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Sony Xperia Z1S Review

8.5

Posted: , by John V.

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Sony Xperia Z1S Review

Sony Xperia Z1S Review
Sony Xperia Z1S Review
Sony Xperia Z1S Review
Sony Xperia Z1S Review
Sony Xperia Z1S Review
Sony Xperia Z1S Review
Introduction


Sometimes it sucks being a diehard Sony smartphone fan in the good ol’ United States of A-merica. Those Sony fans are undoubtedly dedicated, seeing that Sony’s presence in the US smartphone market is nowhere close to the levels of its rivals. In fact, the last major one launched stateside was none other than the Sony Xperia Z for T-Mobile, which came out just close to 6 months ago. Overseas, the Sony Xperia Z1 proved to be a viable competitor for the busy holiday season, but there was no word about a potential release domestically over here.

Fortunately, Sony isn’t waiting any longer to get this new year started with a bang! During CES, they announced the upcoming availability of the Sony Xperia Z1S – a slight variation of the company’s flagship smartphone, bound for T-Mobile yet again. Unlike the lengthy time frame between the announcement and actual launch of the Xperia Z last year, Sony surprised many (including us) during this past CES by making the aggressive decision to the release the Xperia Z1S right away. It’s no doubt a specs monster like the rest of the stuff out there, but knowing that it’s only a slight variation of the Z1, will US consumers be enticed by it – knowing what is on the horizon?

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • User Manual
  • Warranty Card

Design

It's not everyday we have a flagship smartphone that we can use while taking a shower, so it's surely unique for that. Plus, it doesn't skimp out with the premium offerings.

Following in suit to other smartphones added with a letter “S” to their name, the Xperia Z1S looks and feels much like, you know, the Xperia Z1 from before – so there’s not a whole lot too different here. Firstly, we’ll give Sony credit for crafting a solid smartphone that has a prominent premium feel to it, which is evident by its glass front and back sides, metallic trim frame, and shiny looks. As much as we appreciate the glass, it’s something that attracts a lot of fingerprints and smudges very quickly, so don’t be surprised to find yourself wiping it constantly. Not to mention it makes the phone feel slippery and delicate!

For a device bearing a 5-inch display, the Xperia Z1S looks and feels bigger than most other flagship smartphones. Specifically, there’s just a lot of dead space on the top and bottom sides of the smartphone. You think they would’ve chiseled it down a bit with this model, so that it’s more form-fitting, but they didn’t. Regardless of that, we can’t deny that it’s more premium than many of the other flagships floating about. Throw in the fact that it has an IP58 rating, which means that it’s waterproof in under 4.9 feet of freshwater for 30 minutes, it means that it’ll survive a dunk into a pool – something that many smartphones can’t say they offer.

In order to keep its waterproof nature, the majority of its ports are tucked away under plastic flaps – with the exception of the 3.5mm headset jack. It’s actually exposed, though, Sony says that the port has been treated to protect it from getting damaged. Giving flexibility to the user, the handset is armed with a microSD card slot, a dedicated 2-level shutter key, and a spot for a lanyard. Surely a photo-centric thing, it’s packing number crunching 20.7-megapixel auto-focus camera.

Display

Looking spiffy from a straight head-on look, the display's continuing poor viewing angles really diminishes its glow. We were hoping to see an improvement in that front.

Alas! We thought that Sony learned from the last time, but unfortunately that’s not the case here. Honestly, the specs are good with this one, as it’s blessed with a contemporary 5-inch 1080p Triluminos display – a TFT panel at heart. Certainly it produces a sufficient amount of detail thanks to its 441 ppi pixel density count, but the more pressing matter here is the poor viewing angles we’re treated with yet again. From the front, it’s vivid and very pleasant, but at slight angles, it washes out to the point that color distortion is evident. Good news is that it handles outdoor situations without much fluff.



