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Sony Xperia Z1 Review

Posted: , by Ray S.

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Call quality


Sony Xperia Z1 Review
Although not really amazing, the Xperia Z1 does a good job when it comes to sound quality during calls. Loudness is just enough, while voices tend to sound clear enough to be easy to comprehend. Naturally, there's a second mic on the Z1, which is used for noise-cancellation, so your callers should be able to make out what you're saying even if you happen to be in a noisy environment. On the other side of the line, callers are mostly pleased by what they hear, though this will depend on a lot of factors, so the experience may not always be great.

As we said, the loudspeaker is neither very powerful, nor high-quality. It'll do the job if you're in a quieter place, but forget about using it outside when it's noisy.

Battery


Based on the data provided by Sony, the Xperia Z1 should be a champ in terms of battery life. The beefy 3000 mAh battery unit of the smartphone is said to provide about 15 hours of 3G talk-time, and the cool 35 days of 3G stand-by time. If you're using the handset in a 4G area, stand-by time should be just a bit lower at 31 days, which is still a great achievement.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage.

Time
Higher is better
LG G2
6h 48 min (Good)
HTC One
5h 45 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min (Average)
View all


Conclusion


Sony Xperia Z1 Review
With the Xperia Z1, Sony has finally become truly competitive. The Japanese company has been experiencing great difficulties during the last few years, but after a relatively lengthy transition, it's finally caught up with the big players of the wireless industry.

Design-wise, the Sony Xperia Z1 is a great device. It's definitely a looker – more eye-catchy than most other Android models, and you can easily tell that it's a high-end product,, too, thanks to its solid glass and metal casing. The downside to its exterior is that it's quite bulky when compared to most Android phones with 5” displays out there.

Under the hood, the Z1 doesn't lag behind in any respect. With the powerful Snapdragon 800 and 2 gigs of RAM, the Z1 stands right next to the best Android flagships of the second half of the year.

The pleasant surprise in this whole package — the G Lens camera — finally managed to convince us that Sony has indeed created a winner with the Xperia Z1. The camera easily outperforms any other Android smartphone out there as far as picture-taking goes. Sadly, the video isn't anything spectacular, but at least it's not too bad.

With the Z1, Sony has not only caught up with the competition. It's safe to say that it has even managed to leapfrog it in some areas. We can't say that the Xperia Z1 is the best Android smartphone out there right now, because it doesn't really outshine all the other handsets in each and every area, but it's definitely a wonderful and well-balanced product that will certainly make competing companies, such as Samsung, HTC and LG, want to do even better with their next flagships.

Speaking of the others, if the Xperia Z1 isn't really your cup of tea for some reason, you can simply take a look at the LG G2, Samsung Galaxy S4, or HTC One, which can all be great alternatives to the Sony Xperia Z1.

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 4.2.2; Build 14.1.G.1.518



Pros

  • Good-looking and high-quality exterior
  • Amazing camera
  • Great performance
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Bulky, compared to other phones with 5” displays
  • Mediocre loudspeaker
PhoneArena rating:
9.2
User rating:
9.6 48 Reviews
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137 Comments
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posted on 20 Sep 2013, 10:46 11

1. Ninetysix (Posts: 1476; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


http://blog.gsmarena.com/the-sony-xperia-z1-battery-tests-are-done-heres-the-score/

"Based on the data provided by Sony, the Xperia Z1 should be a champ in terms of battery life. The beefy 3000 mAh battery unit of the smartphone is said to provide about 15 hours of 3G talk-time, and the cool 35 days of 3G stand-by time. If you're using the handset in a 4G area, stand-by time should be just a bit lower at 31 days, which is still a great achievement."

Might want to reword that paragraph cuz it's far from being a champ.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:05 11

3. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


Different reviews have different ways of testing battery life. So PA now have to edit this review to suite GSMArena's way of benchmarking batteries?

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:05 2

4. dmn666 (Posts: 194; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Retarded post from gsmarena. Sony ditched stock android browser long time ago because chrome browser blows out the outdated android stock browser in all sorts of performance categories. So if you're comparing browsing times from chrome and stock browser, you're basically making fun of yourself. Faster browser will always drain the battery faster - Physics 101.

If you don't like it, there is root - install the outdated stock crap and enjoy longer battery life.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:02 3

27. SetiroN (Posts: 8; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)


Hey look, someone being a smartass without the slightest basis on the internet! How novel!

But wait - physics!

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 23:52 2

75. SleepingOz (unregistered)


"Faster browser will always drain the battery faster - Physics 101" LMAO!!!

posted on 22 Sep 2013, 00:46

100. Finest (Posts: 76; Member since: 16 Aug 2013)


R.I.P - Physics 101.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:08 1

5. rawbow (Posts: 409; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


Yeah, I really want to know the battery performance. How's this a review if after having the phone you don't test the battery performance.

