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on 5 March 2013
I rarely write reviews but be warned! I have just received this item. Looks nice but thats about it. No video calling facility over 3G, proved absolutely impossible to connect to my Win 7 PC either by USB cable or bluetooth or wi-fi. Sony PC companion software which comes with the phone is completely useless - it would not recognise the phone under any circumstances. Sony support site totally unhelpful. The charging socket has a flimsy plastic cover (in fact all the sockets have a plastic cover) - I don't know how long it would last with daily charging and all this to make the phone waterproof - who wants to take their phone in the shower or swimming pool is another matter. I had this phone for 6 hours and I was thoroughly put off. So out comes the packaging, email Amazon and the phone is to return for a refund. Hello Samsung Galaxy S4 due for release April 26.

Still waiting for Sony customer support to come back to me regarding the PC connection problem (its now (its now 11 days and no word!). I have now received my full refund from Amazon. Very poor show from Sony. The new Galaxy S4 looks great with specs that shame the Xperia Z and a street price which is likely to be £480 (cheaper than tis piece of rubbish). I am pleased I returned this product.
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on 4 March 2013
Let's get this out the way - this is a very expensive phone. This wouldn't normally be an issue with a premium handset, but at this time of the year, with new models due out by HTC and Samsung fairly shortly, chances are the price of this will take a tumble in the not-too-distant future.

My previous three phones have been the Lumia 920, HTC One X, and Galaxy S3, so this is just a quick comparison of the main features. I've had the phone for four days so will update if anything changes with experience!

Screen - the Sony's 1080p screen has a higher PPI than it's competitors and certainly looks sharp...but on a screen this size the visible difference in clarity is negligible. The One X's display remains my favourite due to it's vibrant yet realistic colours, great viewing angles, and high contrast. The 920 is a close second, and the Xperia Z a little below that, let down by it's poor viewing angles and slightly washed out look.

Speed - the Xperia Z is incredibly fast, and comfortably beats rivals in benchmarks (the GS4 will probably change this). In practice, the phone is slick and responsive, with no perceptible lag. To be honest, ans modern smartphone is plenty fast enough to run all available android apps with no issue, so I'm not sure there's much real-world advantage to such a quick processor - but it's nice to have all the same.

Ergonomics - The Xperia Z is light and slim, and feels good in the hand. I personally find the sharp corners tend to "catch" when removing it from a pocket, increasing the chances of dropping it...but that may just be my clumsiness!

Battery - meh...not great, not terrible. Most smartphones I've had over the past couple of years will last a day with moderate use. The differences in battery life have been whether they die at 2am if not charged, or 5am - non of them have lasted two days. The Xperia z continues this trend; it's life is perhaps a little less than some if its rivals, but not enough to make a practical difference for most people I suspect.

Camera - decent enough. The 13mp resolution and fancy sensor type imply a step up from the competition, but the photos I took were of similar quality to those taken with my 920 and One x. The time taken for the camera app to open is a huge negative though - most of the time the moment had passed by the time I was ready to take a picture. Having no dedicated camera button does not help here!

Waterproofing - this is why I chose the phone. I'm paranoid about water damage, and the ability to use the phone in the rain is a huge plus for me - it's not like rain is rare in the the UK so I'm surprised more phones don't offer this feature. It works well enough, but a note of caution...the water resistance relies on rubber plugs to cover the sockets. These appear quite fragile, and (given that they must be removed each night for charging, or any time you plug the headphones in etc), I can't imagine that they will last. I suspect at least one of mine will have broken off within a year, and due to the sealed body of the phone they may be quite difficult to replace.

Oh, and remember that while you can use the phone in the bath, the screen will not be able to register finger movements if submerged.

Signal strength - I don't know if it's just my phone, or perhaps a result of the waterproof casing, but the Xperia Z has more trouble picking up the wifi signal in my house than previous phones did. It's not *terrible*, but if your signal is marginal it's worth bearing in mind.

In summary - if you like the design and the waterproofing is attractive to you, this is the phone to get. If not, it's probably wirth seeing what the competition has to offer before making up your mind.

It's been pointed out to me that the rubber plugs have been tested for at least 1200 open/close cycles, which suggests my concerns over their longevity were unfounded.

I've also found "Stamina mode" quite useful - basically it cuts off background processes when the screen is off. I've found that while leaving this on (and using the phone sparingly) I can get two days use out of it. Ok, it's no substitute for a bigger battery, but a useful option nonetheless.
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on 1 March 2013
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.
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I have had my Xperia Z for 5 weeks now. I was at first concerned about the battery life, but to be fair I did spend the first few hours of ownership downloading my favorite apps and a large number of albums from amazon and 7 digital. I took the charger to work with me the first time and did have to plug it in. Yesterday I left home with the 'Z' fully charged and left the charger at home ,and used it quite a few times over of an 8 hour period checking my mail looking at videos and also took quite a few photos too (good camera when set up properly!!)

The headphones supplied aren't bad but you could probably do better, I understand some networks are giving away a free pair of sony headphones worth £299 in the uK!! What a bargain! The camera needs to be set up properly as if its a normal digi camera - there are quite a few setting and it has HDR as well as the Exmor sensor. It does pretty well in low light situations - see pictures I uploaded here - Some warm sunny weather, blue skies and golden sunlight could make all the difference too!!

Just one little warning..... The Xperia Z is pretty tough - but its NOT scratch proof!! Get those screen protectors on there or get a good case if you want its look to last!

