Top positive review
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Stunning but with minor flaws
on 17 March 2013
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.