I remember there was an article by you guys which specifically stated your new procedure of testing batteries.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:05 2

30. SetiroN (Posts: 8; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)


apparently they don't test batteries, at lest in every review I've seen they just quote manufacturer specifications and eventually confirm whether it lasts one day- LOL.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:22

12. theZED (Posts: 25; Member since: 09 May 2012)


Xperia ZR has 62hrs endurance rating in GSMarena. So I think Sony can improve Z1's battery life through next firmware updates.

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 00:05 2

78. g_olano (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Sep 2013)


GSMA had confirmed that their Z1 unit reviewed was a pre production release and that has a hardware issues...you might not want to rely on their review rather on those sites that uses a retail Z1 (production release).

thanks.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:03 13

2. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


Great job!
Sony is definitely going to sell more of this compared to HTC or Nokia!

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:11 6

6. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1047; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


If this had an AMOLED display I would actually go for it. That way it'd have beautiful viewing angles and those perfect blacks to blend in with the bezels just perfectly.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:52

21. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1047; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


Btw, Does anyone know what type of glass this phone uses?

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:02

26. aditya.k (Posts: 459; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


Probably a DragonTail glass, which they also used in the XZ! :) Not sure though!

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:23

36. papss (unregistered)


Gsmarena said its dragon tail

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 03:26

87. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2495; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Dragontrail on the front gorilla glass 3 on the back

posted on 13 Nov 2013, 21:47

132. TechCrazyedBoy (Posts: 129; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


Yup u got that right..

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 15:30

54. Feanor (Posts: 295; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


I'd like to see the screen live. I have seen the screen of the Z Ultra and the viewing angles are good. I cannot believe that the Z1 is any different. Anyway, 9.2 score is better than I was expecting.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 18:57 2

65. thelukewarm (Posts: 18; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)


mannn......... there's one reason I don't like samsung smartphones, wait actually two: blue ass screens and ugly icons design, maybe TFT screens on sony has bad view angles, but, colors are less saturated and whites are more natural. Out of the subject: sense and timescape IUs are my favorites

posted on 22 Sep 2013, 00:49

101. Finest (Posts: 76; Member since: 16 Aug 2013)


Then Sammy would be great for you :] put it in a plastic bag then "poof" waterproof :]

posted on 25 Aug 2014, 02:52

139. omii03 (Posts: 2; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)


yah u right

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:13 8

7. anleoflippy (Posts: 251; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


I don't get why is the viewing of the Z1 is bad when the Z Ultra uses the exact same tech on the screen.

Overall, good score PA and also a very satisfying review. I'm definitely going to trade in my ZL for this. I don't view my phone at an angle anyway and if I wanted to show it to my friends, I'll just give it to them or show it to them head on.
Kudos to SONY for making another great phone.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:19

10. anleoflippy (Posts: 251; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


viewing angles I mean

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 13:50 2

45. TMach (Posts: 349; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Not sure why you seem to assume the viewing angles are bad! I have owned this for a full day now and was watching Immortals on it and you can hold the phone flat and still see the images very clearly.

The viewing angles are certainly 100% improved but I am not bothered about that as I never view my content at an angle! If that is your way of viewing content, the viewing angles are fine for that weirdness. Whatever your fancy, the colours are brilliant and literally pop off the screen. Amazing! On the battery point, my phone has been on since 07.00 hrs and I still have 50% juice left after heavy use, it now 19.51hrs! Not crazy about the size but once I held it, it just feels top end/premium! The camera is also amazing.....! Never mind, haters will always hate 'cos their lives are empty but this is a significant improvement on the XZ which was an outstanding phone, by the way......!!

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 16:13 4

56. Immolate (Posts: 274; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)


If you hold the phone flat, you can see the side of the phone.

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 02:29

83. TMach (Posts: 349; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Not if the phone is lower than eye level!

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:17 1

8. theZED (Posts: 25; Member since: 09 May 2012)


Great review. Should setup a battery testing chart.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:18 11

9. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7711; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Excellent review on the Z1. Phone definitely deserve a 9.2 considering it's one of the best phones overall to ever be released. :)

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 13:06 4

42. HalaMadrid (Posts: 92; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)


I thought you are a sony hater.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 13:11

43. anleoflippy (Posts: 251; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


Nah, he's not.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:20

11. hulkkii (Posts: 5; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)


Galaxy S4 needs to be measured again with CamSpeed: there was bug fix for it in latest CamSpeed

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:24 1

13. Reality_Check (Posts: 261; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


Design and viewing angles are a matter of personal opinion. For eg. I like HTC One design the best and I prefer poor viewing angles so that my privacy is preserved. To each his own :)

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 13:56 1

46. heyhi (Posts: 123; Member since: 19 Feb 2013)


viewing angles are not about privacy...viewing angles give you a better quality viewing while you play a game that requires tilting your phone or for instance, when you're are in your bed watching some video or reading, you dont get to hold your phone in a specific way to get a good image.

