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MWC 2017: Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium the first phone with a super slow-mo camera

The Xperia XZ Premium has a lot going on. Photo: SonyAt Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sony has unveiled the Xperia XZ Premium, a monster of a phone that seems designed purely to fit as many high-end specs as possible into a single handset.
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The Premium is a bigger, bolder version of last year’s XZ flagship, adding a 5.5-inch screen that can display 4K and HDR content and covering the whole thing in a mirrored chrome finish (not unlike 2015’s Z5 Premium, which was the first phone to pack a 4K screen).

Driving the huge number of pixels is the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (which should also make it compatible with the new generation of super-fast mobile internet) and an Adreno 540 graphics processor, backed by 4GB of RAM and a big 3230mAh battery, but Sony spent most of its energy promoting the device’s new camera.

Dubbed ‘Motion Eye’, the system behind the 19MP Exmor RS sensor can capture video in a ridiculous 960 frames per second, making it the first mobile phone capable of producing super slow-mo. For context, most phones can shoot as fast as 240fps.

The camera also has ‘predictive capture’, which apparently starts capturing images before you’ve even hit the shutter button to make sure you get the shot. It also has the same triple sensor array and hybrid autofocus first seen on the standard XZ.

The Premium is plated front and back with Gorilla Glass 5, and on top of the new screen, internals and camera it packs many the same features as the standard XZ, including the rounded-edge ‘loop’ design, Hi-Res audio, water resistance and adaptive charging.

While it remains to be seen if consumers need or even want the level of screen resolution or cinematic fidelity offered by the XZ Premium, Sony hedged its bets by also introducing updates to its mid-range line. The two Xperia XA1 phones — one with a 5-inch screen and one with a 6-inch — keep the XZ aesthetic but feature considerable lower specs.

Local pricing and availability is yet to be confirmed.

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