OK, everything about the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is ... well ... premium, so maybe the model name didn't have to state the obvious. Speaking of, you can't just pretend those bezels are not there - yet our honest opinion is that the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is strong enough in the looks department to hold its own against anyone and anything - be it an infinity screen at the front or a fruit at the rear.
The only 4K screen, HDR video-capable at that, the cool 960fps slow-mo video and the finest Snapdragon 835 chipset - this is more than it takes to steal the show, if not the entire season. The good old waterproofing, stereo speakers and the beautifully simple Xperia launcher are winner stuff too.
So, is it really all that great? Over the time we spent with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, nothing seemed dodgy, not a single would-be worry showed deal-breaker potential.
The Xperia XZ Premium makes 4K look so natural on a smartphone but we're less than impressed by the difference that HDR video makes.
Sony touched up its signature design without going over the top and while the concept isn't flawless, it truly works. Now, we won't even start on the mirror finish and the issue of fingerprints but the Xperia XZ Premium does live up to its name. It's just one of those smartphones, which immediately get your attention. Handsome and elegant, a little old-school but genuinely full of character.
Back to the model name - the price connotations are more than implied. The Xperia XZ Premium is priced according to rank - and that's far from cheap but very well in line with the current market. For starters, it costs as much as a Galaxy S8 and while it cannot match that Infinity display for looks, it trumps it with its display resolution and it should offer HDR video content from Day One. Just go ahead and pick your screen.
The LG G6 is the simple, laid-back package that you will only pick up after you're done with the more eye-catching exhibits on the shelf. It may be less impressive in terms of design and display, but the G6 is probably the best bang for the buck in the flagship category. And its dual-camera is one of the better shooters around. It didn't get the latest Snapdragon 835 but that gets you a fat discount of nearly 200.
If you are after a Sony-made phone, but the 4K screen feels like an overkill, you can always opt for the Xperia XZs, which has a regular 1080p screen, but keeps the cool design and the same camera as the Xperia XZ Premium. Or you can go even cheaper and get the last year's Xperia XZ, which costs some good 300 less than the Premium and still has enough to offer.
The Huawei P10 Plus is an interesting alternative with excellent design, one of the best chipsets and screens around, as well as the great Dual Leica Camera. It costs the same as the Xperia XZ Premium, but can't match its screen and waterproofing.
Finally, Apple's iPhone 7 Plus is still the leader in chipset performance and efficiency, and what it lacks in screen resolution and latest gadgetry, it makes up for with versatile dual camera setup and quality apps in the Store. It won't win any screen bezel contests - not even against the XZ Premium. Yes, its screen-to-body ratio is as bad as it gets among the flagship phones.
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium. The phone to have if you want the future and you want it now. Much of this future really depends on how soon the content will become as readily available for mobile.
It maybe just around the corner you know - we've watched this industry evolve in leaps and bounds for quite a while now. Sadly, the very phones we have admired are the casualties of that speed. Sony has an outstanding flagship, ready to claim a place in history - but also one that may not see the future it so boldly imagines.
There we are. Here and now. The perfect match for the Sony Xperia XZ Premium may as well be in some South Korean testing lab or a drawing board in California. Who knows - maybe somewhere else? We wouldn't mind. We love surprises as much as we like being impressed. And Sony just delivered.