**** update ****

Despite what others say here, I think the screen is brilliant - probably too good as it makes its own photographs taken with the camera look better then they really are! Films downloaded form 'Video Unlimited' look fantastic, incredibly sharp, but look even better when connected to any flatscreen. If you dont have a Sony bravia you need to buy a special MHL cable off here Sony Xperia Z Micro-USB To HDMI Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) Adapter and it also needs to be connected to a USB power output... So typically you would have the MHL connected to the HDMI cable from your flatscreen and then a USb cable connected to the SIDE of the MHL adapter and thence to something like a small laptop to provide the power (also keeps your phone trickle charging) then connect the MHL connecter into the Z's usual charging port..... I think one of the reasons the battery dont last too long is because we tend to play with the device all the time - I know I do! So turn off things like bluetooth, GPS, and anything that is transferring data back an forth. Turn the screen down to a sensible level too and set the time-out for the screen to 2 to 5 minutes.

One of the wonders of android is that you can infinitely customize it. I recommend the 'Apex launcher' from the Play store, there are others - with this you can totally change the look of the UI, I have to admit to being a bit underwhelmed with the original view when I first switched on the phone. Now, it looks nothing like it did when I first used it - looks much better and some great widgets too!

You buy smartphones??!!!!??? For most working folk £500 GBP is a lot of money, so we don't do that here, in the UK you can get any phone you want free with the contract - sometimes even a free tablet too......

Going back to the film downloads I made an interesting discovery - films purchased or rented from Video Unlimited only seem to play from the main memory.. and not from my series 10 SD card.. worth baring in mind as the films are about 1.24GB each and the phones 16Gb soon fills up. First thing I discovered was that having moved my films to the SD card they wouldnt play.. And there is no in-device menu for copying films back to the internal memory quickly - so you have to use your PC to do this - a bit of a pain. Funny thing is that all other types of film seem to play ok from the SD card just not the purchased or rented ones.. I also advise that you turn OFF the data flow or your film will be constantly interrupted with alerts and update sounds and from news and Facebook apps - worse of all PHONECALLS! in the middle of the film - I turn my mine off anyway and just leave WiFi running, you need that to download your film anyway - they can take quite a while though you can play whilst it is downloading.PE

Update: Wish I had got a Samsung S3/4 now
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on 6 March 2013
well nearly a week as gone by with this xperia z
and let me tell you its no where near as good
as sg s3 or htc one x+, great screen,thats it.
if i was you i would wait till htc one (m7) comes
out this month,it will blow this overated
phone out of the water,then when sg s4 comes out
the xperia z will be forgotten about.
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on 5 March 2013
To think I nearly traded my galaxy s3 for this phone
Poor show Sony. Poor screen with poor saturation, shocking battery life! I could see it running down as i used the phone. as for the flaps!! I'm not going to bang on here about what Sony needs to do to compete but this isn't the way to do it. I'm happy to answer any questions relating to this phone. Thank you Amazon for a speedy deliver but also a trouble free refund.
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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:


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.
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on 7 September 2013
Though I'd better pass on my experience with the Xperia Z and Sony. Please note that I did not buy from this seller.

I had my Xperia Z for only 4 weeks before the screen cracked and rendered the top half useless! Now, more often than not cracked screens are a result of misuse or accidental damage however my Xperia Z screen cracked all on its own.

After researching on the internet I was horrified to find that mine is not an isolated case and there are several hundred if not thousands of users having the same problem!

Sony are refusing that there is any issue with the phone and that it is not covered under warranty. They charge £240 to fix!

Thanks Chris
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on 2 March 2013
Good phone but it does not support Adobe AIR (or Adobe Flash) as earlier Xperia phones did, so limited on the internet. Would have been better with an iPhone as a number of sites have apps to overcome this.
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on 8 March 2013
Hello everyone. Got this phone on Monday 4th. Was meant to get it on Saturday the 2nd. But anyway. Here is the link to my video! [...]
About the Phone

Screen: The screen is very amazing! Much better than on my old Xperia S. But the angles are very bad and the screen looks whited out. The Full HD screen shows very small details and VERY nice colours. Was very impressed!

Battery: The battery works not long but enough. For one day with one hour of gaming and 3 hours of internet it will last till the end of the day. the Stamina mode helps alot so use it all the time.

Internet: Didnt get to use 4G yet ;(

Camera: The camera is amazing! Very sharp and captures a very good video. Was amazed by the front video camera. After all i can say that it is better than the Xperia S one. There are very many effects and other functions.

Speed of work: Works too fast! Much faster than the Xperia S when i just got ot. The games such as Dead Triger can be played on highest graphics with no lag and about 40FPS. The Antutu Benchmark results are: 20728.Starts up very quickly. But when you play the game for 10 minutes you can feel that it's getting warm on the side of the camera. Opens everything very quickly!

Memory: You get the phone with about 11.73Gb. But you can easily get a micro Sd card for 64GB! On official site it says 32 but thats not true. So after all you will end up with 70Gb. But one of the problems i found is that when you install App it can't be moved on the micro sd card dont know why. But hopefully it will be fixed in the update.

Sizes and Design: It was very nice to see that Xperia Z is alot slimmer than Xperia s. Although it has a bigger screen and sizes. it has a glass on the back which makes it look like a premium smartphone. Nece to hold in hands and very good quality materials.

Waterproof!: First time i was very nervous and scared to try. But the phone didn't braek! I washed my phone about 10 times already and gave him a nice bath 5 times :) It works and everything is good. But when the screen is very wet it start pressing everything on the screen. But thats not a big problem. ALSO IMPORTANT. After you washed your phone the speaker will be very quite! But it will be fine againg in half an hour or less!

After all i can say that it is the best and most comfortable smartphone you can get so far! It has everything person will ever need! Good camera, Memory, Speed and waterproof feature. So thats it. Sony Makes only good quality products!
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