Performance on both the processor side and its 4K screen, the Xperia XZ2 Premium is no shortage of assets. Unfortunately some ergonomic flaws and a disappointing picture quality blacken the picture.
Sony has accustomed us to high-performance smartphones and this Xperia XZ2 Premium with its powerful Snapdragon 845 processor is no exception. But for 900 euros, we expect to meet a killer in almost all areas. If the brand’s latest 4K screen is alluring, do Sony’s choices as a whole allow the brand to deliver a must-have device in the last quarter of 2018? Our test to discover it.
Even though the flags of 2018 tend towards a diagonal of 6 inches, the 5.8 inches of this XZ2 Premium do not make it more compact so far. At issue, its case wider, longer and thicker than average. And despite these extraordinary measurements, the device does not even accept a jack. That could annoy!
Resisting trends is one thing, but here Sony is swimming against the tide. With a format – like almost no more – 16: 9 and wide edges around the screen, Sony seems two generations back. Add to that a high weight of 236 grams and a curved back, you have the impression of holding a brick in hand, despite a sophisticated design based on glass and reflective surfaces. No doubt some fans of big cars will find their account but not sure that they are so many.
The position of the fingerprint sensor does not argue in favor of ergonomics: it is placed too low on the back of the device like its predecessor the XZ2. So, your finger will not find it the first time but will come again and again fall on the photo sensor, messy at the same time.
High performance 4K display
The XZ2 Premium opts for a 5.8-inch IPS panel with high definition 2160 x 3840 pixels (4K) and HDR compatible. For video playback, the screen is more than comfortable for the eyes. After, the eternal question arises: the 4K is it necessary on a small screen of smartphone? His real interest is to use this slab in a VR helmet. We experienced this with Google’s Daydream View helmet. It works very smoothly, even if the comfort is not optimal given the weight of the smartphone. It should be noted that the content is not yet very diversified.
The display quality of the XZ2 Premium is also explained by an incredible maximum brightness of 778 c / m² and an excellent contrast ratio of 1556: 1. In short, readability side, this new XZ2 comes out easily. Our colorimetric test does not get a perfect result but compared to many smartphones, our measure Delta E remains suitable. The default profile is 5.70, but this figure can go down to 4.49 in the professional mode. Remember that for colors closer to reality, a Delta E located between 2 and 4 is ideal.
However, when we look at the screen, we can not help but find the colors a little bland. Despite its excellent measurements, this screen remains far from the wow effect caused by an OLED panel of an Apple or Samsung model. Perhaps it is related to enhanced protection of the screen, hard to say.
Always Android O 8.0
The software part corresponds to that already present on the XZ2 and Compact version marketed earlier this year. Sony Xperia overlay is just as discreet but we must be content Android version Oreo 8.0. To learn more, go to the corresponding parts of the tests of these two smartphones. We find on this device some original functions such as dynamic vibrations in function of watched videos, as on the first XZ2 of the name.
Very high performance
Power side, Sony is no exception to the rule: it’s a racehorse. Even if the results obtained with the various benchmarks do not exceed or slightly those of the classic XZ2 released a little earlier this year. Like all armed flagship Snapdragon 845, this premium version is very powerful. Operation is smooth everyday and even with the most resource-hungry games. With PUBG, we did not observe any latency, even with the highest graphics quality.
Quite enduring but long to load
With its 3540 mAh battery, the XZ2 Premium managed to reach 11 hours and 22 minutes with our versatile autonomy test. Which is correct but a little disappointing given the high capacity of the battery (for information, the XZ2 was better with an hour longer). However, we remain aware that this autonomy can only be welcomed by the definition of 4K slab, necessarily very greedy energy. Most of Sony’s competitors rely on a full HD + screen, do not forget. In practice, we found that the camera passed the day’s mark.
Sony persists, no compatible charger is provided with the original packaging. You will have to deal with a charger which will offer you a complete charge from 0 to 100% … in 2h30. Or go back to the box to buy a Sony quick charger worth 40 euros. For a smartphone already sold at a high price, it’s indefensible.
Pictures: a mixed report
Sony is renowned in the field of photography and provides many of its competitors with its sensors. Unfortunately, he still has some work to do on software optimization of his own smartphones. The manufacturer has made an effort by including for the first time a double photo module but the result disappoints, unlike Samsung who had made the leap brilliantly last year, with its Galaxy Note 8. The XZ2 Premium module includes a first sensor of 19 Mpix (f / 1.8) and a second of 12 Mpix (f / 1.6) which allows, used in addition to the first, to generate a bokek effect or, activated independently of the first to switch to monochrome. To switch from one to the other, Sony has provided a directly accessible option during capture.
The quality of the photos can not compete with the current top of the range like the last models of Samsung. Overall, this Premium does not really offer better shots than the classic XZ2. The number of details is important, the contrast good, the colors rather natural but impossible to have a really satisfying result. We always observe a strong presence of noise on the photos. Some shots tend to suffer from under-exposure. On the pattern presented below, it is rather obvious: on the left the XZ2 Premium, on the right the Galaxy S9.
Flourish logoA Flourish data visualization
Nevertheless, despite this half-hearted observation, the second sensor has two advantages in its sleeve: the monochrome and the bokeh effect. The first allows to capture black and white shots of good quality, although there is a slight overexposure. As for the second mode, it allows to make beautiful portraits, taking into account the contours of the photographed subject.
For low-light photography, the dynamics pose some problems, especially for artificial lighting that tends to form a halo or burn the photo. The colors also lose in nuances and move away from reality. The noise is even more present than in the high lights.
The front camera can create good selfies, with a slight effect of depth but which succeeds in highlighting the face.