Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Full, in-depth review

Finally, Sony has made a great Android smartphone again

Sony Xperia XZ Premium
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Good at everything
  • 4K screen

Cons

  • Needs content for 4K screen
  • Bulky

Bottom Line

Sony's (big) new flagship has no real weak points. It's a crowded market but this is one of the best all-rounders. But there's virtually no 4K content available for the 4K screen.

Would you buy this?

Battery Life

A 3,230mAh is included with the Premium. To be honest, in a phone this big, we’d like to see nearer 4,000mAh like the Huawei P10 Plus. Nonetheless, we found the Premium easily lasted a full day even when butchering it with photos, games and navigation. Under light use, it could almost last two days.

Quick Charge 3 is included so it will recharge quickly too. Sony also boasts about using Qnovo Adaptive Charging which promises to manage charging cycles more effectively and improve the life-span of the battery itself.

Other features

The Premium is certified at IP68 meaning that it can withstand being 1.5m under water for 30 minutes. We found this worked well, but that the screen could act up when wet. The separate camera button comes in handy here if you’re shooting underwater. Still, it’s worth reading up on Sony's official limitations as waterproof phones can break underwater and they won’t always get replaced.

Conclusion

We’ve enjoyed using the XZ Premium a great deal and it’s certainly a worthy flagship Android phone. It’s a crowded market though with the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, HTC U11, Huawei P10 Plus and even the new Blackberry KEYone vying for your attention. Many of those phones have also dropped in price since launch which means the late-launching Premium looks a bit expensive at $1,099 but we expect that to drop quickly too.

Should you buy it? We can’t see anyone being disappointed if they do so. It’s a good rival to the S8 and is prettier than the G6. It provides some serious competition in the looks and sound department to the pretty-boy U11. The P10 Plus’ camera is better but not in low light while the Blackberry is different in that it offers a keyboard.

It’s not an outright winner, but it’s another great all-rounder with no real weak point which makes it even more attractive if you’re bothered by any of the failings and foibles of the competition. If Sony can get Netflix 4K HDR content to work on it, we’d consider calling it the best overall... so get on to that, Sony.

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