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Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs Xperia XZs vs Xperia XZ: What’s the difference?

Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs Xperia XZs vs Xperia XZ: We compare the three Sony Xperia XZ phones to see what the difference is in terms of specs, performance, camera tech and other features.

Sony’s Xperia XZ flagship only hit the UK at the end of 2016 but MWC 2017 saw the launch of two new Xperia XZ handsets, offering upgraded performance and features compared with the original handset. The Xperia XZs boasts Sony’s new Motion Eye camera tech and a performance boost, while the Xperia XZ Premium packs both of those updates plus a mighty 4K HDR display.

So how do these Sony phones all stack up and should Xperia XZ owners even consider upgrading so soon? Here’s our full Xperia XZ vs Xperia XZs vs Xperia XZ Premium comparison review, to show you the differences.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs Xperia XZs vs Xperia XZ: Specs

Phone Xperia XZ Xperia XZs Xperia XZ Premium
Screen size 5.2-inches 5.2-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution Full HD Full HD 4K Ultra HD
Water resistant? Yes Yes Yes
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes Yes
OS Android Nougat Android Nougat Android Nougat
Processor Snapdragon 820 Snapdragon 835 Snapdragon 835
Memory 3GB 4GB 4GB
Storage 32GB TBC TBC
MicroSD? Yes Yes Yes
Rear camera 23-megapixel 23-megapixel 19-megapixel

Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs Xperia XZs vs Xperia XZ: Design

Line up these three phones side-by-side and you’ll notice that two look very similar while the third is a completely different beast.

The original Xperia XZ and the new XZs sport an almost identical design. They’re both 5.2-inch phones with Sony’s alkaleido metal finish, which unfortunately is rather prone to scratching. You get curved edges that fit the palm comfortably, plus flat top and bottom surfaces that help the Xperia phones to stand out from the crowd.

Meanwhile the Xperia XZ Premium boosts that screen size to a mighty 5.5-inches. As a result it’s a bit more of a handful, although the same curved edges mean you don’t get any pointy bits sticking into your palms.

Flip the Xperia XZ Premium over and you’ll find a shiny, reflective surface compared with the matt finish on the other XZ phones. The Premium basically doubles as a mirror and it’s an attractive and more hardy design for sure. However, that glossy surface is also a fingerprint magnet, which is particularly noticeable on the Chrome model. You might want to check out the more subtle Deepsea Black model if that bothers you.

All three phones are water resistant and boast Sony’s excellent side-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Read next: Hands-on Xperia XZ Premium review

Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs Xperia XZs vs Xperia XZ: Screen and media

The Xperia XZ and Xperia XZs are like two peas in a pod when it comes to the display tech too. Both Sony handsets sport a 5.2-inch Full HD screen which can be customised to your liking. Super Vivid Mode provides a colour boost to make images more punchy, while the X-Reality software engine helps to sharpen images by filling in the gaps in lower-res pictures.

However, the Xperia XZ Premium once again stands out with its upgraded specs.

As well as being bigger, the XZ Premium’s panel has been completely reworked to provide the ultimate mobile viewing experience. You get full 4K HDR playback, meaning supremely crisp image reproduction along with improved contrast levels and colour reproduction.

At the time of writing there isn’t much content that supports this playback, but Amazon Prime Video will have movies and shows to stream to your phone when it hits the UK. The likes of Netflix should support it on mobile soon too, especially if more phones packing 4K screens are launched.

All three Xperia phones in this comparison round-up have built-in Hi-Res audio support. Great news for true audiophiles who want to jam to high-quality detail-packed music. You also get microSD memory card support, for carrying around a huge media collection.

Read next: Sony Xperia XA1 vs Xperia XA hands-on comparison review

Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs Xperia XZs vs Xperia XZ: Performance and battery life

Performance is where the Xperia XZ gets left behind by both of its brothers.

The original Xperia XZ still provides a smooth everyday experience thanks to its nippy Snapdragon 820 processor, backed by 3GB of RAM. You can run the latest games and enjoy those stunning visuals with no kind of slowdown to ruin the experience. And now that the XZ has updated to Android Nougat, you can even work on two apps side-by-side at the same time.

However, the Xperia XZs and Xperia XZ Premium sport Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor, which is a step up in terms of general performance. You also get faster peak download speeds with the 835 chipset, up to 1Gbps. Great news in particular for anyone rocking the XZ Premium, for streaming 4K HDR content on the move.

Read next: Snapdragon 835 vs Snapdragon 820, what’s the difference?

As for battery life, we’re yet to fully test the Xperia XZs and XZ Premium but we’re hoping for all-day use on a single charge. That’s what we get from the Xperia XZ. And all three phones pack Qnovo battery tech, which learns your charging habits and hopefully prevents battery burnout over time.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs Xperia XZs vs Xperia XZ: Cameras

When it comes to camera tech, the Xperia XZs and XZ Premium again prove a step up from the original XZ.

We still love the Xperia XZ’s 23-megapixel tri-sensor camera, which can capture detail-packed snaps in daylight as well as low light. Sony’s dependable Superior Auto mode takes the stress out of mobile photography, meaning you’ll rarely – if ever – have to employ the manual controls to get the shot you want.

As for video, you can shoot Full HD or 4K resolution footage, with the usual features such as image stabilisation and slow motion capture on standby. The results are again strong, with some great-looking footage captured in everything but the most tricky conditions. Check out our full Sony Xperia XZ camera review for full samples and in-depth analysis.

However, the Xperia XZs and XZ Premium both boast Sony’s fresh new Motion Eye camera, which is another upgrade in a few key areas. For even though the megapixel count drops to 19, the Motion Eye shooter is even better at capturing moving subjects, with its 0.2-second latency and ability to automatically take multiple photos when it detects motion. You also get a bigger sensor than before, which hopefully translates to better low light photo capture.

The Xperia XZ Premium and XZs can again shoot up to 4K video, but these all-new phones also boast Sony’s Super Slow Motion feature. This allows you to shoot a standard video, but occasionally tap an on-screen button to capture a quick burst of 960fps footage. It’s a limited feature, but undeniably impressive when used correctly.

Check out our hands-on Xperia XZ Premium and XZs camera review for more on the new Motion Eye shooter.

Take a look at our video comparisons of the XZ Premium vs Sony’s XZ and the XZs vs the XZ, below.

Check out our full hands-on Sony Xperia XZ Premium review, as well as our Xperia XZ review. You can see more on Sony’s latest phones and the other big handsets launched at Mobile World Congress over at our MWC 2017 hub.