Sony Xperia Z review: Good looks only take this phone so far

Sony Xperia Z has a lot of nice features for phone shoppers to be attracted to: it’s both durable and has a good design, as well as being waterproof. That combination is hard to match. What’s more, the performance it offers will be tempting for many people. You can pre-order this device as of now. Tmobile’s top device is going to hit stores on the 17th of July and it has us all wondering what the company has in store for us. Unfortunately, the Sony Xperia Z’s slow camera and short battery life can’t compare to other top mobile phones from this carrier such as the . The Galaxy S4 has a faster camera & longer battery life. I would seriously consider this phone, unless you need a waterproof device.

Sony Xperia Z Phone is a high-end mobile phone with a large screen and fast processing speed.

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The Sony Xperia Z is a high-end Android smartphone that comes with a large 5” screen for viewing more content and a faster processing speed for running apps. It has two cameras on the back, one of which can take 3D pictures, and an 8MP camera on the front for selfies.

Sony Xperia Z Phone has an 8MP camera on the front for taking selfies as well as two cameras on the back, one of which can take 3D pictures. The phone also comes with a large 5” screen and fast processing speed to view more content or run more apps without any lag.

Sony Xperia Z Design

With a suspiciously monolithic design and its glossy black, glass casing, this smartphone won’t give up its secrets easily. Despite having a smooth surface that’s practically blank, it manages to look chic and elegant.

The Sony Xperia Z has a sleek and compact design, with the only distraction being its glossy 5-inch screen. A 3-megapixel front-facing camera, tiny notification light and an earpiece above are all that you’ll find on the device. The Sony Xperia Z’s display is also home to a minute speaker below that emits quality sound with deep base tones. As a matter of fact, the phone’s sole tangible controls sit on the Xperia’s right edge — a large circular power key placed next to a trim volume bar.

While the Xperia Z doesn’t have an abnormally large number of ports, it features a standard allotment that is hidden away under protective covers to protect it against dirt and liquids. Indeed, Sony claims that the Z fits ____ (International protocol). This means it can be submerged up to 3 ft. underwater for 30mins without any issues. The Xperia Z is water and dust-resistant, making it less likely for dust to get to your phone’s sensitive electronics.

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Located on the left side is a Micro-USB port for charging and for transferring files, and a slot that accepts a microSD card for additional storage memory. Under a flap on the right side is the phone’s SIM card slot. Up top you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, also tucked away under a protective cover.

Despite the Xperia Z’s enhanced durability, it remains extremely thin, flat and pocket-friendly. Measuring a mere 0.31 inch thick by 5.47 inches tall and 2.79 inches wide, I found it svelte enough to slip into tight jeans pockets and compact enough to lose in messenger bags. That said, the phone’s angular edges and flat back make it less comfortable to hold than the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, which have gently curved backs. The Xperia Z’s battery is also embedded, so you can’t swap it out for a fresh power pack in a pinch.

Another hit against the Xperia Z’s design is its slick, or more accurately, too-glossy surface. Hey, I like to think of myself as a relatively hygienic individual. I take showers daily and frequently wash my hands, which is necessary for living in New York City. Unfortunately the Xperia’s glass chassis attracted face grease and fingerprints almost instantly when I handled it. I guess Sony figures you can simply run the phone under the faucet to get it squeaky-clean in a flash.

Sony Xperia Z Screen

Sony makes a point of praising the Xperia Z’s 5-inch full-HD-resolution display (1,920×1,080 pixels), and with justification. It’s big and bright and produces vivid colors for enjoying photos, video, or documents and text. Even so, when I viewed the Xperia’s screen side by side with the HTC One (both set to maximum brightness) I found the One’s display brighter and more uniformly lit — even seen off-angle.

By comparison, the Xperia Z’s screen dimmed dramatically when I tilted it either horizontally or vertically. Additionally, while the Samsung Galaxy S4’s AMOLED display doesn’t get as bright as either the Xperia’s or the One’s, it trumps both in terms of lusciously dark black levels and richly saturated colors along with extremely wide viewing angles.

Sony Xperia Z Software and features

With its own line of handsets, Sony seems to finally have stepped up its game. Just like the Z, it features all of the latest features and capabilities of Jelly Bean 4.1.2 This includes seamless integration with Google’s large stable of services such as Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Plus social networking.

It’s not the latest version of Android, 4.2, but a handful of phones currently do have this, including the LG Nexus 4, HTC One Google Play Edition, and Samsung Galaxy S4 (both carrier-branded and Google Play Edition models)

You also get support for the Google Now advanced search and virtual assistant plus a corresponding widget. In addition to letting you use voice commands to set reminders and check your schedule, Google Now provides automatic search results and timely information based on your location.

