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Sony Xperia Z review: Zero hour

17 February 2013 | Read the review | Post your comment
Sony Xperia Z review: Zero hour - read the full textWith solid backup in the midrange, returning to the fiercest battle in the mobile market is Sony’s top priority. The Xperia Z, which leads the charge, got us properly impressed in a recent hands-on and if it walks unscathed from a complete review, we’ll know the Japanese have hit the form of their life...


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can't help but think the price they're demanding for that kind of dull display is insane plain insane, I'd rather spend half and get pretty much same hardware I.E Nexus 4. Thanks Sony for pushing away your T user.

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  • 2013-02-18 23:05
  • t@Gj

I can see many comments here are really into the camera section...
Should the Exmor RS be "better" only under low light OR high contrast situations?? (becuz ISO performance and dynamic range are better) I only see comparisons based on studio shots, so I do have some reservation on bashing the camera on XZ so quick.

And though a little off-topic, would the softness in the photo be due to the lens? This tiny little lens might not have the resolving power required for such a tiny sensor + diffraction comes into play, perhaps? Has the era came when the lens is limiting resolution for mobile phones?

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  • 2013-02-18 22:43
  • v$Fw

Waterproof and dustproof and it looks incredible.

They won me over....

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  • 2013-02-18 21:55
  • HKyD

> In reply to Anonymous @ 2013-02-18 21:04 from t781 - click to readas a fanboy you're telling the truth.
this is one of the best and most beautiful UIs we have.
the camera is among the best
the audio is among the best ( read the review carefully. that was the loud speaker which didn't do well)
and how do you know about the battery??
to tell the truth, you're a true fanboy. LOL

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  • 2013-02-18 21:38
  • pT6m

worst ui
bad camera
bad video recording
bad speaker
bad battery!
sorry im just telling the truth

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  • 2013-02-18 21:04
  • t781

Can't wait to own this beauty. Sony bring it on! Looking forward for xperia togari.

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  • 2013-02-18 19:52
  • th9Y

> In reply to sxz @ 2013-02-18 18:24 from uuxe - click to readare you saying that when it comes to camera, you are more expert than sony?
you should work for sony r&d and help them build the best camera according to your expertise...

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  • 2013-02-18 19:28
  • NFaG

I liked the review the three most important benchmark tests which is what makes a smartphone important and usable in the first place and tells you what sony was focusing on first. 2 gigs of ram how this is another key issue which companies last year failed to give 2 gigs of ram of their flagship phone for the ics os system that needed it however it was not their fault they were focusing on gingerbread os but when they did the ics os upgrade smartphones that were in between the change got degraded use and lost their prestige. Second comes 1080p resolution screen now i can watch 1080p content on my phone couldn't do that before screen is the 2nd most important feature as well. Camera how many times would I avoid shooting in low light because the camera doesnt have the hardware inside that will allow it? xperia z does it though how long will this niche last though? Waterproofing look at the regular xperia pro and xperia active both the same hardware phone with the difference of waterproof and the price differences (20-30%). On the xperia z when they threw in waterproofing in this phone was there a big price difference change than another brand name flagship phone? First hygenic phone that can be cleaned easily on the market smartphones are more dirtier than money when they dont get a cleaning once in awhile. The other things which are nice extras like nfc and dlna which encourages me to upgrade my tv set now so sony has also stimulated the tv market however would i buy a wifi/smart tv or avoid it and get dlna only and save my $200-300 which costs extra for a wifi/smart tv and let the xperia z do the work instead for me? Stamina feature is an amazing feature for standby I would not underestimate it and as long as it gets me by a full 12hour day 5hours they say it lasts playing 1080p video and after if i got a little juice left switch to stamina standby and still not miss a phone call any other phone you got a little juice left and it forces itself to shutdown within minutes on standby. I would still get the Z version for waterproofing backglass use stamina mode standby sort of helps with the battery not removable issue.

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  • 2013-02-18 19:26
  • R3HD

Sony used to use led backlit panel, not sure about this one.
But you should know SLCD, IPS or PLS all use TFT panel.

