XZ Premium smartphone review – lives up to its premium name

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The Sony XZ Premium certainly lives up to its name with the premium display, a premium camera and premium audio quality as well as a premium design so it will attract a premium customer.

If you want to enjoy 4K content, like to listen to Hi-Res audio and want a mobile camera like no other, then the Sony XZ Premium is the device for you.

Sony Mobile has cherry picked the company’s best technology and placed it aboard its new flagship smartphone.

It’s an ambitious device that doesn’t try to hide the fact it is designed for customers who appreciate quality.

DESIGN

The XZ Premium has a design which has evolved from its predecessors and adopted curved edges and a high gloss finish.

You can feel the quality when you’re holding it in your hand with light playing on its reflective surfaces.

It has a 5.5-inch display with plenty of room above and below the screen even though it doesn’t have a physical home button.

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Samsung and LG have changed things up with the design of their devices by dedicating as much of the front face as they can to the display.

Sony has stuck by the core of its design seen in earlier models.

The XZ Premium is slightly shorter than the Galaxy S8+ and slightly wider yet it has a screen that is 0.7 inches smaller.

The on-off button with built-in fingerprint reader is located on the right edge of the device and is really easy to unlock just by gripping it.

And of course, the XZ Premium has an IP68 rating which makes it water resistant.

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4K HDR DISPLAY

Yes, you read that right. The Sony Mobile XZ Premium is the world’s first smartphone with a 4K HDR (high dynamic range) screen.

It has inherited the same technology used in Sony’s Bravia TVs and is just gorgeous to look at.

The display has the same number of pixels as the 4K TV in your lounge room and there is plenty of content you can already enjoy on it today.

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In considering the number of times we look at our phone compared to the times we watch TV, our phone is way ahead of our lounge room TV in terms of the amount of time we spend in its gaze.

To us that makes a whole lot of sense especially when you think how much content we consume on the go.

We never got tired of looking at the screen.

CAMERA

Sony Mobile have always had exceptional cameras in their smartphones and the XZ premium is certainly no exception.

This time around we get a 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera with predictive hybrid autofocus and triple image sensing technology.

Pictures and videos look stunning as you’d expect from a camera of this quality.

Shot taken with Sony Mobile XZ Premium
Shot taken with Sony Mobile XZ Premium

Included is predictive capture which means the camera can sense where your subject will move and have the focus already adjusted.

It’s already looking ahead and buffering images even before you press the shutter button.

It even allows the user to choose the best frame of that photo – the one you took all the predictive shot.

Shot with Sony Mobile XZ Premium
Shot with Sony Mobile XZ Premium

When we were using the device, it was often the predictive shot we chose to keep.

You can record video 4K quality and has five-axis stabilisation.

Images shot in low light looks fine but we wish we could say the same for videos shown in the same condition which were quite grainy.

Shot with Sony Mobile XZ Premium
Shot with Sony Mobile XZ Premium

One of our favourite features was the super slow motion video which records at 960 frames per second so you can play it back four times slower than the slow-mo on any other device.

When you switch to this mode and start shooting video, you can choose when to engage the super slow motion.

It was tricky to get the timing right at first because super slow motion is only captured a couple of seconds at a time before reverting to regular video.

But after a while we did get the hang of it came up with some interesting videos.

Our pet Dalmatians with the subject of most of them but the only limit is your imagination and opens up a whole new way of looking at things.

PERFORMANCE

The Sony Mobile XZ has 4GB RAM and a 64GB internal memory with a microSD card slot to expand that by an additional 256GB.

It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and is running the Google Android Nougat 7.1 operating system.

Sony’s user interface is fairly unobtrusive but there are a few doubled-up apps with Sony’s own apps for photos, videos and music alongside Google’s.

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AUDIO

On the audio side, you can hear high resolution audio with the Sony Mobile XZ with bit rates up to that of CDs six times that of CDs and MP3 files.

So if you’re fussy about your audio quality, this device will easily meet your needs.

It also has built-in digital noise cancellation (DNC) to reduce up to 98 per cent of ambient noise when paired with compatible DNC earphones.

BATTERY

The Sony Mobile XZ Premium has a 3,230mAh battery that powers through the day and night.

The excellent battery life comes down to the intelligent Smart Stamina feature acts like the gatekeeper for the battery and only hands out power when needed.

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It can predict your usage based on your habits, reduce your energy consumption and give you the choice of power saving levels.

You also get you a heads up well ahead of time so you can activate Stamina mode and keep you running even longer.

It helps to have a decent size battery to begin with, but the XZ Premium takes that even further.

Sony Mobile Xperia XZ Premium

Price: $1,099

VERDICT

The Sony Mobile XZ Premium is an impressive smartphone that offers a number of high-end features for the discerning customer with an eye for quality.

The Sony XZ Premium certainly lives up to its name with the premium display, a premium camera and premium audio quality as well as a premium design so it will attract a premium customer. If you want to enjoy 4K content, like to listen to Hi-Res audio and want a mobile camera like no other, then the Sony XZ Premium is the device for you. Sony Mobile has cherry picked the company’s best technology and placed it aboard its new flagship smartphone. It's an ambitious device that doesn't try to hide the fact it is designed for customers who appreciate…

Sony Mobile XZ Premium

Rating - 90%

90%

PROS: Nice design, solid build quality, stunning 4K display, excellent camera, cool super slow mo, hi-res audio, great battery life.

CONS: Large device, could have fit a larger screen in the same form factor, grainy video in low light, reflective surface shows up fingerprints.

VERDICT: The Sony Mobile XZ Premium is an impressive smartphone that offers a number of high-end features for the discerning customer with an eye for quality.

User Rating: 3.07 ( 13 votes)