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You also get suppport for the Google Now advanced search and virtual assistant plus a corresponding widget. In addition to letting you use voice commands to set reminders and check your schedule, Google Now provides automatic search results and timelyBest of all, the feature will adapt as you use it more, showing the information it expects you to value most. In my case that happens to be New York Mets scores and stats — you know they’re looking pretty good this year!

T-Mobile managed to slip a few of its own apps onto the Xperia Z as well. Check up on everything from data usage to billing info via the My Account application. The T-Mobile TV app serves up both canned and live video programming from the likes of Fox, Disney, ESPN, the AP, and Bravo. Keep in mind that to watch anything other than Fox and the AP the service costs an additional $9.99 per month.

Sony Xperia Z special sauce

The T-Mobile TV app is a great way to stay up to date on what’s happening in the world. You can easily find popular programs & live news updates. Some of this content may require an upgrade to your account plan – just remember to configure all the TV settings after you download it! Sony phones have various features for their lock screen and notification window. For example, the Xperia has a feature that allows you to jump straight to your camera or music player from the lockscreen which is different from other phones”. Additionally, Sony offers 6 home screens which are more versatile than those on other phones. Android Jelly Bean’s five.

This wouldn’t be an official Sony smartphone if it didn’t come with content created by the Sony Entertainment Network. The Video Unlimited app lets you access movies or TV shows and download them to your device to watch without Wi-Fi. Renting movies is perfect for those who live life on the go. The only limitation pertaining to renting movies is that they’re only available for viewing on the phone you downloaded them to, and once you rent them, you have up to 24 hours before they disappear.

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You’ll get access to streamed or cached music on your Music Unlimited app. The good news is that you pay just $9.99 a month to get this privilege and have access to a range of genre-based radio stations. The only way to download music to the phone for listening offline, however, is to add tracks to a playlist, then set that playlist for offline access. You also must kick the Music Unlimited app into offline mode. Needless to say I found all the steps required to watch and listen to Sony’s digital content on the Xperia Z add up to a confusing and often frustrating procedure.

Sony Xperia Z Performance

The Sony Xperia Z comes with two important specs – a quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM. This is enough horsepower to quickly run Android software smoothly, and in my experience I didn’t come across any serious hiccups while doing so. However, the Xperia Z1 doesn’t pack all of the energy some next-gen handsets provide.

Subjecting the Sony Xperia Z to synthetic benchmarks confirmed that the device lacks the speed of top-end phones powered by Qualcomm’s latest silicon, namely Snapdragon 800. The Quadrant score of the Xperia Z is fairly low at 7,976 while the scores of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 are much higher at 12,194 & 11.381 respectively

Sony Xperia Z Battery life

I’m sorry to say that the Xperia Z battery life was disappointingly short. The handset lasted for 5 hours and 41 minutes during the Battery Video Drain benchmark. The Xperia Z’s battery is heavily dependent on what you’re doing on the device and while Sony claims a 5 hour and 30 minute playback time,

Sony Xperia Z Camera

If you’re looking for a good point-and-shoot camera, you might want to consider the Sony Cyber-shot. Sony’s proprietary camera app is good for one thing and one thing only. Simplicity. It offers a wide range of scene modes, settings, and other feature for anyone who just wants to take good pictures. With a 13-megapixel sensor and resolution options starting at VGA, the Xperia Z’s camera shoots stunning images that arefit for any smartphone user.

Indoors, the shots were clear and displayed lifelike colors. White balance was on point and each image was correctly exposed with crisp detail.

It’s in outdoor images where the Xperia Z really shines. Details are sharp, colors are bright but not oversaturated, and there’s minimal distortion. The camera follows the same snapper as that on the Xperia ZL, with a few subtle adjustments. The same issues were encountered in this model – it was so aggressive in its processing it made pictures often seem cartoon-like, especially when zooming in for closer inspection.

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The camera app’s many features, including modes for panorama and HDR, make your photo experience more enjoyable. The Xperia Z camera performs well with close-ups. Those of you out there into snapping tight shots of nature will find a good friend in this device. Images of flowers I took had particularly engaging colors and detail that rivaled what I typically see from more capable point-and-shoot cameras.

Of course, the Xperia Z’s camera isn’t without its flaws, a few of which are rather large. Sony sets the phone to use what it calls a “Superior auto” mode by default. While it’s smart enough to automatically detect and select appropriate scene modes depending on environmental conditions, it seems to require a lot of processing power. So, if Superior decides HDR or other scene modes are called for, especially while snapping multiple shots in succession, you’re likely to see double images of moving subjects. Choosing the phone’s Normal mode helped fix the problem, but not completely.

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