With today's announcement about its newest smartphone, Sony Mobile claims to have outdone competitors, such as Apple and Samsung, on a key feature: the smartphone camera.
The Xperia XZ2 Premium comes with high ISO sensitivity for both photos and videos, enabling users to capture images even in low-light conditions. It also supports 4K HDR video recording and playback, and has a dual sensor system that can "capture more than the human eye can see," according to Sony.
Featuring a 5.8-inch display that's comparable in size to those on Apple's iPhone X and Samsung's Galaxy S9, the Xperia XZ2 (pictured above) likewise uses Corning's Gorilla Glass 5, which the manufacturer claims is its toughest yet for protecting against scratches and breakage. For now, however, Sony is giving few details on prices and availability, stating only that the new smartphone will be available globally this summer.
Battle of the Smartphone Cameras
As smartphones have become ever-more advanced, manufacturers have tried to emphasize how their devices stand out from the rest by focusing on a handful of key features: artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, and camera/imaging quality.
"Consider that in 2017 alone, it is estimated we took more than a trillion photos globally, shared more than one billion GIFs, sent three billion images, five billion emojis, and more than 10 billion videos -- a number higher than the Earth's total population," Tim Baxter, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, noted earlier this year upon unveiling the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. "Photos and videos are now a core component of the way we communicate, so we created a smartphone that reimagines the camera."
Similarly, when it announced the iPhone X in September, Apple noted that device's two cameras were optimized for photo and video image quality, as well as "custom tuned for the ultimate AR experience."
The new Xperia XZ2 Premium is "the first ever smartphone to feature the new Motion Eye Dual camera, consisting of a black and white sensor for capturing clear contrast and the colour image sensor for accurate [coloring] in," according to Sony. "Its ultra sensitivity with clean, noise-less images was previously only possible in interchangeable lens cameras."
Image Grades Not Yet In
Sony's camera quality claims have yet to be assessed by the DxOMark image quality rating site, which currently ranks Huawei's P20 Pro as the top-rated smartphone camera, with an image quality score of 109. Others in DxOMark's top five include the Huawei P20 (102), the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (99), the Google Pixel 2 (98), and the Apple iPhone X (97). Currently, Sony's highest-rated smartphone camera appears on the Xperia XZ Premium, which has an image quality score of 83.
Powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processors, the new Sony XZ2 Premium supports connection speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps and features 6 GB of RAM. The phone also comes with a high-capacity, 3540mAh battery and can be charged wirelessly with compatible Qi chargers. It's expected to ship with the Android Oreo operating system.