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Sony Xperia Z Review

Sony Xperia Z 8.5

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Interface and Functionality

Thankfully, the Sony Xperia Z comes straight with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, so customers will be getting all the major new Android features right out of the box. It's not the newest Android version, sadly, but Android 4.2 brings mostly minor improvements so we can live with what Sony's giving us here. Still, we hope that it won't take long for Sony to release an update.

On top, however, we find Sony's custom user interface. The UI is quite unobtrusive, which should be good for the purists out there. In our opinion, this is one of the most polished custom UI for Android. It's certainly not the most feature-rich, but it is filled with subtle animations here and there making it feel fun and exciting to use. One thing we don't like is the unlock method which requires you to swipe upwards or downwards. However, exactly how long your swipe should be isn't indicated in any way. It's just not the most intuitive thing, but it's not a big problem, especially when you get used to it.

Sony Xperia Z comes straight with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean - Sony Xperia Z Review
Sony Xperia Z comes straight with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean - Sony Xperia Z Review
Sony Xperia Z comes straight with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean - Sony Xperia Z Review
Sony Xperia Z comes straight with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean - Sony Xperia Z Review

Sony Xperia Z comes straight with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean


All of the essential apps like Phone, Contacts, Messaging and so on have been customized, they are quite simplistic and straightforward. Thanks to the redesign, however, their appearance is in line with the rest of the user interface.

The on-screen QWERTY keyboard - Sony Xperia Z Review
The on-screen QWERTY keyboard - Sony Xperia Z Review

The on-screen QWERTY keyboard

Sony has also changed the on-screen QWERTY keyboard. There's one thing we don't like about it, though – the dot has been put in the “misc” part of the keyboard, which makes writing a bit of a hassle if you aren't used to using the double-tap spacebar shortcut, which automatically adds a dot and a space.

There's nothing to write home about when it comes to the calendar – it's just a simple calendar app with easy access to month, week and day views. Sony has also create some mini-app kind of features (it calls them “small apps”), similar to the mini-apps in Samsung's tablets. The company has found just the right place for those – when you press the multitasking key, just below the open applications list you see all the available small apps, which, by default, include a calculator, timer, note and voice note, but there's also a good number of additional ones that you can install. We like this concept because it makes these basic features easy to access from anywhere in the UI, plus they are well made.

The calendar app - Sony Xperia Z Review
The calendar app - Sony Xperia Z Review
The calendar app - Sony Xperia Z Review
The calendar app - Sony Xperia Z Review

The calendar app



Processor and Memory

You cannot impress anyone these days if your product doesn't sport a bombastic specs sheet, so Sony has made sure to equip the Xperia Z with all necessary features for it to survive in the dangerous Android jungle. The processor is nothing out of the ordinary – it's the tried and true Snapdragon S4 Pro with four Krait cores clocked at 1.5 GHz. These are complemented by the Adreno 320 GPU, which packs quite a punch and is capable of running pretty much every game or app smoothly.

The Xperia Z is also well-equipped in terms of system memory with a total of 2GB of RAM, while the internal storage space is 16GB. That's by no means a small amount, but just in case you happen to need more, there's always the option to install a microSD card. In the end, you should have enough space to store all your favorite content on the device.

Performance benchmarks

Quadrant
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z 8221
Samsung Galaxy S III 5335
Samsung GALAXY Note II 6501
LG Optimus G 7750
AnTuTu
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z 20835
Samsung Galaxy S III 15152
Samsung GALAXY Note II 20771
LG Optimus G 9565
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
Samsung GALAXY Note II 18
LG Optimus G 37
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z 626
Samsung GALAXY Note II 623
LG Optimus G 580
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z 2198
Samsung GALAXY Note II 1882
LG Optimus G 1637
View all


Internet and Connectivity

Some manufacturers of Jelly Bean phones prefer to keep the stock ICS browser along with Google's Chrome, but Sony isn't among them. The Xperia Z comes with Chrome as its exclusive tool for surfing the web, and the experience is good enough. There's some minimal lag found with Chrome, but this is present in pretty much every Android smartphone with this browser, so it's not Sony's mistake.

Overall, browsing the web is pretty satisfying, especially with this giant, high-resolution screen. Chrome features capable double-tap zooming and artificially increases the font size of certain pieces of text like in Apple's Safari in order to make reading more convenient. What's left is for Google to optimize its performance some more.

