Meet the flagship Sony Xperia XZ Premium with 4K HDR display & 960fps slow-mo video

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Earlier today, or late last night depending on your time zone, Sony took to stage at MWC 2017 to unveil their latest phones and as predicted by previous rumors, a flagship model as well. Named the Xperia XZ Premium, the name harkens back to the well received Xperia Z5 Premium. Since then, to many, Sony hasn’t had a true flagship phone but as the name suggests, all that changes and a beloved feature of the Z5 Premium has made its way to the XZ Premium as well – a 4K display.

Easily the most noteworthy feature of the 5.5-inch displayed phone is going to be its 4K HDR screen. From Sony:

 For the first time on mobile, you can enjoy a selection of 4K HDR content from Amazon Prime Video on Xperia XZ Premium. Stream or download select Amazon Originals series to watch whenever and wherever you want, with intensely vivid colours and breath-taking clarity. 

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The fact the feature is limited to Amazon Prime Video is a bit strange but it’s likely that other services like Netflix probably don’t offer 4K HDR content for mobile yet and not some sort of strange exclusivity between the two companies. By the way, if you’re wondering what the most boring way is to showcase a 4K HDR screen on a phone, wonder no more:

Of course, if Amazon Prime videos in 4K aren’t your thing, you can always record them yourself.

On the camera front, perhaps the most important feature of the phone is a powerful 1/2.3-inch 19-megapixel camera sensor with a higher pixel pitch (1.22μm) that according to Sony:

 has 19% larger pixels to capture more light and provides exceptional detail and sharp images even in low-light and backlit conditions 

when compared against other Xperia phones. The other big thing Sony wants to talk about is their Motion Eye camera system which allows you to record video in 960 frames per second with that 25mm wide G Lens F2.0. As for the front-facing camera, you’ll find a 13-megapixel 1/3.06-inch Exmor RS sensor with 22mm wide angle F2.0 lens.

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Other noteworthy features include:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • 3,230mAh battery
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
  • IP65/IP68 dust and water resistance
  • USB Type-C port
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Stereo speaker with S-Force Front Surround

As you can see from the above specs, the Xperia XZ Premium follows in the tradition of previous flagship models and offers a dust- and water-resistant design. Mix in USB-C and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology and you’ve got a phone that can be easily and quickly charged if you run down that massive battery.

It’s disappointing to see Sony offer a headphone jack in my opinion because clearly that’s a port that’s going away. Apple is officially done with it, Motorola removed it even before them, and it’s likely that Samsung is done with it as well. To see Sony drag their feet with something they will eventually remove shows a clear sign that Sony is still chasing the market and not acting as a leader.

The Xperia XZ Premium will launch sometime in Spring 2017 and will be offered in Luminous Chrome and Deepsea Black. Sony clearly has a lot of great features packed in here, and perhaps I just need some more coffee, but meh?

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts on the Xperia XZ Premium.

Edit:

An earlier version of this article indicated the Xperia XZ Premium offered a 5.2-inch display when it in fact offers a 5.5-inch display. Thanks to our reader for pointing it out.

  • -DM-

    Little correction…it’s a 5.5-inch display and not 5.2 as mentioned in the article above…
    Also the picture shown of the phone (the blueish one) is the XZs and not the XZp…

    Really nice looking phone and one that I will upgrade to from my actual Z5p, wasn’t impressed by the XZ last year as it was more like a downgrade compared to the Z5p and also didn’t like the choice of material used (brushed aluminium and split design back which broke the unibody look)
    So glad for an uninterrupted all glass design.
    And pretty OK that they also kept the headphone jack…no need to put more strain on the battery with a wireless option or needing to use the usb port for music use (new adapter/headphones, can’t charge and listen to music at the same time)

    I will definitely crab one when it’s out

  • Marko Požarnik

    I like everything on it. I think it’s the right thing to do to keep the headphone jack. I don’t think it really disturbed apple or other companies that followed example. When the world will be ready to live without it, sony can get rid of it too. But until then it doesn’t disturb anybody. It doesn’t hind you in anything … you still can use headphones for usb-c and for blue tooth.

    I see I will have to sell my Z5 Premium to get this one :)

    On the 4th picture is XZs, not XZ Premium 😉 XZ Premium has additional camera sensors horizontally 😉 But XZs light blue looks great :) And so does XZ Premium. Let’s see what other colors Sony will offer with time :)

  • Totally right on the size and color. Thanks for the heads up :)

  • Yea the PR packet they offered was all over the place so you’re absolutely right, that’s the wrong phone. I think technically speaking, the phone is fantastic but there is something missing.

    But the headphone thing is more of a mentality thing. There is certainly no negative for having it, but it also shows coming at it from a safe space. They they aren’t willing to take a risk. I’ll write about it shortly.

  • Jonathan Leong

    I hope Sony kept the noise cancellation feature. For some reason the reviewers always leave that out! IMHO Sony needs to make a bigger deal regarding their audio heritage.

  • adibuyono

    Definitely get one..
    Unlike you, I really appreciate they still use jack 3.5mm, otherwise it sure a dealbreaker

  • Khaled

    This is the phone that Xperia fans been waiting for, quick highlight on specs.

