The Sony Xperia Z has been already released in Europe and some other parts of the world and soon going to be released in the United States. So let us review the Xperia Z today.
- Waterproof and Dust resistant
- High quality and good looking design
- Market leading camera tech
- Rapid quad-core processor
- No Android 4.2
- Feels a hefty device in the hand
The Sony Xperia Z is the company’s latest Android running flagship smartphone. Sony has always made a good fist of delivering its top of the range handsets, but the Xperia Z feels like the first time the Japanese giant has got it right. The 1.5GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM offers plenty of speed, while the camera technology and interface are splendid.
Of course, a lot has been made of the fact that the Xperia Z is both waterproof and dustproof. While this seems like a gimmick, and for the most part it is, the handset can be submerged in water with a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes.
Over recent years Sony has marked itself different on the design front, offering curved edges and forms. However, the Xperia Z wave’s goodbye to that design ethos and delivers a squared edge slate that looks meaningful and good in the hand. This device looks menacing, but it also has loads of charm and a new design tact from Sony that we can support.
Of course when you are dealing with a rectangle touchscreen device, there are bound to be some similarities with other devices. This is the case with the Xperia Z, but for the most part Sony has done a really good job in keeping its design fresh and unique. The device is not without its design flaws of course, chief among which is the fact that this is a weighty handset. Sure, when we are handling a phablet we expect a bit of weight, but compared to its recent rivals the Xperia Z is a touch fat.
Display: At 6.1-inches, the screen on the Xperia Z is suitably huge, and is close to being a full blown tablet. This is not a bad thing however as the 1280 x 720 ‘Reality Display’ is alive with colour and vibrancy, bristling with the kind of quality that only a high-end panel could. With a pixel density of 443ppi the Xperia Z bests anything currently on the market, and will even happily go toe-to-toe with the Galaxy S4 from Samsung when that is launched this month.
Software: The Xperia Z is Sony’s first quad-core powered device and under the hood 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip backed up with loads of RAM, 2GB to be exact. That makes the Xperia Z blisteringly quick (more on that below) but oh how it could have been so much quicker out of the box. Sony, for whatever reason has decided to pack the Xperia Z with just Android 4.1 on board, and even though that is a fine OS, it goes without saying that the newer 4.2 would be even better. Luckily Sony ensures us that 4.2 will be coming as an update soon, but even so this is one of the biggest gripes about the Xperia Z.
Camera: Sony has followed the current trend of the more megapixels on a camera the better (unless you are HTC) by packing a whopping 13.1-megapixels onto the rear camera of the Xperia Z. Of course, that does not automatically mean this is a quality snapper, but luckily it is. The Sony lens is a beauty, delivering high quality images that offer a good explosion of colour, and we also found that it works well in all lighting conditions.
Memory: The Xperia Z comes with 16GB of internal storage and capacity for microSD cards.
Performance: As we have already mentioned, the Xperia Z is super-fast. In fact it blows just about everything else out of the water thanks to that quad-core base. The handset has been blitzing benchmarks tests everywhere, leaving rival smartphones in the dark; for example a test on Antutu Benchmark gives the phone a score of 20,031, which simply destroys the Samsung Galaxy S3’s 12,467.
Despite the blistering performance, that earlier Android version makes the device lag at times. Look, we cannot stress this enough, this handset is lightening quick, and it will handle any app or game you could throw at it, but occasionally you notice that the OS limits it. When Sony rolls out Android 4.2 this could be the ultimate smartphone option in terms of performance.
Conclusion: In any other year the Sony Xperia Z would be the best Android available, and we think it is better than Samsung’s all-conquering Galaxy S3. However, this isn’t any other year; we have already seen the equally impressive HTC One, and the weaker but nonetheless good option Blackberry Z10. Of course, we also have the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S IV to come, while LG’s Optimus G Pro also promises a lot. The result is that Sony will have to be content with having arguably the best handset, and not THE best.
This is a quality slate, although it does have some issues, like the Android version. However, despite that Sony has finally created a smartphone that is across the board excellent.