In loving memory of Sony's Z-series: here are some of the most notable and compelling Xperia Z phones
Sony. Despite that it can't boast a formidable market share, lots and lots of noteworthy smartphones can trace their origins all the way back to Sony's factories. Of course, the majority of these are high-end phones, though Sony is catering to all market niches. No, we are not disregarding its mid-range and entry-level devices, as these offer very good value for money, but being the tech geeks we are, it's hard to get really excited by anything else than a high-end flagship.
And in Sony's case, this means a Z flagship. Sadly, this will no longer be the case.Don't worry, despite last year's flurry of speculations, Sony is going nowhere. Sadly, we can't say the same about the Z series lineup.
Earlier today, Sony's PR department officially confirmed that the Z-series is dead. Nixed. 86'd. Abolished. Scrapped. Eradicated. No more.
For the good or bad, that's the end of an era, an important chapter in Sony's history. However, we shouldn't dramatize - that's merely a name change. Still, nostalgia kicked in, one thing led to another, and here we are, highlighting our most favorite members of Sony's Xperia Z lineup.
With the Xperia Z1, Sony became truly competitive and caught up with its major rivals. The Xperia Z1 was a great phone, there's no second opinion. Both the exterior, with its high-quality build, and the interior, with its top-end specs and hence intriguing performance, the Z1 stood on par with any high-end Android phone you could throw at it.
One of the pioneering Android devices to combine compact dimensions and flagship, no-compromise hardware, was the impressive Xperia Z1 Compact. Save for the not-so-great screen-to-body ratio and a few minor interface nuisances, the Xperia Z1 Compact was a flawless device, commendable for its great camera, stylish exterior, and performance to die for.
G.O.A.T. — no, we are not manifesting our love for the domesticated animal, we are actually talking about the Xperia Z2, a pretty strong candidate for being one of Sony's "Greatest Of All Time" handsets. It did not only meet the expectations we had for it, it mostly crushed them to smithereens. We had to nitpick in order to find any notable flaws of the Z2. On all other fronts, the Sony Xperia Z2 shone and will forever have its name high up on Sony's Wall of Fame.
True, the Xperia Z3 brought only incremental improvements over the Z2, but did so in major areas: thinner chassis, faster processor, brighter display and better photo and audio quality than the Z2. The Xperia Z3 was a great upgrade for Z1 owners at the time, but Z2 users were not in the same situation. Still, the Xperia Z3 was a great device on its own, though it had to cope with the compelling shadow of its predecessor.
How do you follow up a great smartphone? Well, with an even greater one! Reiterating the winning formula that brought us the Z1 Compact, the Z3 Compact proved the be a substantially improved on most fronts: its out-worldly battery life, very good camera, excellent call quality, smooth performance, and well-built water-proof body made it one of our favorite phones of late 2014.
It might not be the greatest Xperia we've ever handled, but the Z5 Premium certainly is a harbinger of the future, mainly because of its 4K display that only acts as such in specific scenarios. Yet, the Z5 Premium felt a as just an OK smartphone - its software needs a rehash to make the user experience feel fresh and modern, while its camera exhibits noticeable shutter lag. On the good side, battery life is excellent, call quality is great, and the interface is mostly snappy and clean, not to mention that the handset is water-resistant.