While Sony as a company is well-known in the United States, it smartphones are not. For years, Sony has stuck with a boxy design with sharp edges and large bezels — however, they're finally getting with the trends. As a result, the Xperia XZ2 Premium offers a rare combo: A super powerful phone which is also pretty sexy.
The Xperia Premium lineup is where Sony has been known to be a bit absurd when it comes to their smartphones. The past few years, Sony has been adding a 4K display to these phones, starting with the Z5 Premium, which is still overkill despite being released in 2015.
But this year is different — especially since the Xperia XZ2 Premium will be officially released in the US. No longer do Sony users have to compromise with a tired design but great specs. Instead, they can have their cake and eat it, too, although they will have to pay a premium price.
- OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- GPU: Adreno 630
- RAM: 6 GB
- Storage: 64 GB UFS (expandable via microSD)
- Display: 5.8" 4K HDR 16:9 IPS LCD
- Screen-to-body ratio: 73.4%
- Rear Camera: 19 MP f/1.8 + 12 MP monochrome f/1.6
- Front Camera: 13 MP f/2.0 with EIS
- Battery: 3,540 mAh
- Water Resistance: IP65/68
5.8" 4K HDR Display
The Premium line has always been the best and brightest offering from Sony. And for the past few years, the star component has been the display.
Back in 2015, Sony claimed the title for the first ever 4K smartphone display with their Z5 Premium. A couple of years later, they achieved another first when they launched the first 4K HDR screen on a smartphone with the XZ Premium.
With the XZ2 Premium, the 4K HDR display makes a return. It is also larger than its predecessor at 5.8". At that size, the XZ2 Premium has an unimaginable 765 PPI. Currently, only a handful of apps support 4K HDR on the device, with the only streaming service being YouTube (there is a chance for Amazon Prime, as 4K HDR support was available to its predecessor). Currently, Netflix supports only HDR for mobile devices.
The XZ2 Premium uses Sony's BRAVIA technology (their TV lineup) to up-convert videos to near-HDR quality. So even when videos don't support HDR, they still look better on the XZ2 Premium.
For the first time, Sony is offering dual rear cameras on a smartphone. The primary camera is a 19 MP Motion Eye camera which uses Sony's G Lens with f/1.8 aperture. The second camera is a 12 MP monochrome sensor that also uses the G Lens, but has a smaller aperture of f/1.6. The rear camera has an ISO rating of up to 51,200, which should significantly help with nighttime photography.
The high ISO is also present in video recording where it maxes out at 12,800. The Sony XZ2 Premium is also the first phone to record 4K HDR videos using a color depth of 10-bit in HLG format. Super slow motion (960 fps) is supported, but now at 1080p (720p is still supported as well). Additionally, standard slow motion (at 120 fps) is also available.
Sony also includes a feature known as 3D Creator which scans objects or faces using either the front or rear cameras and creates a 3D avatar that you can share or print. Avatars can be shared on social media, added into an augmented reality world, or modified using AR.
S-Force Front Surround Speakers & Hi-Fi Audio
The Xperia XZ2 Premium is the only smartphone announced in 2018 (so far) to include front-facing stereo speakers. Known as S-Force Front Surround, these front-facing speakers will deliver loud (but clear) audio directly towards your ears.
Additionally, Sony has added a feature which they dubbed Dynamic Vibration System. Based on the audio being transmitted through the speakers, the phone will vibrate to increase the feeling of immersion.
The XZ2 Premium also supports Hi-Fi audio via Bluetooth including Qualcomm aptX HD and their own creation, the Sony LDAC. The XZ2 Premium also benefits from DSEE HX (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine), which improves the quality of compressed files (including MP3 and CD-quality sound) by filling the higher frequency signals lost in compression. Unfortunately, there is no headphone jack, but Sony does include a dongle in the box.
Price & Availability
Sony will begin shipping the Sony XZ2 Premium in the US starting July 30th. Preorders will begin on July 9th at Amazon and Best Buy. If you are interested, Amazon is offering a free pair of Xperia Ear Duo wireless headphones with each preorder.
Now, before I mention the price, remember what you are getting. A 4K HDR display, dual cameras capable of both 3D scanning and 4K HDR video recording, front-facing speakers, Hi-Fi audio, and much more. A phone with that kind of specifications and features will cost a pretty penny — which is definitely the case for the XZ2 Premium. The Sony XZ2 Premium costs $999.99 unlocked.
What do you think about the Xperia XZ2 Premium? Are you drawn towards its 4K HDR display? Interested in recording in 4K HDR? Let us know in the comments below.
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