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Sony Xperia Z Review

Sony Xperia Z 8.5

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Call quality

Sony Xperia Z Review
Just like with the camera, call quality is fine but nothing exceptional. The earpiece is a bit weak for our taste, meaning that you may have some trouble hearing your callers when in noisy locations. Do not expect wonders from the quality – everything will sound quite high and digital. Strangely, the sound that gets transmitted through the microphone of the Xperia Z gets somewhat modulated and appears distorted on the other end of the line. Lowering the volume can help you to remedy this issue, but still, it's something we though was worth mentioning because we haven't encountered it in many other phones.


The large body of the Xperia Z has allowed Sony to place a beefy 2330 mAh battery, and to tell you the truth, it's a good thing they have managed to fit this inside because we can imagine that the 5” display is requiring quite a bit of juice, especially when set at higher brightness levels.

As a result, the Xperia Z can offer theoretical 3G talk-time of up to 14 hours and theoretical 3G stand-by time of up to 22.1 days. That sounds pretty good, but keep in mind that if you regularly use your phone for more “advanced” stuff like camera, GPS, video playback or gaming, the battery life will quickly drop to one full day. If you are more of a moderate user, you should be able to get about two days of battery life out of it.

A neat feature here is the so-called Stamina mode, which allows the user to choose a number of features to be turned off once the device is locked. No need to worry – all of those features will be promptly reactivated upon unlocking the handset. It's a good tool that will let you boost your battery life should you find it not as long as you'd like.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z
4h 48 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S III
4h 8 min (Poor)
Samsung GALAXY Note II
6h 16 min (Average)
LG Optimus G
4h 23 min (Poor)
View all


Sony's Xperia Z is the first new flagship smartphone to arrive in 2013. The device is pretty impressive with its gigantic 5” 1080p screen, quad-core processor and so on. It has all the needed prerequisites to become a winner in the Android market, even if confronted by other top players from Samsung or LG.

Sony has done a wonderful job with the design of this phone. It could, of course, be even better, but we still see it as superior to what most of the other companies are currently doing with their flagship handsets. It's still early for any ultimate conclusions, though, because we're yet to see what Samsung, HTC and LG are to roll out this year, but by the looks of it the Xperia Z is to remain a relevant player even when those other handsets enter the fray. In the end, Sony's new flagship is a very well-rounded smartphone that will surely stand out from the crowd of Android devices in 2013.

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 4.1.2, Build 10.1.A.1.350


  • Exquisite glass design
  • Top-notch hardware
  • Water- and dust-resistant


  • Disappointing camera
  • Mediocre call-quality
PhoneArena rating:
8.5 Excellent
User rating:
9.1 69 Reviews

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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.


posted on 13 Feb 2013, 13:42 23

75. danny_a2005 (Posts: 208; 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: 368; 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: 906; 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: 962; 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"?

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 19:58 6

148. DerryAhmad (Posts: 284; 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: 178; 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
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Quad-core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
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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