Sony Xperia XZ review: A great flagship device, but competition is tough

Sony Xperia XZ is all about its camera prowess. And the 23MP rear camera is truly capable of taking some stunning shots in bright outdoors.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Written by Hansa Verma | Published:November 8, 2016 4:40 pm
Sony, Sony Xperia xz, xperia xz review, Xperia xz price, Xperia xz features, Xperia xz specifications, smartphones, technology, technology news Sony Xperia XZ costs Rs 51,990 and features company’s familiar rectangular design that we’ve come to associate with the Xperia phones.

Sony

Sony has been fairly active in launching its flagship devices in India. We recently saw the launch of of the latest Xperia phones which include the Xperia X and Xperia XA Ultra. The Japanese technology giant aims to take forward the same legacy with Xperia XZ, which comes with a triple image sensing technology and 5-axis video stabilisation.

Sony has a clear target – the high end segment – and the company is not making an exception with the pricing on this one. The Xperia XZ costs Rs 51,990 and features company’s familiar rectangular design that we’ve come to associate with the Xperia phones.

Sony Xperia XZ

The highlight of Sony Xperia XZ is clearly its 23MP rear camera that boasts of 5-axis video stabilisation to minimises shakes while shooting videos. The company has introduced a new ‘Loop’ design for the Xperia XZ. The smartphone gets a 5.2-inch full HD display and bears an IP65/IP68 rating, making it water/dust resistance like most other Sony Xperia smartphones. The front camera is 13MP. I used Sony Xperia XZ for more than a week and here’s how it performed:

Specifications: 5.2-inch Full HD display | Quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor | 3GB RAM | 32GB ROM | 23 MP rear camera | 13 MP front camera | 2,900 mAh battery

Price: Rs 51,990

What’s good?

Sony Xperia XZ is all about its camera prowess. And the 23MP rear camera is truly capable of taking some stunning shots in bright outdoors. The pictures look very sharp and colour reproduction is close to natural. The rear shooter is particularly good with natural landscapes and clicks pictures with details in focus. This one comes with a manual mode as well, that can be tweaked to get desired pictures in a particular setting.

Sony, Sony Xperia xz, xperia xz review, Xperia xz price, Xperia xz features, Xperia xz specifications, smartphones, technology, technology news Sony Xperia XZ is all about its camera prowess. And the 23MP rear camera is truly capable of taking some stunning shots in bright outdoors. Sample shot from Sony Xperia XZ (Image resized for web) Sony, Sony Xperia xz, xperia xz review, Xperia xz price, Xperia xz features, Xperia xz specifications, smartphones, technology, technology news Sample shot from Sony Xperia XZ (Image resized for web)

But I found myself clicking pictures mostly in the auto-mode that automatically adjusts to surroundings, and got some pretty good results. Pictures taken in low-light settings were excellent as well. The photos turned out to be less grainy as compared to a lot of other smartphone cameras that I’ve tried.

Sony, Sony Xperia xz, xperia xz review, Xperia xz price, Xperia xz features, Xperia xz specifications, smartphones, technology, technology news Sample shot from Sony Xperia XZ (Image resized for web) Sony, Sony Xperia xz, xperia xz review, Xperia xz price, Xperia xz features, Xperia xz specifications, smartphones, technology, technology news Sample shot from Sony Xperia XZ (Image resized for web)

The front camera on the phone is pretty good too. Selfies don’t look over-exposed or blurry, even in low-light setting. In fact, this is easily one of the better smartphone selfie cameras that reproduces close to natural colours. The 5-axis video stabilisation technology works very well. I tried making a couple of videos from a shaky boat and while walking, and I was quite impressed with the performance. The technology minimises shakes to a great extent.

The only issue I faced while clicking pictures was adjusting to the placement of the shutter button on Xperia XZ. It is placed at the bottom on the right side, making it a bit difficult to access at times.

Sony, Sony Xperia xz, xperia xz review, Xperia xz price, Xperia xz features, Xperia xz specifications, smartphones, technology, technology news The only issue I faced while clicking pictures was adjusting to the placement of the shutter button on Xperia XZ.

The display in Xperia XZ is vibrant. The icons are sharp and colour reproduction is quite good. I did not have to struggle with this phone in bright sunlight either. I quite liked the design and built of the Xperia XZ too. The ‘Loop’ design is supposed to make it easier to hold the smartphone and the grip is quite comfortable on this one. Though I didn’t find it much different from Sony’s standard rectangular design, the phone looks good in the Mineral Black colour variant that we got for review. The power button doubles up as fingerprint scanner, and the unlock mechanism is really fast on Xperia XZ.

Sony, Sony Xperia xz, xperia xz review, Xperia xz price, Xperia xz features, Xperia xz specifications, smartphones, technology, technology news Sony Xperia XZ comes with Snapdragon 820 processor under the hood with 3GB RAM.

Sony Xperia XZ comes with Snapdragon 820 processor under the hood with 3GB RAM. The smartphone did not have performance issues. Basic tasks like browsing multiple tabs, watching videos and messaging run smoothly and it can easily handle the more heavy duty games as well. However, the device starts to get a little warm within 10 minutes of playing a high-end graphic game on it.

Sony, Sony Xperia xz, xperia xz review, Xperia xz price, Xperia xz features, Xperia xz specifications, smartphones, technology, technology news Sony Xperia XZ comes with Quick Charge technology, which I found quite useful.

Battery in Xperia XZ will easily get you through a day on full charge if you’re a moderate user. The smartphone will be left with very little charge (close to 20 per cent) at the end of the day if you play a lot of games on this one or watch a lot of videos. Either way, it lasts a day. The Xperia XZ comes with Quick Charge technology, which I found quite useful.

What is not good?

There’s nothing particularly bad with the device except that it heats up a bit occasionally. Also, the battery on this one could have been a little bigger, given it packs high-end specifications for multi-tasking and a full HD screen.

Verdict

Sony Xperia XZ is a great overall package if you’re looking for a flagship. Camera in the Xperia XZ stands out the most and it looks stylish in terms of design. However, it will have a hard time competing against other flagship devices like Samsung S7 series and LG G5. In fact, the Apple iPhone 7 and Google Pixel start at about the same price and Sony will find it hard to compel users that their price tag is worth it.