11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
My first smartphone,
This review is from: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact SIM-Free Android Smartphone - White (Wireless Phone)
This is my very first smartphone and I have to say that I am very happy with it. I just don't have any way to compare it to others.
I'll be very short with this review and maybe later I will do a more complex one detailed review.
Pros/Cons (Pros are a + and cons a -):
+ Screen: The screen is very good. It's super sharp, no need in hell for a 1080p one. Colors are vibrant and realistic and very nice to look at. Blacks are very deep and well black, and they might not be like an AMOLED display's blacks but they are quite nice. The screen can get super bright, no problems to do anything in intense sun light.
It has very good contrast, fluent movement (frame rate), accurate and enjoyable colors, and pure whites (unlike the AMOLED screens in which whites seem green due to those sub-pixels).
- Screen: It can't get very dim, It's a bit annoying when using in complete darkness like texting at night. Aldo you might wanna go to sleep at same time so it's not that big of an issue.
+/- Camera: This one is a bit of a mixed bag. The front and back camera are very good and two of the best in the smartphone market. But there are some things that holds them back. Mainly the back one (main camera). It has 20.7 Megapixels... so what? Pictures look quite detailed and very nice for the most part and so does video but when you zoom in just a little bit you see chops of pixels surrounding distant objects/subjects and that is very disappointing. Up close that seems to not be an issue and it can get some awsome detail with nice colors. It can't focus to close (like 2cm way from something) but it does manage with focus. And then there is that flash which is terrible. You simply can't use most times. It "bleeds" onto the bottom edge of the picture and that's simply terrible. Video has nice detail and colors once again, but you can't (again) zoom in without messing everything, there is no slow-mo or 60fps footage like the iPhone 5s so picture is not smooth like that. And low light photography is ok but not great. Plus and this I didn't expect you loose a lot of viewing angle when filming a video.
It also can take a bunch of pictures in one second with TimeShift Mode but in normal mode it is not (again) as rapid like the iPhone 5s at taking a bunch of pictures by pressing the shutter button but it still impressive.
The colors are accurate and enjoyable to go along with screen, you can get very good detail, the software is simple and offers just enough features to keep you entertained and creative (aldo not as many as some Samsung Galaxy devices), low light pictures can be took and still capture detail and see no noise.
It's a phone camera, yes. But somethings could be fixed. I would give it a 5 star (2,5/4 of the time), 4 star other (1/4 of the time) and 3 star (0,5/4 of the time).
+ Performance: I can't compare to other smartphones, only ones I've used briefly. But performance so far seems excellent. I haven't tried gaming has I don't play (at least for now). But everything else like web browsing, running throw screens, opening apps, texting, calling, watching videos, play music, running through pictures in the album, installing and uninstalling apps has been smooth and fast.
- Performance: The camera app can sometimes be slow to open change between the front and the back cameras.
+ Battery life: So far battery life (and AGAIN I haven't had any way to compare it to and I haven't gamed anything) but with moderate use it lasts me about two days or more. Is that good? I probably still am not used to using some battery saving apps and closing background apps, which I don't do. But I turn on WiFi quite a bit during the day and use the camera and surf Facebook and Instagram here and there. If it stays like this for the next 2 years or so and I even learn some more tricks I will be very glad with the battery. (Knowing some other batteries can't do has good or better).
+/(-?): User Interface/Software: The user interface in this phone is one of things I been very happy with since the first day. The phone is so easy to navigate and utilize. Texting and writhing is pleasure with it's keyboard, making calls is actually enjoyable since your contacts, recent calls and buttons to text/call/information are all very clear, fresh, good looking and sleek.
The home screen and app menu are very organized and once more sleek. The fact you can swipe to the right and a little menu opens to Search, Uninstall and Organize your apps is great. It keeps Android very simple and enjoyable to use. It isn't as simple as iOS 7.1 but well it's Android and when you compare to other phone's UI, like TouchWiz on Samung devices and others, this one is my favorite. Everything from setting an alarm clock to the album of photos is nice. It's sleek, fast, good to look at, simple and functional.
