Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Design Review - One of The Most Beautiful Smartphones Ever Released

As a technology blogger and gadget reviewer for almost ten years now, I've been fortunate to have held and owned many gorgeous and luxurious smartphones made by top handset makers across the world.

I remember being instantly smitten by the then-unique glass-metal-glass build of my Apple iPhone 4S as soon as I unboxed my unit in 2011.

It's the same overwhelming emotion that I felt when I first lifted both my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge off their off their retail packaging in 2015 and 2016, respectively. And of course, earlier this year, I was blown away by the Curved Infinity Display of the ultra-sleek Samsung Galaxy S8 when a unit was handed to me during the Unpacked! event held at the City of Dreams Manila.

Other downright handsome smartphones in my collection include the first generation Asus ZenFone Zoom with its Genuine Italian Leather backplate lining, the ultra-slim and innovative Moto Z, my sports car red Nokia Lumia 920, the metal-clad and flex-free OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 5, and the iconic Nokia Lumia 1020 with its distinguishing circular camera module.

If there's one brand, however, that contributed the most number of visually-stunning handsets in the TechPinas Gadget Vault, it would have to be legendary Japanese tech giant, Sony.

To be specific, I still have the Sony Xperia Z1, Z1 Ultra, Z2, and Sony Zperia Z3 in my collection. All of which feature a well-balanced, water-resistant shell crafted from aluminum and glass.

The 2017 ultra-high-end Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android smartphone brings all the stellar physical qualities of its flagship-level predecessors to a whole new level, one that's undoubtedly opulent and worthy of this model's name.

As you can in these actual unit photos, the IP68-Certified Water-Resistant Sony Xperia XZ Premium looks far more polished than all of its predecessors -- thanks to the mirror-like finish of its Gorilla Glass 5 front and back panels, thick CNC-crafted stainless steel top and bottom plates, and flat-tubular build.

The whole package becomes even more of a visual treat when you turn on its 5.46-inch 4K - that's right, 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution - Triluminos IPS display panel that's looks downright clear and brilliant. Packed with a whopping 807 pixels per inch, Sony Xperia XZ Premium's screen is one of the most pixel-dense mobile displays out there, resulting in utmost clarity even when viewing the finest details.

From a design perspective, if there's one thing I like about this model that you might not immediately see in these images, it's how well-balanced it is. If you notice, the display is right smack in the middle of the face and there's clear symmetry between the left and right panels as well as the top and bottom parts.

Looking at the materials used on the phone's shell and feeling its reassuring 195 grams heft in your hand, you will really feel the amount of care that Sony put into crafting this device.

I once read that Japanese Design Philosophy is defined by several qualities including simplicity, stillness, and subtlety. Holding the Sony Xperia XZ Premium in your hand, you realize that the product bears all those characteristics; A testament to Sony's legendary device craftsmanship and drive for excellence.

At this point, I think I've pretty much proven why I believe Sony Xperia XZ Premium is one of the most beautiful smartphones ever made and released.

But I also know that it's never enough for a flagship handset to just be gorgeous in this day and age. It also has to be powerful and feature-packed.

Thankfully, Sony Xperia XZ Premium also covers those bases perfectly. For while it is a definite beauty on the outside, this smartphone is a true beast in the inside.

As expected from a top-of-the-line smartphone by arguably the world's most legendary entertainment device maker, Sony Xperia XZ Premium has incredible imaging capabilities.

Featuring Sony's mobile camera innovations including the multi-stacked Exmor RS sensor, the award-winning G-Lens, and Bionz intelligent image-processor, the Xperia XZ Premium's powerful 19 MegaPixel f/2.0 aperture Motion Eye camera starts buffering images one second before you click on the camera button, making Predictive Capture possible. Using this, you can easily choose the best shot out of four photos taken of a fast-moving subject.

The rear camera can likewise hoot 4K 30fps videos - perfect for viewing on the phone's 4K display - as well as HD videos at a whopping 960 frames per second, delivering unbelievable Super Slow Motion clips.

If you love taking selfies, Sony Xperia XZ Premium has a high-resolution 13 MegaPixel front cam with 1/3.06” low light sensor and a 22mm wide angle lens, giving you clear and crisp self-portraits and groufies that are instantly ready for sharing on social media sites.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Under the hood, Sony Xperia XZ Premium runs its Xperia-UI-flavored Android 7.1 Nougat operating system with a 10nm 64-Bit Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor that incorporates a powerhouse Adreno 540 graphics chip for smooth 3D gaming, has 4GB of RAM for multitasking, and comes with 64GB of expandable storage; Note that this set of innards is more or less the same as that of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. In fact, Sony Xperia XZ Premium's benchmark scores put it shoulder to shoulder with some of the most powerful and capable handsets released within the first half of 2017.

Alright! That's it for now. TechPinas will be doing more features about the Sony Xperia XZ Premium in the coming days, exploring its many unique features and key selling points. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, for those who are interested, you may already purchase the Sony Xperia XZ Premium at Sony Concept Stores and authorized retail outlets across the Philippines. It sells for Php 45,490 - putting it in ultra-high-end category alongside the Apple iPhone 7 Plus - and it's available in three classy colors, namely Luminous Chrome - which I have here, Deepsea Black, and Bronze Pink.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name : Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Type : Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category : High-End (Flagship Level)
Dimensions : 156 x 77 x 7.9 mm
Weight : 195 grams
Available Colors : Luminous Chrome, Bronze Pink, Deepsea Black
Operating System : Android 7.1 Nougat with Xperia UI
Display : 5.46 inches (~68.4% screen-to-body ratio), 4K 3840 x 2160 pixels (~807 ppi pixel density), IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Curved Corning Gorilla Glass 5, HDR10 Compliant, Triluminos Display
Processor : 64-Bit Quad Core (2.45 GHz Kryo X 2 + 1.9 GHz Kryo X 2), Adreno 540 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 chipset
Internal Storage : 64GB ROM, expandable via hybrid secondary nanoSIM slot doubling as microSD card slot supporting up to 256GB
Camera : Back: 19 MegaPixels, f/2.0 aperture, 25mm focal length, EIS (gyro), predictive phase detection and laser autofocus, 1/2.3" sensor size, LED flash
Front: 13 MegaPixels, f/2.0 aperture, 22mm, 1/3" sensor size, 1.12 ┬Ám pixel size
Video Capture : Back - 4K 30 frames per second, HD 960 frames per second
Front - 1080p
Audio and Video Playback : MP3, WAV, eAAC+, FLAC, MP4, H.264
Ports : USB Type C, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity : Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.2 with A2DP, EDR, 3G HSPA+; 4G LTE-A Cat16
FM Radio : No
Sensors : Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyroscope, Fingerprint Scanner, Color Spectrum
Network : 2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 and SIM 2,
3G HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
4G LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 19(800), 20(800), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700), 32(1500), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) - G8141, G8142
SIM Card Type : Dual nanoSIM
Battery : Non-removable 3,230 mAh Li-Ion battery
Uptime : All-Day Uptime with Regular Use
Value-Added Features : Premium Build, Dual Front Facing Speakers, IP68 Certified Water and Dust Resistant, Motion Eye, Gorilla Glass 5 Front and Back Panels, Powerful Internal Hardware, Super Slow Motion Video Capture, High-Resolution Audio output, Digital Noise Cancelling, S-Force Front Surround Dual Loud Speakers, Clear Audio+, Clear Bass, and Automatic Headphone Optimization
Announcement : Philippines - May 23, 2017
Availability : Philippines - May 2017
Price : Official SRP in the Philippines - Php 45,490

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