on 2 March 2014
I really like this phone, mostly because of the screen: it's beautiful. Really good contrast, good black level. The only issue is the off-axis viewing angles aren't the best, but that is very minor.
This device feels super premium: the metal sides feel fantastic in the hand and the glass front and back add to make this phone feel even more premium than an iPhone in my opinion. The metal also makes this device super tough too. I am sure if you dropped it from a small height it would be fine.
Call quality was excellent: callers could here me loud and clear and the quality on my end was excellent too. No issues with reception: very good on the Tesco Mobile (uses O2) network, but I am sure it would work well on every network.
I wasn't able to test the water-resistant ability (I'm too scared!) but I am sure it would be just fine if you dunked it in the loo, a swimming pool, etc. The flaps used to provide this ability by covering the ports feel really durable so they won't come off when you're in the water.
The camera's very good: 1080p video looks really crisp and the photos it takes are really good quality, with good definition and very little noise. Low light performance wasn't bad, but a fair bit of noise creeped in. However, this is normal for most phones.
Overall, a really excellent phone, that I would certainly recommend. Excellent!
on 14 January 2014
I have been using iPhones since the 3GS and have rarely looked outside of Apple, having several iPods, an iMac and previously owning a Macbook that lasted for over 5 years. The iPhone 5S showed very few of the signs of innovation that put Apple where it is so I decided to look elsewhere.
The screen is excellent and is certainly a competitor for Apple's retina display. The camera on this phone is excellent, the poor reviews for indoor photos in poor light have some merit, but this is due entirely to the automatic white balance, if photos are taken on manual white balance settings they are still well above what you would expect of a smartphone camera. Battery life is much better than I experienced with previous iPhones, it's still on a device that is exceptionally energy/battery intensive but lasts much longer than I predicted.
The phone doesn't feel as big as it looks, when compared to the iPhone or smaller smart phones available it initially looks massive, but in practice it retains all the benefits of a smaller phone with the benefits of a larger screen. The screen is much bigger and more suitable for videos/digital magazines etc on the move compared to the iPhone and after only a few hours the phone feels like its a 'normal' size handset not a tablet/phone hybrid.
on 23 December 2013
I have been using an iphone 3GS for the last few years, and have been quite happy with it. I decided to replace it for a number of reasons, so did a lot of research and agonised over what to buy, after all when buying outright whatever you choose requires parting with a hefty lump of wedge.
I decided on the Xperia Z over other android phones for a number of reasons.
1) Its waterproof. I use my phone as a sat nav on my motorbike, so this is a great feature for me.
2) Expandable memory. 16Gb is not enough for me, my music collection alone approaches that.
3) Good camera
4) Good battery life (only other phone I could find with a 3000mAh battery was the LG G2)
I have had the phone a few days now and so far I am not at all disappointed with my choice. The phone simply flies, launching maps, sat nav, web pages etc in fractions of a second. It's build quality seems very good (but I haven't dropped it yet !) I've taken a few photos and they have been great, and the battery has lasted me all day with almost constant use (since I can't stop playing with it)
It is quite big, there are other slightly smaller phones with a 5inch display, but we are talking a few mm here. I doubt I could type with it one handed due to its size, and fear of dropping it, but really that's about the only negative and really the price you pay for a 5 inch display I guess.
So if you are thinking of buying a new android phone, you could do a lot worse than choose this.
on 4 February 2014
I have been a fan of sony mobile phones for some time, and the Z1 is the best yet. For anyone who owned a Z this is the phone that should of been, a more premium build, far superior camera, better screen (although who looks at a phone screen anything other than straight on?) For the pedantic (like myself) the annoying 'flap' issue is eradicated in that the headphone jack is now flapless (but still waterproof) so the only one that'll need opening daily is the micro usb to charge the phone. Again this can be avoided buy purchasing a charging dock for about £20. (The Krussell clip on hard card case is compatible with the dock).
