Xperia XZ Premium is the second smartphone from the company after the Sony Z5 Premium to sport a 4K display, though this is a 4K HDR resolution display. This means Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium can play content shot in HDR format, and so far it has partnered with Amazon Prime Video for this HDR ready content. Sony has itself announced plans to concentrate on the premium category in the smartphone business where the company is struggling to make a mark. Premium is not an easy category to play, given Apple and Samsung’s domination. So how does Sony Xperia XZ Premium fare in our review? Here’s what we thought after using this phone.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium has the familiar wide, angular design just like the previous generations. It sports that glass and metal body just like the S8 series and the recent HTC U11, and LG G6. Like all these other phones, this is smudge city. You’ll need to keep a special tissue or cloth at hand to keep the phone sparkly clean. The Deep Sea Black colour review unit we got does have a unique reflective colour shiny all around, all of which screams premium.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium has the fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button, and there’s a dedicated camera button as well. It has 5.5-inch display with 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution, but the company hasn’t done away with bezels on the side or top. At 5.5-inches, this is still an old-school display, and the phone is just slightly wider than the Galaxy S8+ which sports a bigger 6.2-inch Infinity Display. Sony Xperia XZ Premium comes with 4 GB RAM + 64GB on board storage, and overall we did not face too many problems with running multiple apps on this smartphone.
However, it’s not all smooth in this device. There were moments when the camera app didn’t open for me, and I had to restart the phone to get this issue sorted. And yes, the Sony problem of the device getting warm when pushed for too long is there.
Sony’s new phone sports a 19 MP ‘Motion Eye’ camera, and this one also has the 960 FPS slow mode. Now the camera is something that takes time to getting used to. So the camera comes with “Predictive Capture”, which the company claims “buffers images one second before you press the shutter button, and lets you choose from a best of four images”. There are small differences between these shots, and you might not always see them when asked to pick the best shot. The Predictive Capture feature can be turned off in the settings though, and it will work better for action based shots.
Battery is the unpredictable part of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. In the PC Mark battery test it scored around 4 hours-plus, which is really not acceptable for a premium smartphone. Depending on your usage you can make this phone last for a day. I used this phone to listen to music all day, run WiFi hotspot and inevitably by the end of the day it would be down to under 20%.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium comes with Android Nougat 7.1.1 with Sony’s Xperia UI on top. It is loaded with Sony’s own apps as well, and the UI isn’t so bad or clunky. Could I do without a Sony app folder on the phone? Sure, but this phone has enough storage to keep most people happy. Notifications from the Xperia Lounge can be annoying, and it’s best to turn these off.
There is no doubt that the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a top-notch phone. The camera ticks the right boxes, the overall UI and performance is not bad, though it could be smoother. However, this still has an outdated design and a display, which despite the 4K feature, looks old, and the heating problems haven’t gone away.
Estimated street price: Rs 59,990