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Sony Xperia XZ review – Sony’s flagship phone with a 23mp rear camera!

Sony Xperia XZ is Sony’s flagship phone currently available to purchase. It is available for around £530 and on various contract deals. My thanks go to Vodafone for the loan of the Sony Xperia XZ.

The Key Specifications / Features

– Android 6.0 OS – Update to Nougat soon
– 23 MP 1/2.3″ rear camera, laser autofocus, RGB-IR sensor, 4K Video, 5 x Clear Image Zoom, ISO 12800 Photo/3200 Video, video stabilisation, LED Flash
– 5.2” HD 1080p resolution IPS LCD Screen – With Triluminos and X-reality for vivid colours, 423 PPI
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Adreno 530 GPU & 3GB RAM
– Bluetooth 4.2 with apt-X, A2DP, LDAC, LE
– WiFi – 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 / 5 GHz)
– 32 GB storage & micro SD support up to 256 GB
– In the box – Sony MH750 earphones & buds, 3 pin UK Sony fast charger
USB Type C Data Cable

Phone Basics

The Sony Xperia XZ has a good 1080p screen. When you watch my video review you will see how vivid it looks. Viewing angles are reasonable. Call quality is good. The loudspeaker is of average quality but doesn’t go to a high volume. This is demonstrated in the video review. Plugging in wired headphones and its a gold star for Sony. It produces a high quality output, not the loudest, but decent quality. Bluetooth audio is fantastic and the phone includes Sony’s Hi-Res bluetooth LDAC codec. The special audio features are again shown in my video review.

From a hardware design point of view, I really like the look and style of the phone. It is easy to hold one handed too.

The camera hardware on paper is awesome. Unfortunately Sony has a record of not having the best software processing on its phone cameras. The better news is that this is the first Sony phone where I got some exceptional photos, the best from all Sony smartphones I have tested and reviewed. In fact, on the day I tested the Sony Xperia ZX, it took better outdoor shots than my iPhone 7 Plus. However, indoor and low light shots don’t fair as well. Also, the camera seems to take some dud shots amongst the great ones. In other words the auto mode is not as good as other competing flagship phones. I have shown the camera app interface in more depth in my video below. The front camera is just average.

Camera Samples

Sun & Stormy Weather - sub zero, bitter winds & heavy rain all at once

The above shot in one of my favourite. Dynamic colours picking up the sun, rain and hail storm.

In a line - Fury, George & Tiggy sprinting up to Great Mis Tor

The above photo shows my 3 dogs running which the Sony Xperia XZ captured fairly decently.

Little Mis Tor  & Great Mis Tor - High up on Dartmoor in stormy conditions

The above shot is of Little & Great Mis Tor on Dartmoor. A good shot again from the Xperia XZ.

Video Review

For the next part of my review, watch my video review which details even more information and thoughts.

Conclusion

The Sony Xperia XZ has a lot of positive aspects. Great headphone audio using wired or wireless headphones. A design which I personally like. Easy to use one handed. The weakness is the camera which despite its huge hardware specification is let down by software processing, meaning its not up with current flagship standards.

Useful Links

Latest pricing & more info on Amazon UK
Vodafone Shop
More reviews from gavinsgadgets

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