Sony’s new Xperia XZ Premium may very well be the most incredible smartphone you’ve never heard of. It might even be the best smartphone you’ve ever owned, should you decide to get one. From price-point and hardware, to some pretty fancy new camera technology and the world’s very first mesmerizingly beautiful 4k HDR smartphone display, Sony delivered in a big way on this new offering.
I decided to put this phone to the test and installed GeekBench 4 app on it. While I was expecting great results due to the smooth, near instant performance I’d been enjoying for several days, I was shocked to see it easily top even it’s hardest competitors. You can see the crazy results I got here or checkout the comprehensive performance comparison I wrote.
In the vastness of the smartphone market, I find the design of this phone to be strikingly unique and flawlessly minimalistic. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it, although I can’t really remember any phone I’ve stopped liking because the design started to bother me. It’s usually that they wear out and stop working or the manufacturer sends a bunch of crap software updates to slow everything down until I just can’t stand it anymore and go out to buy a new one.
Remember when buying a flagship smartphone was all about the freedom of peripherals? I remember that well – it was a good time that ended all too soon when companies like Apple managed to convince just about all the of other manufacturers to follow their uni-body no-ports vision. At some point, East German scientists must have been defecting in droves from Der Gut Vibes Inc. into high paying, desperately in-demand positions at smartphone companies where they worked around the clock to dream up a mobile device with only an on/off button and intensity control. Yet as batteries became inaccessible to all but the most tech savvy and Micro SD slots disappeared, not everyone was happy with these design changes. In fact, I know quite a few people who utterly hated them. Of course the argument is that by removing all of the ports from your phone, even the sacred headphone jack, companies are able to give you better “splash proofing.” But deep down inside, you know that’s not true. You know that they just want you to be so completely confused when your batteries go that you throw out your phone or trade it in for a new one at a heavy loss. Of course, if any part of you is doubting me, I personally dare you to take your “splash proof” phone to the nearest sink, bathtub, lake, or body of water and put that “splash proofing” to the test.
Here’s where Sony’s new phone is in its own class – not only does it feature a real headphone jack, it has a virtually unheard of dual-SIM tray AND a Micro-SD slot. It would have been great if they had made the battery immediately accessible too, but it’s not very difficult to replace regardless. Another complaint point among some critics about something that I absolutely love is that Sony used a rugged rubberized flap instead of those tiny annoying SIM card trays that you have to poke at with a minuscule, paperclip like tool that is meant to be lost immediately after you use it. I have no idea why anyone wouldn’t worship this feature and again, it’s something that you’re not going to have anything to do with after the case goes on your phone anyway.
Debunking The Critics
There are a few critics out there whining about how Sony’s new phone hasn’t changed much design wise from previous Xperia models. But a better question is, why does it need to? The body is gorgeous, sleek, and razor thin. It’s a timeless design that doesn’t need to be updated and I personally love that Sony doesn’t play the game of trying to guilt you into buying a new phone by radically reinventing the look of their devices every few years. I don’t have any desire to play into marketing ploys designed to make me feel like I need to buy something because the company decided to alter the form it embodies instead of truly innovating the technology that drives it. I’m also not the sort of person who’s looking to define myself as a human being for about one to two weeks by waving my unmistakably updated looking smartphone around in some sort of desperate attempt to find meaning and acceptance through a rampant display of consumerism.
There seems to be a growing group of people who genuinely believe that Sony has torn Camera2 API away from their devices. Of course, that’s not even remotely true, but there’s quite a bit to it so I wrote another article about it to keep this one from becoming War and Peace.
The other non-issue I see some critics complaining about is that this phone is too sleek and shiny – the back is just utterly prone to fingerprints and smudges. True – it is shiny and shiny things are typically easy to to smudge, I’ll give them that, but the reality of it is no one their right mind goes out and buys a flagship smartphone and doesn’t put a case on it. I mean, unless you want your device to be smashed into an unintelligible pile of mangled garbage within a few months of buying it, you’re just not going to carry it around like that. The reality is, you’re going to look at it for about 5 minutes after you take it out of the box, and once you’ve got the SIM card crammed in the tray and the tray crammed in the SIM card slot, you’re going to snap some sort of plastic or rubber protective case on it that you won’t take off until the case wears out or something goes wrong with your phone years into the future. So honestly, who cares about the surface being easily smudgeable? Just be happy you had a few moments of glimmering splendor during your unboxing experience, put the case on the damn thing, and move on with your life.
SUMMARY & RESULTS
Not only is this phone way less expensive than many of its competitors, Sony has really delivered by including innovative features that no one else is offering right now. I love the gorgeous 4k screen and other useful features like like the dual SIM card slot, adjustable color profiles for the display, enhanced audio, and micro-SD compatibility.
Overall, this is the best Android phone I've reviewed to date.
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