Mobility

Sony's 4K Xperia XZ2 Premium could become the go-to Android phone for creative pros

The phone can reach ISO 12800 in video recording and ISO 51200 in still photographs, and is powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • The Sony XZ2 Premium features a 5.8" 4K HDR capable screen, which the company says is also 30% brighter than its predecessor.
  • The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 845, and has 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage onboard.

Sony has unveiled the Xperia XZ2 Premium on Monday, the third entry in the company's line of phones with 4K displays, after the XZ Premium (2017) and Z5 Premium (2015). Sony's press release touts the camera as being the focal point of the new phone. The XZ2 Premium has a dual camera arrangement, which is capable of reaching ISO 12800 in video recording, and ISO 51200 in still photographs, which the company contends is the first smartphone camera capable of this level of sensitivity. This sensitivity should assist greatly in taking pictures in very low-light environments.

The XZ2 Premium retains the 4K HDR capable screen of its predecessor, though gets a hefty screen size increase from 5.49" to 5.8", which the press release noted is also 30% brighter. As with other recent Xperia handsets, it can also record in 960fps slow motion. The XZ2 Premium inherits the new visual design of the standard and compact models introduced at MWC, which represented the first significant change in Sony's design language since the Omni-Balance design introduced on the Xperia Z in 2013.

The XZ2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, the same SoC found in the Samsung Galaxy S9, and is paired with 6 GB RAM, and 64 GB storage onboard, expandable with a microSD slot, and ships with Android 8.0 (Oreo).

SEE: System update policy (Tech Pro Research)

Pricing information was not disclosed, but it's clear that the phone is obviously not a budget model—the standard XZ2 introduced at MWC is priced at $799 stateside, with the XZ2 Premium likely to command at least $100 more.

While Sony phones have had an enduring popularity in Japan and Europe, the company has had significant difficulty making any headway in North America. The dual-function power button and fingerprint reader—practically a hallmark of Xperia devices—had the fingerprint reading capabilities disabled in firmware in North America, for reasons the company has never elaborated on. (The XZ2 Premium, along with the XZ2 and XZ2 compact have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, which is enabled in the United States.) Sony's relationship with mobile network operators in the United States has also been rocky, with no phones released with carriers since the cancellation of the Xperia Z4V on Verizon in 2015, as noted by our sister site CNET.

That said, Xperia phones have a remarkable reputation for the speed with which security updates are delivered, as well as the completeness of those updates. Researchers at Security Research Labs in Germany have developed SnoopSnitch, a tool that can analyze devices for missing security patches in Android firmware. According to crowdsourced data from users downloading and running the utility, Sony is on equal footing with Google and Samsung on the completeness of monthly security patches. Similarly, Sony is decently prompt at delivering updates to begin with, taking only weeks to deliver updates, according to findings in February by SecurityLab.

Also see

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Image: Sony

About James Sanders

James Sanders is a Writer for TechRepublic. Since 2013, he has been a regular contributor to TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research.

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