Flagships come and go, but Sony sticks to the same plan of action. Ever since the Japanese giant discontinued its Xperia Z series, we’ve been missing the Sony we once loved so much. The company seemed to have lost interest in the spec-chasing smartphone game and is hardly offering anything new in the Xperia X series. We have seen a handful of Xperia X devices, but none of them actually speaks of what we should have seen half a year ago.
Now, Sony’s late 2016 flagship, the Xperia XZ is here and we’re wondering whether it will change the fate of Xperia phones or get overshadowed by the likes of Google Pixel, iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. The specs suggest some seriously important hardware upgrades, but you cannotpick a Sony until you’re absolutely sure of what’s on the inside. Even if it’s the most interesting phone from the company in past two years!
So, here’s how the new Xperia XZ measures up in the high-end segment:
Design and Build Quality
As we’ve come to expect, Sony Xperia XZ is a rectangular metal slab with fine aesthetics and enhanced focus on the ergonomics. Unlike recent Sony models, Xperia XZ flaunts a beautiful profile directed towards the comfort factor. It’s made from the same polycarbonate trim and metal back panel that we saw on the Xperia X, but the combination of metal and plastic has been handled in a much better way.
Xperia XZ bears a sturdy plastic metal frame with curved corners and a polished metal back panel with curved edges. It looks big and premium from all angles, but it’s worthy to note that a major portion of the device is plastic and not aluminium. Along with the standard set of power and volume rockers, it comes with a fingerprint scanner and a dedicated camera button for snappy photography.
We have to admit, the design strategy opted by Sony makes a great style statement. Xperia XZ is nicely put together, even with a display as big as 5.2-inches. The phone is a little thick at 8.1mm, but that’s not something to be concerned about!
Screen Size and Quality
At 5.2-inches, the display bundled with Xperia XZ endows picture-perfect visuals with perfect viewing angles. The “TRILUMINOS” LCD panel used by the company upgrades standard viewing experience into an immersive and engaging treat. It promises distortion free content in broad daylight and appears as crisp as any high-end flagship in the market. You might feel a little off with 1080p resolution, but in our opinion, that’s more than enough to cater gamers and movie-buffs. Full-HD looks weaker than flagship specific Quad-HD panels, but that’s just on paper. In real world, Sony’s full-HD is just as clear as Samsung’s Quad-HD. It looks vivid and gets even better with Sony things such as, X-Reality and image enhancement.
For flagship performance, Sony Xperia XZ deploys the latest Snapdragon 820 processor with four Kyro cores, two clocked at 2.15GHz and other two running at 1.6GHz. The handset brings a major upgrade over SD810, and promises enhanced performance and power-efficiency with 3 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM and Adreno 530 GPU. It runs games like Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2, and Minecraft without any lags and also includes 32 gigabytes of inbuilt storage for reading and writing data at blazing speeds.
Long story short, if you’re looking for graphic intensive gaming with least lags or glitches, Xperia XZ has got all the goods to kick it up a notch.
Moving towards audio quality, Sony packs a powerful audio experience with Xperia XZ. The device uses front-facing stereo speakers to produce high-quality audio with rich bass and enhanced loudness. It might not sound better than HTC’s boomsound speakers, but there are plenty of features that can be used to upscale standard compressed audio into high-res quality when using earphones.
Sony Xperia XZ comes with Android Marshmallow out-of-the box and a bunch of nifty features. The interface looks pretty much like stock Android, but the gentle touches from Sony and things like Smart Cleaner, Smart Lock, and Stamina Mode do make a big difference.
As for other elements, the customizable app-drawer comes with a bunch of proprietary apps from the Sony. It lets you sort the apps using different measures and works smoothly with several multimedia apps from the company. You can even customize the look and feel of Xperia XZ with free and paid themes available for download.
On whole, the UI is smooth and complete. Moreover, regular updates from Sony will make a difference, especially when Android 7 Nougat is in the pipeline. As per recent updates, the company will soon bring the latest iteration of Android to Xperia XZ with a bunch of exciting features.
Sony’s camera technology has always been a class apart. Right from the very first Xperia, the company has offered top-notch camera sensors with enhanced pixel count and leading technologies. Though lack of optical image stabilization has always been a cause of trouble for the company, this time all issues are addressed with a powerful camera sensor on both ends.
Xperia XZ uses a 23-megapixel Exmor RS sensor with an aperture as wide as f/2.0. The camera deploys 5-axis stabilization, a technology from company’sHandyCams and pairs it up with color spectrum sensors, laser autofocus, and an LED flash. It gives lifelike imagery with very fine details and keeps more than enough room by shooting at 8MP.
Sony has finally introduced hardware stabilization into to one of its phones. The technology brings a bunch of improvements for photography, especially in dull and low-lit environments. Whether in Superior Auto or Manual mode, Sony’s perfectly equipped camera app will give you a number of tools to play with. It’ll select the perfect mode for you and produce vivid shots with every details.
Even the 13-megapixel f/2.0 front-facing shooter does the job with picture-perfect selfies. It includes HDR Mode and also captures 1080p videos at 30fps.
Seeing Xperia XZ and its spectacular set of specs, we have to admit Sony has created a perfect masterpiece. The device might just lose against Google Pixel or iPhone 7, but there’s no big reason that undermines the value of this beauty. It runs on a 2900mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 and lasts more than a day very easily!