Head-to-Head: Sony Xperia XZs vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Head-to-Head: Sony Xperia XZs vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium

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Sony Xperia XZs Sony Xperia XZ Premium

After being my choice over the HTC U11 (Sony Xperia XZ Premium), we decided to kick things up further. It’s now going against Sony’s own 4K HDR-10 compliant flagship, the Xperia XZ Premium.

Before getting started, let me remind you that discussion is going to be light and is going to be divided into 8 categories – Accessories, Design, Display, ROM/UX, Performance, Camera, and Audio. Each category will either have one winner or end with a tie. The one with the highest points at the end will be the winner of this Head-to-Head.

So, let’s get started!

Accessories

Even with identical packaging, there is one major difference between the XZs and XZ Premium’s included accessories.

Sony Xperia XZs’s included accessories:

  • 3.5mm earbud headset
  • 1m USB Type-C to Type-A data & charging cable
  • 7.5W USB power adapter

Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s included accessories:

  • 3.5mm earbud headset
  • 1m USB Type-C to Type-A data & charging cable
  • 13.5W USB power adapter

All things considered, the XZ Premium’s package wins by having a theoretically faster charger, which we’ll get to later in the Performance segment.

Winner: Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Design

Despite having the same general shape, holding both in each hand defines themselves. With the XZ Premium’s more glassy feel and rounded sides, the XZs gives a more solid feel in hand without worrying too much about smudges.

Upfront, similarities are aplenty, save for the NFC module that is on the XZs. The XZ Premium’s NFC module is on the back, right below the Xperia branding.

The sides are where the similarities start to end, the roundedness and glossiness that the XZ Premium’s have is more of a hit-and-miss than a functional one. What I find a bit off is the dual-tray setup of the XZ Premium which some may find annoying. Also, the volume rocker on the XZ Premium is on top of the power/fingerprint scanner button – a big plus for single-handed operation. Sufficient to say, the rest of the design puts the premium on the XZ Premium, which the back reinforces further.

The sensor and LED flash array are what differs on the top side, despite having the same camera. The other notable difference is the small portion that is separated from the bottom part of the rear face of the Xperia XZs.

Even though I generally hate glass finishes, the XZ Premium’s finish is superb, save for the 90° edges.

Winner: Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Display

With both having basically the same display technology, the Xperia XZ Premium’s one of many super features is its 4K HDR10 compliant display. And unlike the Z5 Premium’s selective 4K activation, the XZ Premium’s 5.46″ display is always on 4K, may it be upscaled or native.

In running 3D applications or games, it does run it at 1080p then upscales it to 4K.

Winner: Sony Xperia XZ Premium

ROM/UX

Since both do run the same Xperia Home version, this ends with a tie despite with the XZ Premium being faster.

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Winner: None

Performance

SPECIFICATIONS

SPECS Sony Xperia XZ Premium Sony Xperia XZs
Display 5.46″ 3840×2160 IPS LCD (~804 ppi)
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
HDR10 compliant
5.2″ 1920×1080 IPS LCD (~424 ppi)
Corning Gorilla Glass
Dimensions & Features 156 x 77 x 7.9 mm, 195 g
IP68-certified (dust/water proof over 1.5 meter and 30 minutes)
146 x 72 x 8.1 mm, 161 g
IP68-certified (dust/water proof over 1.5 meter and 30 minutes)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
CPU Octa-core (4×2.45 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo) Quad-core (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo)
GPU Adreno 540 Adreno 530
Memory 64GB, 4GB RAM,
microSD <256GB
64 GB, 4 GB RAM,
microSD <256GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, BT 5.0, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, A-GPS NFC, USB 3.1 Type-C 1.0, 3.5mm audio jack Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, BT 4.2, A-GPS, NFC, USB 2.0 Type-C 1.0, 3.5mm audio jack
Price PhP 40,000 PhP 26,500

BENCHMARKS

Benchmark Sony Xperia XZ Premium Sony Xperia XZs
AnTuTu 172171
(4.30pts/PhP)
117423
(4.43pts/PhP)
Geekbench
(Single Core)
1915 1408
Geekbench
(Multicore)
6433 2797
PCMark Work 2.0 7060 5615
Androbench RR: 64.52MB/s
RW: 11.98MB/s
RR: 26.51MB/s
RW: 10.87MB/s

BATTERY

With the XZ Premium’s pack being larger by 330mAh, it wasn’t much of a surprise that it lasted longer than the XZs despite having a 4K display.

Phone ManilaShaker Battery Rating Charging Time (0-100%) Battery Capacity
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 30h 56m 2h 38m 3230mAh
Sony Xperia XZs 27h 36m 2h 26m 2900mAh

Winner: Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Camera

Before we get to actual results, here is a quick rundown of each phone’s cameras.

Phone Rear Camera Front Camera
HTC U11 19 MP, f/2.0, 25mm, EIS (gyro), predictive phase detection and laser autofocus, LED flash

Video recording: 2160p@30fps, 720p@960fps (Super Slow Motion)

13 MP, f/2.0, 22mm, 1/3″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size

Video recording: up to 1080p@30fps

Sony Xperia XZs 19 MP, f/2.0, 25mm, EIS (gyro), laser autofocus, LED flash

Video recording: 2160p@30fps, 720p@960fps (Super Slow Motion)

13 MP, f/2.0, 22mm, 1/3″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size

Video recording: up to 1080p@30fps

Putting specs aside, let’s move to actual results.

Rear Camera

Under daylight, the difference in detail is non-existent until zoomed in. It is only that colors look much more natural on the XZs’s. Be reminded that the XZs can only shoot with HDR on at 8MPx and below because of its Exmor sensors’ lowlight capabilities.

After dawn, the U11 produced spectacular results, especially in details, due to its f/1.7 aperture but the XZs wins in both color and exposure. Speed-wise though, the U11 wins because of its UltraFocus tech, which is mindblowingly fast even in lowlight.

Moving on to video recording, with both being 4K capable, what I’d call the three C’s of mobile cinematography (consistency, color, and compensation) is definitely on the XZs’s favor. Noise is too distorted on the U11’s end and details are also oversharpened beyond the point of realism.

And also, just to mention, the XZs has the MotionEye, allowing it to capture Super Slow Motion videos along with Predictive Capture.

Front Camera

While both do a decent job at taking selfies, the U11’s more refined post-processing and more natural colors win it for me.

Winner: Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Audio

Even with the XZ Premium’s significantly wider stereo grills, the max volume on both the XZs and XZ Premium is the same. Not to mention, clarity and flexibility is pretty much the same, even with the KZ ZS3’s.

Here are the songs that I’ve listened to on both IEM’s and speakers:
– ‘Problem’ by Set It Off
– ‘Give ‘Em Hell, Kid’ by UNVRS
– ‘Some Nights’ by fun.
– ‘Knuckles’ by Moose Blood

Winner: None

Tallying the Results…

Sony Xperia XZ Premium – 5
Sony Xperia XZs – 0

With the advent of XZ1’s arrival and launch here in Philippines (which I hope is really soon!), the XZ Premium proves that it deserves the “Premium” moniker by being the most dominant over its siblings and cousins. How about you? Are you for the more budget-friendly XZs or the end-all-be-all XZ Premium? Let us know in the comments below!