Review – Sony Xperia Z


Review – Sony Xperia Z
In the competitive game of Smartphoning, Sony’s Xperia range has proved steadfast and reliable. But only ever B-Team participants! Sony hopes to make the starting line-up, delivering a genuine Triple A handset with the Xperia Z.
It succeeds.

Teased at CES, the swelling hype orbiting Sony’s Xperia Z is finally vindicated. Though Apple and Samsung’s reveals are only weeks away, as it stands, the Xperia Z is the market’s premiere Smartphone.

It’s also dust and water resistant, evidenced by IP55 and IP57 ratings. Encased in tempered durable glass and anti-shatter films, a quartet of protective covers seal away the headphone jack, SD slot, mini-USB and Sim Card. Mermen and maids should delight in receiving calls and texts as the Xperia Z’s plugs away up to 1m underwater. Similarly, it’s capacitive touchscreen scores when tested against the rigors of rainfall and wet digits. More than a passing convenience in this country!

Sadly when your headphones are jacked in (so, half the time?) those water/dust shields are negated...

But then there’s that screen. Of all the English adjectives, we’ve deemed ‘majestic’ the best fit. This 5” 1080 x 1920 full HD display boasts 443ppi alongside Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2. They call it the Reality Display. Presumably because it looks real. You ask us? Reality wishes it looked like this!

At 5.47 x 2.80 x 0.31”, the screen is honestly indomitable. Weighing in at 146g it enjoys truly premium heft.... with a similarly premium price... Anyway, it’s big, bright, not too heavy and feels sufficiently robust to weather the trials of everyday use. That said theXperia Z is the very definition of a fingerprint magnet! A small, smudgey transgression in the name of quality.

The 13.1 MP, 4128x3096 pixels, autofocus camera can be launched from the lock or homescreen. And barring the omission of a dedicated shutter button, it comports itself professionally, contributing Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, and sweep panoramas. A front facing 2.2MP compliments while 1080p 30fps videos rounds out the package.

Raw power on the other hand...

The Sony Xperia Zpacks a 1.5Ghz quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, supplemented by a Adreno 320 GPU and a whopping 2GB of RAM. This kind of muscle equates to superior battery performance, advanced multi-tasking and some gloriously speedy transitions. Multiple applications chugging away barely chewed up 1/4th of the Z’s Ram, and that screen we so championed experienced not a single instance of lag. It’s really quite fast!

Those four cores power up and down as required, exerting only the minimum effort needed to complete tasks. That’s not to say the Xperia Z doesn’t gobble up its power supply. Considering the mammoth screen, its non-removable Li-Ion 2330 mAh battery will struggle to last the working day on a full charge.

Expected given the breadth of High-End Tech in near constant use. Combating this, Sony debut their generously customizable STAMINA mode, and we strongly recommend you employ it immediately. This function disables Wi-Fi, apps and notifications when the phone is in standby, while filtering through calls and texts. The difference to consumption is staggering. With a handful of applications exempt from STAMINA’s influence, the Xperia Z will brave a full day’s standard use (Skype, texts, browsing, games, maps and a couple of downloads) with up to 25% charge remaining.

In an ideal world the Xperia Z would run all apps, all day with no slowdown. But we don’t live in that world. I certainly don’t. We live in a world of compromise, in a world of Snapdragon processors and Reality displays. A world of always-on applications and constant data streams. To its credit, the Z lets you tailor your experience accordingly - utility or presentation.

Niggling battery issues aside, Sony’s Xperia Z is a landmark achievement for the tech giant. Not only have they thrown down the gauntlet, they’ve cleared the field of competition for the next few months.

Sony Xperia Z.
It makes quite the entrance...

10 Stars: Recommended
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