(-?): I would just tweak a few things: The Walkman application to listen to music seems to miss that bar that shows in what part of the song you are at so you can't skip to a certain point. Maybe I'm missing that.
The PC Companion and all it's "sub-menus" can sometimes fell like something is missing.
There are a few apps, which you can uninstall and others that you can't (few) that are completely useless like Xperia Privilege and Xperia Lounge - thank god you can erase those. One of them just opens to a black screen.
+ Hardware: Another quite good strong point with this phone. It's pretty, it's modern, it's durable and functional. I got the white version since the contrast between the aluminum frame and the black screen is just beautiful, it's different from the usual black-tech most people choose and also the piano black back on the black version of this phone is really shiny and that makes it more prone to smudges, finger prints and scratches. The white version, for me, seemed the better option and for now I am quite happy with my decision.
It's very well built, actually it seems like one of the best and certainly feels and looks premium. You can tell where your money has gone when it comes to built quality. In the sea of plastic devices that is the android phone market, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact comes at top. It might not beat the stunning HTC One (M7) and HTC One (M8) but it's up there.
I'm quite happy they made the buttons on-screen, since the phone looks gorgeous when turned off. The physical buttons are good: The volume rocker is fine, the camera button is just ok and the power button is well a power button. They are all made of durable aluminum so you can tell how they will be. I just feel a bit scared about something that might happen happen to that one power button and make the phone "unlockable".
I haven't tried the water resistance yet but from the Youtube videos I've seen, it seems better than failure Sony Xperia Z's "water resistance".
The rest is just simply nice: The LED notification light in the earpiece is beautiful, very practical and multicolored. The earpiece it self makes call quality better than you need it to be.
The magnetic charger is very convenient since I have purchased a magnetic cable to USB in the first week I had the phone to charge it without having the need to open the flap that gives you access to the mini-USB cable port. These were made to be durable since they have to be closed so phone can stay waterproof but I prefer not to risk have one of them drop after a lot of usage.
And something that surprised me a bit was the speaker that is water-proof and not a Boom Speaker like the HTC One but it still manages to deliver some nice audio. Enough to watch Youtube videos an casually listen to a song or two, while the grill shaped speaker itself goes very nice with phone. But for the most part you are gonna want to use some headphones or external speakers since this is, after all, a phone speaker. Besides by doing this, you will save battery.
The size and shape: The 4.3" screen is perfect! I was searching for a new phone for months, months! The small ones were disappoint and the big top-end ones, were too big. This manages to have the one of best spec list on the market (as of May 2014), and overall premium hard-ware of a so called "flagship" device in a Compact body. This phone is practical and "pocketable". It's not to small so you can't really enjoy media on this screen, which you sure can! And not to big to make it uncomfortable to hold in one for usage and put it in your pocket.
+ Connectivity: I'm going to be rapid on this: Good signal reception for calls, texts and 3G/4G. Good Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, etc...
The antennas on this phone are good.
The box: The box that this phone brings is simple... it's a square. You have your phone covered with a front and back plastic protector, USB cable/USB charger, Sony in-ear earphones which I have tried and are good (not amazing but nice and come with 3 differently sized ear buds), manual, a USB cable that I am sorry to say I don't know the name of but you can search this (sorry) and some paper work.
Conclusion: I might have missed a few details here and there but I hope I made my point.
I give this phone a 4.5 star rating. It's my first smartphone, but I'm no tech newbie and I watched a ton of tech videos regarding smartphones and all about the best technologies for screens, speakers, CPU's, etc...
And after a lot of thinking and indecision (almost bought 8 different phones since I started searching) I am very happy I purchased this one. The 0.5 missing is just because of some very very little "annoyances" which can be perfectly ignored. It is still one of the best on the market and I am very very happy with my purchase.
It is expensive, and initially I never thought on spending so much. But when I look at the advantages I realize I made the right choice.
I hope I clarified some questions of people who, like me, were confused and lost between so many phones. If you have any questions, I will be very happy to clarify them.
Pedro, from Portugal.