Sony Xperia Z review

Don’t count out Sony Mobile. Sure,
the Japanese giant’s smartphone
arm may be an irrelevance in the
U.S. market right now, for reasons
we won’t get into here. But it’s
made steady progress in Europe
and the UK, where it’s now number
two in Android market share
behind Samsung. Admittedly, much
of that has been down to Sony’s
numerous entry-level and mid-
range devices like the Xperia Tipo
and Xperia U , rather than its high-
end stuff.

Sony Xperia Z comes
with some of the best specs on
the market - and it's one of the
most eagerly awaited handsets of
recent months. Launching before
the HTC One orSamsung Galaxy
S4 , Sony is clearly hoping to steal
an early march on its

And the early signs it will do so
are promising: a quad-core
1.5GHz Snaprdragon Krait
processor, 13MP camera, 16GB
storage (expandable, woohoo!),
2GB RAM, water and dust-
resistant, 1080p HD screen with
Bravia Engine, LTE, to name a
few. You couldn't make this stuff
up - this is the company that had
a part in the Satio, after all.

As soon as we took our review
unit out of the box, we were
mesmerised. This feels and looks
like a premium, high quality
product. Sony is one of the few
manufacturers that can take what
is, effectively, a plain black square
and make it into something
beautiful. Manufactured from
piano black, high gloss glass both
front and black, it could have
come from the same stable as the
Google Nexus 4 .

One thing the Sony Xperia Z certainly does have in common with every other smartphone out there is the fact that it is a pure magnet for fingerprints.
You'll struggle to
keep it clean all day long without
either surgical gloves or a can of
Mr Sheen in your bag.
As is fast becoming the norm, you
can expect to pick the Sony
Xperia Z up in white too. On top
of that, O2 in the UK is exclusively
offering a purple variant.

If you're coming from something
like a Samsung Galaxy S3 , it'll
feel similar, if a little larger, in
terms of size: the Sony Xperia Z
rocks in at 139 x 71 x
7.9mm/5.47 x 2.79 x 0.31
inches, so there's little room for
anything else in your hands.
Coming from something smaller
like, say, an iPhone 5 , you'll
certainly notice the difference. But
it's amazing how quickly you'll
At 146g/5.15oz, it's by no means
the lightest handset out there -
but the Sony Xperia Z exudes a
heftiness that belies a quality
device. It's on a par with Apple's
offering when it comes to the

One of the selling points of the Sony Xperia Z is that it is also water resistant. There's something slightly unnerving
about taking a £529 (around US
$817/AU$789) phone and
dropping it in the sink - but that's
exactly what we did. And it
worked absolutely fine.
Clearly, you'll need to make sure
the ports are covered using those
watertight protectors, that much
goes without saying.
And at £529 (around US$817/AU
$789) in the UK, this is not a
cheap handset by any stretch of
the imagination. It's actually the
same price as the comparable
SIM-free 16GB iPhone 5. Now,
that's not to say that Apple
product prices should set the
benchmark, but considering we've
often thrown out there that we
think iOS devices are hideously
overpriced, this is a very brave
move from Sony.

One thing you'll notice is that this
is one speedy son-of-a-Sony.
Naturally, with a quad-core
1.5GHz processor - and Android's
Project Butter enhancement -
we'd have expected it to be quick
on all but the most extreme of
tasks, so we found little here to
induce complaint.


Incredibly sharp and clear screen.
Speedy performance and sleek UI.
Solid build quality and attractive
chassis design. Waterproof
capabilities set it apart from other
high-end phones. Great camera


Plastic flaps will frustrate some
users. Non-ergonomic design and
large screen size make it a little
unwieldy. Quick-launch camera
bugs get in the way at crucial
moments. No dedicated camera


The main reason for passing on
the Xperia Z might be its chunky
dimensions and questionable
ergonomics. For those with small
hands, this could well be a deal-
breaker. To find out if that’s you,
go into a store and spend a few
minutes with a demo unit. (While
you're there, take a good look at
the HTC One, launching soon in
Europe around the same price
point as the Xperia Z.)


posted from Bloggeroid

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