The Xperia Z comes with Chrome as its exclusive tool for surfing the web - Sony Xperia Z Review
The Xperia Z comes with Chrome as its exclusive tool for surfing the web - Sony Xperia Z Review
The Xperia Z comes with Chrome as its exclusive tool for surfing the web - Sony Xperia Z Review
The Xperia Z comes with Chrome as its exclusive tool for surfing the web - Sony Xperia Z Review

The Xperia Z comes with Chrome as its exclusive tool for surfing the web


In terms of connectivity options, the Sony Xperia Z everything you may ever need, including high-speed HSPA+ connectivity (up to 42.2 Mbit/s down) and LTE. It supports all standard Wi-Fi protocols like 'a,' 'b,' 'g' and 'n,' as well as 'n' on the 5GHz band. Bluetooth is supported in its 4.0 iteration, and, of course, there's NFC for those who can find a useful application for it. By the way, the microUSB port also doubles as an HDMI connector for TV-out functionality.

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posted on 13 Feb 2013, 12:11 7

42. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Exactly...lol. If I based what buy on 1 website's review, I would have neve got the Droid X.

Consumer Reports is the exception when it comes to cars, and maybe cameras...lol. For everything else I go to many sources.

In fact....I and probably all of us would probably have an iPhone if I, we based it off of reviews....

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 11:00 18

1. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)


only 8.5 ? I though buy xperia z but xperia death for me now

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 11:14 63

9. boosook (Posts: 1442; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


LOL! Do you really base your choiche of what to buy or not to buy on a rating on a single website? Go and try the product yourself, or at least check and compare reviews on multiple websites, youtube and forums from users that you know are reliable.
What can disappoint someone can be positive for others, for example I like sharp edges and hate rounded phones...

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 11:36 6

22. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 704; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


now wait coz beast is coming soon..............S

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 13:34 4

71. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Another reason (for me at least) to skip the Z - no VZW service. The GS IV will certainly be available on VZW. And maybe the HTC will be available on VZW as well.

Sony should have learned from Nokia about not releasing a phone on VZW. It tends to hurt your U.S. sales.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 12:17 16

48. SonyXperiaNexus (Posts: 374; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


oh please, 8.5 isn't bad at all. by the looks of your comment it looks like you never had any interest in the z in the first place and just need smthing bad to point out. anyway lets look at the con shall we. disappointing camera? i agree it isn't what it was hyped up to be but it still isn't 'dissappointing'. its not the best but it isn't bad and is still an excellent camera. plus, rating is different for every site and anyway what did the note 2 score? a 9, which is just a point 5 away and is also due to the extra functionality of the S pen. also many of the things are subjective so you have to choose what you like rather than what other people like.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 12:34 10

57. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)


Sad that the emerging leader in almost every class of camera can only come up with "mediocre" image quality for their flagship device.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 13:11 12

67. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


The camera was like I always said average. It's actually disappointing as per Ray S. My HTC Droid DNA has a better camera, it has the 1080p HD screen & the Qualcomm Krait S4 Pro. Also I have had all that tech since Nov. of 2012.

People should skip this phone & get the new HTC M7/One or the Samsung Galaxy S IV, because those 2 phones will be out weeks after the Xperia Z if not sooner.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 13:41 4

74. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


That is a GREAT point.

I like the Sony Xperia Z but my problem is that it's too similar to last years HTC Droid DNA/Butterfly J.

The Xperia Z is 2012 tech not 2013 tech like the new HTC M7/One or the Samsung Galaxy S IV.

+1

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 13:42 23

75. danny_a2005 (Posts: 191; Member since: 06 Oct 2011)


Ray S just gives 9.0 and up to apple devices even though they are all the same, if Joooooohn V had this review done it would have at least 9.0. I think this phone is perfect... And I'm buying it even if it had a 1.0 review

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 13:49 16

77. mansoor (Posts: 4; Member since: 13 Feb 2013)


8.5 is bad because it deserves a lot higher score than that.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 13:59 4

79. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


The M7 is going to be even more outdated than the DNA. the Qualcomm 600 isn't ready yet and the Tegra 4 will probably suck, so the M7 will be a 4.7 inch S4 pro phone that is the same size as the DNA and bigger than the Xperia Z. Talk about fail.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 14:00 39

80. Ray.S (Posts: 357; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


Actually, I haven't done a single review of an Apple device, so you don't know how much I would give it. :P

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 14:12 7

86. MartyK (Posts: 884; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


He got you confuse with Alan F. , now that person loves some Apples...hahaha

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 14:29 4

89. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


You say that like it's a fact. The S600 is sampling right now, and it's going to be available in Q2. So that mean HTC could announce it in late February, and have it launched a little bit more than a month later when Q2 starts.

