MWC 2017: Sony Xperia XZ Premium, XZs, XA1 Ultra, and XA1 hands-on

Sony at MWC 2017

GSMArena team, 27 February 2017.

Introduction

While Sony seemed timid the last year, now it's ready to roar again. It poured all its tech prowess into the making of the Xperia XZ Premium, which marks a number of world firsts. The XZs is a mid-season upgrade of the former top dog, borrowing the Motion Eye camera from the Premium. Then there are the super mid-rangers - the XA1 impresses with its flagship camera, the XA1 Ultra with its selfie cam.

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium marks Sony's return to 4K mobile screens, but added HDR support to the 5.5" panel and increased brightness by 40% over the Z5 Premium. Another first is the Motion Eye camera - it can record 960fps slow-mo videos, 4x the frame rate of the current best phones.

The XZ Premium also boasts a powerful Snapdragon 835 chipset and a 1Gbps LTE modem... or rather will boast - the phone will not be available until late spring.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium at a glance

  • Body: Glass Loop Surface (Gorilla Glass 5), IP68 waterproofing
  • Screen: 5.5" Triluminos display, 4K resolution (2,160 x 3,840px), HDR
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835 running Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Camera: 19MP Motion Eye camera (1/2.3" Exmor RS, f/2.0); SteadyShot, Anti-distortion shutter, predictive capture
  • Video: 4K video recording, 720p @ 960fps slow-mo
  • Selfie: 13MP (1/3.06" Exmor RS, f/2.0)
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 64GB on-board storage, microSD slot
  • Connectivity: 1Gbps LTE, USB-C
  • Battery: 3,230mAh, QuickCharge 3.0, Qnovo adaptive charging
  • Fingerprint reader: Market dependent
  • Audio: Stereo speakers, High-resolution audio

The impatient can jump on the Sony Xperia XZs, coming out in early April. This model builds the original XZ with the same Motion Eye camera as the Premium, otherwise it's the same phone. Which is very competitive to this day - a 5.2" 1080p screen, Snapdragon 820, waterproof body.

Sony Xperia XZs at a glance

  • Body: IP68 waterproofing, Gorilla Glass 5
  • Screen: 5.2" Triluminos display, 1,080 x 1,920px resolution
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 820 running Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Camera: 19MP Motion Eye camera (1/2.3" Exmor RS, f/2.0); SteadyShot, Anti-distortion shutter, predictive capture
  • Video: 4K video recording, 720p @ 960fps slow-mo
  • Selfie: 13MP (1/3.06" Exmor RS, f/2.0)
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB on-board storage, microSD slot
  • Connectivity: 450Mbps LTE, USB-C
  • Battery: 2,900mAh, QuickCharge 3.0, Qnovo adaptive charging
  • Fingerprint reader: Market dependent
  • Audio: Stereo speakers, High-resolution audio

The XA1 pair has two things in common - a lack of side bezels and a presence of awesome cameras. The main camera on the Sony Xperia XA1 has a 23MP 1/2.3" sensor with an f/2.0 lens Hybrid AF and SteadyShot. You'd be forgiven to think we accidentally mixed up some Xperia X flagship specs, but no - the XA1 cam is that good. The one thing that keeps it from outshining its more expensive siblings is the lack of 4K recording.

Sony Xperia XA1 at a glance

  • Body: Borderless edge-to-edge screen
  • Screen: 5", 720 x 1,280px resolution
  • Chipset: Helio P20 running Android Nougat
  • Camera: 23MP camera (1/2.3" Exmor RS, f/2.0); SteadyShot
  • Video: 1080p video recording
  • Selfie: 8MP (1/4" Exmor R, f/2.0), autofocus
  • Memory: 3GB RAM, 32GB on-board storage, microSD slot
  • Connectivity: 300Mbps LTE, USB-C
  • Battery: 2,300mAh, Pump Express+ 2.0, Qnovo adaptive charging

The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra has the same main camera, but you won't stop smiling for the selfie camera (pun intended). A surprisingly-capable 16MP 1/2.6" sensor with optical image stabilization and dedicated flash.

Besides that, both XA1s are very similar to their XA parents, but with updated chipsets and memory. Both are coming out in the Spring.

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra at a glance

  • Body: Borderless edge-to-edge screen
  • Screen: 6", 1,080 x 1,920px resolution
  • Chipset: Helio P20 running Android Nougat
  • Camera: 23MP camera (1/2.3" Exmor RS, f/2.0); SteadyShot
  • Video: 1080p video recording
  • Selfie: 16MP (1/2.6" Exmor RS, f/2.0) with OIS, dedicated flash, autofocus
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 32G/64GB on-board storage, microSD slot
  • Connectivity: 300Mbps LTE, USB-C
  • Battery: 2,700mAh, Pump Express+ 2.0, Qnovo adaptive charging

We'll be upfront - we're going to spend a lot of time talking about Sony's new Motion Eye camera. Not that you would complain, would you? Now, we don't mean to rush you, but at 960fps mere moments can extend to minutes.

Reader comments

  • AnonD-436505

Won't stop me from buying it.

  • Angelo maththiws

Xz primium is best phone of 2017 in mwc.. Super phone of 2017

  • Anonymous

lol 2017 and no fingerprint sensor