Sony Xperia XZ: All About the Looks

 
Sony Xperia XZ

Sony Xperia XZ

Sakshi Parikh gets her hand on the Sony Xperia XZ to see whether it ups the ante in the cellphone photography market.

Sony recently transitioned from its Z series into the new X line with the promise to cover all sizes and budgets. Although, the company intends to stay away from the budget segment initially, it hopes to make a strong mark in the premium market space by launching the Sony Xperia XZ.

The design of this dual sim phone is similar to its predecessor, the Xperia X5 with 5.2-inch full HD display and Gorilla Glass 4. A dedicated camera button on the bottom right adds to the convenience of the XZ.

While testing the camera, I noticed excessive perspective distortion that can be a result of its 24mm focal length./Photograph:Sakshi Parikh

While testing the camera, I noticed excessive perspective distortion that can be a result of its 24mm focal length./Photograph:Sakshi Parikh

What’s Inside
It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 64-bit Quad-core processor, coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The rear camera incorporates Sony’s award winning 24mm f/2 G lens, and boasts of 23MP 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS sensor with triple image sensing technology. It also has a BIONZ processing engine that claims to offer richer colour enhancement and noise reduction during low light situations.

Camera Performance
I initially enjoyed using the Manual mode which gave me full control over focus, shutterspeed, ISO, WB, exposure compensation along with Auto HDR. Its fast processor allowed me to shoot on the go without experiencing any lag. With a laser fast subject tracker and Predictive Hybrid Autofocus technology I was able to capture photos without any motion blur.

Although the colours are accurate, the photos tend to lack contrast, which can be adjusted in postprocessing. /Photograph by: Sakshi Parikh

Although the colours are accurate, the photos tend to lack contrast, which can be adjusted in postprocessing. /Photograph by: Sakshi Parikh

The photos do look vibrant because of the new RGB-IR sensor. But getting closer, I noticed how poor the image processing is. The images look oversharpened and lack details and the dynamic range is not up to the mark. This made everything appear flat on a bigger screen, giving a painting like effect. The camera does not function well during low light situations resulting in excessive grain. Also, the areas around any kind of a light source within the frame tend to be a bit overexposed.

In Conclusion
I tested the Sony Xperia XZ with its competitor, the Apple iPhone 7, and I was surprised at the lack of details the former has. Yes, the XZ gives superior colour reproduction, but that can be achieved in postprocessing as well. Overall, the low battery life of less than10 hours and average camera performance of the XZ do not do justice to the steeping price tag of Rs. 49,990.

AT A GLANCE
SPECIFICATIONS 5.2-inch full HD, 23MP f/2 rear camera with Sony G lens, 13MP f/2 front camera, 3GB RAM, 64GB expandable up to 200GB, Rs. 49,990
WHAT WE LIKE Manual mode, 4K and vibrant colour reproduction
WHAT WE DISLIKE Lack of camera RAW, distortion on the edges and unnecessary sharpening
WHY BUY IT An elegantly designed phone with three sensors, laserfocusing technique and waterproof
FINAL RATINGS 78%
CAMERA FEATURES 23MP camera, manual control, f/2 lens  20/25 
IMAGE QUALITY  Good AF and motion sensor, but lacks details  20/30
VIDEO QUALITY 4K video at 30 fps with 5-axis image stabilisation  12/15
HANDLING  Sleek, has a good grip and a dedicated camera button on the side  13/15
SPEED & RESPONSIVENESS Speedy and accurate phone 13/15
Tags: better photography, cellphone photography, March 2017, Review, Sakshi parikh, Sony, Sony Xperia XZ