Z1 has not the best screen, but still good, much better than the Z.

privacy would be a problem if you had a tablet or laptop..just an opinion.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:28 2

14. theZED (Posts: 25; Member since: 09 May 2012)


In the display review part GSMarena said, "A word of warning is due as we've been getting a lot of user reports that not all Xperia Z1 units out there have the same quality screens. It seems some of them come with panels, which have the same properties as the one on the Xperia Z. These of course, may be pre-production samples or as conspiracy theiorists suggests, leftover panels from the Xperia Z production line. Whatever the case, have this one in mind when you are picking up yours."
And its contrast at 100% brightness is 1:1513.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:52

38. cjtaxi (Posts: 7; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)


yeah and i am curious which market will get that "unlucky" display or maybe its just some samples

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 02:31 1

84. TMach (Posts: 349; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


The same GSMArena review that claims the phones does not come with a headset when it does along with a clip? Hmmmm...........

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:30

114. amansingal14 (Posts: 285; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


GSMarena reviewed a preproduction model, as they themselves claimed. Hardware issues are common in preproduction models...

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:35 3

15. MachDaddy (Posts: 33; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)


Those bezels!

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:56 9

39. emadshiny (Posts: 1127; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


I suggest you buy iPhone 5S, then you'll understand the real meaning of bezel.

posted on 30 Sep 2013, 05:17

125. arc4ne (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Sep 2013)


And as an added bonus you will also learn the meaning of "mediocre software". :P

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:37

16. papss (unregistered)


Soooo what's the price? Just tell me!

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:45

18. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


lol im surprised your interested after all this is the phone which has slayed the mighty lumia 1020 of the top spot of best camera phone...

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:51 2

20. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1047; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


The Z1 has a great camera but does NOT top the 1020. If you actually read the review, you'd know it take poor low light shots.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:53 3

22. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7711; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Said no one ever. 1020 ranks #1 in the camera department and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

posted on 13 Nov 2013, 21:50

133. TechCrazyedBoy (Posts: 129; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


Wait for the 1820....

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:57

25. papss (unregistered)


Come on.. We k ow it didn't slay the 1020 in the camera department. Plus unlike many I'm actually open to using other OS and phones.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:18 1

33. jellmoo (Posts: 650; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


How on earth does it do that? Per the review, the camera takes great indoor and well lit shots, but struggles with low light photos and has average at best video recording.

I'm sure it's a good camera, but it certainly isn't in the same league as the 1020.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:03

28. aditya.k (Posts: 459; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


Indian price is 700$, so must be the same for you guys! :)

posted on 13 Nov 2013, 21:51

134. TechCrazyedBoy (Posts: 129; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


Malaysian price RM2399...@_@

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:40 6

17. Rongocook (Posts: 76; Member since: 20 Sep 2013)


Yeah! Those BEZELS just killed a perfect picture.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 15:37

55. reckless562 (Posts: 675; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


its for the SHOCK and WATER PROOFING fool

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 16:16

58. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


yeah but why they can put slimmer bezel on the xperia z??? off course the xperia z is shock and water proof too fool..

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 18:46

64. pyradark (Posts: 750; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


20.7 G lens sensor and 3000mah battery

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 19:00

66. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


okay..

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 02:32

85. TMach (Posts: 349; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Look at the bezels on the Ip5.......

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 13:02

92. reckless562 (Posts: 675; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


its also SMALLER, hence smaller scale, equals smaller bezels on a SMALLER phone, come on dude, THINK

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 20:20

95. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


smaller what?? the xperia z has the same screen size 5 inch.. THINK..

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 15:11 1

93. pulkit.tyagi (banned) (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)


its not shook proof..its only dust proof !!

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 19:48

94. reckless562 (Posts: 675; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


again, what do u THINK the bezels help PROTECT???
comment again if u cant see that

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 20:23

96. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


wtf?? do you mean big bezel for shock proof?? your excuse was a joke dude..

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Sony Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia Z1

OS: Android 4.4.2 4.4 4.3 4.2.2
view full specs
Display5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (441 ppi) TFT
Camera20.7 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Quad core, 2200 MHz, Krait 400 processor
2048 MB RAM
Size5.69 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches
(144.4 x 73.9 x 8.5 mm)
6.00 oz  (170 g)
Battery3000 mAh, 13.83 hours talk time

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