Sony continued its quick-fire smartphone release schedule with the announcement of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium at MWC 2017. But this time things are a little different.
For the first time in a while, Sony is going to be taking the initiative on raw specs. Make no mistake, this is shaping up to be a beast of a phone.
To illustrate just how far Sony is pushing the envelope with its latest flagship, we though a comparison was in order. Here’s how the Sony Xperia XZ Premium stacks up against its six-month-old predecessor, the Sony Xperia XZ.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (156 x 77 x 7.9 mm) vs Sony Xperia XZ (146 x 72 x 8.1 mm)
Sony has kept its signature squared-edged design approach with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, but there are some notable departures from the vanilla Sony Xperia XZ.
Out goes the all-metal back of the Xperia XZ, in comes a glossy glass back. Sony has also added a mirrored finish to its new phone, which is certainly striking.
In terms of size, the new phone is both taller and wider than its predecessor - but also two millimetres thinner.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (5.5-inch 2160 x 3840 HDR) vs Sony Xperia XZ (5.2-inch 1080 x 1920)
Here’s where the big differences really start. Whereas the Sony Xperia XZ was accused in some quarters of having a slightly underwhelming 5.2-inch screen with a scant 1080p resolution, Sony has gone completely the other way with the Xperia XZ Premium.
Now we’re looking at a whopping 5.5-inch display with a 4K resolution - that’s double that of most flagship phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Google Pixel XL.
Sony has actually made a 4K smartphone before in the Sony Xperia Z5, but even that one didn’t have HDR technology. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s Hyper Dynamic Range display will boast much higher contrast than the XZ, with deeper blacks and greater colour variance.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (octa-core Snapdragon 835 4GB RAM) vs Sony Xperia XZ (quad-core Snapdragon 820 3GB RAM)
The Sony Xperia XZ was by no means underpowered when it launched late last year, with its Snapdragon 820 CPU the go-to flagship CPU in 2016.
However, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium takes things to the next level, skipping the incrementally improved Snapdragon 821 in favour of a Snapdragon 835.
The Snapdragon 835 has been made in collaboration with Samsung with a tiny 10-nanometer process node, allowing for greater efficiency and boosted performance.
In addition, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium has 4GB of RAM to the XZ’s 3GB.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (19MP rear 13MP front) vs Sony Xperia XZ (23MP rear 13MP front)
Don’t let the apparent drop in megapixel count fool you - Sony is doing big things with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s camera.
Chief among those new tricks is the camera’s so-called Motion Eye sensor. By giving the image sensor a dedicated allotment of memory, Sony has enabled the phone to start capturing images before you even press the shutter.
Not only does this memory mean that you can be guaranteed you’ve captured the perfect moment, it can also be put to use to shoot super slo-mo 960fps video.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (3230mAh 64 GB 4G) vs Sony Xperia XZ (2900mAh 32GB/64GB 4G)
Of course, all those extra pixels being thrown around on the Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s larger and brighter display will take an extra toll on battery life. Fortunately, that battery is now 330mAh bigger than the Sony Xperia XZ’s.
That’s not the only thing that’s more capacious. Sony has done away with the 32GB storage option of the XZ - it now comes in 64GB only, with the same option of microSD expansion.
Both phones are 4G ready, but the Xperia XZ Premium has a little something extra here too. Its Snapdragon X16 LTE modem makes it one of the very first smartphones capable of Gigabit Class LTE for download speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The Sony Xperia XZ is available right now for around £530 SIM-free. Pricing for the Sony Xperia XZ Premium hasn’t been confirmed as yet, but you can expect it to be considerably more money when it launches in late spring 2017.
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is one of the most exciting phones of 2017 so far. It’s got a display that pushes past anything on offer from its major rivals (in terms of resolution at least), and a cutting edge processor that should be faster than anything currently on the market.
Also take into account those camera innovations, which promise to capture the precise moment you’re after every time you raise the handset to take a snap.
While the Sony Xperia XZ was a decent phone, it struggled to stand out from a competitive crowd. We can’t see its Premium brother keeping such a low profile when it arrives this spring.
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