Review: Sony Xperia XZ

The smartphone from Sony is meant for camera enthusiasts

Sony Xperia XZ
Sony Xperia XZ

When it comes to Sony, it is no secret that the company has struggled in the smartphone space of late, and its attempted change of direction towards “experience over specs” with the disappointing Xperia X did not work. However, the forthcoming Xperia XZ (Rs49,990) is set to get things back on track.

The Xperia XZ retains the design DNA of its predecessors. The flat slab look remains, but tapered edges enhance the ergonomics. Sony has used an aluminium alloy, “Alkaleido”, to make the back panel, and its smooth coating feels nice to hold. The volume rocker, placed on the right side spine, somehow does not offer the sort of assured feedback that we might get from an iPhone.

The sharpness of the 5.2-inch IPS display (1,920x1,080 resolution) impresses immediately. It does well in terms of vividness and has good brightness levels. We don’t mind the lack of 4K resolution because the higher resolution doesn’t offer any improvement in real experience.

The phone runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, but we are a tad surprised at the 3 GB RAM—4 GB is the norm in flagship phones. Performance is generally quick, but more RAM could have helped in the long run. The 2,900 mAh battery lasts a day with ease. The Battery Care feature learns your phone-charging patterns over time, and slows down charge speeds if it finds you’re leaving the phone plugged in for too long.

The camera in the Xperia XZ features a large 1/2.3-inch Sony IMX300 sensor. It now has laser autofocus, which improves shot composition speed, and there is an upgrade to optical-image stabilization in the form of 5-axis stabilization, taken from the high-end Alpha cameras. The RGBC-Infrared sensor helps in figuring out the ambient light temperature and adjusts white balance. It reproduces a lot of detail, and the colours look less saturated than they did in the device’s predecessors. However, there are some very apparent instances of the image-processing algorithms taking away some of the crispness of photos, a problem that persists.

What we really like about the Sony Xperia XZ is the simple and user-friendly design, fantastic screen and consistent battery life. But for the Android ecosystem, this camera is among the top options out there, so if you are a photography enthusiast looking for a top-notch Android phone, the Xperia XZ is worth considering.

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