Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium review

GSMArena team, 27 August 2018.

The only 4K display in the business has grown to 5.8 inches

Sony remains the only maker to offer a 4K display on a smartphone three years after they went all out with the Z5 Premium. Unlike the first and second generation phones, both 5.5 inches or thereabout in diagonal, the XZ2 Premium is now larger at 5.8 inches. It's in a classic 16:9 ratio too, no 18-point-something-to-9 nonsense here. The pixel density works out to just 765ppi this year, previous 4K Xperia Premiums were north of 800ppi.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium review

We measured a maximum brightness of 518nits on the Xperia XZ2 Premium, some 50nits lower than the XZ Premium before it. The current-gen XZ2 is a full 100nits brighter at 618nits. There's no boost in Adaptive brightness mode. Reasonably well controlled blacks result in a contrast ratio upwards of 1400:1 - decent as LCDs go, but the LG G7 and the HTC U12+ are in the 1800s.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Sony Xperia XZ2 0.431 618 1434
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact 0.438 576 1315
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium 0.367 518 1411
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium 0.59 566 966
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 0.463 573 1238
Apple iPhone X 0 679
Google Pixel 2 XL 0 420
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 0 376
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Max Auto) 0 631
Huawei P20 Pro 0 412
Huawei P20 Pro (Max Auto) 0 582
OnePlus 6 0 456
HTC U12+ 0.2 366 1830
HTC U12+ (Max Auto) 0.214 389 1818
vivo NEX S 0 458
LG G7 ThinQ 0.225 460 2044
LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor) 0.499 920 1844
Xiaomi Mi 8 0 458
Xiaomi Mi 8 (Max Auto) 0.002 624 312000
Oppo Find X 0 426
Samsung Galaxy Note9 0 367
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Max Auto) 0 658
Motorola Moto Z3 0 464
Motorola Moto Z3 (Max Auto) 0 652

Sunlight legibility on the XZ2 Premium isn't great. It matches the previous Premium in contrast under direct light, but that's a pretty low bar, with virtually all competitors being at least a little better, and the likes of the Galaxy S9+ and iPhone X significantly so.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    4.531
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • OnePlus 6
    4.321
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Oppo R15 Pro
    4.251
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (pre-update)
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    4.087
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    4.086
  • Meizu 15
    4.082
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4.052
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • vivo NEX S
    4.012
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor)
    3.978
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Oppo Find X
    3.954
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    3.901
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    3.865
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018)
    3.834
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Nokia 8 Sirocco
    3.745
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Huawei P20
    3.683
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
    3.675
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    3.58
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Nokia 7 plus
    3.479
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Motorola Moto G6
    3.448
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.397
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    3.393
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    3.39
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo F7
    3.333
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Archos Diamond Omega
    3.305
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • BlackBerry KEY2
    3.212
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Oppo R11s
    3.153
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
    3.087
  • HTC U12+
    3.085
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    3.077
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    3.059
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • LG Q6
    2.987
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    2.952
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • Oppo Realme 1
    2.932
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • Huawei Honor View 10
    2.896
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
    2.867
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Nokia 3.1
    2.837
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Honor 10 (Vivid)
    2.757
  • Nokia 2
    2.752
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    2.737
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Huawei Honor 7X
    2.734
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    2.696
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • vivo V7+
    2.671
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    2.654
  • Oppo F5
    2.653
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Huawei P Smart
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A (Y1)
    2.556
  • HTC U11+
    2.556
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • BlackBerry Motion
    2.494
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Vivo V7
    2.404
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • Razer Phone
    2.328
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Sony Xperia L2
    2.266
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • HTC U11+ (EU)
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228

The Xperia XZ2 Premium's display settings promise an accurate sRGB reproduction in the Professional mode, but we measured an average DeltaE of 4.1 - decent, but not all that accurate. In fact, it's only marginally better than what we got in the Standard mode, again compared against an sRGB target (average DeltaE of 4.6). Vivid mode was predictably all over the place. No mode truthfully represents AdobeRGB or the P3 color spaces either.

