Sony Xperia XZs Review – Slow Motion at its best
Sony has brought us the same Xperia XZ smartphone but now with a new camera module. Its 19 MP camera now captures slow motion videos at 960fps. Hence, the name XZs where s stands for super slow motion. While the rest of the specifications came from its the last year’s predecessor Sony Xperia XZ which is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and 4 GB RAM. Sony wants to fill the gap by offering a different camera which eventually will turn the tables in the camera segment. Check out our Sony Xperia XZs review to see what has changed.
What’s In The Box
- Sony Xperia XZs with built-in battery
- USB Type-C Cable
- User Manuals, Warranty Information
Sony Xperia XZs Specifications
- Display: 5.2-inch Full HD IPS Display (1920 x 1080 pixels resolution | 424 ppi), TRILUMINOS Display and X-Reality for mobile, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer
- Protection: Water Resistant IP65/68 certified, Corning Gorilla Glass
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, side mounted on the Power button
- Software: Android 7.1.1 Nougat
- CPU: Up to 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (MSM8996), 14nm FinFET
- GPU: Adreno 530
- Memory: 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM
- Storage: 64 GB eMMC internal storage, MicroSD up to 256 GB
- Main Camera: 19 MP f/2.0 Motion Eye camera, 25 mm wide Sony G Lens, BIONZ image processor, Triple image sensing technology, Hybrid Autofocus, 960 fps super slow motion, 0.5 sec quick capture, anti-distortion shutter (ISO12800), 8x Digital Zoom, EIS support (5-axis stabilization), 4K video @30 fps, 1080p video @60 fps
- Front Camera: 13 MP f/2.0, 22 mm wide angle lens, ISO 6400, SteadyShot, 1080p video @30fps
- Connectivity: USB, Type-C, 3.5 mm port, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS
- Others: Smart Stamina, Qnovo Adaptive Charging, Battery Care, STAMINA Mode, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, Clear Audio+, Stereo speaker with S-Force Front Surround, Stereo Recording, PS4 Remote Play
- Cellular: 4G LTE, Dual nano SIM (GSM + GSM), VoLTE-enabled, MicroSD on SIM2
- Battery: 2,900 mAh (non-removable)
- Dimensions: 146 mm x 72.0 mm x 8.1 mm
- Weight: 161 grams
- Colors: Ice Blue, Black, Warm Silver
- Price: ₹49,990
Design, Build & Ergonomics
The Xperia XZs appears reasonably compact, it has the same design the Xperia XZ has. The smartphone is exactly same as the Xperia XZ, weight, dimensions, design language, display. All you can say is this is the Xperia XZ with the super slow motion feature. There is no doubt that Sony has been using the same design over and over, some of you may find it a little awkward, it feels old school, especially in this era where smartphones are going bezel-less. We are talking about the Samsung Galaxy S8.
No wonder the design is stylish and looks appealing from the back, the design is revamped from the Xperia Z5. The front has large bezels, the screen is covered with a 2.5D curved glass. Holding the phone is pleasant, it is compact and doesn’t boast any sharp edges.
Sony continues the support for the IP65/68 ratings which means it is dust proof and water resistant. It can live into the water with a depth of up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.
Camera is what Sony is widely known for, it managed to put a 19 MP camera in an 8.1 mm body. The camera has a special feature i.e. it captures videos of 720p at 960fps. How cool is it? Wait until you see the slow motion samples in this review.
Most smartphones offer a mono speaker and this is where the Xperia XZs shines out. Its stereo sound has the most satisfying experience, though, not too loud but the sound quality is excellent.
Good thing now Sony Xperia XZs now comes with the USB Type-C port. There are two microphones one on the top and other on the bottom. Sony has provided a 3.5 mm port to plug in your earphones. The SIM tray holds two nano SIM cards both GSM. The SIM2 can be replaced with a MicroSD card which extends the storage up to 256 GB. It supports 4G network with VoLTE support.
Sony Xperia XZs Review – Slow Motion at its best
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The display on the Xperia XZs is the best you can get, it has 1080p screen, high brightness, covered with 2.5D, and flaunts a floating touch display. Sony has provided various display enhancements to adjust the colors, mainly used in the Sony’s Bravia TV. Sony boasts Truluminous display with X-Reality for mobile and dynamic contrast producing true colors and contrasts and making your multimedia experience on the phone the best.
Readability outdoors is decent due to its bright display. The viewing angles of the panel are very good, you can easily view the images and read the screen properly under sunlight shades, thanks to its bright display.
