Sony Xperia XZ Mobile Review

Sony Xperia XZ is the best one in the Sony mobile brand. The Sony used to be one of the most respected smartphone brands in the subcontinent and most of the world. Sony is now, however, on the edges of the mobile business. Part of the reason is that Sony wants to avoid fighting in the low-cost market, where most of the action is right now. 

With only a few markets to sell its goods in right now, the company is focused on. That has worked in the short term, but there are concerns about how well Sony’s mobile business will do in the long run.

In the subcontinent, for example, the two most competitive price ranges for smartphones are below Rs. 15,000 and below Rs. 30,000. Sony hasn’t released any new phones in either of those price ranges recently. 

In the higher price range, some smartphones claim to be “flagship killers,” like those from Xiaomi, OnePlus, and others. These phones have tried to compete with expensive phones from well-known brands by saying they offer similar features and specs at almost half the price. HTC and Sony have been hurt because phones like the OnePlus 3 and Xiaomi Mi 5 mostly live up to their claims.

Sony has made it clear for a while now that it doesn’t want to compete in the low-cost market, so phones like the Xperia XZ need to make a name for themselves in the high-end market. The price of Rs. 49,990 when it first came out in the subcontinent last month makes it seem like a tough sell. Does the cost of Sony’s first flagship phone in the new X line make sense? In our study, let’s find out.

Sony Xperia XZ Full Specification

AnnouncedSeptember 01, 2016
First ReleaseOctober 03, 2016
Dimensions146 x 72 x 8.1 mm
Weight161 g
BuildGlass front (Gorilla Glass 4)
Aluminum back,
Aluminum frame
SIMSingle or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Size5.2 inches, 74.5 cm2 (~70.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1080 x 1920 pixels
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
ChipsetQualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 (14 nm)
GPUAdreno 530
Card SlotmicroSDXC
Internal32GB/ 3GB RAM
Single23 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide)
FeaturesLED flash, HDR, panorama
Video4K@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 1080p@30fps (gyro-EIS)
Single13 MP, f/2.0, 22mm (wide)
LoudspeakerYes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jackYes
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA
Bluetooth4.2, A2DP, aptX, LE
PositioningGPS, GLONASS/ BDS
USBUSB Type-C 2.0, OTG
SensorsFingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro
TypeLi-Ion 2900 mAh, non-removable
Charging18W wired, QC3
ColorsMineral black, Platinum, Forest blue, Deep pink
ModelsF8331, F8332, SO-01J, SOV34, 601SO
DisplayContrast ratio: 1349 (nominal), 3.795 (sunlight)
CameraPhoto / Video
LoudspeakerVoice 61dB / Noise 65dB / Ring 67dB
Battery lifeEndurance rating 72h
Sony Xperia XZ Full Specification

READ MORE: ViVO V29 Review.

Sony Xperia XZ Price and Availability

That being said, if you want the Xperia XZ, you will have to pay $699 for it. This puts it in the same price range as flagships like the Galaxy S7 Edge and Google’s brand-new Pixel phones. Other phones, like the ZTE Axon 7 and the OnePlus 3, offer flagship experiences for a lot less money.

That’s all there is to this in-depth review of the Sony Xperia XZ! My last great experience with a Sony smartphone was a long time ago. I like this one. The Xperia XZ has a beautiful, new, and refreshing style that stays true to Sony. It also has a stunning screen, excellent performance, and a great camera.

There are so many good things about this phone that it doesn’t have a fingerprint reader or a Quad HD screen. Not having these functions, on the other hand, might make it harder to ignore the high price. The Xperia XZ is, without question, Sony’s best smartphone in a long time. But you decide if that’s enough to make you want to pay more.

Sony Xperia XZ Key Features

  • The right waterproof design is coming back.
  • It’s a great fingerprint reader, but not everyone will need one.
  • You can play PS4 games on your Xperia XZ.

The Xperia XZ can handle water, just like Samsung’s and now Apple’s top-of-the-line phones. That means you can take your phone into the shower without thinking about water getting inside and messing up the parts, or you can drop it in the wash basin without guilt.

This is something that Sony’s top-of-the-line phones have had for a while now. You can safely submerge the Xperia XZ up to one meter deep because it is IP68 water- and dust-resistant. However, Sony says you should only do this for a short amount of time.

The dust resistance ensures that sand won’t get into your phone’s ports and plugs if you take it to the beach.

