It’s been exactly a month since I first received Sony’s initial 2018 flagship, the Xperia XZ2 and in a few short weeks, it won’t be because that’s when the Xperia XZ2 Premium will be available. That’s crazy to think that Sony would come out with one flagship just to make it obsolete in such a short amount of time. However, if you were holding off on picking up Sony’s latest and greatest, it’s probably a good thing you did because the Xperia XZ2 Premium is Sony’s true flagship of 2018 and what they should have just released from the start. Period.
As with most first impressions, this is not a full review. Far from it. This is basically just my thoughts on the device upon first seeing it and handling it for the day. I would advise that you read my first impressions for the original Sony Xperia XZ2 here as much of what I say there does apply to this new device.
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium does have much in common with the Xperia XZ2 in terms of overall aesthetics. The main difference is the dual cameras on the rear, the slight weight increase, and it is a bit wider. The screen also 5.8″ and has a different aspect ratio at 16:9 instead of 18:9.
Like the XZ2, I’m digging the looks of this device. It has an all glass display, rounded aluminum edges, and a curved glass back. This again gives the device a more modern look and more in line with all the flagships that are out right now. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you. I however like it. It’s large, but fits comfortably in your hand thanks to all the rounded edges and curved back. I can’t quite use it one-handed due to the slightly wider body, but others with larger hands might be able to.
Starting with the front of the Xperia XZ2, the full glass screen and buttonless design gives the phone a really clean look. This is not much different from other devices these days and physical buttons up front these days are pretty much unnecessary. Sony went ahead and only included one front facing camera here like the regular XZ2 and not two like on their XA2 Ultra. There are however two front facing stereo speaker with S-Force front surround.
Moving on to the rounded aluminum edges, like all Xperia devices, all the buttons are located on the right side of the device. Those new to Xperia devices will notice an extra little button at the bottom and this is one of the items that make Xperias so unique to me. This button is actually a camera button that not only acts as a shortcut to launch the camera app, but also acts as a physical shutter release button like on a real camera. This is one of my favorite features on Xperia devices and one that I wish other smartphones had.
Aside from those items, there’s also a USB-C charging/sync port, some mic holes, the sim card/memory card tray, and that’s it. There’s no audio jack on this device though the box does include a USB Type-C to 0.1″ audio jack adapter.
Last up is the back of the device which again, is an all glass, curved piece. On the plus side of things, since the phone is wider, it isn’t quite as curved all the way around back so it does have a bit of a flatter surface near the middle. It isn’t quite as slippery on surfaces either, but it can still slide off tables if you’re not careful. The fingerprint reader itself is a little bit higher this time around, but it’s still in an awkward position closer to the middle so users who are accustomed to it being higher will need to get used to this position. There are now two cameras out back now, both sitting right above the fingerprint reader.
I will say that the Chrome Black finish on the back glass is a really interesting color. It’s not black, black and instead more of a darker chrome. It’s really reflective and mirror like and quite flashy looking, that’s until it’s covered in fingerprints.
Like stated above, the Xperia XZ2 is very comfortable to hold despite its slightly larger size. It’s also quite a bit heavier feeling than most other phones which is something to take note of. Coming from my daily LG V30, it’s quite a bit heavier and it’s even heavier than Sony’s largest device, the XA2 Ultra. In fact, that might be the first thing you notice about it when picking it up. On top of that, the all glass design is a fingerprint magnet. In my opinion, this would probably be a device I’d consider running some kind of clear case on to preserve the look, keep fingerprints off the finish, and to just protect it a bit more since it’s all glass.
So if we’re keeping track, Sony technically has three flagships right now – The Xperia XZ2 Compact, the Xperia XZ2, and the Xperia XZ2 Premium. The latter is the true flagship and powerhouse, though the first two are no slouches. Mainly they just lack that second camera, the 4K display, and don’t quite have as much RAM. However, they are cheaper and come in slightly more manageable size. They can also pretty much do everything the XZ2 Premium can do.
But, if you really want the best of the best, the Xperia XZ2 Premium looks to be it from Sony. It not only looks good but also has top notch specs that make it second to none. Stay tuned as I’ll have a full review in the coming weeks.