Overview, Design and Features
As tech writers, we try our best to be as unbias and as impartial as we can.
This writer has a confession to make: I am a complete and absolute lover of the Sony Xperia series. Mind you, I didn’t exactly fall in love with the brand from the very beginning. Far from it, my love affair with the series only began as far back at 2011, when I made the decision to purchase the Xperia arc (some months prior, Samsung came out with the best-selling Galaxy S2).
But that love was not to last: the phone, pretty looking as it was, was plagued with a myriad of problems. And so, two years later, I moved on and got myself the Xperia Z, the first generation of what can only befittingly be described as one of Sony’s best looking smartphones of that series. The rest of the story after that is, as they say, history.
Fast forward to today, and the Xperia Z series has stepped aside, and the Xperia X series is now the company’s new poster child and darling of the Xperia line. And while I’ve played around with the Xperia XZ and XZs, the company’s new darling, the Xperia XZ Premium, is a phone that’s on another level (yes, we know, it sounds cliché) altogether.
Design and features
One of the first things that stands out on the Xperia XZ Premium is the phone’s weight, but don’t misconstrue that point: we’re talking about its overall weight. In our hands, we could feel it, grasp it even, put it away, and still know that the phone was there in our hands (and in our pockets).
To elaborate in another way, someone close to me described it as such: When Samsung launched its Galaxy S8 and S8+. the phone’s design and build was nothing short of a metaphorical punch to the face. It felt ethereal, both with its bezel-less Infinity Display and its near unreal lightweight design. But for all the proverbial mysticism in its definition, it was undeniable that there was something missing from it, and that was the phone’s overall weight. Holding both phones in my hands, the Galaxy S8+ didn’t have that sense of affirmation of being there, whereas the XZ Premium actually did in its own way.
Another contributing factor to the phone’s physical presence would definitely have to be its Loop Design, which has been in use since the launch of the Xperia XZ. Compared to the older Omnibalance design, Loop Design allows the phone to sit comfortably on in our hands, as though it was a single object made solely from a single piece of material.
But, admittedly, there are a few aspects in which the XZ Premium does fall short. First, there’s its body and the design of it. Whoever it was that decided to go with an ultra reflective, all-metal surface was clearly a narcissist. While it’s hard to complain about having an impromptu mirror on-hand, having a mirror sheen finish as the back of a phone essentially leads to that most unappealing of issues: visible and very noticeable fingerprint marks.
The other flaw is the thick bezels at the front of the phone, both at the top and the bottom. This isn’t necessarily a sticking point to most, but seeing how its Korean competitors have already been squeezing out as much display real estate as they can on their own flagship phones, it isn’t unfair to say that we wish Sony had, at the very least, made an effort reduce the bezels. To be absolutely clear: we’re not so bothered with the bezels at the sides: had Sony made the display entirely bezel-less from side to side, that fingerprint sensor cum power button would lose its place at the side of the phone, quite literally.
That nicely brings us to one of the phone’s main features, which is its 4K HDR display. Incorporating a 4K display isn’t something new to Sony: it first did that with the Xperia Z5 Premium, the last phone of the now-retired Z series, albeit with some limitations. While it held the title of being the first phone with a 4K display, its basic output was only limited to a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution.
With the Xperia XZ Premium, however, what you see is what you get: 4K HDR means native 4K resolution with HDR support, and Sony has kept to its guns on the matter. To that end, what you’ll get with the XZ Premium is a display that is crisp, sharp, capable of eye-popping colors and viewing angles that don’t bleed when viewed from the side.
Regarding the color accuracy: out of the box, the phone’s color gamut and contrast is set to use Sony’s TRILUMINOS Display technology, but you can also choose between a Professional mode or Super-vivid mode, the latter making the colors of objects and subjects look more eye-popping and vivid, as well as a little less washed out than the standard colors.
As always, Sony Mobile Malaysia is only bringing in the dual SIM variant of the phone. More specifically, the Xperia XZ Premium uses a hybrid Nano-SIM and microSD storage slot on one side, plus a separate Nano-SIM card slot. That being said, the phone’s onboard 64GB UFS internal storage should more than suffice, so you don’t really have to utilize the expandable storage as much.