Sony's Xperia XZ Premium is nothing if not striking.Jeff Dunn/Business InsiderSony has come to grips with the fact that you’re probably not going to buy its smartphones.
The Japanese giant has steadily stripped down its Xperia line of phones over the past few years, effectively conceding that its dreams of reaching Apple and Samsung are over. But the company has brought its mobile business back to profitability in the process.
Now it's trying to keep that up by focusing on expensive devices, the kind guaranteed to bring some sort of return, that bank on standing out to reel you in.
And so we have the Xperia XZ Premium, Sony’s latest top-of-the-line phone, which feels like an experiment in excess. An ultra-sharp 4K display? Sure. With HDR support? Of course. A camera mode that shoots at an absurdly slow 960 frames per second? Now we’re talking. High-res audio support, a 19-megapixel camera, gigabit LTE, a chrome finish? Why not! And priced all at $800? Whatever!
I can respect Sony for taking the “premium” thing seriously; if you’re shelling out a ton for a new gadget, it’s good for that gadget to be differentiated. The Xperia XZ Premium is that, technically. But not all of its indulgences are practical, and some of its fundamentals fall short. Here’s what I mean: