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3.8 out of 5 stars294
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Price:£189.99 - £599.00
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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:

Screen:

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.

Camera:

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.

Speed:

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.

Hardware/Build:

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.

Misc:

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.
66 comments|147 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
1313 comments|121 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 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.

But....

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.

EDIT

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!
22 comments|67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 February 2015
I ordered the phone on Wednesday and received delivery within 2 days on Friday.So Thumbs up Amazon’s Warehouse for the Swift Delivery. I purchased the Xperia Z outright from Amazon as my previous Network provider offered me a contract of £30 for 2 years which works out to £720 over 2 years (twice as much as i am currently paying) . Therefore i chose to buy the phone (unlocked) from Amazon for £108 delivery included. The phone is alot better than my previous phone Xperia J which suffered alot of Lag and the insufficient memory to handle apps etc. Also the internal storage wasn’t enough, Had very low Ram, Poor Image Quality etc etc. I chose to go for the Xperia Z as it has a 16GB internal memory, 2GB Ram,13 Megapixel Camera, Waterproof, Dust Resistant and is 4G compatible - All this for a Bargain Price. The Only downside is that the Battery isn’t removable, needs constant re charging and lastly it does get quite warm on the rear especially when using the Camera and other Apps. All in all, it’s still early days but i am quite happy with my purchase and would definitely recommend.
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on 6 September 2013
When it comes to smartphones we are somewhat spoilt for choice, they all offer something different to each other. When it came to choosing which phone to upgrade to, my choice was easier to make, I hate Apple products completely and would never use any of their cr*p if they paid me. My previous phone was a Nokia Lumia which was great apart from the lack of apps and the poor battery life. I chose the Xperia primarily for the Walkman and the super HD quality screen. The battery life is long even with many of the apps running in the background. With it being Android, the wealth of apps available is extensive. I have a Sony Bravia TV so was able to make use of the Xperia's unique function such as mirroring and NFC. Despite being a little larger than my Nokia Lumia, it is much lighter. It is worth purchasing a larger memory card, I used the SanDisk microSDXC64gb (sony claim that you cannot use more than a 32gb card, you can, you just need to format the card when inserted in the phone). I love this phone, goodbye Nokia.
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on 27 March 2014
I switched from the awful Blackberry finally. I had my old bb for nearly 3 years and it was as slow and confused as a sloth with alzheimers in a Jedward concert with superglue-covered floors. I wanted to move to Android because of all the apps but I dislike Apple as a company and although I was initially considering the Samsung S4, when I looked into the other phones on the market I settled on the Sony Z because it's cheaper and the specs are basically identical and everyone seems to get iphone or Samsung.

As an OS, Android is the much better platform than anything I've used in a phone (**** Blackberry grrrr). It was designed purely for smartphones and tablets and designed to perfection from what I've experienced in the short time I've had it. Very fluid and intuitive to use.

The Sony Xperia Z is as good as the iphone 5 and samsung s4 specs wise but significantly cheaper if you buy online. I chose the Z instead of the Z1 because the camera isn't that important to me and 13 mp is more than enough imo. quad core 1.5 ghz processing power and 2 gb ram should be all you'll ever need for a phone as well. They are the specs of your average notebook and lower range laptops.

The performance has been very fast and no glitches or freezing which plagued my blackberry. The only time it lags a bit is when i open an email it sometimes 'loads' and i have to exit and reopen for the email to be finally displayed. However I must point out that this is probably a Hotmail problem as the same thing happens when I use Hotmail on my desktop pc. My Gmail account on the Xperia and desktop pc has no such issues.

Overall I'm very happy with everything. The size of the screen is good for every application. I think i will be using it a lot for reading e-books. The camera is good quality. The battery easily lasts all day from morning to bedtime even with wi fi kept on all day and using several apps as I do.
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Sony certainly are on a bit of a roll at the moment with products that simply ooze class. This is no exception and is so far the best smart phone that I've owned or indeed used. I include Apple in that, but I will admit to not being an Apple fan.

Build quality is brilliant. It feels tactile, classy and solid. If it was a car it would be a Porsche.

The screen simply has to be seen to be believed. Vivid and clear with a slick touchscreen performance easily the match of other top end phones.

Of course there are other pluses as well that swung this for me. It has excellent expandability via the micro SD slot. You have a great range of accessories from Sony and it will integrate into the Sony family seamlessly.

Android. Like any operating system either you get it or you don't. I like it but it has to be said that you can mess around enough with it to render it a bit rubbish. By the same token you can also adjust it to suit your preferences as well and for those who like to play around this is a real plus. For those who are happy to be given what you get, then Apple beckons.

Battery life. Well I've read good and bad but like any smart phone it can be brutal. However, the Sony has a neat option that extends the life from the usual day in between charges to four or five. If you set the power management to turn off wifi and Bluetooth when the screen is off the battery will last far, far longer. Okay, you will have to bring the screen back to life to check, however in practice that's not a huge issue.

The camera is brilliant and if you want to go further (I did) then you can buy the QX10 or QX100 which turns this phone into a high end point and shoot.

There is a 'however,' coming up. If you do buy the Sony QC10 and the official Sony case then there is a problem. firstly despite the case appearing well made it cracks very easily. Others have said the same. Also the white case - which I have - fits all too snugly around the in built lens and flash and because of that it whites out any pictures.

My wife has a Samsung Galaxy 3 and whilst also very slick, this beats if for high end perception of quality.
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on 17 September 2013
Switching from HTC One S, I'm very impressed with Xperia Z. Can't tell anything bad about it. It's very fast, has brilliant camera, the screen is so great. UI is very smooth, no glitches at all. The battery lasts much much longer than my previous One S. Build quality is excellent, it is robust and solid, hey it's even waterproof :)

I also thought about S4 but chosen Z because of minimalistic UI design, build quality and screen that produces natural colours instead of oversaturated S4's screen. Ultimately I'm really happy with my choice. Before buy I was worried about battery life and UI smoothness but both are excellent, can't say a bad word about it.
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on 20 August 2014
I bought it for my brother and he loved it. Waterproof,dust proof and has an amazing camera feature. All in all really nice phone.
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on 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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