Since we last heard about the Xperia XZ Premium at Mobile World Congress, the Samsung Galaxy S8, the HTC U Ultra, and the LG G6 have all begun shipping. But over the past few months, Sony has been putting the finishing touches on its own flagship phone, as well as its touch-based projector (which will still can't believe is a real product). And now, we finally know when they're going to arrive and how much they're going to cost.
They're not cheap.
Sony has announced that the unlocked XZ Premium will be available for pre-order on Amazon and Best Buy beginning June 12, with an on-sale date of June 22, with a cost of $800, and the bleeding-edge Xperia Touch projector will cost more than twice that, running a staggering $1,700.
At the time, the XZ Premium was the first phone to announce it would be utilizing the Snapdragon 835 chip, but it’s gotten some company since then. The Galaxy S8, HTC U, and even the upcoming Essential Phone all sport the latest Qualcomm processor, so the XZ Premium is going to need a little more than speed to woo customers.
But it just might have it. The most notable feature of Sony’s new flagship is the 19MP camera that utilizes Sony’s own Exmor RS imaging sensor for super-fast shitter speeds. Additionally the XZ Premium brings something called Motion Eye that captures video at a mind-boggling 960 frames per second for super slo-mo playback (by comparison most Android phones max out at 240 frames per second).
And otherwise the XZ Premium is no slouch either. Draped in a reflective mirror finish, the 5.5-inch phone features a 4K HDR display, 3,230mAh battery, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.
Additionally, Sony is also ready to release its futuristic Xperia Touch projector, which turns any flat surface into a touch screen. Originally unveiled at last year’s MWC, it seemed like a wild concept that would never see the light of day, so it was surprising when Sony brought along a finished version of the Android Nougat-based projector to this year’s show.
The 5-inch box includes an array of sensors—GPS, ambient light, barometer, temperature, humidity, and human detection—as well as a 13MP camera and two-way stereo speaker that all work together to transform any flat surface into a fully interactive touch projection. If you’re sitting at a table, the viewing area will be 23 inches, but when projecting onto a wall it can expand the image up to 80 inches.
The Xperia Touch will go on sale June 16 for a whopping $1,700. It will only be available in a gold color.
Why this matters: Sony hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with its recent Android offerings, and it remains to be seen if the two products here will change that. While the Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia Touch certainly seem like well-made, high-end Android products, the high prices could keep buyers away. But the Xperia Touch is particularly intriguing. While the price will certainly relegate it to niche status for now, if Sony sticks with the platform and can somehow get it below $1,000, it could be a game-changer for Android, taking our apps and games beyond the small screens in our pockets and giving them a fresh new perspective.