The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is everything you want for a top-dollar Android smartphone. Remember when I told you that the Xperia XZs was amazing, well, the Xperia XZ Premium is mind-blowing. Its 4K screen, insane processing speed and pioneering super slow-motion cameras are just breathtaking. However, the large XZ Premium might be a little too blocky design-wise for some. Nevertheless, at a price of S$1098, the Xperia XZ Premium is a flagship that seriously challenges the likes of Apple and Samsung.
The Xperia XZ Premium may excel in many areas, but honestly, design isn’t one of them. It retains the classic Xperia look, which is blocky and edgy on all sides, giving off a very strong masculine feel. Whilst this may work on smaller Xperia devices like the XZs, it doesn’t quite cut it for the XZ Premium as it gives it a kind of chunky look. With a 5.46” screen, the device comes in at 156 x 77 x 7.9mm and 195g, which makes it bigger and heavier than its competitors with bigger screens in the market.
With the exception of the top and bottom of the smartphone, the Xperia XZ Premium is glossy on all sides. Whilst this looks elegant, it may turn your device into a fingerprint magnet.
The sides of the phone are nearly bezel-less, which I loved, but the top and bottom of the phone have quite a large frame, which I thought if shaved off, will make the phone a lot sleeker. Also note the top-mounted 3.5mm audio jack. While some phone makers have now dropped the analogue port, Sony still includes this, though the Xperia XZ Premium is equipped with Sony’s Hi-Res audio suite that includes Sony’s DXEE HX for digital up-sampling and digital noise cancelling.
Your fingerprint sensor is located on the right as usual, which is useful for right-handed people but not really the left-handed ones. The earphone jack is located at the top and your USB Charging Port is located on the bottom.
Your Xperia XZ Premium is also IP68 certified, indicating that it is waterproof up to 1 metre in freshwater, but as usual, it’s not recommended to dunk your device into water too often.
The Xperia XZ Premium is one of the XZ Premium’s most unique points. It offers a 4K display that is HDR10 compliant, something very few devices in the market are capable of. Just like Sony’s BRAVIA TVs. the Xperia XZ Premium is capable of Adaptive Tone Mapping which ensures that the bright screen contents don’t get clipped when you pump up your display brightness.
Maximum brightness is great at 573nits and contrast is stellar at 1238, There’s really nothing but praise for the Xperia XZ in this department.
The Xperia XZ Premium is a complete beast in this area. The XZ Premium rocks a solid Snapdragon 835 processor as well as the Adreno 540 GPU which is the latest gen of chipsets in the market. Alongside 4GB of RAM, the XZ Premium seriously dominates its competition in this area.
Daily productivity apps are completely a walk in the park for the XZ Premium and even intensive video editing processes alongside heavy gaming feels like a breeze on the Xperia XZ Premium.
I confirmed these with the Antutu Benchmarks and the 3DMark tests for performance and gaming respectively, getting a stellar score of 165,377 and 3541 respectively, which both score superseding the Galaxy S8’s 158,207 and 1989.
The Xperia XZ Premium of course, once again sports an incredible camera that makes it worthy of its Xperia series title.
The device now holds a 19MP IMX400 ExmorRS sensor which we have seen on the XZs that we’ve previously reviewed as well, which gives it the superb motion eye feature that lets you shoot in super slow-motion at 960fps, about 4x more than other slow-motion cameras.
Here’s an example of the Xperia XZ Premium’s super slow motion video mode, captured during the smartphone’s Singapore launch event:
In daylight conditions, the shots are fantastic. Backlit shots are a walk in the park fot the Xperia Z Premium since its HDR and auto intelligent scene recognition is amazing. Clarity is also superb here, with the details really popping out.
Colour reproduction is great in well-lit conditions, but when the light fades and in low-light conditions, you will notice that colour getting washed out a little more. Noise also creeps in because the sensor doesn’t have a very wide aperture, only sporting a f/2.0 aperture, which isn’t the best frankly.
The front camera seems to do decently for itself, I really liked the palm shutter that allows you to raise your palm to shoot photos so you can control it using a tripod when taking selfies or wefies.
The battery life on the Xperia XZ Premium is fairly average, lasting about 10 hours. Considering it holds a 4K resolution screen, I would say that’s quite decent already. You will notice the 3.250mAh battery is also QuickCharge 3.0-enabled, so recharging it is pretty fast, hitting from 0 to about 40% in under 30 minutes.
It also doesn’t overheat as much as the Z5 since they have already shifted the processor to the side of the phone, which makes it a lot cooler and the lack of overheating actually helps protect the lifespan of the battery.
In general, at S$1098, I personally feel that the Xperia XZ Premium is a great smartphone to purchase for those who are inclined towards high-speed smartphones built for heavy work duty, gaming and photography. The only limitations of the smartphone are its bulky build and perhaps less than stellar low-light shooting capabilities.