Sony announced today at MWC 2017 that it’s bringing two new premium phones to the US market: the Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs. Both models employ classic Sony styling—a rectangular shape with rounded sides and a flat top and bottom. They also have an aluminum frame sandwiched between front and rear Gorilla glass panels.

There are a few significant differences between the new Xperias. For starters, the XZ Premium will use Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 SoC, the first to use semi-custom ARM CPU cores and the first SoC available on Samsung’s new 10nm process. The XZs will use the previous generation Snapdragon 820, which uses four fully-custom Kryo CPU cores.

New Sony Xperia XZ Series
  Sony Xperia XZ Premium Sony Xperia XZs
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

4x Kryo 280 Performance @ 2.45GHz
4x Kryo 280 Efficiency @ 1.90GHz
Adreno 540
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

2x Kryo @ 2.15GHz
2x Kryo @ 1.59GHz
Adreno 530 @ 624MHz
Display 5.5-inch 3840x2160 HDR IPS LCD 5.2-inch 1920x1080 IPS LCD
Dimensions 156.0  x 77.0 x 7.9 mm
195 grams
146.0 x 72.0 x 8.1 mm
161 grams
NAND 64GB + microSD 32GB / 64GB + microSD
Battery 3230 mAh
2900 mAh
Front Camera 13MP, 1/3.06" Sony Exmor RS, f/2.0 13MP, 1/3.06" Sony Exmor RS, f/2.0
Rear Camera 19MP, 1/2.3" Sony Exmor RS 19MP, 1/2.3" Sony Exmor RS
Modem Qualcomm X16 (Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 16/13)
Qualcomm X12 (Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 9/13)
SIM Size NanoSIM (Dual SIM option) NanoSIM (Dual SIM option)
Wireless Wi-Fi, BT 4.2, NFC, GPS/Glonass Wi-Fi, BT 4.2, NFC, GPS/Glonass
Connectivity USB 3.1 Type-C, 3.5mm headset USB Type-C, 3.5mm headset
Additional Features QC 3.0 fast charging, IP68 environment protection, high-resolution audio, stereo front-facing speakers QC 3.0 fast charging, IP68 environment protection, high-resolution audio, stereo front-facing speakers
Launch OS Android 7.1 Android 7.1

The XZ Premium is the larger of the two with a 5.5-inch TRILUMINOS display, which is notable for being the first panel to combine 4K resolution with HDR image support. It will be interesting to see if the display runs at 4K all the time or just when watching 4K content, scaling back to 1080p otherwise. The XZs puts a 5.2-inch 1080p TRILUMINOS display into a smaller chassis. Both displays support Sony’s X-Reality picture engine and Dynamic Contrast Enhancement technology.

Sealed inside the XZ Premium is 3230 mAh battery, which is a little smaller than I would like to see for a 5.5-inch class phone with a high-resolution 4K display. A smaller chassis means an even smaller battery for the XZs at 2900 mAh. Based solely on this information, I’m a little concerned about battery life, but we’ll have to wait until devices start shipping to see how long they last. Both phones at least support Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging.

Xperia XZ Premium (left), Xperia XZs (right)

In addition to 4GB of RAM, both phones also share some nice audio features, including support for high-resolution audio and stereo front-facing speakers. They also have an IP68 dust and water resistance rating, a feature Sony fans have grown accustomed to.

It looks like both will have single and dual SIM versions. The dual SIM XZs comes with 64GB of internal storage like the XZ Premium, but the single SIM version only comes with 32GB. Storage can be expanded on all models with a microSD card.

Xperia XZ Premium

Both new XZ models use a similar camera configuration with a 13MP sensor behind an f/2.0 lens on the front and a 19MP sensor on the back. Both sensors are from Sony of course and are an integral part of the new Motion Eye camera system that incorporates technology from Sony’s a-series and Cyber-shot cameras, enabling 5x faster image scanning from the sensor. This means the Motion Eye cameras can capture super slow-motion video at an amazing 960fps (most phones are still stuck at 120fps or at most 240fps). The Predictive Capture feature starts buffering images when the camera detects motion, helping you capture fleeting moments you may have otherwise missed by allowing you to select from four photos taken up to 2 seconds before the shutter button was pressed. There’s also predictive hybrid autofocus that combines motion tracking and a motion prediction engine to lock onto an object and keep it in focus as it moves around.

