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Review: Sony Xperia XZ Premium

LiveMint logoLiveMint 20-06-2017 Vishal Mathur

The Xperia XZ Premium is Sony’s latest marvel smartphone, though it clings to its roots. While rival phone makers are shifting to slimmer designs and experimenting with the display, Sony has retained the industrial design we have been seeing for many years. It feels dated next to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6 or HTC U 11. On the plus side, though, the Xperia XZ Premium’s rounded spines and chamfered edges feel nice when you are holding the phone. 

The 5.5-inch IPS display, is the first ever in a phone with 3,840x2,160 4K resolution—just for perspective, the 5.8-inch display in the Galaxy S8 has 2,960x1,440 resolution. It has fantastic colours, good viewing angles and contrast. The Xperia XZ Premium supports the HDR10 standard for 4K videos.

At present, however, most of the Netflix content works with the rival Dolby Vision standard, which the LG G6 supports. This means the 4K version of Netflix’s Daredevil shows up on the G6, but not on the XZ Premium.  

The 19-megapixel camera does a stellar job of capturing smoother moving visuals and has incredibly fast focus. The individual pixels are larger than before, allowing for more light capture. It returns great detailing in most shots, though the algorithms still do aggressive noise reduction, which sometimes reduce the sharpness of an image. The XZ Premium’s 960 frames per second (fps) slow-motion video-recording capabilities  are truly impressive—be it a waterfall or a butterfly’s majestic flight from one flower to another. The camera stumbles occasionally in low light and loses out to more capable dual-camera rivals such as the LG G6. 

This is the first smartphone in India with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. It is paired with 4 GB RAM. Performance is top-notch despite the rather dated-looking custom interface. The 3,230 mAh battery easily lasts a day of use and stretches to a day and a half if you use the power-saver mode. 

The Xperia XZ Premium is leading the way with the latest processor, a true 4K display and the 960 fps camera, but it is hard to ignore that the equally fantastic, and perhaps more modern Samsung Galaxy S8 (Rs57,900) and LG G6 (Rs39,990) cost significantly lesser too.

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