Sony promised an “ultra low-light camera” during its Mobile World Congress press conference back in February. The off-hand announcement was intended to throw a bit of shade at Samsung’s recent flagship, but ultimately had the unintended consequence of undermining the company’s own newly announced XZ2. But, then, Sony’s never been great when it comes to marketing handsets.
That said, the company didn’t waste a lot of time delivering on that promise. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the Xperia XZ2 Premium was the phone the company would have liked to have led with at the world’s largest mobile show, but it just wasn’t fully baked at the time. In fact, the handset won’t actually be arriving until this summer.
When it does hit retail, it will sport a number of improvements over the regular XZ2 (and likely a steep price tag to match). Most notable here are the upgrades to the camera, because, well, Sony. The company says the phone’s capable of capturing ultra-low-light stills with an ISO of up to of 51,200 — with up to 12,800 for video. Press materials issued this morning say the phone accomplishes this by utilizing its dual camera sensors (a new addition with the XZ2 line), utilizing the company’s AUBE signal processor.
That’s a pretty impressive feat, if true, and would certainly surpass Samsung’s recent low-light camera advancements. I can’t say as I’m always excited to try out the latest Xperia handset, but this is one I’ll want to put through its paces. Sony’s certainly wowed us with its camera prowess in the past — in fact, that’s really the main thing Xperias have going for them. U.S. availability, on the other hand, isn’t likely to be one of them.
Other bits and bobs worth mentioning: There’s a 4K HDR display here, pretty much a given on a Sony flagship at this point, along with 4K movie recording. The phone also sports a similarly smooth design to the other XZ2 models — a notable upgrade from the old, boxy design. There’s also a beefy 3540mAh battery on board, along with a Snapdragon 845.
Given Sony’s traditional use of the Xperia line as a funnel for camera technology, I’d say it’s probably safe to expect similar low-light cameras to start trickling into other manufacturers’ handsets in the not too distant future.