You could tweak the RGB sliders and at the expense of peak brightness get more accurate colors. We got spot-on whites with a 230-187-3 setting, which also gave us a better average DeltaE of 3.1. Perhaps, if you have a colorimeter at hand and you're willing to put in the time, you could further optimize the color output. We feel it's not the end user's job to do it.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium battery life

The Xperia XZ2 Premium's battery is rated at 3,540mAh - some 360mAh more than the XZ2's capacity, and 310mAh more than the XZ Premium. The Galaxy S9+, for example, packs almost as much juice (3,500mAh) for a somewhat larger display area, while the Huawei P20 Pro has 4,000mAh at its disposal to light up virtually the same area as the Premium.

In our testing, the XZ2 Premium didn't impress with longevity - much like the previous iteration, in fact. We clocked 8 hours of video playback (same as on the XZ Premium) and 9:23h of web browsing over Wi-Fi (about 40 minutes less than the predecessor) - we could call these numbers decent, but far from the best-in-class. The 33+ hours we measured in 3G voice calls are pretty spectacular, though who still talks on their phones?

The Galaxy S9+ can last over twice as long as the Premium in video playback and some 2 hours more in web browsing, though the Xperia comfortably outlasts it in voice calls by about 8 hours. The P20 Pro beats these two in web browsing with its 14:30h of reloading web pages, and is right in between with its 13:14h of looping videos. At 21 hours on a 3G voice call, it's nowhere near the Xperia.

Factoring in the efficient standby in addition to the above numbers for the Xperia XZ2 Premium, we've calculated an overall Endurance rating of 77 hours.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

The Premium comes with a fast charger in the box, though as fast chargers go, this proved to be an average one. A 30 minute charge from flat resulted in 38% showing in the status bar (same as the 4,000mAh Note9), while a full charge took 2:26h. It does taper off severely towards the end - two hours into it, the indicator read 94%, so the last 6% needed close to half an hour.

Loudspeaker

Sony was among the first makers to adopt a dual speaker setup for its smartphones all the way back in 2014 with the Xperia Z2, while Samsung for example only did it this year with the S9. The XZ2 Premium we have here today has stereo speakers too - one is in the slit where the front glass meets the frame on the bottom of the phone, the other is the earpiece.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium review

It's not the loudest of setups, falling into the 'Good' category in our three-prong test routine. The OnePlus 6 and the Pixel 2 XL are quieter, but pretty much every other current competitor pumps out an extra decibel or ten.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Google Pixel 2 XL 66.2 70.4 78.2 Good
OnePlus 6 70.2 74.7 70.0 Good
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium 68.1 73.2 73.7 Good
Sony Xperia XZ2 66.1 71.8 78.1 Good
Apple iPhone X 68.9 74.0 76.2 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 68.4 74.0 80.1 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 8 68.1 72.3 82.2 Very Good
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact 66.7 73.3 83.3 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy Note9 71.2 74.9 80.2 Very Good
Oppo Find X 70.7 75.2 81.2 Very Good
Huawei P20 Pro 71.8 69.2 91.0 Excellent
vivo NEX S 71.3 74.5 91.0 Excellent
LG G7 ThinQ 78.3 76.4 82.3 Excellent
HTC U12+ (Music) 76.0 73.6 88.5 Excellent
Motorola Moto Z3 80.1 73.2 85.0 Excellent
HTC U12+ (Theatre) 77.0 73.8 91.1 Excellent

Audio quality

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium delivered perfectly accurate output with an active external amplifier, while its performance with headphones was good to very good. Stereo crosstalk rose a moderate amount with our standard set, while the kind of intermodulation distortion that appeared is hard to detect outside a lab.

Loudness was a different story, though - the XZ2 Premium was below average without headphones and even worse with them. So if you happen to own high-impedance headphones, you might need to keep that in mind. Otherwise, the phone will probably serve you well.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium+0.01, -0.02-91.093.40.00260.0082-87.6
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium (headphones)+0.40, -0.20-92.991.20.00490.236-61.7
Samsung Galaxy Note9+0.01, -0.03-93.793.70.00170.0074-94.1
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-93.693.50.00330.046-93.2
Oppo Find X+0.03, -0.07-93.493.90.00120.0063-89.3
Oppo Find X (headphones)+0.01, -0.58-92.293.50.00880.330-55.7
HTC U12++0.02, -0.15-94.394.30.00210.0069-94.3
HTC U12+ (headphones)+0.18, -0.13-93.793.60.00240.104-52.7
LG V30+0.02, -0.01-93.293.10.00080.0069-94.2
LG V30 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-92.992.90.00570.051-68.1

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium frequency response
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.