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110 of 116 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning but with minor flaws
I am a self proclaimed gadget geek and the Xperia Z is my latest toy! So here is an honest review of the phone:


Yes it is stunning when viewed straight on - detailing is crystal sharp, colours are natural and reading text (Internet, SMS etc) is a delight. What you will notice is that when viewed from an angle the colours become washed out...
Published 16 months ago by L. W. Bowler

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Battery drain
This smartphone looks great and the camera is very good bit there is a major flaw, the battery. It drains very quickly due to the Android kitkat system. Even with every possible app disabled and on standby mode the battery only lasts 14 hours from full charge to zero. This is without using the phone at all. When a little bit of Facebook activity is made and a text message...
Published 15 days ago by illustrani

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110 of 116 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning but with minor flaws, 17 Mar 2013
L. W. Bowler "Lee" (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony Xperia Z SIM-free Android Smartphone - White (Unlocked Phone)
I am a self proclaimed gadget geek and the Xperia Z is my latest toy! So here is an honest review of the phone:


Yes it is stunning when viewed straight on - detailing is crystal sharp, colours are natural and reading text (Internet, SMS etc) is a delight. What you will notice is that when viewed from an angle the colours become washed out and the blacks appear grey. May be good for privacy (as the screen does blur) but in my opinion, it is a downside. You will definitely notice the HD crispness when watching movies - it is stunning.


Probably one of the most impressive functions of the phone. I've taking pictures in various situations (sunlight, night time, macro etc) and it has produced stunning photos. It has an auto adjust function that will try and detect the best setting for a scene and it works 95% of the time. The smile and blink settings are genius - it will only snap the shot when a smile and open eyes are detected - very clever. The flash is adequate and again, this can be auto adjusted when taking a photo (red-eye reduction, normal, fill flash etc). The HDR mode produces beautiful pictures and the editing software is adequate (wish it was more like Apple's iPhoto). Video recording is HD and HDR and produces lovely home movies.


It's basically faster than you'll ever need. Quad core processors clocked at 1.5GHZ. The phone smoothly glides through apps, downloads, internet browsing etc - the processing power is truly great.


For around 500 to purchase outright, you want quality right? The materials used for the Xperia Z really give it the WOW appeal - Toughened glass front and back with minimal plastic panels around the sides - it feels expensive. I'm not impressed with the fingerprints that are left behind (but that happens with all touch screen devices right?), maybe so, but this phone seems to attract more than other devices i've used in the past. I've heard people who use the black model of this phone complain about dust getting trapped between the screen and plastic panels. I can see how this would happen but the white model doesn't suffer this problem. Waterproof and dust proof? A gimmick? Probably, but I know if I ever dropped this in water and it didn't have that protection, I would be gutted. Better safe than sorry seems to be the motto here? Yes, the phone is big but it has a 5" screen so have to expect that. It is beautifully slim and holds nicely in one hand - a big plus is that the on/off/standby button is located centrally on the right hand side, easily operated with your thumb.


The small apps feature is a wonderful addition - you can launch mini apps (camera, calculator, notes etc) while in another app - you don't need to stop what your doing to open them. They launch at the blink of an eye and once done, you can 'cancel' them and you are free to carry on with what you were doing previously (for example, I was in the process of typing an email and wanted to take a picture at the same time - launched the mini camera app, took the photo, cancelled it and carried on with my email)

The music player is stunning. It is Walkman branded and the options you have within it are amazing. Various sound settings, equalizers (manual and pre-set), clear audio+, surround sound, clear stereo, xloud etc. They really do make a difference to what you are listening to and you have the choice to change it to your liking. I use the music player a lot (while travelling) and my music has never sounded better.

Sony Music and Video unlimited: Two services that Sony offer - basically the music function is Sony's paid version of 'Spotify' and the movie function is movie purchases and rentals - both work well and have a decent catalogue of titles. You can of course purchase music and movies from Google Play, Amazon MP3, 7digital etc but it is nice to have a choice as prices do vary between these various stores.
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113 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony is a serious contender again!, 1 Mar 2013
Andreas Iacovou (London) - See all my reviews
I have never owned a Sony phone, preferring in recent years to use a series of HTC's and more recently Samsung's (S2, Note and Note 2) so for me it was a big decision to give this a try as my main phone.

I received the phone this week with high expectations following several positive previews. Having been used to the Samsung Note, the size of the Sony was not a surprise or an issue. I have actually found it to be far more manageable using it with one hand compared to the Note. Still be warned this is a big and quite heavy device so won't be for everyone.

The main 'WOW' factor however is the stunning screen. I'm not going to get technical but visually this is the best quality screen both in terms of touch experience and clarity. Text is sharp and clear and easy to read and the colours are vibrant and brilliant. Watching movies on this is a joy and its very impressive.