The fact that the 3.5mm headphone jack and the USB-C port at the bottom of the phone are open is fantastic. The waterproof design has been a feature of Sony flagship phones for a while now, but it’s still something to shout about.

Sony put a fingerprint scanner on the side of the phone for most markets, so it is easy to open and safe. People in the US, on the other hand, need the scanner.

A senior marketing director for Sony told me, “It was a business decision we needed to make to transition [in the US] from the carrier market to the unlocked market.”

When you want to open your phone, the scanner is built into the power button on the right side, which is an excellent place for your thumb.

Fingerprint Feature

The fingerprint reader works quickly after you press the button. It can be unpleasant if you want to turn on your phone while sitting at a desk, though.

It’s not a big deal because you can use the on-screen unlock code or pin in those cases.

Left-handed people might also find it more challenging, and they’ll have to register a different finger to keep their hands free.

When you hold the Xperia XZ in your small hand, its 5.2-inch screen might feel big. The screen is about the same size as most flagship phones, but you’ll need both hands to reach all the sides.

The Xperia XZ still only has Full HD quality, less than Samsung and HTC’s phones.

Even so, the screen is bright and looks good. It’s not 2K, but that isn’t a reason not to buy the Xperia XZ. It only has 424 pixels per inch, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has 534 ppi, so if you want to use VR on your phone, there may be better options.

PS4 Remote Play is excellent if you like to play games. You can use the same Wi-Fi network on your Xperia XZ to play games if you have Sony’s home gaming system. This is helpful if someone else is watching TV.

We only have one complaint: the Xperia XZ’s screen is too small for daily gaming. For that, we suggest getting the Xperia Z4 Tablet, which has a 10-inch 2K screen.

You should also ensure your Wi-Fi link can handle PS4 Remote Play.

Sony Xperia XZ Refined Design

  • 161 grams, which is 5.67 ounces
  • 146 x 72 x 8.1 mm
  • Fingerprint reader on the right side, but not in the US
  • Not easily wet
  • 32GB of built-in space

If you saw the Xperia Z5 from last year, you’ve seen the XZ. The XZ is more comfortable to hold now that its sides are rounded. It also looks less boxy. The back panel is made of metal, not glass. A seam is between it and the plastic strip at the bottom, but the panel is smooth and easy to hold.

Even though there aren’t many changes, the XZ looks and feels more refined and expensive than the previous model. It still has the monolithic Sony design.

There is an IP68 rating for the phone, which means it can handle dust and water, but that doesn’t mean you can take it to the pool. Because it’s protected, it should be safe from spilled drinks or rain, but it’s not an underwater camera. It’s against Sony’s rules to submerge the device fully in water or expose it to seawater, salt water, chlorinated water, or liquids like drinks. If you abuse or misuse the device, the warranty will not be good. Oh no!

A fingerprint reader is built into the power button on the right side. When you hold the scanner in your left hand, it fits under your middle finger, and when you have it in your right hand, it fits under your thumb. It’s easy to register your fingerprint, and letting me in was quick and correct.

The phone comes with 32GB of storage space, but you can add a microSD card to make it bigger if you want to. You must remove your old Micro-USB connections because the XZ uses the new USB type-C.

Sony Xperia XZ Display

There are 424 pixels per inch (ppi) on the Sony Xperia XZ’s 5.2-inch IPS LCD screen. Which has a Full HD display. It’s normal for flagship phones of this age to have quad HD resolution. But 1080p will only make a difference if you want to use the device for VR.

The screen is surprisingly bright and sharp, making it easy to read text and browse the web. It also has excellent viewing angles. It doesn’t matter how bright the screen is, and it’s easy to see outside. The camera also comes with the standard white balance controls and Sony’s X-Reality engine. Which makes photos and videos look sharper and more natural. A lower-resolution display can also be helpful in some ways, especially regarding speed and battery life.

Sony Xperia XZ Case

That’s right, Sony makes great phones. They have a good track record and were ahead of the competition (iPhones) when ensuring their gadgets were dust and water-resistant. The Sony test model has an IP65/IP68 rating, which means it should be dust- and water-proof. Sony still tells people not to swim with it, though, and can only promise safety against water spills. Also, the USB port has to be completely dry before it can be used to charge the device. Because of this, Sony has given up on their waterproof idea a bit. Which is good because Apple is just now joining the game.

