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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  • SantaAna12 - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    I owned a Z3, and I dealt with the.hardware problems and Sony's denials.
    Sony's repeated denials, even after it was proven by teardowns at XDA.

    Ki$$ my a$$ Sony.

    Never again.
  • grayson_carr - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    Given Sony's track record on launch phones in the US, I guess we'll see the Premium around October. lol Sony
  • zeeBomb - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    4k HDR with the S835. What exciting times do we live in...I can't hate Sony for this as this is a great step up from the Z5 Premium.
  • shadarlo - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    Yet another completely useless phone IMO.

    4K is completely useless for 98% of users and pair that with a tiny battery (for the screen size) and this phone just makes no sense no matter what else it has going for it.

    Give me a 1080p phone with a 4,500-6,000 mah battery and I'd prefer that dramatically over anything with 1440p/4k with 2800-3300 batteries.

    And oh my god, the phone might be 10mm thick instead of 8mm... THE HORRORS. But then, guess what... that's another 2mm of thickness that the camera can use to remove humps/increase quality/etc.

    My ideal specs:

    2 fingerprint readers, one from and one back middle.
    Power / Volume buttons on opposite sides of phone.
    Water/dust proof (or at least resistant).
    4k minimum battery, 5-6k optimal (ability to charge someone elses phone from mine)
    1080p ultra high quality/efficient screen or 1440p at max
    Ruggedized edges so I don't have to put a cover on my phone and lose that thinness anyhow.
    Best camera you can possibly fit into the phone, especially in low light, even if that means making the phone another 1-2mm thicker or adding multiple lenses in.
  • jaydee - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    GSM or CDMA?
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    GSM only, which is fine for most of the world, really, especially with Sony's traditionally insane LTE band coverage.
  • agent2099 - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    Will this work on Verizon?
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - link

    GSM-only, so a definite maybe - depends entirely on Verizon/Sprint's willingness to give you an LTE+VoLTE-only service and matching SIM card.

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