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Old September 13th, 2013, 02:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
El Presidente
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Device(s): Xperia Z1, Nexus 7 3G, HTC One X, SGS3 Mini
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What I've managed to find so far -

Sony Xperia Z1 Review | Mobile Phones | CNET UK

The most powerful mobile device I've ever tested
Fully waterproof
Sleek, glass and aluminium design
Razor-sharp, bright screen

Camera doesn't particularly impress
Disappointing battery life

The Xperia Z1's slick, waterproof design, its good screen and of course its monstrously powerful processor make it a hugely impressive phone, easily justifying its flagship status. It's let down, however, by a high-resolution camera that doesn't produce attractive photos, and its battery life is disappointing too.
Personally, I think it's unfair to judge battery life when the phone is so new. My experience is that batteries don't tend to perform at full capacity for a good week or so.

He also criticizes the camera. In all fairness, the pictures he's taken are gank. He does admit, that with a bit of tinkering, you can get some decent shots.

All I'm looking for in a mobile camera is the ability to snap a semi decent pic of my wee boy doing something awesome and use it for my wallpaper or print it and send it to my mum or dad or whatever. Looking at some of the test shots here & here, I think the Z1 will do ok with that.

I'll guess we'll have to wait and see what the other reviews say.

The Good
Stylish sturdy design, very powerful, vibrant HD screen, brilliant camera, waterproof.

The Bad
Sony's custom UI skin can prove annoying, pricey

We think the Xperia Z1 is the best smartphone Sony has ever released, proving that Sony is getting better at developing good, sturdy and stylish smartphones that are built to last.

We weren't the biggest fans of the firm's custom software skin or the handset being prone to scratches, but the Xperia Z1 is a huge leap for Sony.

Thanks to its excellent touchscreen display, 20.7MP camera and slick performance, we think the Xperia Z1 handset gives the Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One a run for their money, even if it does annoy those that just invested in the now old flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z.

The Sony Xperia Z1 is, without a doubt, the best smartphone you can buy right now; it is honestly difficult to find any major flaws with it. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if you’re considering buying a high-end HTC or Samsung device right now, you owe it to yourself to check out the Xperia Z1 when it becomes available because I think you will change your mind. Sony has finally built a thoroughly modern Android smartphone with a beautiful design, premium materials, quality components, top-notch performance, class-leading imaging and a well-thought-out software stack. It doesn’t just represent the best of Sony; it represents the best of the mobile industry and gives the HTC One a run for its money. With the Xperia Z1, you no longer need to put up with Windows Phone in order to have a brilliant camera in your smartphone. Sony is well and truly back at the top of their game.

Video review. He seems very, very taken with the handset.

Beautiful Full-HD display
Good design and build
Smooth performance
Compact camera class imaging quality

Major fingerprint magnet
Battery performance could be better
Expected better imaging performance from the hardware and software

Does the Xperia Z1 have what it takes to differentiate itself from the other two camera phones mentioned at the start of our review? Our answer is a definite yes. If you look around the competition right now, we are hard pressed to find an equal.

The Xperia Z1 is the only flagship device we've seen so far with water/dust-proof properties, a relatively large battery, a unique design and a capable camera module. There is simply no other Android flagship device in the market at the moment that can come close to matching what Sony has offered on the Xperia Z1. Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom on the other hand acts more like a camera with phone functionality than the other way around and is a fair bit bulky.

While the Xperia Z1's imaging capabilities fell short of the Nokia Lumia 1020's lofty standards, it performs as well as a standard digital camera and much better than other smartphones. It's not far-fetched to say that with the Xperia Z1, you can finally put off the purchase of a compact camera and just bring the phone everywhere you go.

There's also a strategic edge that the Xperia Z1 has over the Lumia 1020 - apps. Running on the world's most popular operating system, the Xperia Z1 gives you access to a rich library of apps, most of which are yet to be found on the Windows Phone ecosystem. Even though Windows Phone has caught up quite a bit over the past two years, app availability is still a concern and isn't as established as the Android or iOS ecosystem.

Putting the focus back on the Xperia Z1, we actually expected more from Sony's G lens. Our hopes were high on the Xperia Z1 standing shoulder to shoulder with the Lumia 1020, but there is certainly room for improvement. Its battery performance is still a sore point for us, and Sony really needs to pull up its socks on better power management on its mobile devices. Nonetheless, Sony has a very strong footing this time with the Xperia Z1 and we foresee it holding the fort comfortably against the upcoming LG G2 and Apple iPhone 5S. Already it is a leader among the existing 5-inch smartphones as far as platform processing prowess is concerned. Overall, you could say the Xperia Z1 is quite a good successor to the original Xperia Z as it has made substantial improvements on on all fronts.

Plenty of decent software refinements
Battery life with Stamina mode
Solid build quality
Fun camera features

Display not best in class
Seems larger than it perhaps needs to be
Device can get very hot
Camera not as far ahead as we'd hoped

There's a lot to love about the Sony Xperia Z1. It's a valiant effort, but not infallible. We like the the design overall, it's a smart looking device that exhibits plenty of quality and there's stacks of power under the hood of that 5-inch HD display.

It's the power that really shows off, as the Z1 skips through anything you can throw at it, but there are niggles: the display isn't the best in class, it gets too hot when you push it in the processor stakes, and all the efforts in the camera department don't seem to really bring huge gains.

It's saved by a user experience that's well refined and a battery life that's surprisingly good given the specs. But, as we've found, the Sony Xperia Z1 isn't the out-and-out winner in this class based on all its fancy specs.

In short: the original Z is bettered here, but in the fast-paced landscape of mobile phones it's not the best of the best. The physical size is chunky - a little bit too much for our liking, and we think others will feel the same; either go for one-handed comfortable use or super-sized Galaxy Note size - and the presence of lots of capable competitors out there means the Z1, despite all its positives, doesn't shine as brightly as its spec sheet would suggest.

Stylish and well-built
Superb 20.7MP camera
It’s waterproof

Too big for some
Not cheap
Speaker is average

There’s a lot to this phone, and its high-end credentials are not in doubt. It looks good, feels great in your hand and the Sony speciality of waterproofness remains a key, if gimmicky, feature.

The camera is good, though Nokia’s Lumia 1020 will give it a hard run. And though this phone is too big to suit every hand, if the size isn’t a problem this is a very powerful, fast, highly enjoyable handset.
I'll add more reviews when I can find them.
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Last edited by El Presidente; September 17th, 2013 at 06:04 AM.
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