The Sony Xperia XZ has both flat and curved surfaces. The back is made of a stylish metal. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass that is curved at the ends. The case color is also very nice. The ones that came before it were weirdly green or brown. You can get the test model in black with light burgundy, white, or blue tones on the back. The case looks good without being too flashy. The phone is easy to hold because the corners are rounded. The only bad thing is that fingerprints can be seen on any surface.

For 700 Euros (~$763), we expect it to be more durable. The Xperia XZ is good because pressing on it from the back or the front doesn’t change the screen. However, color artifacts appear on the screen when the phone is bent.

Sony Xperia XZ Performance

Even though scores don’t always show it, the XZ’s quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and 3GB of RAM make it very fast. For example, it could have done better on Geekbench 4, getting only 1,337 in the single-core test and 3,326 in the multi-core test. This puts it about on par with the Xperia X Compact, which is powered by the Snapdragon 650. But having used both, the XZ is better.

Yes, Sony’s version of Android 6.0.1 ran very smoothly on the XZ. Browsing the web was also very fast, with no stuttering seen, even on pages with many pictures. It also did very well in games, with an average of 48fps in GFXBench GL’s Manhattan 3.0 test when run on screen and 46fps when run offscreen. This is faster than the LG G5 and the Samsung S7 and S7 Edge.

Since it’s a Sony phone, the Xperia XZ can also be used with the PS4 Remote Play app. This app lets you use the XZ as a second screen to play games around your house. These changes make it an exciting time for PS4 owners since no other phone maker supports PS4 Remote Play right now.

Sony Xperia XZ Battery life and connectivity

There were rumors that Qualcomm’s newest chip would only be found in the Samsung Galaxy S8, but Sony put it in the Xperia XZ Premium along with 4GB of RAM and an Adreno 540 GPU. The 10nm method used in the Snapdragon 835 makes it faster and lasts longer on a charge than the previous generation. There is a clear difference.

The XZ Premium is very responsive; there is no lag when starting and switching between apps, playing games that use a lot of power, or using the camera. We tried very hard to make the phone slow, but it just wouldn’t work.

There are also clear changes to the battery life. During our tests, the XZ Premium lasted all day with regular use, such as texting, talking on the phone, playing games, taking photos, and browsing social media.

The non-removable 3230mAh battery should last about two to three days on a single charge, according to the built-in battery predictions. That didn’t happen, but it’s still possible for it to last longer than 24 hours.

Sony has kept the Micro-SD card slot so that you can add up to 256GB of extra storage. The XZ Premium has 64GB of storage space by default, which is good.

For example, the fingerprint sensor is still built into the home button on the side of the phone, and it still has USB-C (now v3.1), NFC, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Sony Xperia XZ Camera

Even though Sony is known for making excellent smartphone camera hardware, they have never quite gotten the camera right on their phones. But the new sensor in the Xperia XZ makes a lot of changes. The back camera is the same 23 MP camera as the Xperia X Compact, which is smaller. In addition, it has a new laser autofocus sensor, 5-axis picture stabilization, and an RGBC-IR that helps get the best white balance, no matter the lighting.

It’s important to remember that the 5-axis balancing is done entirely by software, meaning that there are no moving parts involved. You will only get this stability when you record close-ups or macro shots. Other than that, you will only get 3-axis stabilization. However, it works well for video and keeps the footage stable without noticeable distortion or warping.

The Xperia XZ differs from its more minor brother because it has a 13 MP front-facing camera instead of the Xperia X Compact’s 5 MP front-facing camera. The Xperia XZ’s front camera lets you capture a lot of color and detail, and you have much more control over how you crop and zoom in on photos.

The camera app is pretty simple.

Other than that, the camera is the same as what Sony has offered in the past. To switch between Superior Auto, Manual, Video Recording, and the front-facing camera, all you have to do is swipe on the screen. The camera app is pretty simple. Other modes, such as AR Effect, Sweep Panorama, and Timeshift Video, are also there and can be fun to try out. The only strange thing about Sony’s default camera app is that the HDR mode is still hidden in the camera settings and can only be reached in Manual mode.

The dedicated camera key makes it quick and easy to open the camera and take a picture. The photos it takes are also surprisingly good. They create images that are very clear and full of details. The colors are also much more natural and authentic to life, but still look great.

Sony has been using predictive hybrid autofocus for a while now. It works well to track moving items and take pictures of them without motion blur. It’s possible to get an obvious picture if the subject is going reasonably fast.

