I don’t know what it is about me and Sony. I’ve never totally gelled. Over the course of this week in Barcelona I’ve called their new phone “the ZX” (it’s not, that’s something to do with Spectrum computers) and I’ve also called it the “Xperia XZ” (it isn’t that either, because that’s already available and has been since last September).
I’ll admit it, I did get a bit confused in all the craziness. There I was, making notes on my LG G5 whilst looking at the Moto G5 and G5 Plus, only to then snap some photos of the LG G6 and the Nokia 6. Meanwhile I’ve got manufacturers calling their phones the P10, S8, A3, Z11 and… AGH! MY HEAD!
For simplicity, I’m just going to call this the “Premium”, because that’s what it is. We couldn’t turn the device on here in Barcelona as the software isn’t quite ready yet. Well, if I’m honest I did actually turn it on (much to the surprise of a representative) and it promptly crashed. Don’t let that put you off though, as the Xperia Premium isn’t going to be available until “late Spring” (in “Luminous Chrome” and “Deepsea Black”) so they’ve got some time to put that right.
The Premium has the world’s first 4K HDR display and the Sony Motion Eye camera to deliver super-slow mo video capture and playback. It was strange hearing a smartphone manufacturer actually announce something that was “slower” but indeed it is (four times slower), even if we only have video footage to prove it. 960fps. Yowser.
The screen, for the brief period I saw it (before getting pounced on by Sony reps) is stunning. The 4K UHD means that the 5.5″ screen resolution hits 2160×3840 pixels.
Apart from the stunning display and the trick camera, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU sits at the heart of the device. This delivers the Cat 16 4G “Gigabit-class” speeds which EE have already tested in their labs below…
979MBps ! That’ll do, right? EE are going to offer the Xperia XZ Premium as well as the Xperia XA1, both with WiFi Calling and 4G Calling when they become available later this year. EE is the only UK operator rolling out the network technology that supports 1Gbps speeds with the mobile spectrum to achieve it. Vodafone has also confirmed that both handsets will be arriving too. More on that XA1 in a few minutes by the way.
Specs? Well, this is certainly flagship territory. There’s 64GB of internal storage plus microSD support and 4GB of RAM. It runs Android 7.1 (Nougat) and has a 3230mAh with the “Smart Stamina” cleverness which should see your battery last a little longer. “Qnovo Adaptive Charging” is on board, plus you get the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 with supported chargers to let you get going quicker. It’s also water resistant (IP65/68) and has lots of lovely glass all over it – Corning Gorilla Glass on the front and back.
It weighs 195g and measures 156 x 77 at 7.9 mm thick. The camera at the back is a 19 megapixel Motion Eye unit as mentioned before, and it has a whole host of gadgets including Exmor RS, triple image sensing technology, Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, Predictive Capture, speedy 0.5 sec launch and capture, an anti-distortion shutter, an image processing engine, SteadyShot and more. It’ll also record video in 4K.
Up front, a 13 megapixel shooter with Exmor RS, SteadyShot, and a 22mm wide-angle lens. WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 (yes, version 5 people), DLNA, NFC, a fingerprint sensor and hi-res audio with DSEE HX and noise cancelling also features.
The build quality of the phone was, as I’m pretty familiar with on Sony phones, very solid. A very impressive phone and one with a lot of power and speed under the hood. This has an incredible processor, huge 4G speed throughput, a stunning camera and should prove very popular with power users.
Full press release below. You can register on their website to find out when it’s available to buy. Oh, and it’s just won “Best New Smartphone” at the GSMA Awards here in Barcelona too.
Sony Mobile delivers its innovation promise at Mobile World Congress 2017
· Xperia™ Touch, the highly anticipated Android projector with multi-touch, rolls out to select markets from Spring 2017
· First showcase of Xperia™ Ear “Open-style CONCEPT”, a next-generation Xperia Smart Product – with wireless ‘open-ear’ stereo headphones
· Four new X-Series smartphones; Xperia™ XZ Premium, Xperia XZs and super mid-range Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra
Barcelona, 27th February 2017, Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today re-affirmed its position as a leading communications innovator and visionary, by unveiling product experiences that break new ground in consumer technology.
“Xperia Touch is a revolutionary interface” said Hiroki Totoki, President and CEO, at Sony Mobile Communications. “A year on from unveiling our new brand direction and vision for the future of communications, not only are we announcing Xperia XZ Premium, equipped with the most advanced technologies to enhance the essential features on smartphones, we’re creating whole new interactive communication experiences with our Xperia Smart Products.”
