Friday, 23 June 2017 13:38

Sony launches the Xperia XZ Premium – as good as it gets (first look)


Sony has launched its uber flagship Xperia XZ Premium and it has as much new tech packed into the 5.5” glass slab as any other to date.

This $1099 smartphone has the 2017 tech goodies – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 5.5” 4K Triluminous, 16:9 screen, Cat 16 gigabit LTE, USB 3.1, Gorilla Glass 5, IP68, 19MP triple image motion eye sensor, Hi-Res audio, a 3.5mm audio jack and Nougat 7.1.

“Xperia XZ Premium is our most technologically capable smartphone ever and we’re thrilled that the product will be ranged across all Australian carriers, major retailer JB Hi-Fi, as well as direct through Sony,” said John Featherstone, managing director of Sony Mobile Oceania.

“Perfectly suited to the Australian way of life and our love of photography, the new Motion Eye camera technology has once again proven that Sony Mobile is at the forefront of smartphone technology. From 960fps Super slow-motion playback, Predictive capture, to 4K HDR display; we are proud to introduce many world’s first hero features. With the Xperia XZ Premium, we offer our users a truly unique and personalised experience like no other," he added.

Sony appears to have come up with an outright winner at a price that is attractive – especially as the Apple and Samsung flagships cost about 35%-50% more and offer, in reality, no more.

However, the 68.4% screen to body ratio caused by the huge top and bottom bezels lessens the visual appeal over phones that are achieving 75% or more. To its credit it follows the Sony visual style cues well.

Sony XZ motion eye

As this is really just a very preliminary first look I have put the specifications and comments in a table. iTWire will be reviewing this very soon.


Sony XZ Premium



8141 Single SIM/dedicated microSD 8141

8142 Dual SIM, second slot doubles as microSD

Telcos are demanding single SIM models


5.46”, 4K, 3840 x 2160, 807ppi, IPS, TriLuminous colour, HDR10, Gorilla Glass 5 front and back

Sony uses the best quality IPS LED screen and HDR10 movie support is great. However, AMOLED is fast becoming mandatory on a flagship class device. Note: defaults to HD when not playing 4K content.

No mention of VR.


68.4% screen to body ratio.

Manifested by larger top and bottom bezels and the soft keys still eat into the screen area.

IP rating


6 = No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.

8 = The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water up to 1.5m for 30 minutes

Matches Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Plus and LG G6. 


Qualcomm 835, eight-core (4x2.45 GHz Kryo & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo) and Adreno 540 GPU

The best you can get. In independent tests, it was amongst the fastest flagships so far generally coming just under the Samsung GS8 Exynos chip.






To 256GB, OTG to 2TB external devices

As expected



19MP 1/2.3” IMX400 ExmorRS mobile

25mm focal length, f/2.0 Sony G lens

“Motion Eye” predictive capture

1.22 µm pixels and ISO 12800

HDR, 960fps upper slow-mo

Steady Shot (gyro 5-axis)

Predictive phase detection and laser autofocus

4K at 30fps recording

Single LED flash

On paper, this is a winner. While the pixels are larger they are not up to the 1.4 µm of Samsung’s GS8 and the f/2.0 lens is behind its f/1.7. Google Pixel has the class leading camera at 1.5 µm!

Not sure if Steady Shot is optical or electronic image stabilisation – suspect the latter and it works only to HD level.



13MP, 1/3.06” ExmorRS

22mm, f/2.0 wide-angle lens

1.12 µm pixel, ISO 6400


Steady Shot

1080p @30fps video record

Looks good but no mention of screen fill flash


Cat 16 (1Gbps/150Mbps) – bands not specified.

3x carrier aggregation.

Assume that it will be a world modem with at least 20 bands.


Wi-Fi AC dual band 2x2 MU-MIMO

Wi-Di and DLNA

Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX



PS4 connect

All flagship class.


Fingerprint in right side power button

USB 3.1 Gen 1

USB-C 3.1 gen 1 means up to 5Gbps data transfer. No MHL video output – casting only


High-Resolution Audio (LPCM, FLAC, ALAC, DSD)

Clear Audio+ with stereo front facing speakers

3.5mm combo jack

Stereo mics and digital noise cancelling

Nice to see lossless Hi-Res as well as lossy and the 3.5mm jack – a must.



Qnovo adaptive charging

Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (standard 5V/1.5A charger supplied – you have to buy Quick Charge)

In other Sony X series the battery lasts all day and when Qnovo and Stamina mode kicks in (adaptive) it may get considerably longer use


Android 7.1

Latest and Sony’s skinning is light.



156 x 77 x 7.9 mm


This is a big phone. By comparison the Samsung 5.8” S8 is 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm x 155g.


Luminous Chrome and Deep Sea Black

Depends on Single and Dual sim and retailer.


Carriers  / Retailers





$90/month ($85 My Plan Plus with $5 monthly device repayments) Total min. cost over 24 months $2160

Online and in-store 23 June

Deep Sea Black

Virgin Mobile

$63/month ($13 handset on Virgin Mobile’s $50 Postpaid phone plan, min total cost $1,512 over 24 months)

Online and in-store 23 June

Deep Sea Black


$0 upfront on $80 MyMix Red Data plan. Over 24 months

(Total min cost $1920). ^

Online and in-store 23 June

Deep Sea Black

JB Hi-Fi

$1099 RRP

Pre-order 23 June

In-store 4 July

Luminous Chrome and Deep Sea Black


$1099 RRP

Online 23 June

In-kiosk 23 June

Luminous Chrome and Deep Sea Black






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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!



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