Sony just started taking orders on its latest flagship phones, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. But that's not stopping the electronics giant from adding a new model — the Xperia XZ2 Premium — to the mix. And if the revamped design of the current XZ2 models haven't grabbed you, Sony is betting that an improved camera on the Premium version of the phone will.
Shipping later this summer, the Xperia XZ2 Premium features a new dual sensor system in its rear cameras and a more powerful image signal processor. Sony also claims the Premium's camera has the highest ISO 12800 sensitivity for video recording that you'll find in a phone, while its ISO51200 for still images should help it shoot photos in low-light.
It's easy to understand why Sony is focusing on cameras with the Xperia XZ2 Premium. On-board cameras have increasingly become a way for smartphone makers to distinguish their products, with flagships from Apple and Samsung sporting dual lenses and Google touting the computational smarts of the cameras on its latest Pixels. Huawei has raised the stakes even more with a triple lens camera on its new P20 Pro that's the best performing mobile shooter we've tested. (Now if only it was available in this country...)
MORE: Best Smartphone Cameras
Sony's answer with the Xperia XZ2 Premium, which introduces the company's Motion Eye Dual camera with both a black-and-white and color sensor. The former sensor captures contrast while the latter focuses on color accuracy. Using both cameras, you'll be able to introduce bokeh effects such as blurred backgrounds or take monochrome photos with a better blend of blacks and whites.
In addition, Sony says the Xperia XZ2 Premium can record 4K movies. It also features the same Super Slo-Mo capability of capturing 960fps video at HD resolutions found in previous Sony flagship phones. (For what it's worth, the Galaxy S9 can also record 960fps video, and we found that it did the job better than last year's Sony Xperia XZ1. We're interested to see how the newer Sony phones match up.)
The camera appears to be a big focus with the Xperia XZ2 Premium, but it's not the only feature Sony's touting with its new phone. The 5.8-inch phone offers a 4K display that's both larger and brighter than Sony's previous 4K panels. The phone's Dynamic Vibration System feature lets you feel pulsing audio in your hands as you hold the device, which Sony thinks will make for more immersive experiences when you watch movies or play games
Like the new XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, the Premium model runs on a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor. However, Sony's packing in 6GB of RAM to give the Premium model even more of a performance boost. The new phone will ship with Android Oreo installed.
Sony also boosted the battery on this phone. While the XZ2 and XZ2 compact feature respective batteries of 3,180 mAh and 2,870 mAh, the Xperia XZ2 Premium offers a comparatively beefier 3,540 mAh power pack.
Sony Xperia XZ Lineup
|Model||Xperia XZ2 Premium||Xperia XZ2||Xperia XZ2 Compact|
|Availability||Summer 2018||April 20||April 20|
|Display||5.8 inches (3840 x 2160)||5.7 inches (2160 x 1080)||5 inches (2160 x 1080)|
|Rear Camera||19-MP (f/1.8) main camera; 12-MP (f/1.6) black-and-white camera||19-MP (f/2.0)||19-MP (f/2.0)|
|Front Camera||13-MP (f/2.0)||5-MP (f/2.2)||5-MP (f/2.2)|
|CPU||Snapdragon 845||Snapdragon 845||Snapdragon 845|
|microSD||Up to 400GB||Up to 400GB||Up to 400GB|
|Battery||3,540 mAh||3,180 mAh||2,870 mAh|
|Colors||Chrome Black, Chrome Silver||Liquid Black, Liquid Silver, Deep Green, Ash Pink||White Silver, Black, Moss Green, Coral Pink|
|Size||6.2 x 3.1 x 0.5 inches||6 x 2.8 x 0.43 inches||5.3 x 2.6 x 0.48 inches|
|Weight||8.3 ounces||6.98 ounces||5.93 ounces|
While Sony disclosed many details about the XZ2 Premium, one of those wasn't the price. Considering the XZ2 costs $799, expect to pay more for the Premium version, given its more impressive specs.
We expect to hear more about the Xperia XZ2 Premium as it gets closer to its summer ship date. We're eager to see how this phone compares not just to the rest of Sony's XZ2 lineup but other leading smartphones.
Updated at 12:27 p.m. ET with additional specs for the XZ2 Premium.