Acclaimed concept to commercial product: Xperia Touch, the interactive Android projector launches from Spring 2017
Xperia Touch is an interactive projector that turns any flat surface into a 23” HD touchscreen, with either horizontal or vertical ultrashort-throw projection. The interface is fast, fluid and responsive to physical touch – it’s built using Sony’s SXRD projection display technology, and touch is made possible through a combination of Infrared light and real-time detection via its built-in camera, at a rate of 60 frames-per-second.
Xperia Touch enables family and friends to gather around a table, kitchen island or flat wall to enjoy games, watch online video streaming services and communicate using messaging apps and social networks.
The elegant home screen skin is engineered specifically for touch – designed to be both minimalistic and accessible in brightly lit or dark conditions. It provides real-time weather information, a memo board for doodles or video notes, calendar access and a Skype™ portal for video chat with colleagues or loved ones.
Not only is Xperia Touch compatible with PlayStation® 4 Remote Play1, it will run any app or game downloaded from the Google Play Store, setting a new precedent for the way hundreds of thousands of application experiences2 can now be enjoyed. And, the unique projection, touch capability and sensor architecture will provide developers with an entirely new platform on which to build and create.
Xperia Touch rolls out to Europe via select retailers and the Xperia Store Online in selected countries from Spring 2017, with a suggested retail price of €14993.
Hands-free. Eyes-free. Ears-free: Xperia Ear “Open-style CONCEPT” is a next-generation Xperia Smart Product concept
Xperia Ear “Open-style CONCEPT” is based on ‘open-ear’ audio technology developed within Sony’s Future Lab Program, an incubator that enables consumers to trial and shape prototypes from Sony’s R&D division.
It utilises Sony’s acoustics research and leadership to deliver wireless ‘open-ear’ stereo headphones, so you can listen to music and receive notifications, whilst simultaneously hearing sounds from the world around you. Whether you’re listening to music during a workout or commute, it’s an unparalleled ambient experience.
Xperia Ear “Open-style CONCEPT” is built to completely reimagine everyday listening and communication – its two highly powerful spatial acoustic conductors and driver units work together to transmit sounds directly to the ear canal.
And just as with Xperia Ear, Xperia Ear “Open-style CONCEPT” will be powered by Sony Agent Technology – a personal assistant that uses conversational voice interaction and head gestures to help you get things done, access information and communicate.
Sony Mobile will continue to develop new features to further increase the in-ear assistant capability. An example of this is ‘Anytime Talk’ – a new voice-chat service that will allow users to instantaneously start a group conversation in real-time without searching through contacts or needing to dial, with a simple single button press or head movement. The beta version will roll out for the first-generation Xperia Ear over the coming months.
Sony Mobile is exploring the collaborative possibilities with Sony Agent Technology on Xperia Smart Products and the new cloud AI platform from LINE Corporation, the company behind the popular LINE messaging app, to develop and co-create a new communication experience.
Four all-new Xperia smartphones; Flagship Xperia™ XZ Premium, Xperia XZs and super mid-range Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra
Sony Mobile also announced four additions to its popular X-series enhancing both the premium and mid-range models – further ensuring that the range offers a variety of features to excite consumers and ensuring that Xperia is available at each key operator tariff point in markets around the world.
Hideyuki Furumi, EVP, Global Sales & Marketing, at Sony Mobile Communications said: “We’ve continued to evolve and transform our smartphone portfolio, with an unwavering focus on delivering the most advanced technology in elegantly designed products. Whether it’s a memory-stacked camera system capable of super slow motion capture or the world’s first 4K HDR smartphone display, we’re delivering experiences that connect with users in emotional and meaningful ways like never before.”
Xperia XZ Premium showcases Sony’s new Motion Eye™ camera system to enable advanced features and excellence in picture quality, as well as the world’s first 4K HDR display4 (5.5”). Motion Eye camera provides 960fps super slow motion video capture and playback, four times slower than any other smartphone5. Xperia XZ Premium is available globally in in Luminous Chrome and Deepsea Black from late Spring 2017.
Building on the success of the Xperia XA models launched last year, Xperia XA1 and the 6” large screen XA1 Ultra feature a beautiful borderless design with edge-to-edge screens. Both will surpass camera expectations with high-end rear camera specs including 23MP sensors and low-light capabilities, whilst XA1 Ultra has been designed specifically for selfie lovers with its superior 16MP front camera.
Xperia XA1 and Xperia XA1 Ultra will roll out from Spring 20176 with Android Nougat at launch in a choice of contemporary finishes; White, Black, Pink7 and Gold.