    DISPLAY
    – The world’s first smartphone with a 4K HDR display
    5.5” 4K HDR Display, TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile, X-Reality™ for mobile, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, sRGB 138%, with Gorilla Glass 5

    CAMERA
    – Worlds fastest slow motion camera phone @960fps
    – 19MP Motion Eye Camera, 1/2.3” Exmor RS™ for mobile memory stacked sensor
    – 960 fps Super slow motion videos
    – Predictive capture
    – Anti-distortion shutter
    – Triple image sensing technology
    – SteadyShot™ with Intelligent Active Mode (5-axis stabilization)
    – 4K Video recording
    – 13MP 1/3.06” Exmor RS™ for mobile Front image sensor, with 22mm ultra wide angles

    AUDIO
    – Hi Res Audio
    – Digital Noise Canceling, auto headphone adapting, LDAC and standard headphone jack
    – DSEE HX™ technology to upscale audio to near Hi-Res quality, including MP3

    DESIGN
    – Glass Loop design
    – Gorilla Glass 5 on front and back
    – Colors: Luminous Chrome & Deepsea Black.
    – Water-resistant IP65/68
    – 156 x 77 x 7.9 mm

    PERFORMANCE
    – Word’s fastest Mobile Processor
    Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 processor with gigabit speed LTE ( 1gbps download, 150mbps upload )
    – Android 7.1.1
    – 3230 mAh Battery
    – Bluetooth 5.0

    MEMORY and STORAGE
    – 4GB RAM, 64GB (Single SIM)/64GB (Dual SIM) eMMC internal memory6, 64GB eMMC internal memory
    – Qnovo Adaptive Charging and Battery Care
    – US Type-C/Quick Charge 3.0
    – microSD up to 256GB

    What more do you need in a phone?!?

    The sad and pathetic thing is whenever Sony releases a flagship phone, news sites start bitching and complaining how Sony is behind the competition when it comes to Specs. And now they announced a premium phone with over the top specs and they still bashing Sony for being exaggerating in Specs!! Looking at you iphonearena…

    Having Sony securing SD 835 chip in this phone came out as a surprise! since HTC and LG decided to stick with 821 with rumors that Samsung reserved all the units for their S8.

    Sohrab, If Apple does something it doesn’t mean others have to follow. Ditching the headphone jack was a dumb idea to begin with. Even Galaxy S8 will retain the 3.5mm jack so its not going away anytime soon.

    I’m planning to sell my XZ and get the XZP whenever it comes out, Deepsea Black is my choice. Netflix better have 4K service available soon on mobile!

  • Ana Helušić

    Looks nice, and yes 3.5 mm jack is here, thank you Sony!

  • Marko Požarnik

    I have Z5P myself and I bought XZ my wife. She is very satisfied, especially because of the camera, but we both like the design too. The only “problem” we found was that the metallic back and plastic backs aren’t as scratch resistant as someone would expect from such a phone, but then I bought the original flip case and now she simply loves it … maybe more than me 😀 I wanted to buy XZ for myself, because I realized with time, that I don’t need such a big phone … And now with XZP I don’t know what to do, because I want it 😀 I also bought X Compact for my mom with original flip case and she loves it too and uses it like a pro (she is 61). But maybe I will get XZs for my wife and I’ll get her XZ. Choices, choices :) The XZ, X Compact, XZP all look so damn good to me :)

  • Kim

    Looks great – and 3,5mm jack is much appreciated and still provide better sound quality than bluetooth streaming. Not sure why Apply decided to go that way as the sound quality is clearly lower.

  • Michaux-O

    Meh? How about Wow!

    The XZP is a triumph for Sony. They’ve been touting the “The best of Sony in a smartphone” marketing line since the original Z, with mixed results, but this impossibly sexy flagship appears to have finally achieved that catchphrase with industry leading display tech, audio wizardry, and camera innovations. It’s like a Bravia/Walkman/Alpha triple scoop ice cream cone. The only spec that gives me pause is the modest battery size, but word on the street is the Qualcomm 835 is a much more optimized processor, so maybe it will hold its own when running all those 4K HDR videos & Hi-Res audio files.

    It is a little sad that we need to discuss the importance of a 3.5 mm jack. Premium headphones, speakers, and amps are wired, and this is a premium audio device. End of story. It also has NFC & LDAC on board, so if you want to go wireless, you have the easiest connection and best bluetooth sound quality on board as well.

    Personally, I’m saving up, and June can’t come soon enough. Deepsea Black all the way for me, although that chrome version…Dzamn!

  • johala02

    Just wonder how the batterylife will be with this 4K display? The batterysize are not so impressive for this big handset.

  • I remember with the Z5 Premium, it was only in 4K mode during 4K content and if this acts the same way, which I believe it will, it shouldn’t affect things as much.

  • I have no objection with having a headphone jack but it’s clearly going away. You can either embrace the future or drag your feet. When you drag your feet, though not always, it’s a sign of how things run internally; that you’re not wiling to take risks or make bold decisions.

  • Yea I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere, including Sony’s own press release.

  • Because for a majority of consumers, current audio is good enough and they will never buy headphones other than what comes in the box. As for removing the headphone jack, we’re headed towards a wireless world.

  • I think the specs are great but that’s not what’s missing for me. I’ll touch up on it later.

  • Khaled

    That was due to software and hardware limitation from Android 5.1 and SD 810

    From what I understand, with SD 835 and Android 7.0 it can allow apps and other software to be rendered in 4K resolution not just photos and videos.

  • -DM-

    From what I’ve heard…4k on at all time, so UI and etc (except on some heavy games)
    Sony is pretty good at optimizing battery anyway so no doubt that they managed to run 4k and keep good SOT…after all they came up with stamina mod a long time ago which in return Google implemented into doze straight in the OS

  • Kim

    In my opinion 3,5mm jack will remain relevant until better un-compressed protocols are developed (Sony LDAC is a step in that direction). Until then I will still use wired headphones for HIFI quality listening. Wireless is fine for running and normal usage, but the sound quality is lower. I appreciate that Sony stayed with 3,5mm jack and believe Apple made wrong decision with Iphone 7 as it lowers the sound quality.

  • joseph carmine nero