Sony went on to launch its flagship, the Sony Xperia Z smartphone in India recently for a very competitive price of Rs.38,990 and we got a chance to review the device for our readers and trust us, the device is here to impress you from the moment you hold it in your hands. The dust and waterproof smartphone is well built and the 5-inch full-HD display is impressive coupled with the Corning Gorilla Glass 2 on the back. To know if it is worth buying or not, read ahead.
Sony has included the following things in the retail box of the Sony Xperia Z:
- Sony Xperia Z device
- USB Cable
- Extra Earbuds
- User guides
The Sony Xperia Z arrives with a 5-inch TFT full-HD Reality display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels which gives us a crisp pixel density of about 441 PPI. The display comes with Sony’s Opticontrast technology which enhances the viewing for the user even in bright sunlight and the brightness of the screen on the Xperia Z is good enough making the use of the smartphone in sunlight, easy.
Body and Hardware:
The Sony Xperia Z is sleek at just 7.9mm and measures 139 mm x 71 mm and weighs 146 grams. The device feels light when you hold and you will appreciate the way Sony has worked on this flagship. The Z is well built and quality is top-notch. The Sony Xperia Z’s ports like the microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack and others are all covered as to prevent any liquid from entering the internal of the device this making the smartphone waterproof.
Power Button & Volume Rockers
One of the most striking feature of the Xperia Z is the new power button which is placed on the right side of the device and is a sweet little addition to the device and instantly grabs your attention but a few people might confuse it with the dedicated camera button, which sadly has not been included in the flagship.
Below it are the volume rockers and sadly there is no dedicated camera button on the device which is a set back if you take pictures often. Above the power button you have the micro-SIM slot with a SIM tray .
On the top Sony has placed the 3.5mm audio jack which is covered by a rubber while on the left you will find the microSD card slot and the microUSB slot, both again protected by rubber.
microSD card slot & microUSB port
At the bottom of the device you have the microphone while on the back of the device Sony has placed a secondary microphone (for noise cancellation) next to the 13 MP Exmor camera with LED Flash.
On the face of the device we have the headphone and next to it is the 2 MP front facing camera along with ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and the notification light.
Sony has upped the notch and included a 13.1 MP camera with a new Exmor lens on the Xperia Z which takes some good colorful snaps which look bright on the full-HD display, but the overall performance of the camera is a bit laggy as the images have noise a couple of times and low light performance is not up to the mark.
Given that Sony is known for its popular CyberShot cameras, the camera on the Xperia Z feel like a bit of a let down. You can catch the camera samples below and see how the camera has performed while the front facing 2.2 MP camera is good enough for video calls.
The Sony Xperia Z smartphone is powered by a powerful 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, coupled with 2 GB of RAM which gives us a nice performance and the device never lags even when you open many apps or are multi-tasking. Heavy graphical games runs smoothly and there was no lag at any given time until the device was with us.
To differentiate the Sony Xperia Z and make it stand out of the crowd of the other 5-inch full-HD smartphones, Sony made the device waterproof and dustproof with Ingress IP55 and IP57 ratings which is the highest for smartphones. This saves the Xperia Z from spills, sudden falls in the tub, bucket or even the swimming pools as the device can be submerged for about 30 minutes under water of about a meter without taking any water-related damage. We tried to test waterproofness of the Xperia Z ourselves and boy, the device wins in our tests hands-down with cent percent marks.
Check out the video
Sony made it a point to include the best that it has and thus comes in the Walkman music listening experience in the Xperia Z which is a treat for the music lovers. It has bundled the Sony Headphone which provide a great experience to users on-the-go and offers crisp sound to the users. The speakers on the smartphone though are not that great and something you should not expect much from.
Sony’s flagship is powered by a 2330 mAh battery which gives users a decent amount of back up. We used the device to make calls, send SMSes, Do a bit of Social networking, Use the GPS for navigation and on full screen brightness and the end result is that we enjoyed about 7 hours of backup. Users can increase this by using the few battery-saving plans which Sony has included in the Xperia Z (as below) which will help you save battery and stretch the standby and backup by a few more hours. On standby mode and with a bit of FM Radio usage, the Sony Xperia Z lasted for about 2 days and 10 hours which is commendable.
Operating System and UI:
The Sony Xperia Z runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS and Sony has customised the OS and given it a fresh new feel which is a life saver from that found on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running Xperia devices. We hardly found any lags on the OS which is a nice to see and the feel that Sony has included in the custom skin looks appealing on the 5-inch display of the Xperia Z.
Sony Xperia Z is the one device which has been designed, priced and launched to save the company from a long-time struggle and the package that the smartphone offers at Rs.38,990 makes it a great buy for people looking to go in for a high-end smartphone running on Android OS. Samsung has also announced its flagship for this year, the Samsung Galaxy S4 which packs in almost similar specs but with additional features and is expected to launch in India sometime in April-May, it will be the price point at which Samsung makes the smartphone available in the Indian subcontinent which will prove to be the differentiator. For now, we feel that the Sony Xperia Z is a better buy than the HTC Butterfly which is identical (specs-wise) to the Xperia Z.
- Full-HD display
- Nice UI
- Dust and Waterproof
- Grainy Images
- No dedicated camera key
- Non-removable battery