Software & User Interface
Sony Xperia XZs runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, and it is one of the smartphones that offer newest of Android. Sony’s pretty much good at keeping the UI clean unlike what Samsung and other manufacturers offer which completely modifies the look. With Xperia UI, Android fans will feel home.
Like before, it still has the app drawer that shows recommended apps upon swiping. There’s no significant change in the software, the icon pack is updated when we compare it with the Xperia Z5. Although it has a few bloatware especially demo games (less than before), you can easily get rid of it for sure. Sony continues to offer Xperia Lounge, PlayStation App, SonyLiv, and Video & TV SideView.
What’s more in the software is like all the other Xperias, there’s a PlayStation app that allows you to access your PlayStation 4 remotely to play games on the Xperia XZs display or simply use it as a second screen. Since it’s a multimedia device, an IR Blaster would have been nice to have here to control infrared-enabled devices.
The software also comes with a Lifelog app which is a health and fitness app from Sony. With Lifelog you can view information about your health and fitness and get insights into your behavior. It works best when you pair it with a Sony SmartWear.
The fingerprint scanner on the Xperia XZs stays on the right like all the previous Xperia flagships. This time Sony has put one of the fastest fingerprint scanners on the Xperia XZs. Unfortunately, the scanner doesn’t unlock the device when the screen is off. You will need to press the button once and it the fingerprint scanner works. As the phone is water resistant, the scanner doesn’t work under water as well as with wet fingers.
Hardware, Performance & Gaming
Sony Xperia XZs packs a top class hardware, it has a 2.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU along with 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM and 64 GB internal storage. As compared to the previous Xperia Z5, there is a significant performance improvement, thanks to the powerful Snapdragon 820 chip. However, when we compare it to its predecessor XZ, there won’t be any huge changes in the numbers. This is the same chip OnePlus 3 and LG G5 utilizes. Hence, the Xperia XZs sits right in the flagship performance segment.
In spite of using last year’s flagship SoC, the Xperia XZs could have used the Snapdragon 835 which would make a sweet deal for performance lovers, but since it has the Snapdragon 820, it is also clearly behind the current competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Moving to the benchmarks, it ha scored well. AnTuTu gave us 1,31,568 points, Geekbench 4 gave us 1,600 points (single-core CPU) and 3,666 points (multi-core CPU). Geekbench 4 GPU benchmark scored 7,017 points (GPU) and Quadrant Standard Edition scored 33,400 points. With all the numbers the performance is almost on par with the last year’s flagships.
- 1,600 points (single-core CPU)
- 3,666 points (multi-core CPU)
- 7,017 points (GPU)
Quadrant Standard Edition
Gaming on Xperia XZs is great. Adreno 530 GPU runs most demanding games fluently. We ran Asphalt Xtreme, Mortal Combat X, Mario Run, Asphalt Nitro, Midnight Pool, and Ninja Arashi. All ran fine and it turns out that the most games will be played without any problems.
Games Tested on Sony Xperia XZs
- Asphalt Xtreme
- Mortal Combat X
- Mario Run
- Asphalt Nitro
- Midnight Pool
- Ninja Arashi
Temperature is the area where Xperia XZs plays not very well. On idle, it goes as low as 31 degrees, but on load, it reaches up to 46 degrees as you can see. The temperatures below are shown by the HWMonitor Pro. Sony Xperia XZs heats on load and prolong usage.
Storage & Connectivity
A 64 GB internal storage sounds very good for flagships, Xperia XZs boasts a 64 GB internal storage with an option to expand it with the MicroSD up to 256 GB.
Storage performance is not impressive for this price. OnePlus 3 costs almost half the price but performs 2x better. It boasts a UFS storage where as Xperia uses an eMMC storage. Samsung flagships too have better storage performance in this segment.
A1 SD Bench
- 240.49 MB/s (Read)
- 90.93 MB/s (Write)
- 261.05 MB/s (Sequential Read)
- 125.85 MB/s (Sequential Write)
- 45.93 MB/s (Random Read)
- 14.72 MB/s (Random Write)
Sony has changed the camera module on the Xperia XZs. It now has a new 19 MP camera with triple image sensing technology. The best feature of the camera is its slow motion video capturing at 960fps. It further records normal videos at 4K resolution. The camera uses 25 mm wide Sony G Lens and BIONZ image processor. On the front side, it has a 13 MP f/2.0 camera with wide angle lens.