The flaps over all the ports can get a little irritating especially the one on the charging port which you have to remove every time you plug in, but this is my only design gripe on what is a beautiful device.

Sony have kept the Android experience reasonably pure adding a few of their own widgets and apps but have not messed around too much. Its quick and never lags, so you can be confident it will handle anything.

I have added a 64GB MicroSD card to top up the 16GB it comes with and it works perfectly even though Sony states it will only handle 32GB cards....lovely!

Its supposed to be water resistant but I will let other reviewers comment on this as I'm not about to dunk this in my fish tank! I will just have to trust Sony on this one :-)

Now to the possible deal breaker, battery life. Its average at best. I am charging with about 10-15% remaining at the end of each day and I consider myself a heavy user. My Note II had a much better battery and I could easily get day and a half out of it so this may be a problem for some. I'm used to charging daily so not an issue for me but keep that charger handy!

One final slight criticism, why oh why did Sony ship their flagship phone with the out of date Android OS (4.1.2)??? Hopefully an update coming soon but its a silly decision from Sony in my opinion.

In summary this is a great looking, well-made and premium device and its great to have another major manufacturer in the game and making decent Android phones. I loved my Samsung's but to be honest got a little bored with the plastic materials they used and much prefer overall feel and quality build of the Sony.

I strongly recommend this phone and despite some minor niggles am very pleased with my purchase.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good phone, bad service, 7 April 2013
With the phone you get a usb cable with a mains adapter, a couple of user guides and a screen protector (which is actually rigid enough to apply properly).

The rear camera has a 13MP sensor (although you can only take up to 12MP photos with the auto adjust feature) which takes pretty good photos, although using manual adjustments produces the best pictures. The front camera is only 2MP and isn't the best...

First impressions are that the phone feels well made, and a decent set of hardware makes if very fast too. Wireless adapter can cope with 50Mb/s plus speeds too.


The battery life is poor (enable STAMINA mode which helps), and it gets seriously hot (read the edit....)
The speaker is really, really quiet and sounds flat
Glass panel at the back scratches easily
Flaps covering headphone and usb ports are annoying

BUT overall it is a very good phone.


The battery got so hot whilst watching a film, that the screen cracked. Couldn't turn it off as the screen wouldn't respond to touch, and over time there were cracks forming from other cracks until the whole screen was buggered. Sony put it down to 'accidental damage' and charged me 250 for repairs. Few months later, water managed to get in through a small gap between the screen and the casing, and the phone was damaged (took a week to dry out and was working afterwards), must have been a dodgy repair!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best phone I've had, 11 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm really happy with this phone - it's beautifully made and works perfectly. I've had it a week now and can't fault it. There's no point saying any more - there are plenty of techy reviews out there and I'm not going to add to them! UPDATE one month on... still love this phone. It is pretty much perfect: it never crashes, freezes or hangs, and it's the first phone I've had that actually works like it's meant to work! (Incidentally, my wife and I bought one of these each at the same time - she loves hers too.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Phone!, 23 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Everything works well and fast. Easy setup, intuitive, easy to learn without having read the manual or anything.
Great integration with calenders, social media, emailing. I hardly go back to my desktop these days.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solidly capable phone, 5 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had this phone for a couple of weeks now.

First up, it takes a micro-sim so if you're coming from an older phone that uses a mini-sim like the Galaxy S 2 then you'll need to get a micro-sim to use this phone. Beware of micro-sim cutters as not all sims are suitable for cutting, and in any case you can get a replacement sim for around a tenner anyway.

Out of the box, the phone came charged to about 60% and without the screen protectors applied (there are protectors for both front and back). Application of the protectors was easy with the cleaning cloth and bit of plastic provided, although it may be prudent to take off the NFC sticker from the back cover first, apply the protector and then re-apply the NFC sticker - otherwise you'll find the back protector has a big bubble around the NFC sticker.

The Sony launcher seems capable and fairly minimalist so close to stock Android experience but with some neat touches and Sony apps - I especially like the use of geo-tagging in the 'Album' app to allow you to sort your pictures on a map or globe. My time with the Sony launcher was short, as I switched to Go Launcher EX very soon. Using Go Launcher EX, the screen transitions are extremely smooth on the Xperia Z and very pretty, esp. with some of the themes available. At present, the camera app takes several seconds to launch which makes you question whether you actually launched it.

The loud speaker is on the right bottom, so easily covered by your hand if using speakerphone, but apart from that is loud enough and clear.

The display when viewed normally is very good, but the viewing angles are not so great, meaning colours look washed out when not viewed straight-on or near straight-on.

