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4.1 out of 5 stars
Sony Xperia Z1 SIM-Free Smartphone - Purple
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
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!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
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.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2014
This phone i got 2 months ago as time for up grade. i looked at this phone for some time thinking its brill and it is, the best parts are

water proof upto 10 meters, has 2gb of ram, 1080p screen, 4 core cpu , well made

Looking at that seems very nice for a phone i have been on my motorbike in such bad weather my 200 pound bike jacket pocked was socked , had to have my sony phone in there but i wipe the screen and worked fine. so i know it works well with water.

bad points are, it keeps all the apps open all the time you have to close them one by one there is no clear all like Samsung, + the ports you have to open every time you want to charge your phone or plug in earphones does not seem like a big deal but it is after a week, you cant take off the music sony have put on there or there apps, does it very hot if gaming or using for long time the battery is ok but one charge a night is needed but i think thats with all smartphones now.

so i would recommend this phone for watching hd movies and gaming nice phone over all
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2013
First android, absolutely love it. Great for photos & streaming flash video. Highly recommend everyone gets this. It's a beast.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
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!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2014
I got this phone to replace my Samsung Galaxy S3 and I'm pleased with the choice.
The good:
- the 5" full hd screen is super sharp and makes the browsing experience great
- sony does not add too much stuff on top of the original Android image so it's super fast.
- it's water proof which is good if you ever get caught by heavy rain as you don't have to worry about water damage
- sony's power saving management options are a great way to get the most out of your battery
- the battery lasts 2 days when regularly using the phone- browsing, talking, using different apps(without power saving options on), up to 4 days with sony's power saving mode on, and up to 10 days in standby, or simply using it as a phone once a day
- the design is ok

The bad:
- because of the HD screen the phone will heat up a lot so after 30 min on the phone you will start to feel it
- some settings are not easily accessible- like turning off data packets; you have to navigate through the settings to get where you want
- Sony seems to have the worst possible keyboard layout: I'm used to the samsung keyboard were I could easily find the keys I want and would never mix them up. But with this one, I regurarly press the "." instead of " " and have to search for keys like "$" or "&" which is annoying
- it is pricey; for the same price you can get a better phone, you don't even have to look very far
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2014
I had a Samsung galaxy S3 LTE on T-Mobile using 3G before i got the Sony Z1. Wow, the Sony knock spots off the Samsung. Its such a great phone. The internet is quicker, i can connect to the web in places where my Samsung couldn't. Its water proof although i have not drowned it yet. Only gripes i have is that the power button is too small and the volume control ajusts the volume in to big a steps. A song could be to loud, turn it down with one press then it is to soft. Would def recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2015
I have been the owner of this phone for almost two years now and simply cannot fault it. I have read reviews about people having issues with cracked screens and I can confirm I have kicked mine, sat on it and dropped it on many occasions and not once has the screen shown any signs of damage!!! The camera is incredible and friends and family have been amazed buy the quality of photos it takes. My digital camera (which wasn't cheap) is an embarrassment in comparison to this phones camera! The sound quality is also incredible making music a joy to listen to :-) the general use of the phone is simple and user friendly and works perfectly without any glitches or issues. Comments have been made about its size but after a few days it feels as natural as any other phone you have owned. I truly cannot praise this phone enough and intend to upgrade to the newer version shortly!!! Oh just one last thing it's waterproof!! What more can I say ;-)
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