We got to spend some time with Sony’s new flagship, and for what it’s worth, the XZ feels like a substantially better smartphone than those that preceded it. Compared to the Z5 and X Performance, it comes across as way more thoughtful and mature. This phone is not a radical departure, and it doesn’t need to be. It builds on Sony’s already elegant exterior design, but adds a ton of refinement which helps make touching and holding the XZ a great thing to do. The Xperia XZ is a big phone, but Sony is not afraid of that – the strict rectangular shape with right angles remains a trademark feature of the line-up. We do not complain. It’s a phone which looks undeniably classy and level-headed compared to most things out there. In a way, this familiar shape signifies that despite lack of much success in the mobile business, Sony is keeping its cool and staying true to its principles. We can’t help but appreciate this.
The Sony Xperia XZ will be available in three colors – Forest Blue (aka dark blue), Mineral Black (black), and Platinum (bright gray), all of which look very nice. The handset has Gorilla Glass 4 covering the front, while most of the back is made of a special kind of aluminum alloy that Sony calls Alakeido. This Alkaleido aluminum, the manufacturer explains, has been specifically engineered to have better shine and depth properties. We are no experts on alloys and metals, but we have to say – this Alkaleido thing is a joy to touch and look at! It feels smooth and well-engineered, it’s not necessarily as cold and rough as the metal on most phones out there, but rather has a slightly warmer, glossier aspect to it. For what it’s worth, this new exterior — which also happens to be IP68 rated — feels different and new.