Xperia XZs

The Xperia XZ Premium comes in two colors—Luminous Chrome and Deepsea Black—while the Xperia XZs offers three color options—Ice Blue, Warm Silver, and Black. The XZs will be available at select retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy, on April 5 for $699.99 (64GB). The XZ Premium will need to wait for the Snapdragon 835 SoC to become available, so it will not go on sale until later in the spring. Sony is not listing a price for it either, but it will most certainly cost more than the XZs.

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  • Valantar - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    I used to be a (very) happy Sony owner. Had a Z2 for close to three years. At the time I got it, Sony had market-leading battery life (heck, even my worn-out Z2 lasted a full day of semi-heavy use, even if it was unusable for other reasons), very competitive if not the best cameras, and were among a select few to have IP rated phones.

    Then, they started shrinking the batteries of every subsequent flagship, used inferior image sensors with awful processing (see Z5, XZ), and started stripping away IP ratings from all but their highest end offerings. What the hell?

    While I'm glad to see these have new camera chips, I'm not overly optimistic as to image quality. And as noted above, those batteries are _too small_. At least they're still waterproof. Oh, and prices have of course risen. Because why not?

    I bought a Oneplus 3T a few weeks ago. Waited as long as I could for an acceptable Sony device, but no dice. Not looking back.
  • moozooh - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    I don't know how it is with Sony phones these days, but I've been using Z3 Tablet Compact (4.5 Ah battery, Android 6.0.1) for slightly over two years, and its battery life has been nothing short of excellent this entire time. I'm only using Wi-Fi when I have to download something large, though, so maybe that's the reason. But Sony's ability to optimize their devices' battery life seems quite comparable to Apple's, in my opinion (considering they're dealing with hungrier hardware AND a hungrier OS), so let's wait with our conclusions until some actual tests drop.
  • Diji1 - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    That's been my experience with my last two flagship Xperia devices: extraordinarily good battery. No idea what they're talking about with image sensors either actually.
  • Shadow7037932 - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    The sensor itself is good, but the image processing is no longer up to par when comparing them to the competition ie. Pixel, S7, etc.
  • Valantar - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    The thing is this: they're good at optimizing, but doing so to get away with shrinking the battery size? That's just dumb. My Xperia Z2 (5.1") has a 3200mAh battery. The new XZs is 2900. That's a 10% reduction. And the phones are essentially identical in size. Seriously, there's barely a few mm3 of volume separating them.

    And while Sony makes possibly the best image sensors around, they've consistently chosen high-resolution sensors rather than optimizing for light sensitivity, while having _awful_ noise reduction - leading to both more noise and less detail than competitors. Not to mention simple things like this: My Z2 has a 21MP camera. It defaults to downsampling to 8MP. WHY? What's the point of using a ridiculous-resolution sensor if you're ditching 60% of the pixels? All that leads to is low quality pictures with too much noise while not giving you anything back.

    Sony has consistently made the wrong choices between cutting costs (due to low sales) and not listening to their customers.
  • Fidelator - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    I can confirm this, I don't know how, maybe their screens are far more efficient than those other OEMs use, my old Z1 still lasts 4 hours of SoT on average with moderate usage, they constantly seem to get far better battery despite using similar internals.

    On another note, the Premium should have 6gbs of RAM and for this price the XZs should too, let's hope they sort out their camera app and image processing which are still seriously subpar
  • lopri - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    They had a Doze-like feature before Android adopted it.
  • FreidoNumeroUno - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    I agree with you regarding the battery life on Sony phones. Can you believe I got a 5 day battery life on my z5compact on a mild usage basis with stamina mod on? That's true.
    I think this is the most interesting device yet announced this year. Camera and display themselves are just mind-blowing. And I always loved Sony UI design.
  • stepz - Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - link

    To join the bitching, this one also seems to have dropped the dock pins and didn't add wireless charging. It's pretty neat being able to just drop my phone into the car holder and have it be charged while driving without fiddling with cords. Also, while pretty, on black models the glass back makes it harder to tell which way the screen is facing, adding a small but constant annoyance. And it's too fragile, I'm on my third back by now and I'm pretty sure the IP rating is gone due to the reassembly.

    Sony phones do so much of the hard engineering extremely well and then screw up the overall experience with small stuff that should be easy to get right.
  • lilmoe - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    I thought the SD835 supports Bluetooth 5.0?

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