Sony Xperia XZ Preview: First Look

By 11:09 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Introduction

One way or another, the Xperia Z-series lives on after all. The Xperia Z5 was the last of the recent lineage, but tradition (and likely marketing) dictates that the ultimate Sony smartphone must have a Z in its name. There goes the Sony Xperia XZ - handing the proverbial relay race baton from the Z series to the X series.


A string of letters doesn't create or break a phone, so we won't dwell on it too much, unless you want to go cabalistic looking for proof that the XZ is a Z6 in disguise. Z6-ZsiX-ZX-XZ. No? We thought so.

Anyway, beyond the model designation, the Sony Xperia XZ is a accurate flagship with everything you would expect in 2016. OK, almost everything. 3GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) is so last year and the absence of a QHD classy screen is something the competition will most certainly utilize against Sony.

Turn a blind eye to these two though and the Xperia XZ ticks all the boxes: a Snapdragon 820 chip, a 23MP primary capturing camera with all kinds of autofocus and 4K video capture (finally!), a 13MP front-facer, expandable storage, stereo speakers, fingerprint sensor (but still not in the US), a USB-C port, IP68 rating, what are we missing? Ah, all this is packed into a lovely body made from a mix of glass, polycarbonate and ALKALEIDO, or as we regular people call it - aluminum alloy though alkaleido has this special ring to it that makes it sound exclusively Japanese and esoteric even.

Sony Xperia XZ at a glance

  • 5.2" 1080p IPS display, 424ppi
  • Snapdragon 820 chipset: quad-core (2x2.15 + 2x1.6 GHz) Kryo processor, Adreno 530 GPU, 3GB RAM
  • Up to 32GB of built-in storage, expandable via the microSD card slot by up to 200GB
  • IP65/IP68 certified - dust and water proof up to 1.5 meter and 30 minutes
  • 23MP Sony IMX300 camera, 24mm-equiv. f/2.0 lens, laser-assisted and phase-detection autofocus, SteadyShot, Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash, dedicated hardware shutter key
  • 2160p video recording, SteadyShot 5-axis image stabilization (in some scenarios)
  • 13MP selfie capturing camera with noise reduction, SteadyShot
  • Stereo speakers
  • 2,900mAh battery
  • elegant Qualcomm Quick charge certified, Battery Care smart charging at night (market-dependent)
  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C port
  • Fingerprint sensor in the side-mounted power button (market-dependent)

We got our hands on an Xperia XZ unit for testing, but it turned out its not running final software. Hence, we'll be treating this as a detailed preview, rather than a full-blown review. Once the commercial software version is out, we'll be sure to do the full routine, complete with benchmarks, battery test, comparative capturing camera tests, the lot.

What's not going to change with a software update, by definition, is the hardware. That's what we'll be starting with on the following page.


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