Sony has announced the Sony Xperia XZ Premium at Mobile World Congress 2017, and it promises to make a visual impact worthy of Hollywood.
The Japanese tech giant hopes that its new flagship smartphone will be a treat for the eyes in three key areas. You’ll notice the first of these the second you lay your eyes on the handset, with its mirrored metallic finishes (both ‘Luminous Chrome’ and ‘Deepsea Black’) standing out from a crowd of matte aluminium.
That visual allure is more than skin deep, though. Consider the phone’s new Motion Eye camera system, which features the kind of memory-stacked Exmor RS sensor you’d expect to find in a dedicated high end compact camera.
As a result of dedicating memory to the 19MP camera sensor, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium can deliver five times faster image scanning and data transfer than before. This is utilised in the phone’s unprecedented 960 fps super slo-mo video capturing capabilities - that’s around four times slower than other flagship phones have managed.
Sony’s dedicated memory trick also bears fruit when it comes to shooting still images. Predictive Capture means that the Xperia XZ’s camera will start buffering images as soon as it detects motion, before you’ve even pressed the phone’s physical shutter button. This means that you’ll have a whole range of images to choose from for each moment you capture.
The third eye-catching element of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is its display. We’re used to 2K displays (AKA ‘QHD’) in modern Android smartphones, but Sony’s latest features a 4K resolution. That’s the same number of pixels as the latest high-end TV sets, all packed into a 5.5-inch form factor.
However, 4K isn’t even the Xperia XZ Premium display’s defining feature. After all, the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium had a similarly sharp display back in 2015. No, the true headline feature here is Hyper Dynamic Range, or HDR, which serves to boost colour, contrast, and brightness to new levels.
With the XZ Premium there’s a much greater difference between dark and light areas of the picture, and more degrees of each colour. Blacks are blacker, whites whiter, and reds more nuanced. To help show this off, Sony has worked with Amazon to ensure that there’s plenty of readily available 4K HDR video content that the phone can show at its best.
All of this technology will be driven by a Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is a step on from the Snapdragon 821 we saw powering the Google Pixel late last year - and even the LG G6 that was announced just recently.
Of particular interest here at 3G is the Qualcomm chip’s integrated Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, which will make the XZ Premium one of the very first smartphones capable of Gigabit Class LTE for download speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Of course, by the time the Sony Xperia XZ Premium hits shops in late spring 2017 it will have some serious competition from the likes of Samsung and LG. But on this early evidence, it certainly won’t struggle to make itself seen among such illustrious company.
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