Pawing The Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Ah, the current superphone! It has a 4K screen. Which mainly runs at 1080, except for media, but it can be hacked to make 4K run all of the time (unless you need to make a phone call!).

I didn’t spend much time with it. I just pawed at it, didn’t do a full fondle or even Google Books PDF test. My main interest was VR-related, so I did this:

Yeah, called up a 4K SBS 3D YouTube video to see what I could see.

And yeah, 2160 is 4K. A screensnap from desktop YouTube, showing 8K as an option:

I really can’t say much about performance since I only did this one thing. I wanted to peer at the pixels and try to judge how it’d look in a VR headset. What I found weird is that although Sony’s own Album photo software displays 4K sample images, they really can’t be pinch-zoomed more than Google’s own Gallery/Photos apps. I expected to really dive in. But no.

As far as I know, it still hasn’t been hacked to run Daydream View VR. And I haven’t found any definitive reports of how it is even for use in a Cardboard-like headset.

US$800 is a lot to ask just for 4K VR without Daydream View VR compatibility.

There are two factors that mitigate against buying it:

1) The big IFA show is September and Sony has three handsets for d├ębut. Could any of them have a 4K OLED display and Daydream View compatibility? Let’s not forget that Sony was an OLED pioneer. Their final model of CLIE had an OLED screen! And that was back in 2004. So a surprise 4K OLED screen is not impossible.

2) The iPhone 8 is coming. It’ll probably be more expensive but it’ll have an OLED screen, NFC, and could possibly run Daydream View. That the screen might not even be a full 2K might not be an issue. Let’s not forget that Pixel Fill Factor is what matters:

Having already dominated AR out from under Google’s Tango, the next iPhone could do the same for VR. Which would be no surprise as the last Google event seemed to de-emphasize VR. But it would be a shame to see Sony miss out.

One final screensnap (really, I didn’t do a lot with it!):

Previously here:

Sony Xperia XZ Premium: No Daydream VR?
The Ultimate VR Phone: Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Video: Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Doing True 4K VR
Virtual Reality category

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