Sony Xperia XZs Camera Specifications
- Camera: 19 MP f/2.0 Motion Eye camera
- Image Processor: BIONZ
- Sensor: Sony Exmor RS
- Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): N/A
- Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS): Yes, 5-axis stabilization
- Other: Triple Image Sensing Technology
- Rear Flash: Dual-tone LED
- Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus, HDR, Manual Mode, Panorama, Slow Motion (960fps), Burst Shot, AR Effects, Creative Effects, Sound Photo
- Video Recording: Up to 4K @30 FPS, 1080p @60FPS, Slow Motion 720p @960 FPS
- Front Camera: 13 MP f/2.0, 22 mm wide angle lens, ISO 6400, SteadyShot
- Video Recording: Up to 1080p video @30FPS
- Front Flash: N/A
The camera takes sharp images with true looking colors, we got very good daylight images with better details. The camera is ready before you are and you can choose the best image out of that. In general, the images appears to be very decent, the camera is what you can rely on.
The downside is that it doesn’t feature an optical image stabilization. Furthermore, the slow motion is limited to one second only. You will need to take the perfect shot. If you miss the moment, you will ruin the slow motion video. I have tried to capture many shots but failed to capture them perfectly.
Sony smartphones represent its camera as one of the key components in a smartphone. No wonder, they are great at what they offer, the Xperia XZs has yet the best camera you can get but for this price, you may get better camera phones if you spend this much amount. Like before, Sony also offers the AR effects. Playing with AR is fun and this is one of the unique camera features on a smartphone.
The front camera captures high-quality images. It offers a wide angle lens which might fit all your groupfies. The overall quality is quite sharp, hence, the front camera performance is above average.
Sony Xperia XZs Camera Samples
Super Slow Motion Camera – 960 FPS Video Sample
Sony Xperia XZs ships with an average 2,900 mAh battery. The battery has not grown big, yet we expected to run longer due to the new CPU. The battery life of the Sony Xperia XZs is not the best, but it should be enough for daily tasks.
For such a high-end device, the battery capacity could be kept higher, but since it has only a mediocre amount, it doesn’t last 2 days on dual SIM with 4G data enabled. We got around 1 day and a few hours on medium usage. The usage includes Wi-Fi and 4G Data always on, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Camera with AR effects and Slow Motion, a little gaming, and voice calling with a screen on time of 4 hours 43 minutes.
On heavy usage, it doesn’t last a day and you have to put it on a charge at the end of the day. In our tests, the battery runs around half day with heavy usage. The battery life is not reliable, however, it has a few battery saving traits like the stamina mode. STAMINA mode restricts device performance and some functions to reduce the battery consumption. It includes a battery care that increases the battery lifespan by reducing the time the device is charged over 90% f0r a long time. Then there’s ultra stamina mode which extends the battery life.
Sony Xperia XZs Battery Test Results
|1080p Video||3%||20 minutes||Auto||Off (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)|
|4K Video||3%||20 minutes||Auto||Off (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)|
|YouTube (1080p)||3%||20 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi, 4G Data)|
|Mortal Combat X||4%||20 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi, 4G Data)|
|Asphalt Xtreme||6%||20 minutes||Auto||Off (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)|
|Mario Run||4%||20 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi, 4G Data)|
|Music (Offline)||1%||1 Hour||Auto||Off (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)|
|Music Streaming – SoundCloud||1%||30 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi)|
|3%||20 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi, 4G Data)|
Pricing, Variants & Availability
Sony Xperia XZs is priced at ₹49,990 available on Flipkart. There are three color variants – Ice Blue, Black, and Warm Silver.
Verdict – Worth Spending ₹49,990?
One of the best things in the smartphone is the camera and its slow motion feature. It does take wonderful pictures in the day time as well as performs well in the low light. Slow Motion works great if you are that quick to capture the one second moment. Performance is yet another good thing in the smartphone. Overall, the smartphone offers most things what a flagship has to offer. It gives you a great multimedia experience, great apps, and games performance.
The 19 MP camera is reliable but it lacks an optical image stabilization. The downside is that the battery life is average and heats on load. True Sony fans might spend 50 grand for this sleek camera slow motion feature, otherwise, the Xperia XZ is available for ₹39,990 with same hardware and design (without the super slow motion).
OnePlus 3T (128 GB) – ₹34,999
- High Brightness Display
- Stylish Design
- Fast Processing Power
- Reliable Camera | Dedicated Camera trigger
- Captures Slow Motion videos at 960fps
- AR effect is Fun
- IP65/68 Certified – Dust and Water Resistant
- Stereo Loudspeakers
- MicroSD Support
- Fingerprint Scanner is Quick
- Heats on Load
- Super Slow Motion is limited to one second
- Average Battery Life
Sony Xperia XZs Review – Slow Motion at its best