Conclusion: We’re happy to see Sony’s Z1 make it to a U.S. carrier in the form of the Z1S, especially since Sony saw fit to double the internal memory (16GB is pretty cramped for a modern high-end smartphone). We also think the Xperia line’s boxy design looks good, and is far more comfortable to hold in a device this size than with the similarly styled, though much larger Z Ultra.
Pros: Impressive camera, especially in low light, Waterproof, Slim, stylish design, Nice screen
Cons: Poorly placed speaker, Underwater camera ability seems niche, Splashing water activates touchscreen, Design attracts fingerprints and smudges
Xperia Z1 review: Sony's return to the megapixel wars
7 January 2014
Summary: Over the past 18 months, CEO Kaz Hirai has been on a mission to unify the sprawling empire entrusted to him into a more cohesive and focused One Sony . On the mobile front, that’s resulted in Cyber-shot cameras and Bravia-branded displays appearing in handsets like the former flagship Xperia Z. Today’s Xperia Z1 continues that cross-pollination push with an even more comprehensive set of borrowed features, including its headline-grabbing 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS camera.
Pros: The prettiest waterproof phone around, Has the sensor of a point-and-shoot camera, Snappy performance
Cons: Display is a clear step behind the competition, Ergonomics leave room for improvement, Software is not as up to date as the hardware
Conclusion: The Xperia Z1 is all about the camera. Anyone looking for a flagship Android smartphone with the most capable camera needs to look no further than the Xperia Z1. The 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS sensor affords fantastic resolution and superb overall quality, and although optical image stabilization is missing from the camera setup, low-light performance is much improved.
Summary: The Xperia Z was already a cracking phone, and Sony has only improved it with the Z1. Top-notch build quality combined with high-end specs make for a brilliant device that can keep up with the Galaxy S4s and iPhones of this world, and look good doing it too. Some people will find a 5-inch phone too big for them, but once you're used to the full HD quality that the Z1 provides, you'll never want anything smaller again.
Excerpt: Like its predecessor, the Sony Xperia Z1 features a lightweight, waterproof glass body. In addition to the 8.5mm thin body, the Z1 has a 2.26GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage and an expandable microSD slot. The 5” capacitive HD touchscreen has impressed many reviewers due to its bright and natural colors but there are still issues with viewing angles despite Sony’s “Triluminous” technology.
Pros: Water and dust proof design, Incredibly fast and powerful processor, 20MP camera
Cons: Body prone to scratches, Poor viewing angles, Bulky dimensions
Excerpt: This has been a great year for classy, cutting-edge mobiles. It began with the Sony Xperia Z . Since then, we’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S4 , HTC One , HTC One Mini , BlackBerry Q10 , Nokia Lumia 925 and Nokia Lumia 1020 , and now the iPhones 5s and iPhone 5c. How DO you choose? Well, there’s one more premium handset in the mix, the Sony Xperia Z1.
Pros: Stylish and well-built, Superb 20.7MP camera, It’s waterproof
Cons: Too big for some, Not cheap, Speaker is average
Excerpt: The advertising campaign for the Xperia Z1 calls it â€˜the best of Sony in a smartphoneâ€™. But what does that really mean? What is the best of Sony? The Japanese company makes a lot more than just phones these days, and the Z1 is supposed to take its expertise in other areas like cameras and gaming and fit them into a new handset.
Pros: Great built-in software for Sony fans, Highly-detailed camera, Very powerful
Cons: Battery life drains too fast, Perhaps too big for a smartphone, Speakers smothered on bottom