Sony Xperia XZs Hands On & Camera Samples

The Sony Xperia XZs offers a camera capable of capturing moments that even the human eye often misses

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Sony India today launched the Sony Xperia XZs, an addition to its flagship lineup. Last October, Sony had launched the Xperia XZ and the new phone borrows plenty from its predecessor. Sony India was kind enough to let us have a unit of the phone for extended use so that we could spend a decent amount of time with it.

The Sony Xperia XZs was announced back at MWC, sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor paired with 4GB of RAM. The phone sports a 5.2-inch Full-HD display powered by Sony’s Triluminous technology. It comes with 32GB of on-board storage which can be expanded to 256GB by means of a micro-SD card. The real highlight of the phone happens to be its 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera which shoots images in 19 megapixel resolution along with video in 4K. The smartphone is also capable of shooting super slow-motion video at 960 frames per second in 720p resolution.

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In its initial handling, the phone feels identical to the Sony Xperia XZ. The Xperia XZs follows the same Loop design language that was introduced with the Xperia XZ, meaning the screen blends in beautifully with the body made of what Sony calls the Alkaloid metal. Design wide, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the Xperia XZ and the Xperia XZs apart, save for the small metal ring that protrudes around the camera lens. The phone feels incredibly nice to hold. We’ve always  been partial to Sony’s placement of the fingerprint sensor on the right side of the body embedded into the power button.

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There’s several things we loved about the Xperia XZs right from the start. The build and design is the first. The second is the fact that Sony’s built in their entire gamut of audio-prowess into the Xperia XZs. The phone plays back High Resolution Audio, supports LDAC (Sony’s solution for streaming high res audio over Bluetooth) and even the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. We’re suckers for good sound and the Sony Xperia XZs promises great sound.

Finally, the camera. The Xperia XZs comes with Sony’s latest imaging sensor capable of shooting 960 fps in 720p resolution. Sony had setup a booth where we could test the feature out, but it felt a little too made up. We wanted to try the feature out in the real worl, but unfortunately, the sun was going down by then. This incident did highlight a small caveat with the slow motion recording. Given that it needs to record at 960fps, this means the shutter speeds needs to be atleast 1/1920th of a second. At almos 1/2000th, that’s a lot of light the sensor needs in order to be able to shoot slow-motion footage with proper exposure. We’re going to reserve judgement on the camera’s slow motion performance till we’ve done some further testing, but the initial footage, even though grossly underexposed, shows some very interesting perspectives.

The images coming out of the primary camera of the Xperia XZs look very good. The autofocus is very fast and accurate. We didn’t have a single instant where the autofocus failed to lock onto my hyper-active dog. One trade-off to accuracy is the fact that the camera re-focuses just before taking the shot. We’ll dig into the full details of this behavior in our review. You can see our collection of initial samples below.

Sony Xperia XZs Camera Preview

Our initial impressions of the Sony Xperia XZs is that it feels very much like it may just be the Xperia XZ, in all the right ways. It has been priced at Rs. 49.990 which might be considered a little steep, but given the audio and video package Sony feels good about the price. In case you’re wondering whether the XZs is worth your hard hard 50K, stay tuned for our in-depth review of the smartphone.