Sony Xperia Z1S 360-Degrees View:



61 Comments
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posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:23 3

1. aranauser (Posts: 58; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


8.5 really? i mean really?
This device is not worth 8.5
i wouldve given not more than 8 IMHO

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:24 16

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


I wonder , what r the cons for you ?

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:40 2

8. aranauser (Posts: 58; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


*sarcasm

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 08:01 7

23. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Didn't really sound like that IMHO

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 08:10

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


lol ok

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 10:24 10

32. jcdz89 (Posts: 78; Member since: 01 Mar 2013)


Phonearena is a good site for latest updates not for reviews. Just hillarious when Iphone 5c got "9"....

posted on 15 Jan 2014, 01:59 3

42. reckless562 (banned) (Posts: 1153; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


damn really it did? guess they were smoking crack that day

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:25

5. aditya.k (Posts: 495; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


And why?

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 07:05 3

16. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Cuz he's a Sony hater.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:22 1

26. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


sarcasm he said

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 11:21 6

34. Extradite (banned) (Posts: 316; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


Wow the iPhone5s gets a 9.3 and the SonyZs gets 8.5... Bias

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 11:56 3

36. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


No Sh!T when the 5C is nothing more than a 5 with a different chassis, and a lower quality one at that... I just ignore the ratings on this site now for the most part. The only reason I read this one, is because I have a Z1S OTW to me in the mail.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:23 1

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


sony should use ips...

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:23 16

3. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Xperia Z1 - 9.2/10
Xperia Z1S - 8.5/10

WTF?

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:26 5

6. aditya.k (Posts: 495; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


That's what I was thinking! XD

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:28 9

7. Qawi94 (Posts: 10; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)


Ikr. Z1s has 32gb internal memory.It is slightly better

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:42 1

9. aranauser (Posts: 58; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


go and read PA's "how we review"
you will get your answer

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:49 6

10. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Both phones are basically the same phone, it's just that the Z1S is the US variant of the Z1 and the Z1S has 32GB internal storage while the Z1 has 16GB.

So, I don't get the answer.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:54

13. aranauser (Posts: 58; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


no offence but...
by reading your comment im sure you didnt read "how we rate"
go pls check that.you will get your answer

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:56 5

14. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Both phones are basically the same phone, it's just that the Z1S is the US variant of the Z1 and the Z1S has 32GB internal storage while the Z1 has 16GB.

So, I don't get the answer.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 07:10 1

18. aranauser (Posts: 58; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


ratings will change with time

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:47 2

29. jellmoo (Posts: 1696; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Absolutely, but it isn't like we have hit a new technological peak in that time frame. High end devices are still using the same chips and overall specs.

In order for ratings to truly change over time, there needs to be newer handsets available to warrant that change. There simply aren't.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 12:17

63. sgodsell (Posts: 3884; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Z1 has an aluminum band around the phone where as the Z1s has just a plastic band around the phone. Also I think the T-mobile version supports the new 4G that t-mobile is soon to release if not already.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 11:23 1

35. Extradite (banned) (Posts: 316; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


And guess what, he won't reply to any off our posts.... Shows how that he is in the wrong, orelse he would've disputed why and why it got that mark.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 15:52 2

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


The Z1 was reviewed by Ray S., the Z1S was reviewed by John V.

posted on 17 Jan 2014, 09:41

54. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)


Ray S vs. John V??

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 08:09

59. jshan (Posts: 200; Member since: 25 Dec 2011)


cz they dont nice as they looks like ..

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:50 1

11. toondewachter (Posts: 54; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


Come on! Get the facts straight Phonearena!

The phone has a 720p display and not a 1080p as you mention in the review. It also carries a 2300mAh battery instead of the 3000mAh battery you guys claim it has.

This is sloppy copy paste work from the Xperia Z1.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 06:54 19

12. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Well, it looks like you've messed up the Z1S and the Z1 Compact.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 07:01 1

15. BillyG (Posts: 305; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


and yours is a sloppy comment written by a stupid POS who either can't read or know nothing about smartphone world.

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