Sony’s struggles in the ultra competitive smartphone space is well documented at this point, with the company failing to find any sort of traction in the worldwide markets that matter. It’s sometimes difficult to gauge what the reasons for this steady decline may be, but a lack of effort isn’t one of them, with Sony continuing to push out solid, impressive flagship devices that are noteworthy.

Will the latest high-end smartphones that the company just unveiled here at MWC 2017 be what Sony needs to once more gain a foothold in the smartphone world? Here’s everything you need to know about the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs!

Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs design and build

Sony refreshed their flagship design language and build last year with the introduction of the Xperia XZ at IFA 2016, and given that these new models share the name with the previous flagship, it’s not surprising that they share the design language as well.

Both the Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs feature what Sony calls a loop design, with sides that are rounded and taper towards the front and back, and a flat top and bottom on which the phones can stand up straight. The Xperia XZ Premium is the taller and wider, but ever so slightly thinner, of the two, as a result of its larger 5.5-inch display, compared to the 5.2-inch screen of the Xperia XZs.

Apart from the size, the differences continue in the build as well. The Xperia XZs retains the build materials and quality of its predecessor, the XZ, with its metal backplate, plastic along the sides, and glass up front. On the other hand, the Xperia XZ Premium heralds a return to Sony’s build quality choices of old, with it coming with a metal frame that is sandwiched between Corning Gorilla Glass 5 panels. One more difference is that while the laser-guided auto focus system and flash on the Xperia XZs is in a vertical position below the camera unit, it moves to a horizontal orientation with the Premium.

The buttons and ports are at their usual positions on both smartphones, with the headphone jack and USB Type-C port at the top and bottom respectively, and the power button with an embedded fingerprint scanner, volume rocker, and a dedicated camera shutter button all on the right side. The one difference here is that while the volume rocker goes below the power button on the Xperia XZs, it is found above the power button on the Xperia XZ Premium.

Sony has always shown a certain penchant for beautiful design and solid build quality, and these smartphones are no exceptions. However, in a world where we are increasingly moving towards bezel-less phones and more and more compact devices, the top and bottom chin seen on both smartphones and the resulting larger footprint overall may be especially glaring to some.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs specs and special features

While the Samsung Galaxy S8 was expected to be the first smartphone to ship with the latest Qualcomm processing package, and that may well be the case, with there being no clear indication as to when the Xperia XZ Premium will be available, the latter is still the first to officially be announced with the Snapdragon 835 processor on-board, with the Adreno 540 GPU and 4 GB of RAM backing it.

On the other hand, the Xperia XZs doesn’t upgrade the processor much when compared to the XZ, and retains the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and Adreno 530 GPU, but with a boost in RAM to 4 GB to accompany it.

32 GB and 64 GB of on-board storage are the variation available with the Xperia XZs, while 64 GB is the only option available for the Xperia XZ Premium. Both smartphones will offer expandable storage via microSD card, for up to an additional 256 GB of space.

Both smartphones are come with an IP68 rating for dust and water protection, which means that the devices can be submerged at depths lower than 1 meter, for an extended period of time, and while under pressure.

 Sony Xperia XZ PremiumSony Xperia XZs
Display5.5-inch Triluminos Display
4K resolution
5.2-inch Triluminos Display
1080p resolution
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
Adreno 540 GPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
Adreno 530 GPU
Storage64 GB
expandable via microSD up to 256 GB
32/64 GB
expandable via microSD up to 256 GB
Camera19 MP rear camera
13 MP front-facing camera
Motion Eye system
19 MP rear camera
13 MP front-facing camera
Motion Eye system
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2
USB Type-C (USB 3.1)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2
USB Type-C (USB 3.1)
Battery3,230 mAh2,900 mAh
SoftwareAndroid 7.0 NougatAndroid 7.0 Nougat
Dimensions156 x 77 x 7.9 mm
195 grams
146 x 72 x 8.1 mm
161 grams

Moving on to the displays, the Xperia XZ Premium kicks things up a notch once again, with device packing a 5.5-inch Triluminos display with a 4K resolution and HDR capabilities, while the Xperia XZs remains at a Full HD resolution for its 5.2-inch screen. Both displays come with Sony’s X-Reality Engine and Dynamic Contrast Enhancement feature.

Both smartphones come with Sony’s new Motion Eye camera system that provides 5x faster image scanning and data transfer. This will allow users to capture super slow motion video playback by recording at 960 fps, for some fantastic looking video. As far as the specs are concerned, you get a 19 MP rear camera and a 13 MP front-facing shooter with both. The camera is a huge upgrade that Sony has introduced with their latest smartphones, and we can’t wait to put it through its paces.

As far as battery life is concerned, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium comes with a 3,230 mAh battery, while the XZs features a 2,900 mAh unit. We’ll have to wait to see what kind of battery life we get with these phones, especially with the high-resolution display of the Premium that it has to power, but both devices leverage Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 capabilities and Qnovo Adaptive Charging to help you get back up and running in no time.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs software

Both smartphones are running Android 7.0 Nougat, with the latest version of Sony’s own UI on top. Sony’s software package has always been very close to stock Android, but you will definitely Sony’s touch in the Settings menu, app icons, and with the built-in Themes engine. Sony has strived to provide as smooth and light a software experience as possible, and that can clearly be seen with the Xperia XZ Premium and the Xperia XZs. As is increasingly becoming the case with any new smartphone that is being announced, both these devices will also come with the Google Assistant on-board.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs price and availability

The Xperia XZs will be available from April 5 this year, and will be priced starting at $699.99. While the pricing of the XZ Premium is unknown, and its release date is a little vague with “Spring 2017.” One thing is certain, it is definitely going to command quite the premium, pun intended, when looking at the price point of its smaller and less powerful sibling. The color options for the Xperia XZs include Ice Blue, Warm Silver, and Black, while the Xperia XZ Premium will be available in Luminous Chrome and Deepsea Black.

Read comments