comscore Sony Xperia XZs Review: Can this premium camera phone win back customers for Sony?
Review

Sony Xperia XZs Review: Can this premium camera phone win back customers for Sony?

With Sony’s new Motion Eye camera sensor and 960fps slow-motion video recording capability, the Xperia XZs is a camera phone with a difference. But can a Sony smartphone still sell for Rs 49,990?

sony xperia xzs main

3 5
BGR Rating :
3/5

Sony s hold on the smartphone market may have fallen drastically, but the Japanese company is still firmly present and continues to develop and manufacture its devices. And thanks to its continuing development in the field of smartphone sensors, Sony continues to have certain advantages in its smartphones that other manufacturers simply don t have the technology to replicate. However, Sony s phones are also ridiculously overpriced, and we haven t been thrilled with its last few devices. Also Read - Samsung and LG confirm presence at in-person CES 2022

Also Read - E3 2021: What is it, entire schedule, how to watch livestream for free, what to expect

The company s latest launch is the Sony Xperia XZs, which brings a couple of incremental updates over the Sony Xperia XZ, as well as the new Motion Eye camera sensor which is capable of recording slow-motion video at a 960fps frame rate. I ve had a chance to put the phone through the paces, and here s my review. Also Read - God of War Ragnarok delayed until 2022: Here's why

Sony Xperia XZs: The Good

Sony s typical design and look might not appeal to everyone, but there s a certain level of class that comes with it. With a metal back-plate and shape that is defined by sharp lines at the corners, the Sony Xperia XZs certainly looks different to other flagship smartphones. It has a distinct feel that can be characterized as only something you can expect from a Sony, thanks to a design the Japanese company refers to as omnibalance . The phone is also IP68 water resistant, so accidental drops in water or splashes shouldn t worry you.

Other distinct Sony touches can also be seen on the phone, such as the SIM-tray that doesn t need a pin to eject on the left, the fingerprint sensor built into the lowered home button, the USB Type-C port at the bottom and the dedicated camera shutter key at the bottom right corner, roughly where your finger would rest when you re taking pictures in landscape orientation. All of this helps the phone retain its character, and this will appeal to fans of Sony smartphones in particular.

When it comes to specifications and software, there are a couple of things that stand out. With 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, the phone is suitably specified when it comes to memory. Although the battery might seem a bit small at 2900mAh, it does get you close enough to a whole day of use, and can be charged quickly thanks to support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. The phone has a 5.2-inch full-HD IPS-LCD screen which is fairly good in terms of color and sharpness thanks to Sony s years of experience in display manufacturing, and you get Android Nougat 7.1 out-of-the-box with the phone, under Sony s user interface.sony xperia xzs back

As a major developer and manufacturer of camera sensors, Sony has a distinct advantage when it comes to smartphone cameras. The company usually saves its newest and best sensors for its own smartphones, and the current 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera makes its debut on the Sony Xperia XZs. The camera has an f/2.0 aperture, hybrid autofocus using phase-detection and laser methods, and can record video at a seemingly unbelievable 960fps.

When it comes to photos, the Xperia XZs does not disappoint. In well-lit situations, the images produce good colors, sharp images and plenty of detail. This can be found even in low-light shots, and the camera is indeed as close as it gets to the winning performance that we recently saw on the Samsung Galaxy S8+. Images are clean, focused and well-composed, with very little grain to complain of. Thanks to the hybrid autofocus, focusing is quick and accurate.

(Tap to see full-size camera samples)DSC_0011 DSC_0012

The most interesting feature on the camera is the 960fps slow-motion video recording mode. It s important to note that 960fps only works in very short bursts because of the immense processing power required to create clips at this frame-rate, while continuous slow-motion recording remains limited to 120fps. Getting good video clips at 960fps requires some skilled shutter work by you, since you need to be able to tell the phone when to slow down recording based on the moment you want to capture.sony xperia xzs camera

If you get your timing right, the results are fantastic. Take a look at our video review of the 960fps mode on the Sony Xperia XZs above to get an idea of how super slow-motion clips look on the phone. For a brief burst, it appears as if time has slowed down to an absolute crawl, and we were able to get some great clips of the moving propeller of a toy plane, a bird flapping its wings and a matchstick catching fire, among others.

However, this need for perfect shutter timing on the slow-motion mode means that you might often miss the moment, or shoot a moment right before or after the right one. Additionally, setting the camera up to record at such a high frame-rate also diminishes the phone s ability to take in light information, so super slow-motion clips are best recorded in very good natural light. Nonetheless, it s a great feature that no other phone can boast of, and is certainly genuine, as compared to the artificial 960fps mode on the Lenovo Z2 Plus.sony xperia xzs right

Sony Xperia XZs: The Bad

While running Android 7.1 is certainly commendable, Sony does its customers no favors by slapping on its bloatware-filled user interface. Although fairly clean and similar to the stock-Android UI in many ways, the interface has far too many of Sony s apps on it. Some apps such as Lifelog and Playstation might be useful if you re a fitness enthusiast or gamer, but you ll find yourself stuck with a lot of pointless apps such as What s New , Sony Liv and more. It s even more bothersome when these apps constantly push annoying notifications to you.

While most manufacturers place fingerprint sensors at the back of the phone or where the home button usually is, Sony has for some time now had its fingerprint sensors embedded into the power button on the right side of the phone. While this is certainly a different approach, it hasn t quite worked too well for Sony. Although the accuracy issues aren t quite as bad now as with previous devices, the XZs still sometimes throws up scanning errors because your finger hasn t properly made contact with the scanner, and you ll often have to try a second or third time to unlock the phone.

As has now become an expected occurrence on Sony smartphones, the Sony Xperia XZs faces heat-related issues. Intense tasks such as recording 4K video, playing graphics-intensive games and the like cause significant heat at the back of the phone. This has two key effects on the phone: the battery drains rapidly when the phone heats up, and this also affects performance, such as the camera being forcibly shut down, the UI needing to refresh, and noticeable lag in the interface. This doesn t happen often though, and in most cases the phone runs smoothly enough.

A big complaint that I have with the Sony Xperia XZs is its use of the aging Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC. While I have no complaints against the chipset itself, Sony launching a Rs 49,990 smartphone with a chipset that is now over a year old comes across as silly, particularly when we re already seeing the first Snapdragon 835-powered phones. Power users will of course prefer the much more affordable OnePlus 3T, which is powered by the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, or pay a bit more for the Samsung Galaxy S8, which runs on the 10nm Exynos 8895 SoC.sony xperia xzs top

Verdict

Indeed, most of the Sony s shortcomings have to do with its price. While Sony may still see itself as a premium manufacturer that can demand top-level prices, the unfortunate truth is that Sony must adapt and switch to a value-driven model if it is to fight its way back. At Rs 15,000 less, the Sony Xperia XZs would still stand a fighting chance and might have won over a lot of buyers thanks to its great camera and 960fps super slow-motion mode, it s hard for us to recommend the Sony Xperia XZs at its current price.

A little more money will buy you the more capable Samsung Galaxy S8, while a lot less money will buy you the better-specified and better-performing OnePlus 3T. However, if the ability to record video at 960fps appeals to you, or you re just a fan of Sony, the Xperia XZs might be worth it to you.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: May 9, 2017 10:50 AM IST


You Might be Interested

Sony Xperia XZs

49990

Android 7.1 Nougat
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820, 64-bit Processor
19 MP with f/2.0 aperture

new arrivals in india

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Best Sellers