The Sony XZ Premium is Sony’s new flagship smartphone, part of its renamed mobile portfolio, the Xperia XZ series. The premium successor of the Xperia XZ, launched at IFA 2016 last September, the new handset comes in a larger and shinier body.

The key innovations are the 4K HDR 5.5-inch display (resolution), the 3-layers 19 MP rear camera sensor with stacked memory, announced by Sony at the beginning of the month, and the latest and fastest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, unveiled at CES 2017.

Since Samsung seems to get a three months exclusivity for the Snapdragon 835, may be because the Korean company partnered with Qualcomm to manufacture the SoC, the Sony XZ Premium will only be available in late spring, for an undisclosed price.

I played briefly  with the new Sony flagship and here are my first impressions:

Pros: excellent rear camera with new 3-layer sensor, promising front camera with high resolution, excellent 4K HDR display, latest Snapdragon 835 SoC, elegant and thin design

Cons: no fingerprint reader for the US market

Bottom line: we still need to see how it compares with competitors that will launch in the next few months, but so far this phone is quite impressive, and delivers a unique camera and display experience (on the paper and from a very brief encounter).

What’s New: Xperia XZ vs. Xperia XZ Premium

The XZ Premium gets more of a flagship feel than the previous XZ model, which is probably the predecessor of the Xperia XZ S, launched alongside its larger Premium sibling at MWC 2017.
The larger 5.5-inch display has been upgraded from a 1080p to a 4K resolution with HDR (high Dynamic range) for better contrast and wider color gamut. Just like the XZ the new XZ S has a 5.2-inch display – read the article for more detail on the Sony Xperia XZ S.

The XZ features a Snapdragon 820, one of the top Qualcomm processors of last year, while the XZ Premium is powered by the Snapdragon 835. And it gets way more RAM: 4GB, a good upgrade from the 3GB of the XZ.

The front camera module is brand new, with a 3-layered 1/ 2.3” sensor that enables a few new features for a slightly lower resolution of 19 MP (vs. 23 MP for the XZ)  – read the camera paragraph for more information.

Industrial Design (Excellent)

What’s sets Sony’s flagship apart from the current competitors, is its super shiny body, and the Luminous Chrome model could be easily used as a mirror. The rounded edges on the sides and the sleek design deliver a quite elegant look, and it feels comfortable in the palm.

The metal antenna at the top and the bottom flat edges are perfectly integrated and thus, the back cover has a unified texture, unlike the mid-range XA1 series. The top and bottom bezels are quite large, which means that the display to body ratio is low compared to the competitors.

The Premium feel is certainly due to the 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5, covering both the back and the front of the device. And it is surprising to know that such a thin beauty is also IP65 and IP68 dust tight, water jets resistant and immersion resistant, at 1 m. Learn more about waterproof IP ratings.

At the bottom, you will find the USB 3.1 -Type C connector that enables 5GB/s data transfer speed and Sony kept the 3.5mm audio jack at the top.

The power button on the side acts as a fingerprint sensor, for the rest of the world, but not for the US market, and Sony did not disclose the reason. We suspect that Sony tries to reduce its bill of materials, and to do so, the manufacturer remove various components in different depending on usage or priorities.

Filed in Cellphones >Reviews. Read more about Android, Qualcomm, Snapdragon 835, Sony, Xperia.

Display
5.5"
3840x2160
IPS LCD
801 PPI
Price
~$500 - Amazon
Camera
19 MP
F Aperture F-Stop
Weight
195 g
Battery
3230 mAh
Non-Removable
No Wireless Charg.
Launched in
2017-02-01
System
4GB RAM
MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 + MicroSD
Storage (GB)
64
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