Sony Xperia Z1 review: Walking on water

GSMArena team, 19 September 2013.
Pages: «12345678910»

Tags: Sony, Android

Synthetic benchmarks and performance

The Xperia Z1 is Sony's second device we meet running on the Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 800 chipset. It is powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz Krait 400 processor, with Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM.

The Krait 400 processor clocked at 2.2GHz (2.15GHz according to GeekBench) is among the fastest processors on the market, second to only the LG G2 (2.26GHz) and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (2.3GHz).

Our first test is all about single-core performance, where the Xperia Z1 scored similar results to the other Krait 400-powered competitors.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • LG G2
    99
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    115
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    115
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    130
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    132
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    132
  • HTC Butterfly S
    135
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    147
  • HTC One
    151
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    166
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Oppo Find 5
    267
  • HTC One X+
    280
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • HTC One mini
    293
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    350
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Nexus 4
    431

Next up, we put all four cores to the test in the multi-core version of the Linpack benchmark. The Sony Xperia Z1 didn't disappoint.

Linpack

Higher is better

  • LG G2
    1054
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1034
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    1004
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    818
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    791
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    788
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    743
  • HTC Butterfly S
    669
  • HTC One
    646
  • Sony Xperia Z
    630
  • HTC Butterfly
    624
  • LG Optimus G
    608
  • Oppo Find 5
    593
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    413
  • HTC One mini
    320
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214.3
  • Nexus 4
    213.5
  • HTC One X+
    177.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175.5
  • HTC One X
    160.9
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    141.5

We also run the GeekBench 3 CPU benchmark. The Xperia Z1 matched the score of its Xperia Z Ultra sibling, both occupying the top spots in our chart.

Geekbench 3

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2670
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2638
  • LG G2
    2243
  • HTC One
    1972
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    1869
  • LG Optimus G
    1623
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1315
  • LG Nexus 4
    1288
  • HTC Butterfly
    1257
  • Oppo R819
    1047
  • HTC One mini
    887

Quadrant and AnTuTu 4 gauge the overall device performance instead of just the CPU and the Sony Xperia Z1 managed to conquer the first spots on both charts.

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z1
    30850
  • LG G2
    30243
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    29185
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    27613
  • HTC One
    26389
  • LG Nexus 4
    17006

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z1
    20388
  • LG G2
    19815
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    18177
  • HTC Butterfly S
    13130
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    12446
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12376
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    12105
  • HTC One
    11746
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    11346
  • Sony Xperia Z
    8075
  • HTC One X+
    7632
  • LG Optimus G
    7439
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    7153
  • Oppo Find 5
    7111
  • HTC One mini
    6048
  • HTC One X
    5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5450
  • Nexus 4
    4567

It's time to test the new Adreno 330 graphic processing unit. We ran both GLBenchmark tests in off-screen mode, testing raw GPU power. The Xperia Z1 scored identical results to the Xperia Z Ultra and outpaced all other phones we've tested so far.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z1
    60
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    60
  • LG G2
    54
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    43
  • HTC Butterfly S
    42
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    41
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    41
  • HTC One
    37
  • Oppo Find 5
    32
  • Google Nexus 4
    32
  • Sony Xperia Z
    31
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    31
  • Sony Xperia SP
    31
  • Apple iPhone 5
    30
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    30
  • LG Optimus G
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    17
  • HTC One mini
    15
  • HTC One X
    11

GLBenchmark 2.7 T-Rex (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z1
    23
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    23
  • LG G2
    22
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    17.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    17.1
  • Apple iPad 4
    16.8
  • HTC Butterfly S
    16
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    16
  • Google Nexus 10
    13.9
  • LG Optimus G
    13.9
  • Sony Xperia Z
    13.5
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
    13
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    12.8
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    6.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    6.3
  • HTC One mini
    5.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    4.9

The Epic Citadel benchmark was updated recently with the new Ultra High Quality setting. We've re-run every 1080p device we had around and, as we expected, the Xperia Z1 matched perfectly the Xperia Z1 Ultra and both are sharing the first place once again.

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z1
    54.9
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    54.9
  • LG G2
    51
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    37.2
  • HTC One
    35.6
  • HTC Butterfly
    29.6

The JavaScript performance of the Sony Xperia Z1's Chrome browser is our all-time second-best. The Xperia Z Ultra is the only phone with a better result.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    750
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    845
  • LG G2
    908
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    1046
  • HTC One
    1174
  • LG Optimus G
    1293
  • HTC One mini
    1375
  • LG Nexus 4
    1379
  • HTC Butterfly
    1397
  • Oppo R819
    1423
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    3858

The combined BrowserMark 2 benchmark saw another great result by the Sony Xperia Z1, but this time it didn't manage to come on top.

BrowserMark 2

Higher is better

  • LG G2
    2718
  • LG Optimus G
    2555
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2438
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2419
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2398
  • HTC Butterfly S
    2378
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    2338
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    2314
  • HTC One
    2262
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
    2170
  • HTC One mini
    2164
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2107
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2093
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1801
  • Oppo Find 5
    1797
  • Nexus 4
    1794
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    1774
  • Google Nexus 10
    1773
  • HTC Butterfly
    1475
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1247

Finally, the Sony Xperia Z1 hit the third place on the Vellamo browser benchmark, just a whisker below its Xperia Z Ultra sibling and the LG G2.

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2944
  • LG G2
    2908
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2904
  • HTC Butterfly S
    2592
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2418
  • HTC One
    2382
  • HTC One mini
    2252
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2189
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    2078
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2060
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    2056
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    2019
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    1936
  • HTC Butterfly
    1866
  • Oppo Find 5
    1658
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1641
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1568
  • LG Optimus G
    1522
  • Nexus 4
    1310

The Sony Xperia Z1 is one of the fastest smartphones (phablets included) available on the market right now. There's a noticeable performance lead over the Snapdragon 600 competitors and the snappy chipset makes its presence felt in almost everything you do around the Android OS. Once you get your hands on the Z1, you can't help but appreciate the muscle under the hood.

Google Now at your command

Google Now gives you a short overview of information it believes is relevant to you right now. Going to work in the morning? Google Now knows this and lets you know if there's a big traffic jam on your usual way to the office, and offers you a re-route.

It can interpret a lot of things from your search history as well. If you've been searching for, let's say, your favorite football team, Google Now will prepare a card showing you the next match the team is playing and will provide score updates once the game begins.

Sony Xperia Z1 Sony Xperia Z1 Sony Xperia Z1 Sony Xperia Z1
Google Now

Google has also integrated Voice Actions. They can handle stuff like sending messages (SMS or email), initiating a voice call, asking for directions, taking a note or opening a site. Google Now can also launch apps, check and manage your calendar and look for nearby places of interest and stuff like movie openings in theaters.

Thanks to the large resolution of the Xperia Z1 display, you can get a lot of information from Google Now with just one glance at the screen.

Google Now on the Xperia Z1 gets activated with an upward swipe from a press-and-hold of the Home button. You can either type or talk to it and the app will give you one of its info cards (if available) and read you its contents aloud (you can disable this from the app settings). If there's no card to help with the answer to your question Google Now will simply initiate a Google web search instead.

We have a separate review of all popular voice assistants, where you can learn even more about Google Now. Just follow this link.

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