Sony’s latest flagship, the Xperia XZ offers a premium design, sharp camera and water resistance amongst its array of enticements.
Sony’s been a busy provider of mobile phones this year, with the Xperia Z family giving way to the newer (but not always higher specced) Xperia X devices, comprising the entry level Xperia XA, mid-to-high Xperia X and top end Xperia X Performance. That latter phone’s time at the top of the Sony family was short-lived, however, with the newer Xperia XZ taking its place as Sony’s newest premium flagship phone.
Sony Xperia XZ: What is it?
Like the rest of the Xperia X range, the Xperia XZ is an Android (6.0, or "Marshmallow") smartphone with just a light dusting of Sony’s own brands and user interface over the top.
It’s an evolution of the Xperia X series design, which essentially took the existing Xperia style design (which in itself was meant to be broadly evocative of Sony’s TV lines) with the addition of rounded sides and a full-metal rear back. That metal rear casing means that the NFC chip on the Xperia X phones is rather oddly located around the front, with a sticker showing you where it is when you’re first getting to grips with the phone.
Underneath its 5.2-inch 1080p display is a Snapdragon 820 processor and 3GB of RAM running Android 6.0 ("Marshmallow"). That’s almost the precise recipe everyone else is using for premium Android smartphones this year. Sony’s particular point of difference for the Xperia XZ rests on its camera optics, which use five-axis stabilisation and laser focusing for (as per Sony’s claims) even faster and sharper pictures than its competition. The Sony Xperia XZ is also water resistant (although not waterproof, so don’t go scuba diving with it). Qualcomm’s fast charging is supported, with charging itself via USB C.
Sony Xperia XZ: Price
If you want the Xperia XZ outright, it has an RRP of $999, though you can get it cheaper if you shop around. Telstra also offers the Xperia XZ in black only on a 24 month contract.
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Sony Xperia XZ: Specifications
Sony Xperia XZ Review
Sony's Xperia XZ joins a family of flagship phones released in 2016, and is easily the best of the lot.
"The Xperia XZ is easily the best overall smartphone Sony’s produced this year, and that $999 price point is quite aggressive in comparative terms."
That said, the XZ doesn't quite hold up when directly compared to some of the other 2016 flagship phones, even ones released much earlier in the calendar year. The performance is a little underwhelming and the screen doesn't compare with the 4K offering of 2015's Xperia Z5.