If the top players in the mobile industry are releasing their flagships once in a year, Sony took a more aggressive approach – reducing the time-frame to six months or so in between.

In mobile industry, six months in improvements means only a little since many core manufacturers upgrade their products annually. Despite bringing several small updates at its heart, there’s one thing that you would notice at quick: the “Loop” design.

We don’t have any idea as to why the company call it “loop” but admittedly, it’s a gorgeous metal device with shiny glass-alike finish. It’s relatively colder when grasped and the tapered edges makes it more pleasant in palm. The back case is made from special aluminium alloy called ‘Alkaleido’ that feels glossy but prone to catching fingerprints and stains.

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The 5.2-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080p) display is covered by Gorilla Glass 4. The screen is kind of an IPS LCD, packing Sony’s Triluminous and X-Reality technology. The display is undoubtedly sharp enough, but we were hoping that Sony should introduce the Quad HD (2560 x 1440p) – just like the Z5 Premium version – to help us see more clarity on VR headset.

Don’t expect for Nougat 7.0 here because Sony still retain the Android 6.0 Marshmallow with their own age-old UI skin. If you were using Sony smartphones few years behind you wouldn’t notice a big difference.

Moving to the internal specification, the Sony Xperia XZ is packed with Snapdragon 820 and 3 GB of RAM. While the 820 is currently the flagship chipset, but the actual performance is slightly lower than a flagship level. If you love gaming on the phone, it’s worth noticing that the device sports an Adreno 530 GPU – the fastest in mobile category. The company also supply the device with 32 GB or optional 64 GB of storage. The USB Type-C reversible connector is in there too beside the WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity.

Xperia XZ features 23-megapixel main camera with Sony’s very own IMX300 sensor that comes with 1/2.3-inch size. The lens comes with f/2.0 aperture and 6-elements construction. Although the camera can shoot at its maximum resolution, we recommend to stick to auto 8-megapixel due to better dynamics and clarity. At the front, there’s 13-megapixel sensor to maximize your selfie effort.

Speaking of battery, Sony packed the device with non-removable 2900 mAh cell that nearly came close to Samsung Galaxy S7 in terms of durability.The phone is also support Quick Charging 3.0.

Sony Xperia XZ is currently being sold for $700 in United States. For a $50 less, you can grab the hyped iPhone 7 with all of its nitty-gritty and remarkable performance. Down for another $50 less, the all-powerful Galaxy S7 could be yours.