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Sony reveals four new smartphones including the XZ Premium

New models include the first smartphone with a 4K HDR display and two mid-range phones. Are they worth waiting for?

Sony has announced the launch of four new smartphones to be released over the coming months – the flagship Xperia XZ Premium, the Xperia XZs and the mid-range Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra.

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the first smartphone to have a 4K HDR display, so you should expect a beautifully clear and crisp display that’s a pleasure to use. You should also be able to watch high-resolution films and videos without witnessing a drop in quality.

The new flagship will have a palm-stretching 5.5-inch display – the same size as the iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL.

If you prefer a slightly smaller phone, you may also want to keep an eye out for the Sony Xperia XZs – a smaller version of the flagship. It has a 5.2-inch Full-HD display and water resistance.

Below, we delve into more of the details of the upcoming flagship model, plus what you can expect from the upcoming mid-range Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra.

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Big camera claims on the Xperia XZ Premium

In its press conference at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, Sony was keen to boast about the XZ Premium’s 19Mp rear camera.

Sony claims that the XZ Premium is the world’s first smartphone with a memory-stacked sensor. The company says that this means the camera can capture 960 frames per second, letting you record exceptional videos.

And you should also expect well detailed and sharp photos even in low light, according to Sony.

Our smartphone camera tests often find that claims aren’t always matched by reality. Our lab tests will reveal whether the XZ Premium really does have a top-notch camera, and how well it matches its key rivals.

What else is worth knowing about the XZ Premium?

The XZ Premium is powered by the new Snapdragon 835 processor. At the time of writing, this is the latest Qualcomm chip. This means the new flagship shouldn’t slow down even when you’re using several apps at once, letting you get on with your tasks without delay.

It has a fingerprint sensor built into the power button. Fingerprint sensors are common on the latest smartphones, and should let you quickly unlock your phone and help keep your personal information safe.

It’s dust- and water-resistant, with IP65 and IP68 ratings. So if you accidentally let the phone get wet, you shouldn’t have to worry about long-term damage.

The XZ Premium is expected to hit shelves in late spring this year. And you’ll have two colours to choose from – Luminous Chrome and Deepsea Black.

What about the Sony Xperia XZs?

The Sony Xperia XZs seems pretty similar to the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, just in a smaller form.

The XZs’s cameras are also claimed to shoot 960 frames per second for brilliant videos.

It has a Full-HD display, but it doesn’t seem to be 4K like the XZ Premium. So it should be clear and easy to use, but not quite as vibrant.

The smaller version also has an older processor – the Snapdragon 820. But this doesn’t mean it will necessarily be slow – indeed, we’ve seen the Snapdragon 820 processor on other flagship phones, and we’ve found it to be speedy and powerful.

The XZs is set to be available from the beginning of April 2017. And you’ll have three colours to choose from – Ice Blue, Warm Silver and Black.

Should you consider the mid-range Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra phones?

The Xperia XA1 has a five-inch display, so you’ll find it comfortable to use with just one hand. The XA1 Ultra, on the other hand, has a massive six-inch screen – the same size as the Sony Xperia XA Ultra.

Another difference between the two screens is their quality. The XA1 has a 720p (HD) screen, which should look pretty clear – though the XA1 Ultra’s Full-HD (1,080p) screen should be even easier on the eyes.

Each phone has a 23Mp rear camera. With a spec like this, you’d expect well-detailed photos, but megapixel count isn’t the only thing that determines image quality. When we send these phones to our test lab we’ll be assessing how the photos they take stack up to the rest of the competition.

Both the XA1 and XA1 Ultra should be available to buy in the next few months. And they’ll be launched with Android Nougat – the latest version of Google’s operating system.

We’ll be sending the XZ Premium, XZs, XA1 and XA1 Ultra to our test lab as soon as they are released. If you’re looking for a Sony phone right now, head over to our fully tested Sony mobile phone reviews.

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