The use of flaps to cover all the holes for charging, headphones, microsd and sim is what makes the phone waterproof but quite annoying as you have to open the flap every time you put the phone on charge, unless you buy a dock to use the pins on the side - which costs 25 for a bit of plastic with some internal wiring, so seems quite expensive for what it is.

The size of the phone seems just right, when held in one hand you can just reach top and bottom if held in the middle, and the positioning of the buttons for power-on and volume is brilliantly right.

If I could change only one thing about this phone, it would be to add the ability to change the battery. Sony have done really excellent work on making sure that their apps and launcher do not hold and locks that prevent the phone from going into 'deep sleep' mode, so using a battery saving program like JuiceDefender or the in-built Stamina mode you'll see less than 1% battery lost per hour. The use of location-based WiFi allows you to set the phone to turn on WiFi when it's connected to a mobile mast where it remembers being connected to a WiFi network previously so no need to use third-party apps to manage that manually.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 3 Mar 2013
R. Forse (Taunton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony Xperia Z SIM-free Android Smartphone - White (Unlocked Phone)
This is something really, really special.

The screen on the Xperia Z is the best I have ever seen on a phone (better than the iPhones retina display, and the impressive Nokia Lumia 920), it feel high definition, because it is high definition and gives the phone the 'Wow' factor straight out of the box. The screen is also one the larger side of what we have come to see from smart phones. At 5 inches, and being a square shape, it has both pros and cons. Firstly, as stated, the detail in the screen is astonishing and so video playback, either through Sky player, Netflix, or from your own recordings is genuinely impressive. The downside to this amazing screen is that the size and shape (more of a rectangle with straight edges) is that if your hands are on the smaller side it doesn't feel as though it fits in the palm comfortably, and the fear of dropping it does play on my mind on a regular basis.

The Xperia also has 16gb of storage included and as an added plus (compared to the Lumia 920 and iPhone) you are able to expand this storage via memory card slot. This is important for me and, compared to solid state phones, is a definite advantage.

The phone is fast, as in uber fast, when browsing and playing video. It's easily the quickest I've used. Strangely though some of the apps seemed to be slower opening (camera and Walkman apps spring to mind) but all in all this is another plus and adds to the experience of using the Xperia Z.

The camera (13 mp by the way) is phenomenal. I thought the lumia 920 camera was as good as it could get at the moment, I way very wrong. Images are sharp and crisp and, once the app has opened (see above) the capture speed is very good. Who needs a dedicated camera when you have this beast waiting in your pocket?

I've been fairly impressed by the battery life. I'm still waiting for a smart phone to come out that will last. Medium to heavy user through an entire weekend away; This isn't it, but it has got through the days comfortably. I still feel I have to charge it each evening but that's no worse than other top end smart phones. It does have some effective battery saving applications built in allowing, for example, the wifi to be turned off when the screen times out. Things like this help get the phone happily through the day.

Sony claim the phone s waterproof, I'm certainly not going to be testing that but it is nice to have some degree of confidence in the event that it takes a plunge one day.

It has 4g connectivity (something missing from the Nexus) but living in Somerset, this hasn't rolled out here yet so I cannot comment on performance.

All in all, this is my first Sony phone since 2005 and I am certainly impressed. An easy 5 stars for the best smartphone I've ever used.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonys back, 10 April 2013
Awesome phone..

Screen, camera, speed, connectivity, design, durability, expandable memory.... It has it all!

And to be able to use the ps3 joypad as a controller for gaming was the icing on the cake!

You won't be dissapointed!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Premium Product, 3 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well, After owning the phone for at least a good week or so I must say I am very pleased with what Sony have here,

I have had the Xperia S for a few months now and while at the time I assumed it would be a worthy phone that would last me a good 2 years I was very disappointed, The phone became bogged down very quickly and I ended up getting very sick of it very reading countless reviews and getting some hands on experience I was thoroughly disappointed by the phones lack of quality quickly, Which swayed my decision slightly when getting a new phone, The Galaxy S4 looked like the one to be but after feel and the same old design used in the S3, As much as people admire the S3's design I do not, I find the plastic to be one feature that does not sit well for me. I was intrigued by the new Octo-core chip being placed in the machine but was quickly dashed when it was said the octo-core version will not come to the UK. So the big decision was the One X or the Xperia Z. I have had many tales of unreliable HTC phones breaking or just becoming slow and tiresome so I was wary at first, The phone feels great and I must admit the camera was surprisingly good. However the software just didn't feel right, It was all cluttered and slow and I found that the features it boasted like boom sound I had no use for.

