Hands-on with the amazing Xperia XZ, the phone with a crazy brand-new material
1. The camera is AMAZING
The Sony Xperia XZ’s camera has the same pixel count as its predecessor, but there has been good progress made elsewhere. The biggest improvement can be seen in low-light conditions thanks to the 2.6 times bigger sensor. I got to test out the new sensor in a darkened scenario, and its image quality was very impressive. A real plus point for the camera.
2. It’s VERY dust- and water-resistant
It has an IP68 rating! For those of you not familiar with the ins and outs of the Ingress Protection rating, I’ll explain. The Xperia XZ has achieved a score of 6 for its protections against solids. Six is as high as the rating goes and means your phone is completely protected against dust. The 8 is also the highest water-resistant rating a smartphone has achieved to date, and means it can survive being submerged beyond depths of 1m for up to 30 minutes.
3. No 4K screen
This time last year, Sony launched the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium with a huge 4K screen. It was amazing – but so was the pull on the battery life. The 5.2in 1080p Full HD screen in the new Xperia XZ is much more sensible. And it still looks stunning.
4. USB Type-C
It’s a pain to have to chuck out all your old USB chargers again, but Type-C is better in the long run.
5. The battery has been turned up to 11!
The 2,900mAh battery isn’t the biggest we’ve ever seen in a smartphone. But it’s still BIG. Sony has done some interesting work to combat battery health deterioration too. It found having your phone connected to your charger while at 100% causes damage.
To solve this, Sony wanted to minimise the time your phone spent plugged in while at 100%. So it’s designed new software that learns your charging patterns and adapts accordingly. If you charge your phone at night and usually wake up at 7am, the new Xperia will charge at full speed until your battery reaches 90%, then stop charging. It then waits and times the final 10% of charging to be completed just before 7am, when you routinely unplug your phone.
6. A camera with a LASER beam
LG were the first company to tout this SWAT-team feature in a smartphone with the G3 in 2014. It’s unclear whether Sony is using the same laser techniques as LG with the Xperia XZ or if further advancements have been made. Regardless, Sony claims this new feature enables you to switch between standby mode to taking a picture in 0.6 seconds.
7. Say GOODBYE to idle apps
A phone that automatically closes background apps when they’re idle. Hallelujah!