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  • 2013-02-18 19:26
  • 2IJH

> In reply to Anonymous @ 2013-02-18 17:57 from m7KR - click to readI know the terms are not mutually exclusive. But everywhere it's stated as "just" TFT in the Z spec sheet, whereas previous xperia phones are stated to have LED backlit ones. Are you saying all TFTs are LED backlit now or just the Z's (despite not having been declared as such)?

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  • 2013-02-18 19:09
  • t4k6

quite annoying that there are always some disadvantages even in top smartphones (with top pricetags!) :( i hope we will see some phones in the near future w/o any major flaw..
anyway this phone is still amazing (cause the competition has some disadvantages too:\

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  • 2013-02-18 18:40
  • 3iCI

worst Ui

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  • 2013-02-18 18:37
  • PGkv

For me after going through the compare tool in GSM arena, the still photo quality seems to be OK and is more or less same or better than other competing flagships. Where I found real problem is in the video quality especially in the ISO chart. The Xperia Z is certainly no match for the galaxy S3, iPhone 5, HTC one X and even the BB Z10! The Xperia Z video looks smudged and even the Xperia SL seems to be better than this brand new highly anticipated flagship.

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  • 2013-02-18 18:24
  • uuxe

> In reply to Anonymous @ 2013-02-18 17:55 from m7KR - click to readThose cameras were proven to be the best. Now, xperia z just hit the market and you're talking about it like you've played with it 2 months now. And you call him biased! What a joke.

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  • 2013-02-18 18:06
  • L71k

> In reply to 1sickbastard @ 2013-02-18 17:29 from t4k6 - click to readIf you knew what tft is then this would not bother you. Because this is a led backlit lcd.

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  • 2013-02-18 17:57
  • m7KR

> In reply to Mattt @ 2013-02-18 15:07 from jCQr - click to readThat's your bias. Your reality. But fur the rest of is the reality is that Z has better cam than Lumia 920.

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  • 2013-02-18 17:55
  • m7KR

While I am a Lumia fan with Nokia 920 currently.. Xperia Z is worth praising Sony's effort to pull itself out of shadow and (as mentioned in the review) making competition nervous. While I am not moving away from my current fone I am excited to see what lies ahead in this season.

This will push competitors to design better fones. Sony had inspired once apple for iPhone. Now looks like this fone will be an inspiration again.

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  • 2013-02-18 17:34
  • 7tMT

Why the f**k did it not have LED backlit LCD instead of mere TFT?

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  • 2013-02-18 17:29
  • t4k6

I've been lucky enough to play with Xperia ZL for a couple of days. The screen is great, not fantastic, but really great. We have to understand that GSM-arena is VERY picky when it comes to scoring different screens.

I absolutley loved Xperia ZL.

Also, GSMarenas conclusion is not but a praise really:

"Well yes, we cannot pretend everything about Xperia Z is perfect. The screen indeed was a slight disappointment. Nothing to do with the size or the resolution - there's just not enough punch in it. Less than stellar contrast simply doesn't do it justice.
Elsewhere though, we're more than happy with how Sony did. The Xperia Z is the current benchmark champion, the Jelly Bean experience is excellent, with a number of custom value-adding apps like the media players and the image gallery. The Xepria Z is an impressive package and looks the part with glass-covered front and rear, and assertive upmarket design. And if you thought it doesn't get better than that, the smartphone is dust and water-resistant.
It certainly sounds like a package that's hard to beat. Not that the flagships of the last generation became obsolete overnight, but the likes of Nexus 4, Samsung's Galaxy S III and the LG Optimus G should be warming up to the thought that their days at the top are counted. And the Xperia Z is just the messenger - the arrival of their own successors (which now have no other option but to match and beat the Sony flagship experience) will seal their fate."

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  • 2013-02-18 17:02
  • mjvm

I don't get it, with Sony touting about OptiContrast panel, Why do all the reviews say about the low contrast? and on the page 3 for example, they listed the Contrast Ratio as quite the same level with others, but why the next tabular result is lower?

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  • 2013-02-18 16:51
  • sSVR

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