Sony's Xperia XZ2 Premium Goes All In on the Camera

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.

Xperia XZ2 Premium (Credit: Sony)

(Image credit: Xperia XZ2 Premium (Credit: Sony))

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

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ModelXperia XZ2 PremiumXperia XZ2Xperia XZ2 Compact
AvailabilitySummer 2018April 20April 20
Display5.8 inches (3840 x 2160)5.7 inches (2160 x 1080)5 inches (2160 x 1080)
Rear Camera19-MP (f/1.8) main camera; 12-MP (f/1.6) black-and-white camera19-MP (f/2.0)19-MP (f/2.0)
Front Camera13-MP (f/2.0)5-MP (f/2.2)5-MP (f/2.2)
CPUSnapdragon 845Snapdragon 845Snapdragon 845
microSDUp to 400GBUp to 400GBUp to 400GB
Battery3,540 mAh3,180 mAh2,870 mAh
Water ResistanceIP65/68IP65/68IP65/68
ColorsChrome Black, Chrome SilverLiquid Black, Liquid Silver, Deep Green, Ash PinkWhite Silver, Black, Moss Green, Coral Pink
Size6.2 x 3.1 x 0.5 inches6 x 2.8 x 0.43 inches5.3 x 2.6 x 0.48 inches
Weight8.3 ounces6.98 ounces5.93 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.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.