The camera is of course the stand out feature and is very good, not ground breaking in a nokia 808 or 1020 sense but the best available on android (which in return is light years ahead of the windows operating system). The default setting is superior auto which doesn't use the full 20mp but rather 8mp that apparently utilizes the 20mp's (again like nokia 1020) to make a better shot in all conditions. I would say for the most part superior auto will do the job.
The walkman app is one of the best on a smartphone and the though there is too much bloatware (most manfacturers are guilty of this) you can disable them if you wish. Spec wise the Z1 is just about the fastest out there at the moment, falling a tad short of the note 3 but it does have better camera and the build quality is second to none. Some may argue the HTC one or iphone 5 are the best built phones but it's down to opinion, the Z1 is on a par but glass instead if aluminum. The Z1 is of course waterproof which is a nice touch, I'm still too scared to put mine under water but it's nice to know your safe when talking in pouring rain.
Another huge selling point of the Z1 is it's compatibility with micro sd cards, giving you the option to increase your phone memory up to 80gb! Against the similarly priced HTC one with a non-expandable 32gb
Overall it's a fine phone that looks and feels premium, it is quite large in the hand and there are other 5' screen phones that are smaller but if you are happy with a sizeable but pocketable phone for everyday use this could be the (z) one for you.
on 12 October 2013
Why is it that Xperia Z1 is being called the best phone in the market?
Some deep insights here which others might not have mentioned but make the life so easy with this phone:
1. Speed and fluid operation. The Sony version of UI on top of JellyBeans is just amazing. They have taken care of small things and made it smooth and operationally very nice.Sony's refined UI is much much easy to use then any other Andriod brands and is at par with iOS7.
2. Multi tasking: It has been annoying for me using Samsung S4 that for moving between running apps you have to click the home button for 2 seconds to get the multi task screen and then choose the required app. With Xperia Z1 its a breeze as they have given a dedicated multi tasking button to switch between apps without slight delay.
3. Internet speed: You will see that this phone is fast in connecting and speed. On 3G as well (dont have 4G) you can keep S4 / iPhone 5s side by side and this piece of art will load pages quicker.
4. Excellent Screen: its is actually 1080p resolution but icons dont feel like tiny or squeezed like Motorola. The quality of the screen is so clear that it feels popping out when playing videos and games. The Screen brightness is also very high. Sony's XReality makes the movies and pictures sharp but please note when you look at some pictures taken from the camera on the phone with Xreality turned on you might think they are too noisy remember its only this XReality engine adding extra pixels to your images. :)
5. Music Player: The phone offers Sony's propriety walkman chip that makes the music sound so well you wont believe it. Why because of these: Clear Audio that stops the merging of left and right sounds from interfering hence making the stereo experience beyond par. Clear Bass makes songs sound with a real thump without making the rest of the sounds submerged unlike S4 where when you choose Bass heavy and the rest of the song dies except the base. iPhone's equaliser is rarely used as its just a gimmick by the way. Surround Sound (VPT) this takes Sony apart from all others as the Surround they provide is authentic and makes your listening experience especially in public very comforting exclusively giving you the outside noise reduction that you need even with normal headphones. CLEAR Audio makes the music sound much more clear and with more thump with one click similar to S4's Audio tuner that takes some time to tune the phone for your headphones.
6. Small Apps: Ah the small apps are Sony's new innovation which just works perfectly. These are small apps that can run on top of any other app. So if you need a calculates, camera, browser, a mirror, currency calculator, unit converter, speed camera, sound meter, magnifying glass, screen shot, notes or any other app you can add it to Small apps and it works better then multi screen from Samsung.
