In a saturated mobile phone market, it is increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. Be with with sheer brute force marketing or packing in plenty of features that the average user might not even use, Sony has decided to keep things simple. With the Xperia XZ, Sony is taking things slow and steady with its latest flagship device. It’s safe design, features and specs bring it up to par with most of its rival in the market out there which is not a bad thing.
The first thing that stands out as you hold the Xperia XZ in your grasp would be the feel of the phone — It’s not quite metal nor is it plastic as well. Made with what Sony terms as ALKALEIDO material, it feels cool to the touch but quickly warms up while in your palm. It’s not slippery as compared to a full metal phone and does not attract that much fingerprints as well.
Keeping it consistent, Sony has kept the fingerprint sensor at the right hand side of the phone with the volume buttons under it. If you’re a lefty phone user, you might find the volume buttons rather hard to reach. A fair amount of dexterity is needed to depress the button with your ring finger. The fingerprint sensor does not wake the phone up immediately as the user as the depress the button first before bringing the phone to life with a touch. It’s a small issue but Sony has the right idea by placing the sensor to the side as it feels more natural as compared to the base of the phone’s screen.
On the reverse side would be the phone’s SIM and micro SD card slot which interestingly does not need a pin to remove. However, upon prying the cover apart the phone would automatically reboot itself. Not sure if this is by design, but it seems unnecessary as we’ve seen other phones that is able to accept new SIM cards without having to restart the device. On the upside, the Xperia XZ come equipped with dual SIM which makes it great if you’re a frequent traveller.
Camera hardware wise Sony has always been one of the consistent performers especially in the mobile market. Its success in the field has seen their sensors being the go-to for even their rivals. Software wise, however, is where the company has to play catch-up with their competitors until the XZ was released. Snapping pictures with a Sony mobile phone is always a joy with their dedicated shutter button that emulates an actual camera with a half depress for focus before capturing the shot. From the picture above, Sony’s intelligent auto mode works well to assist the user tweak the camera settings to fit the scene. How does it know that’s food on the table? With Sony needing to stand out from the crowd badly, even the software needs to know where to excel.
As with most flagships, initial impressions are great and the sigh of relief for all Sony fans this time round would be the Xperia XZ is priced at S$998 for a 64GB model in Singapore. It’s not the cheapest mobile phone out there but at least price wise, the phone is back to sane levels. With a release slated for 15 October 2016, we’re looking forward to see how the Xperia XZ fares rigours of the day to day.