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Sony Xperia Z Review

Sony Xperia Z 8.5

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Camera

Sony has traditionally been strong in the camera department. Even then, its smartphones haven't always had the best shooters, which comes to show the heated competition in this space. For the Xperia Z, however, the company from Japan has used its newest sensor, the 13-megapixel Exmor RS. This new sensor allows for some neat new features like HDR video recording and an advanced burst mode. Will the quality of its photos be high enough, though? With capable opponents like the Lumia 920, iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III, Sony's Xperia Z will really have to show us something spectacular. Let's take a look at its camera UI first!

We enjoyed working with this camera interface, due to its simplicity and optimized layout. There are still many different settings and options to play with, but most of them are neatly placed in a single sub-menu, making the UI feel simple and clean.

The camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z is simple and optimized - Sony Xperia Z Review
The camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z is simple and optimized - Sony Xperia Z Review
The camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z is simple and optimized - Sony Xperia Z Review
The camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z is simple and optimized - Sony Xperia Z Review

The camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z is simple and optimized


The 13MP camera with Exmor RS sensor of the Xperia Z is fine, but nothing to write home about. Details in outdoor, daylight conditions are a bit muddy, and the images tend to come out a bit dark at times. The built-in HDR mode can fix this in most situations, though not always. Colors are on the colder side, which we don't really like, but overall the results are tolerable with no major issues.

Indoor images taken in brightly lit rooms are mostly OK – there's a bit of noise but nothing out of the ordinary. As the light starts to get dimmer, the photos naturally start to become muddier and noisier. The LED flash will allow you to take a picture of something even in complete darkness, but do not expect any pleasant surprises. The good thing is that the camera manages to stay away from any color anomalies when shooting indoors, so the photos look natural for the most part.


The 1080p video recording is quite smooth, but once again the details level is medium at best, so the overall video quality fails to impress. The interesting thing about the camcorder of the Xperia Z is that it can capture HDR video. This option may come in handy in some low-light or night situations. You can see the two night video samples below - one of them is taken without HDR, and the other one is with HDR. As you can see there, HDR makes the image a big brighter, but also introduces quite a lot of unpleasant noise in the scene, so it'll really depend on the specific situation whether or not it's worth it to use HDR video.

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z 3
4
987
948
Samsung Galaxy S III 2.5
No data
833
534
Samsung GALAXY Note II 3.4
No data
No data
No data
LG Optimus G 3.30
5
No data
No data
View all











Multimedia

The Walkman music player is quite cool and simplistic - Sony Xperia Z Review
The Walkman music player is quite cool and simplistic - Sony Xperia Z Review

The Walkman music player is quite cool and simplistic

Of course, the Sony Xperia Z is a wonderful phone to watch video on. The display is gorgeous and very big so you can easily watch full-length movies on it. It supports all the popular formats, and even if you manage to find a video that is not playable with the stock player, you should be able to fix this by downloading a capable third-party player from the Play Store.

The Xperia Z comes with a Sony headset in the box, the sound it provides is quite enjoyable. Sony has even provided additional ear-gels so that you can find the right size for you. And finding the right size for you is pretty important, by the way. When you're listening to music with that headset, make sure that it fits tightly, because otherwise you won't be enjoying any bass. The Walkman music player is quite cool and simplistic. It lacks “bonus” features like the “Music Square” from Samsung's phones (not a big loss), but has all the necessities such as some sound enhancing tools (ex. xLOUD) and an equalizer with many presents, including a custom option. If you don't like the Walkman player, the Xperia Z also comes with the standard Jelly Bean player, as strange as having two music players might be.

The picture and video galleries have also been customized by Sony, and we have to admit that the result is very good. The new apps have a very fresh and consumer-centric design. The Sony touch has worked quite well here.

Sony Xperia Z Review
Sony Xperia Z Review


Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z 0.37
Samsung Galaxy S III 0.3
Samsung GALAXY Note II 0.30
LG Optimus G 0.28
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z 67
Samsung Galaxy S III 79
Samsung GALAXY Note II 80
LG Optimus G 84
View all

333 Comments
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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, 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, 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 15 Feb 2013, 01:41 11

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


920 can only win brick of the year 2012 :P

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 10:10 1

304. giri555 (Posts: 111; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)


wow..you are so intelligent :)

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 10:08 4

303. giri555 (Posts: 111; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)


So many Negative comments and feedback about your site?
Hope you have learnt a lesson??
Don't underestimate the knowledge of the visitors of this site, visitors will not buyin to whatever garbage you throw...why am I even coming back to this filthy site...damn I wasted my time typing this...

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 13:42 23

75. danny_a2005 (Posts: 261; 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, 14:00 39

80. Ray.S (Posts: 380; 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: 923; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


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

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 14:40 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, 19:21 5

145. hung2900 (Posts: 965; 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 15 Feb 2013, 03:55

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


Videos come up with excellent detail and a solid 30fps framerate

this from the preview and I won't keep the whole review in my mind with the very words

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, 22:21 3

155. chaosnightmare (Posts: 179; Member since: 20 May 2010)


the brand i guess, sony sucks so much

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:27 1

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


Mmmmmm... Feisty....

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 06:38 3

192. schinnak (Posts: 100; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


It was a good review. S3 was top of the cream when it was launched in terms of specs and new features on touchwiz. It fully deserved the score.

Now you have droid DNA, galaxy note 2 etc with similar specs which came before xperia Z. Apart from the dust proof and water proof thingy - what else sets this phone apart and on the top???

The score and review is fully justifiable.8.5/10 is a good score for this phone.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 11:21 1

214. ravearamashi (Posts: 11; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


Absolutely true. It's all about software features, benchmarks and processor power doesn't matter anymore as long as the device is running on Jelly Bean, any dual core and above phone would be able to run it lag-free in theory. It goes the same to Droid DNA and Optimus G and Note II. DNA and Optimus G specs and benchmarks blows Note II out of the water, but in terms of software features such as the Multiwindows while on Optimus G and DNA, you don't have lots of features compared to Note II, and that's why Note II overall just wins because Samsung took the device potential to the max

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 08:27 2

273. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2216; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Better design, NFC support, thinner, better construction, better build, better functions (ie, battery stamina mode) expandable storage, higher resolution camera (better detail), thinner, lighter,Jelly Bean out of the box,

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 08:25

272. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2216; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Indeed :D

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 08:25 1

271. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2216; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Lol :D

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 07:03 1

194. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


galaxy s3 got 9.3
:D
galaxy s4 might got 9.5 above or else that wud be very disappointing haha

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 22 Feb 2013, 04:09

312. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


S? Sucker?

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, 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 14 Feb 2013, 06:49 4

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


but you are forgetting that phonearena, or at least the author was never known to be too optimistic of sony. it surely deserves higher scores but for phonearena, well you should get used to this sort of stuff. you know what i do? i add 1 or at least a 0.5 to their score if its sony and -1 if its apple.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 19:58 6

148. DerryAhmad (Posts: 285; 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 15 Feb 2013, 03:27 1

262. gboo2565 (Posts: 10; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


I have a feeling you wouldn't like the result of that camera comparison Derry..Does seem a bit strange though that Sony can't get their camera quality up..

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 08:28 3

274. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2216; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


I know, the Iphone doesn't even have a 720p HD screen, and many phones made in the same year did! -_-

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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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