7. Camera: Ah you thought i missed the camera :) well currently its the best in pixels i.e 21megapixels. Its fast as you can take the photo from phone being locked in 2 seconds by pressing the dedicated camera key and in two seconds your phone will take the photo and still keep itself locked. The camera is very high res and captures more light then any other camera phone in the market. I cant say its the best but it is comparable and takes very very detailed photos due to its image sensor. A few things to note:
- TimeShift Photos: This is perhaps the best feature when capturing those unexpected moments as the camera takes 30 pictures before and after you have pressed the camera button. Yes before and after and yes 60 frames in just one second and not only that it then collate them all save them separate images with the choose image appearing in your gallery but also creates an animated picture combining all of them. Sweep Panorama has been the best with Sony and it still is. 1080p video recording is even better with stereo sound and anti shake (LG G2 anti shake is optical and is better then any other by the way).
- AR Effect is a virtual environment that is imposed on your reality and you can move the camera around to take a photo with animated objects and scenery. fun for kids...
- Very important is that camera picks up the face tone correctly which this camera does very well and i mean both the front and back cameras.
- Camera Album: Well this is simple the best and Apple has apparently copied that as well where you pinch and zoom out to the whole library with tiny thumbs appearing or you can pinch in to view larger groups then a couple to one photo. Its all fluid and phone does it even if like me you have more then a thousand photos on 20mega pixels saved all over the place including many HD movies.
8. Battery with Stamina mode: It just simple makes your phone's battery double. Simplez! but using the Easy Battery Manager makes it even longer with moderate usage I can squeeze two full days now :)
9. The whole feel of the phone: The glass quality is premium with the right weight you feel like using a premium device that attracts others with its looks and crystal clear design. Its fully water proof you I use it in my shower and bath tub to watch Cnet while relaxing there. :) I can swap memory cards on the go especially when travelling I have one memory card full of movies. No need to turn the phone off and take the battery out like S4.
There are many things like creation folders with dragging apps, having customised app drawer, uninstalling apps like iOS with one click or search apps or just listing only most used apps in the app drawer. You can even create folders in App Drawer. The music player appear on the lock screen to control the music easily. All headphones with a volume button can be used to skips tracks. The TV remote function to control your TV or stream anything on your phone to a smart TV. The ability to have all your internal memory for Apps and not limited to a mere 1 or 2 GB. It never ever slows down I have filled mine with apps to the full and no issues at all.
I must say the camera needs a bit more work as it produces a different algorithm that creates noise yes you get the sharpness but when you zoom in 100% you can see the noise it has always been Sony's issue. But when you see the photo on a 1080p HD screen they look very sharp as the actual resolution is 3936x5248 in 16:9 view. That is very high res and you will notice those far far away flying birds on the horizon are not visible on screen and when you zoom in you see those tiny details. Now that is excellent and what a product by Sony!!!
on 25 November 2013
First android, absolutely love it. Great for photos & streaming flash video. Highly recommend everyone gets this. It's a beast.
on 12 October 2013
This phone has amazed me, Sony have made use of the super fast processor and the massive 5inch screen really well! Sony have there own app store with plastation games and then you also have the android jelly bean. The phone runs smoothly on all the games I have tested, including high tech ones. The battery life will most defently last you all day recently have been on a long car journey the phone lasted all the way while browsing the Web and watching films. The ear phones are Ok however . Have noticed that the Sony Xperia z1 doesn't send sound very loud compared to other phones I have had for example when plugging the Sony Xperia z1 into my sound system it won't be as loud as it is on my iPhone 4S even tho the sound system is at the same volume. The Sony Xperia Z1 has the same keyboard layout as the iPhone with a few differences. I really do love Google Chrome on my mobile it is supper fast compared to other browsers it also allows you to link your computers chrome to your mobile and you can continue where you left off. The phones possessor has really amazed me, its just so quick its just like it's. Impossible the phone has never frozen or slowed down. The CAMERA where do I start, its one of the best camera phones out there it also includes Sony G lens what just makes it 2X better. Most photos will come out in excellent quality however the phone doesn't do very well on low light conditions and struggles to show an image, the led light isn't that bright, the phone also over exposures bright lights such as the sun. This camera doesn't do to we'll in direct sun light. But how thin this phone is the photos are amazing. I really do recommend this phone over any apple, Samsung and Nokia mobile it's just that impressive, I think Sony is getting back into the market on mobile phone and at the current moment the Xperia Z1 is the best #1st
on 3 March 2014
Had this phone for a couple of months now. Never lags, battery time is excellent,.
