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Playing with speed

Joan Ng
Joan Ng • 4 min read
Playing with speed
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is fast enough to capture slow-motion videos
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The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is fast enough to capture slow-motion videos

In an age of selfies and Instagram, smartphones are increasingly defined by the images they can capture. Sony’s latest flagship phone, the Xperia XZ Premium, does not disappoint. Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835.245GHz octa-core processor and a memory stacked image sensor, it can capture slow-motion video at 960 frames per second in High Definition (720p).

This Motion Eye camera is not a gimmick: It captures bubbles bursting, fan blades spinning and your pet’s cutest antics. Sony, a tech conglomerate whose business includes cameras, incorporated imaging know-how embedded on Sony alpha and Cyber-shot cameras to create the Motion Eye camera system. The Xperia XZ Premium is also the first smartphone to feature a memory stacked Exmor RS sensor — a Sony technology found only on premium compact cameras.

Sony has also made enhancements to its Bionz image processing engine so that it can detect moving objects more precisely. This processor enables a Predictive Capture function, which is great when you want to photograph the perfect goal kick or Frisbee throw. The phone starts buffering images from the moment it detects motion, rather than after you press the button. Once you have taken your shot, Predictive Capture will provide you with four photo options. You can keep them all, or just your preferred photo.

Besides incorporating elements from its cameras, Sony has also turned to its popular TV division for video enhancements. The Xperia XZ Premium features a 4K High Dynamic Range 5.5in display, and uses Sony’s BRAVIA TV technology to give you an immersive 4K HDR viewing experience.

There are several other clever features tucked away in the woodwork. Sony has placed a fingerprint reader on the power button, so your phone unlocks the moment you power it on. The power button is also intuitively placed on the right side of the phone. Many of the newest smartphones have the sensor on the back, because that is where your fingers are when you pick up your phone. But this also means you need to lift your phone up if it is on your desk, or unlock it with your on-screen password. Placing the sensor on the right is an elegant solution because that is where your thumb is when your pick up your phone, but you can also add a second print so you can unlock the phone even if it is lying flat.

To help with power management, Sony has also developed Smart Stamina. This programme predicts how long your battery will last based on your regular usage patterns. If it thinks you are going to run out of power later in the day, it will prompt you to activate STAMINA mode. STAMINA mode reduces energy consumption by disabling some functions. With Qnovo Adaptive Charging, you can also leave your phone plugged in to its charger overnight. The Battery Care function charges your phone to 90%, waits, then charges it to 100% just before your normal wake-up time.

Finally, the phone supports two SIM cards — useful for those who travel frequently or do business in two countries. When not in use, the additional SIM card slot can be used for a microSDXC memory card. One attractive feature of the Xperia XZ Premium is that the SIM card slot is merely covered by a flap that you can pull out quite easily with your fingernail. No more hunting around for a paper clip or safety pin.

The Xperia XZ Premium comes at a suggested retail price of $1,098 at Sony Stores, Sony Centres, M1, Singtel, StarHub and authorised Sony retail partners. Two colour variants — Deepsea Black and Luminous Chrome — are now available. The Luminous Chrome is almost as good as a mirror, but at tracts grime and prints. A Bronze Pink variant will be available from next month.

This article appeared in Issue 784 (June 19) of The Edge Singapore.

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