The Sony Xperia XZ is a smart shooter
Sony's latest flagship gives you clear shots even with fast-moving subjects
SONY XPERIA XZ
- Processor: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 3GB | GPU: Adreno 530 | Internal Memory: 64GB
- Screen Size: 5.2" | Thickness: 8.1mm | Weight: 161g
- Cameras: Rear camera: 23MP f/2.0 | Front camera: 13MP f/2.0
- Price: $998
Sony's response to the Apple iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is its latest flagship model, the Sony Xperia XZ.
Design-wise, it is reminiscent of its predecessors in the Xperia X series, but it packs firepower in its state-of-the-art cameras.
In terms of design, the Android device does not do much to separate itself from the crowd, aside from more rounded edges for a more attractive look. Having a smaller screen means that one-handed manipulation is easy.
The hybrid dual-SIM tray (nano) is uniquely built. You don't need a pin to pull out the tray to change SIM cards or insert a microSD card.
Sony Xperia XZ. PHOTO: SONY
The Xperia XZ has a headphone jack, so your wired headphones are safe, but instead of a normal micro-USB port, it's a USB Type-C port.
Sony labels the Xperia XZ as "water-resistant". It can be submerged up to 1.5m for as long as 30 minutes. I didn't leave the phone in water for such a long duration, but I did shoot underwater videos in a pool, which came out crystal clear.
Pictures shot with the Xperia XZ are incredibly detailed, thanks to its high megapixels, and colours are vibrant.
The 23MP rear camera has a 5-axis optical image stabilising (OIS) technology, a step above renowned shooters like the ZenFone 3 and the Mi 5 that hold only a 4-axis OIS.
This means you will be able to snap clear shots, even without steady hands. Your videos will appear less jerky, too.
Object tracking is another interesting feature.
Tapping on the screen allows the smartphone to recognise something as your subject, so even if it is moving at a high speed, the camera automatically focuses on it as your priority.
I tried this out while seated as a passenger in a moving vehicle - I snapped photos of a moving car next to me and the shots of the jet black Toyota appeared in-focus and remarkably sharp.
The front camera with 13MP also has several nifty features to make selfies a breeze. For instance, show your open palm at the camera and it will automatically take a selfie for you.
The shots taken accentuate your facial features well, rivalling other dedicated selfie phones like the Oppo R9.
In the performance department, the Xperia XZ sports the latest Snapdragon 820 processor and 3GB of RAM, so multitasking should be a breeze, with no lags when you run normal applications like Google Docs, WhatsApp and Facebook.
However, the lags became noticeable when I was running video editing apps and photo editing ones simultaneously, which was slightly disappointing.
The phone also heats up fairly intensely when you run demanding applications.
AnTuTu benchmarks gave it a rating of 102,788, a 40.2% increase in performance from the Xperia X. However, it still falls short of the Samsung S7 Edge's 134,599 and the speed difference is noticeable.
The battery life is decent: The 2,900mAh cell lasted through a work day of eight to 10 hours, including two to three hours of continuous usage, surfing the Internet, texting and calling, with cellular data and Wi-Fi left on throughout.