Good Camera that keeps getting better and better. Coming from an iPhone 4s, love the bigger screen and more choices for customization.
Other than the really annoying tendency of retail to now call this an "old phone" because it's had two successors in the last year, this phone is great value for money.
I've thrown just about all my most graphically intensive games at it, even the ones that made my old note II stutter a bit, and it can handle them all.
My only gripe would be the screen. I like it but I hate it. It's really sharp and clear compared to the note II screen, but as soon as you look at it when it's on the table or in the dock, you're not quite head on, even an angle of maybe 5%, bleh, it looks awful like a cheap TFT from a 90s television. Washed out! The viewing angle is DEFINITELY a big deal. Choosing a darker background does improve things though.
Getting past that, the phone is perfect in every other way. A couple of things my note 2 didn't have are ant+, a dedicated camera button, shiny glass rear (or is it plastic?!). I've not tried ant+ but I can tell you that bluetooth 4 works perfectly. As it did on the note 2.
Battery life - well, it's like this. Use stamina mode. Just....use it. It will give you around 4-5 days idle if you don't touch the phone (i.e. left at home when you went on holiday or lost behind sofa) or more realistically around 2 days, or a full day if you're constantly on it playing games like I am!
Get the magnetic dock. Get a slim case and get the non official magnetic dock that can support the case. I'm not kidding. The phone has these fiddly little flaps that you don't want to keep opening and closing, just get the dock. It's as good as Qi wireless charging. Better actually since it charges at full speed.
I haven't dunked the phone yet. I probably should. But I haven't. I might try now. I guess it would be covered by warranty, right??
Also I found that a glass screen protector is superb, instead of the awful one they gave me free in the box. Sure it was free, but bubbles everywhere! The glass ones just go on by themselves, it's freaky, you have to try it.
Thumbs up! I think it's great for the price, for us lesser mortals who can't afford the Z3...
on 29 September 2013
I have been , well had been, having a love affair with the Iphone ever since it came out. The latest release, namely 5S/C left me rather disappointed, as I had hoped that Apple would finally release a bigger-sized screen, at least alongside the current one . Hence the research commenced. Samsung? No thank you, I am certain that no one who held an Iphone can possibly settle for the train-wreck that is the Galaxy range, from a cheap feel to constant crashing and the infamous screen burns. The others did not excite me either. However, having seen the Sony Z1, I immediately fell in love and promptly upgraded to it. When I received it, I suddenly became reticent at the size of the thing. I mean. It is BIG. Chernobyl BIG. But then again, if you are considering it, you are obviously lured to its big boy credentials. Coming from an Iphone, the size hits you in your face like a truck does to a rabbit in the Scottish highlands. I thought I might play with it for a few days and then return it. But then I tried it. That very night, the protective covers went bye-bye and I needed no convincing that yes, He is the One. Fast, responsive, sleek and simply gorgeous. Yes, it is big, and the screen is fabulous. Call quality is very good, the interface is stunning. I needed something to double as a phone and a device for mapping the drives and much internet work when I am on the move. This is brilliant. It is unapologetic, the quality of an Iphone and the size of an Android.
Unfortunately, Apple and Samsung are dominating the marketing, but do not give this one a miss. Try it. I did and I love it.
Put the Z1 through its paces, battery life is amazing, and you have multiple options to be a power-saving bunny if that's your thing.
The cons: The flaps look a bit flimsy to me, time will tell.
FOR MAC USERS: When the phone is connected to your Mac, you can download the software to your computer, called the Sony Bridge for Mac. It syncs your Itunes...AND Itune Playlists onto your phone in a few clicks, as well as Iphoto albums etc if you so wish, which is bloody brilliant.