Sony Xperia XZ Premium tips, tricks and hidden features

Sony’s new top dog, the Xperia XZ Premium is an undeniable powerhouse, but what good is power if you don’t know how to truly wield it? If you’ve picked up or are considering this super-smartphone, these tips and tricks may be of use.

Sony Assistant

Whether you’re an old hand with Android or a complete newbie, check out the XZ Premium’s Assistant when you first start off with the phone. Found near the bottom of the settings menu it replaces the old ‘Intro & Tips’ option, collating information regarding the phone’s key features and functions, and laying out how to use them in a clear, concise way.

What’s more, it grants quick access to handy battery and performance tools too.

Battery Care

One such tool worth mentioning is Battery Care – a feature we first encountered on last year’s Xperia XZ. You can access it from the Assistant or under the Battery option in the settings menu. Just toggle it on and you can leave your phone plugged in overnight knowing that it won’t constantly be trying to take on charge to stay a 100 per cent until it’s needed for the next day.

Smart backlight control

A simple but effective tool that’s more reliable than Samsung’s Smart Stay feature, you’ll find the toggle for smart backlight control in the Display section of the settings menu. Once on the phone can detect when it’s being held, so even if your backlight timeout is set to just 15 seconds, the phone’s screen will remain on until you put it down.

Better visuals

Spend five minutes with the XZ Premium and you’ll quickly learn that it’s got some serious multimedia muscle, not least because it’s the first phone with a 4K HDR-capable display. What’s more, you can customise your viewing experience under the ‘Quality’ section of the display settings.

The ‘colour gamut and contrast’ option has the most powerful tools, letting you alter the colour settings for a more realistic or more vibrant viewing experience.

It’s also worth toying with the video image enhancement option. We prefer it switched off, but if you want your content to really ‘pop’, flip it on.

Better audio

What good are pretty pixels if they’re not accompanied by solid sound? If you’re more of a music lover, the DSEE HX option will upscale locally stored music files to near Hi-Res Audio quality when using headphones, otherwise, the ClearAudio+ feature will generally boost the XZ Premium’s audio chops. Both features live within Audio Settings section under ‘quality’ in the sound settings menu.

Home screen personalisation

If you want to tailor the experience of navigating around your XZ Premium, long-press on a blank area of your main home screen. Changing the grid size will let you fit more apps and shortcuts on a single home screen, whilst diving into the Home Settings app lets you alter screen transitions, the look or behaviour of icons and more.

Picking the right slow motion mode

Being able to shoot at 960 frames per second is arguably the XZ Premium’s biggest party piece but the phone’s descriptions for each of the settings behind shooting in super slow motion video aren’t all that clear.

Open up the main camera, swipe into video mode and tap the slow motion button next to the record button in the viewfinder. Then tap the cog icon to get at the three slow motion shooting modes.

Super Slow Motion shoots standard 720p HD video that includes a burst of 960fps footage when you press the button whilst recording (you can press it multiple times within the same clip) – this will likely be the best option in most cases as you can catch a little of the action either side of the slow motion footage and also watch the brilliant transition from fast to slow and back again.

Super Slow (one-shot) lets you capture a single second of 960fps footage as a standalone clip, whilst standard Slow Motion mode record a 720p HD clip at 120fps with the option to drag a highlight around where you want the slow motion to kick in after the fact.