Sony has been making top notch phones for a while now, but like many others cracking the market against the giants of the space in Samsung and Apple has not been easy. One of the issues for Sony has been the variety of phones and variations they have marketed; that’s all changing in 2017 with three devices hitting the low, medium and premium price points.
Announced in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress were three new Sony phones which will come to Australia by the middle of the year.
The entry level XA1 features a five inch screen with a 23Megapixel rear camera that uses much of the premium camera and sensor features from the most recent Sony smartphones like Hybrid AutoFocus and their Exmor sensor – it has 32GB onboard storage and should sit in the $400 and under price point in Australia.
Going up a notch, the XA1 Ultra is a big-screen device with a 6 inch screen and the same solid camera technology on the back, while on the front they’ve added a 16Megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilisation and 64GB onboard storage. As a mid-range phone you’d expect to find this guy between $500 and $700 in Australia.
But it’s the top of the range phone that Sony will be most keen to tell you about – and the Mirror chrome finish is back!
The Xperia XZ Premium has a 4K 5.5 inch HDR screen – yep, it’s a TV in your pocket. With HDR you’ll get real bang from the colours on HDR content, while the 4K screen just pops to the eye.
For the snappers the camera features a new Motion Eye sensor which has predictive shot capabilities ensuring you never miss those moments. The Megapixel count is lower at 19MP but the quality of the sensor is what counts.
The camera has a stunning feature which blows everyone else out of the water – you’ve seen Slow-mo, but this Sony XZ Premium has Super Slow Motion – 960 frames per second – yep, 960.
I tested this on a small demonstration toy which was a bird flapping its wings so fast my eye couldn’t see anything but a blur. The capture was stunning – just stunning.
You enable the slow motion capture and then start a video, during recording you can take small bursts of slow motion capture. So it’s a very different style of recording to anyone who has used slow-motion before, but once you work it out, it’s brilliant.
The XZ Premium is the only one of the three to feature water and dust resistance, and is also capable of Cat 16 speeds – on the Telstra network that’s their Gigabit LTE so expect some stunning performance there.
Aussie pricing and availability will come in the months ahead, but expect the XZ Premium to be the top of the tree for pricing, certainly no less than $999, perhaps even $1199.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.