For user’s of Sony’s Entertainment Network, the Xperia Z1 is a perfect choice of smartphone. As it is for anyone who regularly ruins their device from water damage
Sony calls the Xperia Z1 ‘the best of Sony in a smartphone’. But what is the ‘best of Sony’? The company makes a lot more than just phones. The Z1 aims to take its expertise in areas like cameras and gaming and fit them into a new handset. If you’re already using the Sony Entertainment Network for music, movies and games, then you’ll find the Z1 has a lot to offer you. For everyone else, the Z1 is simply another solid high-end phone.
The Xperia Z1 is a big phone with a 5-inch display. This makes it about the same size as a Samsung Galaxy S4 and much larger than we’re used to with most handsets. We’d call it a phablet, but Sony also has the Xperia Z Ultra marking out the hybrid phone-tablet territory.
A 5-inch screen is a lot of real estate but it also takes up room in your pocket. If this sounds too big you might want to wait for the recently announced Z1 Mini. That said, Sony has kept the Z1 phone very thin, at 8.5mm.
The Xperia Z1 is completely flat and the corners are at sharp right angles. Old Xperias featured a light bar on the bottom, which is absent from the Z1.
Home buttons have been moved from their usual place at the bottom of the phone and put onto the screen to simplify the design. Our black test model had silver strips at the side and a glass casing that gives the phone a premium look.
The downside to this is that the glass back was an unexpected weak point. After a few days of being carried around in a man-bag, the top of the Z1’s glass back had cracked.
There had been no obvious accident, the phone had not been dropped or subjected to a ‘smash’ test. At least the phone is both dust and water-resistant – if not man-bag proof.
Sony has hidden most of the ports to keep the phone looking sleek. The SIM, micro USB and micro SD slots are hidden behind rubber covers to make them waterproof. Only the headphone jack, power, volume and camera buttons are exposed. The buttons are small but are easy to press.
Performance and Display
The Xperia Z1 has a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, the most powerful processor currently available for smartphones.
It runs the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, so there are plenty of apps and games available from Google’s Play store that will run without a problem.
Apps such as Twitter and Facebook load in under five seconds and many apps can be opened at once without the phone slowing down.
The Z1 will get a little hot when running processor-hungry games or using lots of programs at once. But the heat is never as much of an issue as it is with other powerhouse phones like the LG G2.
The Z1 has 16GB of free space, common in most high-end phones. We’d have liked the option of a 32GB model but you can expand up to 64GB with a micro SD card.
The big display never cramps apps and games on the screen. A crisp 1080p resolution displays content in vibrant, detailed colour.
Full article in Mobile News issue 553 (December 2, 2013).
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