These days, it's not enough that your smartphone can take a decent selfie. Now, those images have to be as close to or better than DSLR quality. The latest salvo to unseat DSLR cameras with a mobile phone is Sony's latest creation, the Xperia XZ Premium.
Available in late spring 2017, this new smartphone combines Sony's triple image sensing technology with what the company claims is the world's first super slow motion camera to be included in a smartphone.
While the slow motion camera is a feat in itself, the XZ Premium will also be the first smartphone to feature a 4K HDR display. My demo with the phone revealed incredibly vivid color and pin-prick sharp detail — it's almost like having a Sony Bravia TV screen condensed into a 5.5-inch design. I would have been happy staring into that screen for an hour or two, but there was still the camera to consider.
Compiling all of its camera know-how, Sony has created what the company is calling its Motion Eye camera system. Comprised of Sony’s triple image sensing tech (which combines predictive hybrid autofocus, laser autofocus, and RGBIR), the Motion Eye offers image capture and data capture five times faster than other smartphones.
The result is a 19-megapixel rear camera that can capture action at 960 frames per second, out-slowing the competition for some truly "wow" moments.
The XZ Premium also offers laser auto focus, 5-axis stabilization and Predicative Capture, which starts buffering images as soon as it detects any motion. That should definitely come in handy when trying to capture photos of kids or cute animal moments, as neither really excels at holding still.
Sony's phone also rocks a 13-MP front camera that the company designed specifically for low-light selfies. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the XZ Premium will fare in our Smartphone Camera Showdown.
The XZ Premium has some heavy-hitting specs under its Gorilla Glass 5 design and anodized aluminum frame, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of on-board storage (it supports up to 256GB microSD cards).
Although Sony has yet to share battery expectations for the XZ Premium's 3240 mAh battery, the company did divulge that the phone would include Smart Stamina battery management, which uses machine learning to determine phone usage and give more exact estimates of remaining battery life. The technology also prevents excess charging, which could damage your phone's battery over time.
When it launches, the XZ Premium will be available in Deep Sea Black and Luminous Chrome. But if you're not into all the fancy bells and whistles the XZ Premium has to offer, there's also the Xperia XZs, XA1 and XA1 Ultra. Available April 5, starting at $699.99, the XZs is a revamp of last year's Xperia XZ and will feature the same 5.2-inch HD display as its predecessor. No word on the CPU, but the device will offer 4GB of RAM with 64GB of on-board storage, as well as the Motion Eye system.
The mid-tier Xperia XA1 Ultra and X1 smartphones (available Spring 2017 and May 1, respectively) both offer 23-megapixel cameras. However, the X1's front camera will only be 8-MP, compared to the Ultra's 16M-P. Another notable difference is the size, as the Ultra will be a bit of a handful at 6 inches compared to the 5-inch XA1. Both devices will feature a MediaTek octa-core Helio P20 processor and display enhancement technology, such as Super Vivid Mode and smart backlight control.
Any way you slice it, Sony has a solid stable of feature-rich phones coming this spring.