The Sony Xperia XZ Premium was the first real 2017 flagship to be confirmed at the MWC 2017 event in Spain, but it took the Japanese tech giant a while before making the phone available.
In fact, some markets are yet to see the Xperia XZ Premium, something that has allowed for the entry of other players into the market, namely the HTC U11. The two devices are products of reputable smartphone manufacturers and in order to see which one deserves your money, here’s a head-to-head comparison of their specs and features.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a great phone and there’s no shred of a doubt about this statement. As at the time of this writing, the flagship is available for pre-orders in the U.S., with shipping expected to commence as from Monday, June 19.
As noted earlier, the Xperia XZ Premium was first unveiled at the MWC 2017 and at the time, the phone was recognized as the best to have graced the event. This should tell you how good this phone is, but as you know, how actually good a phone is can only be measured through real world performance. Similar to the Xperia XZ, you get a device that has an awesome design with rounded edges and a glass back protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5.
The top and bottom bezels are metallic and quite huge, which might make the phone look odd for someone new to Sony devices. Still, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium has a striking look that is typical of other high-end devices from the Japanese tech giant.
In terms of display, the Xperia XZ Premium has a decent 5.46-inch LCD panel that boasts a 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5 on top. The resolution, similar to the last Xperia “Premium” phone the company released, stands at 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels). Under the hood, the phone has the powerful Snapdragon 835 SoC that is mated with 4GB RAM and onboard storage of 64GB, which can be expanded as well.
Being a 2017 flagship phone, you’ll come across just about all the goodies you’d expect to find on such a device, be it USB Type-C, LTE, IP68 dust and water resistance and a flurry of sensors that include accelerometer, proximity, barometer, gyroscope, color spectrum and more. The phone has a fingerprint scanner, but as usual, this feature has been disabled for the U.S. market.
Keeping the Xperia XZ Premium alive is a 3200mAh battery unit that is not removable and supports fast charging technology. Out of the box is Android 7.1 Nougat OS and unlike quite a number of phones today, you still get to enjoy music via the standard 3.5mm audio jack. In terms of cameras, the phone is exactly what you’d expect from a company that has made its name in photography. The back has a 19MP shooter with 5-axis EIS, PDAF and laser autofocus as well as a LED flash.
The main camera also gets an aperture of f/2.0 alongside features like HDR, panorama, touch focus, face detection, support for 4K video recording as well as slow-motion 720p videos at an amazing 960 frames per second, but this video will only last a mere 0.15 seconds. The front shooter has a 13MP lens with the same f/2.0 aperture and support for 1080p video recording.
HTC hasn’t been having a good time in the smartphone market, but with the HTC U11, the Taiwanese company has one great phone that can compete with other flagship phones this year. There are some interesting bits on the U11, be it the hardware or software. To start with, you’ll love the glossy finish of the phone that gives it a unique look. If you have been following the HTC U series, you’ll tell from a distance that this U11 phone is part of this new family, where there body is no longer a metallic unibody and instead, glass is everywhere, including the back.
With AI taking the world by storm, the HTC U11 becomes the first handset to ship preinstalled with up to three AI digital assistants in the shape of HTC Sense Companion, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The phone is also the first to come with squeezable edges thanks to the Edge Sense feature that lets users squeeze the sides to interact with it in different ways. To fire up the camera, for instance, simply make the squeeze short. If this squeeze is long, the Google Assistant will be fired up. These are the default settings, but you can play around with Edge Sense and customize it as you wish.
In terms of specs, the HTC U11 has an almost similar package as the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. The screen size is at 5.5 inches with a QHD (2K) resolution and Gorilla Glass 5 on top. Under the hood, you get the latest Snapdragon 835 SoC paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. However, you still get a chance to grab a high-end variant that packs a massive 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The latest standards are also on board, including USB-C port and a bunch of sensors you’d expect to find on such a flagship phone, including gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity and even fast charging technology.
Unlike the Xperia XZ Premium, the HTC U11 supports fingerprint authentication in the U.S. On the contrary, there’s no 3.5mm audio jack, same as the HTC U Ultra that was released before it. For the cameras, the U11 is a beast featuring a 12MP shooter on the back that comes with an aperture of f/1.7, PDAF, OIS and dual-tone LED flash. Other features such as HDR, panorama, touch focus, 4K video recording, face detection and more are also available. On the front panel, you’ll find a 16MP selfie shooter that supports 1080p video recording. The phone also features IP67 dust and water resistance, which is a notch below the IP68 used on the Sony Xperia XZ Premium.
As for the prices, the HTC U11 carries the day with a tag of $650 as compared to the massive $800 tag on the Xperia XZ Premium. But for Sony fans, this price tag shouldn’t be anything strange at all.
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