Sony Xperia XZ review: Premium style at an affordable price
The Xperia XZ is Sony’s best phone to date, and an attractively priced competitor in the premium space as well.
Power, storage and battery
|Launch price (RRP)||$0|
- Great design
- Good battery life
- Aggressive price point
- Water resistance
- Fast, crisp focus for photos
Could be better
- Decent, but not great performance
- No Forest Blue on contract
- Plastic SIM/microSD card tray
- USB C still isn't widespread
Sony’s X series strategy has been a curious one to say the least. The X series phones were announced at Mobile World Congress in the same timeframe as Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and LG’s G5, but with availability tracked for some months after the conference. When the XA, X and X Performance arrived, only the Xperia XA really stood out as a solid budget/mid-range competitor, with both the Xperia X and Xperia X Performance leaving us wanting just a little more in the premium spaces they occupied.
It didn’t take Sony long to add more to the X series with the Xperia X Compact (yet to launch in Australia) and the Xperia XZ, designated as the new flagship of the line. In a year that’s seen some seriously impressive premium handsets, will the third time be the charm for Sony?
- Smooth and sleek design
- IP65/68 water resistance
- 23MP rear camera
- 13MP selfie camera
- 4K video recording
- Snapdragon 820 processor delivers decent but not great performance
- A 2,900mAh battery keeps the Xperia XZ chugging through a full day of use
- USB-C fast-charging gets you back in action quickly
- A slick design and an attractive price tag make the Xperia XZ one of Sony's best smartphones yet.
The Xperia XZ is easily the best overall smartphone Sony produced in 2016, and that $999 price point is quite aggressive in comparative terms.
That being said, it still somewhat feels to us like Sony’s got all the parts to make a really killer smartphone but something’s holding them back. 2015's Xperia Z5 Premium had a 4K display, but Sony’s stuck with just 1080P for the supposedly superior XZ. Battery life is decent given its frame size, but there are alternatives that seem to eke out just a little more, and the same is true for the common processor architecture. Possibly Sony’s aware of this and that’s why it’s priced the Xperia XZ the way it has. The design is lush and the essential experience is very good indeed, and that’s a good argument for any premium handset really.
Your alternatives in this space and under the $1000 price point will all tend to be slightly older handsets that have now seen price reductions, such as LG’s modular G5, the HTC 10 or the newer Motorola Moto Z.
Pricing and availability
The Xperia XZ launched at $999 outright, which is both below that psychological $1000 price barrier, but also markedly cheaper than most other premium handsets right now. Given the fierce battles in the Android space on pricing, we'd expect even better bargains to emerge.
Compare SIM-only mobile plans
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Sony Xperia XZ specs
Power, storage and battery
Latest mobile phone news
There is plenty of speculation around Motorola re-entering the foldable space with the Motorola Razr 3, so let's take a look at what we know.Read more…
Vodafone's regular 40GB for $40 promotion was good but its new 80GB for $40 EOFY deal is greater.Read more…
We're likely a long way out from the announcement and release of the Google Pixel 7, but here's everything we know so far.Read more…
The upcoming addition to Samsung's foldable phone line has been the subject of consistent rumours, so let's take a look at what we know.Read more…
The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a gorgeous and powerful phone that’s a delight to use. But with a steep price can it compete with Apple & Samsung?Read more…
Google's Pixel 6a and Apple's iPhone SE 2022 sell in Australia for about the same price – but which one should you buy?Read more…