With the Sony Xperia Z, Sony clearly aimed at delivering a mobile phone experience par excellence. Here’s a look at some of the features of this Android smartphone, to help you decide if they succeeded or not.
With the Xperia Z, what meets the eye is definitely delicious. The design espouses flat glass surfaces in a way that no other smartphone does and the visual result is definitely appealing. The slim 7.9 mm phone has a 5 inch scratch-resistant TFT touchscreen (display and viewing angles are a bit of let-down, despite a brawny 1920 x 1080 pixel, 440 ppi display), a glass panel covering the back of the device, and sleek glass panels along the sides as well- giving the phone a highly reflective surface that’s easy on the eyes. The all-glass theme continues uninterrupted, save the power button, volume rockers, and micro SIM card slot, along the sides; and the ear-piece and microphone at the top and bottom. But, Sony has designed this device with aesthetic rather than ergonomic appeal in mind, and that reflects in the fact that the phone doesn’t fit as comfortably in your palm as many of the other 5 inch smartphones available in the market- notwithstanding the inherent unwieldiness that goes hand in hand with larger form-factor phones. But Sony does deliver on dust and water-resistance. The device’s design makes sure that the few openings on the phone are protected by flaps to ensure the phone’s insides stay secure even if you immerse your phone in water or expose it to dust. The device itself is sturdier than most of its counterparts from other brands as well, and you won’t need to tip-toe around it on that front.
The 13 megapixel camera with HDR video recording (a first for video) is a mixed bag- with a clean user-interface, a reliable auto mode, decent image stabilization and great audio recording, but on the flip side, there’s often a slight blur in the images and mediocre performance in low light conditions.
On the software front, Sony’s Cosmic Flow skin provides a stock experience for the most part, although Sony has worked in some unobtrusive customizations. The lock-screen sports a shortcut to the camera and another to media. However, you won’t be able to access a text message or a missed call directly from here, like you could with its predecessor, leaving that feature in would’ve been a bonus. Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited though have several comparable substitutes in the Android ecosystem. PlayStation Mobile, with the games currently available, doesn’t deliver on the PlayStation promise, at least not yet.
On battery life and performance, the phone’s battery lasts an entire day with normal usage, and also has a customizable Stamina mode to help save battery-life when your phone is idle- you can pick and choose which applications to turn off when you aren’t using your phone, to help further save battery charge. The Xperia Z’s 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon chip (supported by a 2 GB RAM) doesn’t really translate to double the speed of a dual-core. The phone isn’t slow, you’ll be able to use most apps without any unacceptable lag, but the quad-core processor doesn’t seem to bring any incremental increases in processing speed to the table.
Compare mobile phone models and prices across brands and websites, in the mobile phones section on Junglee.