Summary: Sony’s Xperia ZL is an excellent smartphone. There is no question as to whether the phone is Sony’s most well-built, nor if it has a great screen or camera. The issue is that there are devices like the HTC One and Galaxy S4 that purport to do most things better, faster and more efficiently.
Pros: - Bright, accurate, sharp 1080p display - Restrained improvements to the Android experience - Excellent first-party app design - Good performance in apps, games and throughout the OS - Superb camera performance and feature set - Stamina Mode is a battery saver that isn’t a gimmick - Great industrial design
Cons: - Disappointing battery life without tweaking - Awful viewing angles - Camera struggles in low light - Thin, sibilant mono speaker on the back - Textured backing lacks high-end feel compared to rest of device - Screen is a fingerprint magnet
Sony Xperia ZL – the most compact 5.0 inch smartphone you can find
12 August 2013
Conclusion: The Xperia ZL has been launched this spring, although it’s still not available in most countries. The standard retail price is around $600-650 for an unlocked unit – a good price for what is basically an Xperia Z with LTE, not to mention the most compact phone with a 5.0 inch display. If you don’t mind the bad viewing angles of the screen, this is one of the best high end phones to get – high build quality, well-known brand, compact design and natural display colors make...
Summary: The Sony Xperia ZL all around is a great Android smartphone that certainly does feature “the best of Sony in a smartphone.” It has a stunningly beautiful 5-inch display, features some powerful internal specs and offers a great camera experience. With that said, there certainly are some things holding back the Xperia ZL from receiving our excellent rating.
Conclusion: If you're fond of Sony's smartphones and software experience, the Xperia ZL is particularly attractive as a no-contract smartphone. It's fast, the UI is clean and pleasing and the camera is very good. Here in the US, I suspect no-contract high end phones are beat out by carrier subsidized models, but for those of you who appreciate an unlocked world phone or perhaps aren't due for a subsidized upgrade, the Sony Xperia XL has its appeal (especially because you can use it...
Pros: Compact 5" full HD Android smartphone, unlocked with 4G LTE, very good camera, has AV Remote with consumer IR.
Cons: Display viewing angles aren't great, battery life so-so.
Pros: Simple and attractive design, Light and narrow enough for one-handed use, Speedy performance, Lots of customization and personalization in the UI, Easily connects to other devices in Sony's ecosystem
Conclusion: The Sony XPERIA ZL takes what the Sony XPERIA Z was good at - and remains good at - and puts it in a slightly more hand-friendly form factor. If you'd like your handset to have a massive amount of glass, you'll want the Z. If instead you want a slightly less pretty machine that's better for an accident here or there, go ZL.
Summary: Product diversity. The Xperia ZL extends Sony's smartphone portfolio at the top of the range, whereby familiar hardware and a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels meet a slightly reworked case, all of which is currently available at a price of around 550 Euros (~$715).
Pros: Attractive design & good manufacturing quality, Dedicated camera shutter release button, Integrated micro SD card reader, Comprehensive range of communication options, Simple operation and text entry, Application and graphics performance, Full-HD display with good characteristics, The attractive design of the Xperia ZL, as well as the provided features, and the high resolution 5-inch display with 1080x1920 pixels (Full HD).
Cons: Permanently integrated battery, 13 megapixel main camera for snapshots, Display with elevated black level & narrow viewing angles, Average quality mono speaker, A display with a lower black level and wider viewing angles, as well as the possibility to change the battery.
Conclusion: If the Sony Xperia Z was Batman, then the Sony Xperia ZL would be Robin – a less exciting sidekick, yet a superhero nonetheless. At first we were a bit underwhelmed by the latter's lack of visual appeal, but the more we used it, the more we got used to its peculiarities, so we eventually grew quite fond of Sony's new device. Note that the Sony Xperia ZL is not a smartphone for those who value fashion over functionality.
Pros: Fast quad-core processor delivers great performance, Camera launches fast even from lock screen, IR blaster
Cons: Boring design, Awkward front-facing camera placement, Sharp corners make it feel less compact than it is