Sony Xperia XZs review
The Sony Xperia XZs is the latest variant of last year flagship model of Xperia XZ from Sony. It has included the new Motion Eye™ camera which records 960 frames per second, for Super slow-motion video. They have also included 4GB of RAM in this model. Sony has kept the same design and built of Sony XZ which is IP68 certified.
A closer look at the hardware.
The XZs has a metal casing with rounded edges which Sony describes as a loop design. It uses a polycarbonate frame and a subtly curved rear made of ALKALEIDO alloy, which is made of aluminium. It has a solid grip and feels good to the touch.
It’s slim design of 8.1mm thickness which has a good grip for a single hand usage with a dimension of 146 x 72 x 8.1 mm. There are 3 choices of colour; Ice Blue, Black & Warm Silver. What we have here is the Ice blue model which I’m quite fond of.
There’s a dedicated shutter button, volume rocker and the fingerprint sensor which is shared with the power/lock button on the right side of the phone. The fingerprint sensor is quite fast and accurate even by a slight touch of my index finger.
There’s no button on the left but a slot for the SIM card which fits a nano-sized SIM and a microSD. The phone will automatically reboot once you pop out the tray.
On the top left is 3.5mm audio jack and at the bottom is a USB type-C port which is only USB 2.0. They have included a 1 meter long USB type-C cable which is not long enough for me.
The lens is located on the back with a slight production. A single LED flash and a couple of sensors just below the lens.
The phones has a 5.2” Full HD Display which should be standard on all phones. Sony has included TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, X-Reality™ for mobile & sRGB 138% spectrum compared to standard videos (SDR). It’s using Corning® Gorilla® Glass but it’s version is unknown.
The Xperia XZs relies on a 2,900mAh battery which is suitable for a 5.2” screen and with Sony’s p proprietary feature of Battery Care which helps increase the battery lifespan by monitoring your phone usage patterns and charging. The XZs supports Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 but it is not included in the phone package.
But there’s another battery saving feature on this phone which is the Sony’s Stamina battery. It has 2 modes to choose from. The regular Stamina mode which disables non-essential features like GPS and vibration. And the extreme mode of Ultra Stamina which drastically reduce the performance nd it turns the phone into a basic phone to make calls and SMS. To revert back to normal, you have to reboot the phone.
It retains the same 24-bit/192kHz audio and is able to play High-Resolution Audio like LPCM, FLAC, ALAC & DSD. It also has a software based noise cancelling features. For speakers it comes with Stereo speakers on the top and bottom of the front on phone. It’s good enough for rooms but in public spaces it lacks a punch.
Software & Apps
Sony has shipped it with Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS mostly untouched android stock, which is a welcoming choice. Performance on this phone is as expected from Snapdragon 820 with quad-core Kryo processor (2×2.15GHz + 2×1.6GHz), & Adreno 530 GPU on a 1080p screen is impressive.
Gaming on the XZs is very smooth even with the latest game titles like Lineage 2 Revolution. It’s using Unreal Engine 4 and has amazing visuals of open world on android. The XZs has no issues rendering the textures and huge open world game.
With Sony’s list of image enhancement of TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile, X-Reality™ for mobile, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer & sRGB 138%. Those are the proprietary to Sony which boast the display for viewing images and videos.
Sony has included its personal fitness tracking software Lifelog in the XZs. It has a pretty UI and presents in informatic graphs and fun icons.
The music app is quite powerful as it can find the song’s youtube video and even information about the music artist on Wikipedia and even search for lyrics on Google. It can also link to the Spotify app.
This is the best feature on the XZs. It has the latest innovation from Sony. The new Motion Eye™ camera. It has a 19MP and built-in RAM to records 960 frames per second. 960fps in 720P HD videos. Other flagship models have a slow motion which only captures 240fps, but this is a whopping 4 times slower! It’s using the IMX400 Exmor RS sensor with an aperture of f/2.0 for low light shooting.
One added feature is the predictive capture which predicts the moments you are going to capture an image and take a few images before you were able to press the shutter button. Sometimes it just takes 1 extra shot and at 3 the most.
The Sony XZs throws in a couple more feature like Anti-distortion shutter, Triple image sensing technology and not forgetting the laser autofocus. There’s a single LED flash to help illuminate your objects.
Near shot of a pigeon in day light
MBS on a cloudy scene
The Helix bridge
Panoramic shot of the Marina Bay area
A Busy bee drinking nectar.
Night shot at Esplanade outdoor theater
Sunset at Pandan Reservoir
A random tabby waiting for parking space
Architecture shot of Holiday Inn Lobby Atrium
An enclosure of variety of birds in Jurong
A couple of love birds.
Image quality is as good as any Sony’s flagship model with the details at the finest level. The autofocus is fast and works almost Instantaneously. Using it’s default Superior Auto, images scenes are recognized and able to adapt to the lighting at the moment.
Videos recording on the XZs deserved a praise for good details, accurate colours and contrast is top notch. It looks very nature and is pretty noise free in good lighting. The frame rate is smooth and we don’t see any frame loss.
960fps is the highlight of this camera feature. It’s about 0.18s of capture timing. It takes a few tries to get the hang of getting the perfect shot. The slow motion button can be use as many times in a single video. But there’s 3 modes of slow motion to choose from as shown below.
Slow motion of pigeons flying
4K Video test
A few busy bees