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MWC 2017: Sony Xperia X2 Premium Has 4K & Super Slow Motion Video Capture

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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Sony’s latest flagship smartphone borrows from its TV display tech

Sony has unveiled the Xperia X2 Premium, the company’s latest flagship smartphone that puts display and camera technology at the forefront.

Keeping with the signature sharp rectangular design of the Xperia line, the X2 Premium brings in, what Sony claims, is the world’s first 4K HDR (high dynamic range) display for a smartphone, clearly influenced by the Japanese company’s work with its Bravia range of TVs.

Alongside the sharp display, Sony is aiming the X2 Premium to be the phone for capturing video, with a camera that can capture video at up to 960 frames per second, enabling for highly detailed slow motion playback.

Sony Xperia X2 Premium

Sony Xperia X2 Premium BlackBut first the specification; the X2 Premium sports a 5.5 inch display with the aforementioned 4K 2160×3840 resolution, fitted into a chassis with the choice of an eye-catching mirrored finish.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, the latest from the chipmaker, provides the power for the smartphones and according to Sony allows for up to 1Gbps downloads speeds, thanks to the integrated Snapdragon X16 LTE modem.

The system-on-a-chip is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage. Quick charging is provided by USB Type-C to fill a 3230mAh battery, which uses Sony’s Smart Stamina system to accurately relay battery life estimates based on a user’s usual usage.

Other features include a fingerprint scanner integrated into the side-mounted power button, a microSD slot, and water and dust resistance rated up to the IP68 standard. Corning Gorilla Glass 5 should ensure the handset can withstand a few bumps and scratches.

On the software side the X2 Premium will run Google’s Android 7 Nougat but with Sony’s custom user interface on top. Given the phone will debut in late Spring, we have yet to see a finalised version of Sony’s Android skin.

But the standout feature of the X2 Premium is its camera, which sports a triple layered  Exmor RS 19MP sensor system dubbed Motion Eye and has a dedicated 1GB worth of DRAM to enable fast capture of images.

Not only does this system allow for the high framerate video capture but it can also improve capturing photographs of things in motion by using a predictive capture system to automatically snap the images from the moment it detects motion, ensuring a photo opportunity is not missed even if the user isn’t snapping away.

On top of this, the camera system analyses the best of four pictures to ensure the end photo is the best one the X2 Premium can present. We would need to give this system a true test to see if it stands up to Sony’s claims of seminal phone photography, or if its over-processes images and make them appear artificial.

The design, power and camera technology on in the X2 Premium makes it an impressive smartphone on paper, and should suit business and pleasure use, though we’d need to give it a through test to see if it can stand up against other smartphones coming out of MWC 2017, such as the LG G6 and Huawei’s P10 flagship smartphone.

Sony Xperia X2

Sony also revealed a lesser version of the X2 Premium, the Xperia X2 which borrows a lot of the features from its larger sibling but bundles them in a smaller chassis.

The Xperia X2 sports a 5.2inch Full HD display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, giving it a distinctly less powerful and impressive specification than the Premium model.

However, the X2 does pack the Motion Eye camera system and should make its debut in April 2017.

Alongside the flagship phones, Sony also introduced the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra smartphones. Both are mid-range mobiles, making use of an octa-core Mediatek chipset rather than more powerful Snapdragon processors.  

The Xperia XA1 makes use of a distinctly entry-level 5inch 720p display, while the larger XA1 Ultra model packs a 6inch Full HD screen.  Both models sport the sharp rectangular designs of the Xperia range, and have displays than wrap into the body of phones to give a rather slick finish.

The Xperia XA1s lack the Motion Eye cameras and instead take the 23MP rear cameras found in Sony’s flagship phones form last year, which should give them solid photography capabilities despite the lesser specifications. The Ultra XA1 features a 16MP front-facing camera, ideal for video conferencing or ‘selfies’ for narcissistic people.    

Android 7 Nougat comes baked into the Xperia XA1 models, but there’s no sign of the Google Assistant, which has found its way into the likes of Nokia’s new smartphones and the Moto G5.

Pricing on all of Sony’s new Xperia smartphones has yet to be revealed, but we estimate the high0-end Xperia X2 Premium will not be cheap, likely in the realms of the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge brackets at least.

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