Sony Xperia XZ Hands-On and Initial Review: One Phone, Three Image Sensors

by Jamie Inocian  October 18, 2016


Sony bid adieu to the Xperia Z series when they revealed the X series line of smartphones at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. While their newest smartphones may feature devices that lean more towards the mid-ranged segment, the Japanese company can still flex their muscles and have done so with their new flagship device, the Sony Xperia XZ. We’ve booked a bit of time with the device for an initial review, but let’s start by checking out its spec sheet.

Sony Xperia XZ Specifications

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Adreno 530 GPU
  • 5.2-inch Full HD Triluminous IPS LCD Display with X-Reality Engine
  • 64GB of Expandable Storage
  • 23-Megapixel Rear Camera; f/2.0, PDAF, LED Flash
    (Exmor RS Mobile Image Sensor, Laser AF Sensor, and RGBC-IR)
  • 13-Megapixel Front Camera; f/2.0
  • 3G, LTE
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • IP65/68 Certification for Dust and Water Resistance
  • 2900mAh Battery; Quick Charge 3.0,
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Familiar Yet Different


At first glance, the Sony Xperia XZ definitely looks like an Xperia device with subtle changes that make all the difference. Its corners haven’t been rounded like most devices out in the market, thus giving it its familiar rectangular silhouette. It’s been given what the company is calling a loop surface design. The edges have been slightly rounded for better grip on the device and the metal back is crafted from ALKALEIDO metal, which happens to be coated to make it less of a fingerprint magnet, giving the XZ that premium feel.


The frame of the Xperia XZ may have undergone a bit of a change, but the feel and layout of its physical buttons remain the same. The right of the device houses the power button that doubles up as the fingerprint scanner, the volume rocker, and the dedicated camera button; something we’re pretty sure you’ll use often with this phone — more on that later. You’ll find the 3.5mm jack on top of the device, the bottom houses the USB Type-C port, and on the left of the XZ is the tray for the SIM cards and MicroSD expansion.


In front is the 5.2-inch Full HD Triluminous IPS LCD Display, which has been a staple of Xperia smartphones for quite a while now, and just like its predecessors, color saturation is great with excellent contrast ratios to boot. The screen is sandwiched by front firing speakers and the 13-megapixel front camera is found above the screen.


At the back of the phone is that ALKALEIDO metal back plate with a bit of polycarbonate plastic on the bottom for the Xperia XZ’s antenna. You’ll find the 23-megapixel rear camera and its LED flash on the upper left hand side that’s equipped with three image sensors (EXMOR RS, Laser AF, and RGB-IR sensors) and five-axis image stabilization to help you get the best shot possible. We took a sample shot at the media launch earlier today and we’re pretty excited to take this around so we can take more photos.


Under the hood of the Sony Xperia XZ is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor that’s paired up with 3GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, plus an Adreno 530 GPU; all running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the Xperia UI overlay. As expected navigation was smooth and had zero lag with its AnTuTu benchmark score breaching 100k. Providing juice to the device is a 2900mAh battery. We still have to run battery benchmarks to see if the XZ can last through the day, but Sony has incorporated adaptive features that will help double the lifespan of your battery and keep the device running optimally. Let’s see how it stands up to real world use though.


That’s pretty much it for our hands-on and initial review for the Sony Xperia XZ. The flagship device from the Japanese brand has been priced at Php 37,990 and will be available for pre-order from October 21 to November 6. Sony will be throwing in a few freebies for those who decide to pre-order the XZ, which include: a 32GB Sony USB To-Go, Krussel Sigtuna Smart Case, and a Sony CP-S5 5,000mAh power bank. The Xperia XZ is set to hit store shelves on November 18 and is available in three color variants: Platinum, Mineral Black, and Forest Blue.

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    Overall, this is a lot better than zenfone 3 deluxe kahit 3k cheaper ang ZF3. Design language is simple and flat and that is what I like about this phone. I’ll consider this as my next phone and yet I have to decide which when the time comes…