Sony Xperia XZ Communication and GPS

The Sony Xperia XZ is easy to use while traveling because it has fast mobile Internet. The LTE module makes download speeds of 450 MB/s and upload speeds of 50 MB/s. These speeds are the same as the iPhone 7 and hit LTE Cat. 9. This gadget supports 20 LTE bands, 6 UMTS bands, and 4 GSM bands. The list of frequencies it supports is long. Again, the test model can do the same things as the iPhone 7 and should be able to connect to a network anywhere in the world.

It’s easy to get good coverage with the LTE module. We connected to the Internet in cities thanks to Vodafone’s extensive network. We had either a full signal or three-quarters of a bar inside.

For example, the Xperia XZ works with old and new WLAN standards, such as the 5 GHz band. We used a FritzBox 6490 Cable as our standard connection to test the transfer rate. The Xperia XZ is fast, but the iPhone 7 is faster. Our test model is good at getting data, but it sends info even more slowly than the OnePlus 3.

Sony Xperia XZ Telephone and Speech Quality

Sony has made some changes to the Google app to make the design more accessible to use and make it more like the Contacts app. There is now a search bar for friends and a list of recent calls on the start page.

Sony phones are known for having excellent sound. We were surprised by how clear the voice was as soon as we made the call. The person on the other end can hear us even when we whisper, but our microphone isn’t excellent. The sound is a little dull, though. The noise reduction tool is good at removing background noise, but loud noises can make the microphone less sensitive. In general, the sound of the speech is good.

Sony Xperia XZ Accessories and Warranty

The only things Sony included in the box were a small charger, a USB cable, and an in-ear headset that works fine.

The user can buy a “Touch Style” cover for about 50 Euros ($54). The front of this cover is clear, so you can use your phone even when the case is closed. For 40 Euros, which is about $43, you can buy a standard cover that can also be used as a stand. You might also like high-res headphones and a sound microphone.

You have 24 months to use the guarantee. For information about your country, please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ.

Should I get one?

In the end, the XZ edges out Google’s Pixel as my favorite phone of the year so far (I say “so far” because I haven’t had a chance to test LG’s V20 properly), but if you want to get the newest and best Android phone, the choice isn’t that simple. 

In many ways, the two phones (and most top Androids) are the same. Which one you choose will depend on which minor improvements you like better.

The Pixel has a faster processor, more RAM, and the most recent version of Android. The XZ, on the other hand, has a bigger battery that is said to last longer, an SD card slot, and is dustproof and water-resistant to IP68 standards. 

This Pixel comes in two sizes: 5 inches or 5.5 inches. The XZ, on the other hand, is an excellent medium ground. Both phones are easy to hold and have quick fingerprint readers, but I like the Sony unit on the side better than the Google unit on the back. The XZ costs a little less, but not by much.

Based on the above, I would already choose Sony’s product, but if I had to choose between them, looks would be it. The XZ is the only smartphone that looks exactly like it, from its simple square body to its cut-out lock screen. 

I like it more than the rounded edges and candy-colored buttons on almost every other 2016 phone.


  • A new, improved form
  • Support for Hi-Res audio
  • Feels good in the hand
  • Impressive changes to the camera
  • Waterproofing is coming back


  • Full HD screen only
  • In the US, there is no fingerprint reader.
  • Not running apps for Android 7

Sony Xperia XZ Verdict

If you’ve read this far, you know that the Xperia XZ is mostly good, with only a few minor issues. The phone looks good, is made of high-quality materials, has a good screen, can handle almost anything you throw at it, takes good pictures, and has a battery life that you can live with. However, it’s hard to suggest that anyone spend Rs. 49,990 on this phone, which is a clear sign of how far we’ve come in the past two years.

In the end, for the Sony Xperia XZ to be a natural choice at this price, it needed one feature—any feature—that would have made it miles ahead of the competition. Sadly, it doesn’t have that one feature. This is what Sony wants us to think about the camera, but the Xperia XZ isn’t the best in the business, even though Sony would like us to believe it.

Sony won’t be able to compete with the Chinese companies on price, but Sony needs to decide if it wants to compete in a market like the subcontinent. This country has always had a soft spot for the Japanese giant, but people there are known to put value for money above brand loyalty.

It’s safe to say that if you buy the Xperia XZ, you won’t be sorry—unless you shoot a lot of movies. Most people, though, would be better off looking at the newest top phones from OnePlus and Xiaomi. They’re not perfect, but they’re more refined than the phones before them. You could also buy the Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge for around Rs. 50,000 and still have money left over.