Then the Xperia Z, I like to listen to music in the shower in the mornings and the Xperia Z claims to be water proof, Brill, I found out it was only 16GB which put me off but with the Expandable storage my 64GB class 10 SD card fits all my favourite albums, It also becomes fun when taking it in the pool, I can take pictures and video of my younger brothers learning how to swim which is something you couldn't do before. The phone itself is of a very sturdy and nice design and has a extremely clear screen much clearer than my old iPhone 4 or Xperia S, the speaker is both sharp and clear and so is the ear-piece speaker.

The Flaps provided on the sides of the screen are VERY solid and will hold up as Sony claims for over 1200 open and close cycles, which is roughly about 3 years of use, and I expect they will last even longer than that. I was also glad to know that the screen itself has a Factory Fitted Screen Protector which can be remove with a sharp pin if the screen ever does get scratched and Car phone warehouse are happy to fit a new one on for you if you remove it for a small fee.

The reverse side camera is excellent with clear focus and lots of great camera features I had on my old Xperia S which is fantastic, You really cannot beat the features provided on these Sony phones, It's no DSLR but it is still brilliant.

The front facing camera is above average for a smartphone but is still nothing to shout about. they are all practically the same.

There is only one thing I could think of to pick out of this phone that I did not like and that was the missing dedicated Camera Button, I really liked it on my Xperia S, but its something I can live without to make the phone waterproof and have a little less to fiddle with.

I was also slightly puzzled by the golden pins on the left hand side that didn't do anything and had nothing I could find in the box that may work with them, I was surprised to find it has a dock which I have purchased which is excellent, My Xperia S did not have a dock for it and I found when plugging in the HDMI cable and the charger it was a big bundle of mess and found it hard to operate the phone, with this I can sit at my desk and pop my phone on charge easily without even having to undo the flaps. Genius.

I believe this phone will last long enough to see out my current contract and then some. I cannot see how people are not snapping up this phone it really is the bee's knees.

Thanks to sony for another innovative phone that is something a little different from all the other Android devices out there, Something with a little more class and style.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly capable and great looking device!, 3 Mar 2013
D. Turrell (UK) - See all my reviews
I purchased this phone because I was looking to upgrade from my HTC One X.

I did a few side-by-side tests and I will now talk about my experience with the Z.

I was personally very impressed by the display featured on the phone.

Text is clear, crisp and easy to read - the display is sharper than the 720p Super LCD2 and the difference is easily noticeable when browsing the web.

Photos and videos look very nice on the display - I would argue that the screen isn't quite as punchy as the One X but the extra size makes up for it and makes you just want to look more at the Z. (side by side comparison)

I'd also like to point out that I have had no app compatibility issues because of the display / 1080p resolution.

Web browsing is a lot smoother on the Z - content heavy sites load very quickly and it is no challenge for the phone to be able to scroll up and down smoothly.

My One X has always suffered from a poor web browsing experience - I always felt my previous SII was smoother when browsing the web but both phones seem to load up sites at the same time.

The games that I have had installed run great / very smoothly on both devices and I don't feel that you'd be wanting more performance from either of them in regards to mobile gaming.

I have noticed that some reviews for the Z state that it has a very solid camera, whereas some others have said the camera isn't quite up to scratch but in my experience, the camera is excellent and certainly on par if not better than the One X.

However - the video camera is far superior to that of the One X because I have always found my One X to suffer from framerate / stuttering issues - this isn't an issue for the Z.

The only thing I would point out is that the pre-installed camera application takes a few seconds to fire up - I believe this is something that will be fixed through a software update. (a camera app on Google Play loads up immediately)

Call quality / loudspeaker:
The call quality from the Z is more than acceptable and can be tailored to your needs through the settings e.g. noise cancelling, slow talk etc.

The loudspeaker on the Z is noticeably louder than the One X with X-Loud and ClearPhase enabled (similar volume upon being disabled) - it can sound slightly distorted on certain songs with both of those features enabled & at max, but it does mean that you won't be missing a phone call. (GSMArena said the loudspeaker was below average but I disagree with this and think that they may have had a bad unit / or not set up X-Loud on the device)

Battery life:
The battery life on the Xperia Z is great and I have found that the device will last for 4-5 hours when running a 3D intensive game constantly (auto-brightness, Wi-Fi) - I ran the same game on my One X and found that it went from 100% to 0% in just 2 hours.

As with any recent smartphone - if you are worried about your battery life then consider investing in an external battery pack. (plug it in and your device will begin to charge)

I am extremely happy with my purchase of the Sony Xperia Z - during my few days of owning the device, I would say that it is a very solid and highly capable device that will not disappoint.

Buy it now and you won't regret your decision! (as always though - try to get a hands-on with it in a phone-shop if possible so you can decide for yourself)
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