NEW DELHI: It’s been less than a year and Sony’s already updated their flagship smartphone. The new Xperia Z1 bears a striking resemblance to the Z, but it’s a little larger and thicker than the Xperia Z. The entire front and back is all glass with a single piece aluminium shell for company. It looks and feels like what it is â a thin, well-balanced slab of premium materials with excellent workmanship.
Sony has packed some serious firepower under the hood â a 2.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB RAM and Adreno 330 graphics.
The Xperia Z1 blasts through all the benchmarks, leaving almost everything else behind. It’s still waterproof, but goes one-up on the Z with IP58 certification; immersion beyond 1 metre of water and beyond 30 minutes (Z is IP57 â 1 metre depth for up to 30 minutes).
The camera is vastly improved too. For starters, it has a 1/2.3″ sensor, which is as large (6.17 x 4.55mm) as what many compact cameras have. Next is the F2.0 Sony G lens; a multielement affair that looks strikingly larger (wider) than most smartphone lenses.
Third is the addition of the Bionz for mobile imaging processor. The camera delivers pleasing results most of the time, but we felt that the Galaxy S4 and Lumia 925 still have the edge in low light (mainly because of high visible noise on the Z1).
We like the two-stage shutter button â half press to activate the autofocus and press down further to take the photo. The shutter button can be used to activate the camera from anywhere â even when the phone is in sleep state. The 5-inch 1080p screen is an improvement over the one we saw on the Xperia Z but not as good as we expected from this class of smartphone.
In short, the Z1 is good but not for everyone. It looks fantastic (despite the fingerprint friendly surfaces). It’s powerful, classy and refined. But it doesn’t have the best screen or the best camera. Those laurels go to the Galaxy S4.
ET Review: Sony Xperia Z1