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We managed to steal some quality time with the Xperia Z1 since Sony pulled the wraps off their latest flagship at IFA last week. Berlin sure was fun but we were itching to run our own benchmarks and shoot more samples. And, you know, not let the festive atmosphere and smell of new gadget at the IFA floor cloud our judgment.
Anyway, the Xperia Z1 is definitely on the list of devices we'll be seeing more of in the coming days and weeks. And phones like the LG G2 and the Note 3 will help us put it in perspective.
Starting with the obvious, the Xperia Z1 is big - it's big even for a five-incher that is. The Z1 is almost the size of a phablet and the impressively compact LG G2 may have a thing or two to say about that. On a second thought though, the Z1 is very much in contention for the best-looking droid. Along with the HTC One, depending on whether you prefer glass or metal.
We shouldn't forget the awesome build quality either, and the fact that the larger body accommodates a bigger battery and larger image sensor, on top of having superior waterproofing than its predecessor. The screen is a notable improvement too, with vibrant colors and great contrast.
With a Snapdragon 800 humming inside and 2 gigs of RAM, the Sony Xperia Z1 is a top-notch performer - response to user input is instant and the web browsing experience is flawless.
The camera will have the upper hand in most shootouts when it comes to stills. There's no OIS but the larger sensor makes a big difference. The lack of high-framerate 1080p or 4K video recording is a bit disappointing though.
The Xperia Z1 is nonetheless the best smartphone to come from Sony yet and one that will easily build on the success of the Xperia Z. We are yet to see how it holds against the likes of the LG G2, but it certainly has a shot at the top spot.