The best and worst Sony smartphones we've ever reviewed

Sony, one of the larger and more popular smartphone makers, is certainly well-known among the Android masses, having a large array of phones on the shelves. With the recent announcement of Sony's most advanced phone ever, the Verizon-exclusive Xperia Z4v, we decided to take a look at the company's product past.

Frankly said, some pretty noteworthy current-gen phones can trace their origins all the way back to Sony's factories - just mentioning the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, and their numerous spin-offs is enough to make most Android fans excited.

Alas, just like any other smartphone manufacturer, Sony has also failed here or there, as its devices did not stand up to the usual standards of the Japan-based phone maker. Today, we will be exploring the best and worst Sony phones that we've had the pleasure of reviewing. 

Feel free to also check our other great lists showing the best and worst smartphones of the major manufacturers.

Sony Xperia L

We were not impressed by the Xperia L - it had a bleak screen, a chipset that was nowhere near future-proof, and a camera that was mediocre at best. This is why it got a rating of 6.5 in our review.

Sony Xperia Neo L

Even by 2012's standards, the Xperia Neo L was a disappointing device. Apart from the underperforming chipset which resulted in noticeable interface-wide lag, the phone also employed pretty cheap build. What's more, the lack of oleophobic coating on the display made it pretty gross after a while.

Sony Xperia M2

The unacceptable call quality, as well as the reflective screen and the totally disappointing camera performance secured the Sony Xperia M2 a rating of 5 in our review. It was also too expensive for the traits it brought to the table.

Sony Xperia E1 

Despite its entry-level status, the Xperia E1 was pretty disappointing and totally unimpressive - starting from the appalling display, which had washed out colors, poor contrast, and awful viewing angles. Additionally, the build quality of the device was pretty low and left a lot to be desired.

Sony Xperia J

Despite its good display and good battery life, the Xperia J's review rating is on par with the Xperia E1, which is not a good thing. Unimpressive performance, camera that was mediocre even as per 2012's standards. 

Sony Xperia T2 Ultra

The extremely good battery life of this device, paired with it relatively slim 6-inch body, well-performing camera, and noteworthy loudspeaker secured the Xperia T2 Ultra a review rating of 8.8, which is pretty good, to be honest. Despite its few drawbacks, the phone is among the great products Sony has released.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

The compact beast came with pretty noteworthy internals for its time - a Snapdragon 800 chipset, 2GB of RAM, a 20.7MP camera, and a 4.3-inch 720p display. On top of that, it was also water- and dust-resistant.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The successor to the Z1 Compact is also a pretty powerful munchkin that we simply fell in love with. Apart from the outstanding battery life, the phone was refined in almost each and every other aspect - well-preforming camera, smooth performance, good call quality, and others.

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Sony Xperia Z1

The Xperia Z1 was a pretty big improvement over the Sony Xperia Z impressed is with its high quality build, nice camera, performance, and most of all, water resistance, which was certainly not common back in the day.

The Xperia Z2 is not only one of the most polished Sony devices ever made, an exceptional all-around device that has little to no flaws. Certainly a phone that is worth mentioning.

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1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I miss my Z2...

2. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

What happened?

7. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

please include the Sony Ericsson smartphones

19. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

It actually bent in my pocket on a rollercoaster :DDD My fault :((

21. RajRicardo

Posts: 502; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

Where is the Z3?? :O

25. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Z3 was scored 8.5 by PA so it's not in the top best list...

3. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

I am commenting from my still great Z2. I do not find any reason for replacing my Z2.

11. josephnero

Posts: 785; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Same here.Z2 is the most complete package

14. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Waterproofing is one thing but that dustproofing is a must have for all expensive smartphones/gadgets. I can prevent my phone from water but no one can prevent dust completely. No matter how much you keep your phones clean, the atmospheric dusts will always damage your phones internals as time passes. And that dust reduces the life of a gadget.

24. buccob

Posts: 2978; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

You are correct, but guess what kind of devices let less dust in... Waterproofed or not waterproofed?

17. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

Same her bud, Z2 is perfect.

16. Takeharu

Posts: 288; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I know what you mean. I traded my Z2 for a G3, worst decision ever!

18. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I'm planning on picking up the Xperia Z3v for Verizon before the Z4v comes out as I'd rather make do with the 801 instead of the 810 and it should be cheap by then. My cousin just picked up the Z3 Compact and wow that's one heck of a device, especially in terms of battery life.

4. waddup121 unregistered

Cant wait for the Z4v!

5. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013


13. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1249; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Now where the next Z compact at!

6. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

The Xperia L does not deserve that score or that review. That was a bad and lazy review, although I'm not expecting a very objective one from PA. Still, that was badly made.

8. singhkaran9830 unregistered

Z3C best among these!

9. alexvv

Posts: 165; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

the original z deserved more than 8.5 back in the day. although with its flaws, it was for a brief time the best smartphone in the world.

20. Cyberchum

Posts: 1099; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Deserved what? I wouldn't give it a 7. First thing I consider in a phone is the screen and when I looked at my old GS2 and a friend's Xperia Z, all I saw was a s**tty, crappy, washed-out TFT screen. If I was ever gonna like it, that screen killed my interest. Meh

10. LuckySwitz

Posts: 26; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Compact all the way..but still i'm on a Note series.. -.-

12. Tizo101

Posts: 595; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

what about the sony Xperia e4g? one of the best cheap phones sony has made so far.

15. dancheung77

Posts: 202; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

The list of worst Sony smartphones are all mid to low end ones and the best are all flagship ones, it's pretty pointless.... Should've include Xperia M and M dual as one of the best Sony since its a mid ranger with great spec, sub 150 and a very popular choice among budget smartphone

22. imparanoic

Posts: 88; Member since: Oct 15, 2012

23. imparanoic

Posts: 88; Member since: Oct 15, 2012

how does this e1 compare with Samsung entry level j1? like for like ? is there a review? or shall we based it on amazon ? for US$120/GBP80, it's basic, but perfectly functional, ideal for older generation

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