Also, the Tegra 4 will definitely not suck. With 28nm true A15 cores, and they're buffed up GPU which might be up to par with the PowerVR SGX554MP4 in the iPad 4, I think the Tegra 4 would be a pretty big improvement from the S4 Pro.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 14:40 11

94. ahmed_ali_yossef2010 (Posts: 164; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


gsmarena preview said the camera is excellent and the video is awesome and you said that the video failed to impress ? explain

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 15:01 9

104. gescalona (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Apr 2011)


Ray S. gave 8 to the HTC Desire C and 8.9 to the Samsung Galaxy S III mini. So, the Sony Xperia Z is just a bit better than the HTC Desire C, and worse than the Samsung Galaxy S III mini. really Ray S.?

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 15:25 5

106. Emily1985 (Posts: 127; Member since: 08 Nov 2012)


Nokia Lumia 920 Review score: 9.0
Sony Xperia Z Review score : 8.5
Nokia Lumia 920 Win !!!!!

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 15:41 4

108. feres13 (Posts: 306; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


Dude it's like comparing an audi Q5 to a Porsche cayenne, they're not in the same class, compare the audi to the bmw x3 and the porsche to the x5, the S3 mini is a midrange phone and the xperia z is a high end phone.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 16:01

112. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


@SuperAndroidEvo this phone competes with the HTC One specs, the HTC One is a droid DNA with some monior upgrades like 13mp camera. The s4 pro is still the best processor in phones in 2013 right now this isn't outdated till a phone gets a Tegra 4, snapdragon 800 or exynos 5 quad core which won't happen till this summer.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 16:14 6

119. AshishRomea (Posts: 145; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


your biased ! this needs atleast 9.0 , common whats even wrong with the phone ?

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:18 4

137. gescalona (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Apr 2011)


8.9 for a midrange phone and 8.5 for a highend phone ? is that make any sense to you? I wasn't compare the phones, i just saying that Ray S. believe that the S3 mini is better than the Xperia Z. according to his reviews

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:27 1

138. Birds (Posts: 1171; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


Mmmmmm... Feisty....

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:38 4

141. Birds (Posts: 1171; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


He doesn't think the SIII is better, Ray S. just isn't 100% satisfied with the handset considering that is is supposed to be high end and only performs "well" in some areas and not "spectacular".....

For the SIII mini, it is the most pleasing handset with the particular hardware limitations it was built with. Do you get my point now?

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 19:21 5

145. hung2900 (Posts: 958; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


Don't make the fake quote, man.
GsmArena just told us a little bit about camera user interface and some functions without evaluating the quality , so where could you find the words"excellent" or "awesome"?
http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_z-review-884p7.php

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 19:58 6

148. DerryAhmad (Posts: 281; Member since: 05 May 2012)


The Xpera Z got 8.5 while the iPhone5 go 9.0 just doesn't seem right.
Also It'd also be nicer if we get to see the camera comparison between the Z and iPhone5/Galaxy S3/Lumia920 in the review to see where it stand in the competition.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 22:21 3

155. chaosnightmare (Posts: 176; Member since: 20 May 2010)


the brand i guess, sony sucks so much

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 23:22 5

160. soshi (Posts: 154; Member since: 08 Mar 2012)


If this xperia Z consider as midrange phone with same price as sIII mini it will score 15/10. It is going to be weird if low end phone score 1/10 because the comparison also with high end phone.

Score should showing us not about what feature it has but how good is that feature qulity. For example, Sony xperia A with single core processor but optimize it speed at max will score better than Sony xperia B with quad core but perform only slightly better than dual core phone.

We can read all the feature in specification sheet, so score review need to tell us how this feature work in reality

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 00:00

162. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Not according to what I read. The Qualcomm 600 is still a ways away and in that same article he said that the Tegra 4 was no competition and similar to the S4 pro. So yeah...

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 01:42

166. mickaahmed (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


dnt blv in phonearena they r the most worst mobile review site :S they r anoyning people cuz 1 of my frnd living in japan he bought a xperia z he told me that its most beautiful set in current market and its camera is 1 of the best in mobile he compares its camera with other populer divices only nokia pure view's camera is little bit good otherwise this divece is far batter than any other like galaxy s3 note 2 iphn 5 and some htc im really dispointed with phonearena :P in beanchmark tests xperia z is far ahead to any other divics

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Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z

OS: Android 5.1 5.0 4.4.4 4.4.2 4.3 4.2.2 4.1.2
view full specs
Display5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (443 ppi) TFT
Camera13.1 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Quad-core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
2 GB RAM
Size5.47 x 2.80 x 0.31 inches
(139 x 71 x 7.9 mm)
5.15 oz  (146 g)
Battery2330 mAh, 11 hours talk time

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