Sony do it all, and they do it exceedingly well.
From video gaming (as we all well know), through to home entertainment, personal computing and mobile.
Their Xperia series of Android smartphones may not be the first kiosk or stand that you see when you walk into your local phone store, but their smartphones should not be overlooked.
Last year I was privileged to review the Xperia XZ, basically the first iteration of the high end XZ series.
Having chewed through a few phones throughout 2016, the XZ was one of my personal top devices for the year.
Now, poised for release is the XZ Premium Creator Edition.
One of the first handsets to take on Android 8.0 (Oreo) and with this new OS, Sony upgraded the functionality to get your 3D Creator juices going.
The XZ Creator Edition includes 3D scanning software, which allows you to scan any object with the rear 19MP Motion Eye camera lens, including a face, in real time, then save the scan to be used in the Sony AR app, or share to Social Media.
With 3D Printers having been affordable to the general public for some years now you can directly print, wirelessly (if the 3D Printer supports wireless) your 3D scanned model.
Whatsmore the XZ Premium has also retained the AR Games, as experienced in 2016’s XZ. Sony have always been at the forefront on affordable AR, the PS Vita championed AR Gaming aswell as the PS2 , PS3 EyeToy.
Placing the 3D awesomeness aside, as a smartphone the XZ Premium will not disappoint.
Super powerful with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB RAM ensures that the phone does not stutter, especially when scanning.
While other phone manufacturers are opting for an almost invisible bezel or no bezel at all around their large screens the XZ Premium has a prominent frame surrounding the devices’ 5.5 inch 4K resolution screen.
The Chrome cased XZ Premium that I was sent by Sony to review is stunning with it’s brilliant mirror finish and indented power button on the right side which also doubles as the finger print scanner to unlock the phone.
The front camera will see you right for selfies with 13MP and the XZ will record video in 4K. There is also a super slow-mo option built in, Steadyshot (which Sony pioneered back in the day on their camcorders) and a super low light for both photo and video.
The XZ Premium boasts it’s very own dedicated image processor called BIONZ. A proprietary engine that relieves some of the image processing task weight from the Snapdragon phone processor, and keeps both the handset and all pics optimal.
The Xperia XZ Premium is dual sim, although one slot also makes way for the optional microSD card.
Internal storage is 64GB.
Audio strength was a sore point though.
I always think back to the Walkman days. Sony had the cassette and CD portability market. They owned it. Sounds on the go was their signature.
The Xperia XZ (2016) impressed me with their audio overhaul. The XZ Premium seems to have gone back to the earlier days of Xperia.
While clarity and detail can be experienced with your playlists and media watching via headphones with the dedicated Qualcomm aptX HD audio chipset and built in DSEE HX and Noise Cancelling filters, the internal speakers are a mere whisper.
At home, this is fine, but if you are on public transport, in a cafe or any other outside noise filled area, you’re not going to hear the media playing.
If you’re a PlayStation 4 gamer, then owning one of these XZ Premium bad boys is a must, with the PS4 Remote Play, which works exceedingly well.
The device never heated up while 3D scanning or with Remote Play, which I think is a testament to the XZ‘s technical architecture and battery life made this phone one of the more reliable devices I’ve experienced this year, with a whopping 3 to 4 days charge from full to empty on moderate use.
The Xperia XZ Premium Creator Edition is alot of fun. I still REALLY love the AR Effect App. Adding the 3D scanner functionality in to that makes it all the more satisfying.
Xperia phones have always trumped on their cameras, and while the XZ Premium is still a single lens device, the quality, detail and macro of the rear camera compensates for the lack of a dual lens.
Priced at just under $1K in New Zealand, the Xperia XZ Premium Creator Edition is a superb handset to own with future proofed tech built in and at the ready.
Released: December (NZ) 2017
Device Name: Xperia XZ Premium (Creator Edition)
Chipset: Snapdragon 835
Internal Storage: 64GB
Camera: F: 19MP. R: 13MP
Price: Around $1,000(NZD)</p