Call quality

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.

Battery

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.

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.

hours 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 (Poor)
LG Optimus G
4h 23 min (Poor)


Conclusion

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




UPDATE: You can now read our Sony Xperia Z Ultra Review and our Sony Xperia Z1 Review!

Pros

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

Cons

  • Disappointing camera
  • Mediocre call-quality

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

User Rating:

9.1
71 Reviews

FEATURED VIDEO

Xperia Z
  • Display 5.0 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 13.1 MP (Single camera)
    2.2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
    2GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 2330 mAh
  • OS Android 5.1 Lollipop

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