Sony launched the Xperia Z, its new flagship smartphone in the market. The USP of the phone is its 5-inch 1080p HD display, in addition to its water and dust resistant build, and a 13.1-megapixel camera.
Similar to the LG Optimus G, the first thing that you notice about the phone is its industrial design. The phone's design is somewhat minimalistic and Sony likes to refer to this design philosophy as ‘OmniBalance'. The rounded edges on the phone are very subtle, and are hard to notice at first glance.
As we mentioned, the phone sports a 5-inch screen, which essentially dominates the front of the phone while the rest is tempered glass with a reflective coating. The back of the phone reminds us of the iPhone 4/4S as it's also completely made of glass.The phone is water-resistant and all ports and slots are covered with flaps made from some kind of glass fibre material to protect the phone. The phone supports micro-SIMs. A small speaker grill is also located on the right side, towards the bottom.
Dimensions : 139 x 71 x 7.9 mm (5.47 x 2.80 x 0.31 in)
Weight : 146 g (5.15 oz)
After the HTC Butterfly, the Xperia Z is the second phone in the Indian market to sport a 1080p display. The phone sports a 5-inch TFT display that has a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels and a pixel density of 441 ppi. Images and videos look spectacular thanks to the addition of Sony's BRAVIA Engine 2.
Multitouch : Yes, up to 10 fingers
The Sony Xperia Z sports a 13-megapixel Exmor RS rear camera with auto focus, Burst Mode, and LED flash. The phone's camera app is feature rich featuring, Superior auto, Normal, Video, Burst, Picture Effects, Sweep Panorama and different Scene selection modes. The camera also includes image and video stabilisation.
Interestingly, the phone also offers an HDR mode for video recording, which is not usually seen. You can also take still shots of 1-megapixel resolution while recording video. In our tests, the phone took great videos and the stabilisation mode worked as promised with scratch resistant and shatter proof.
Software/ User Interface :
The Sony Xperia Z ships with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. It's not the most recent version, but that's consistent with other Android phones in the market. The phone also includes additional apps including a Back up & restore app, McAfee Security, NeoReader for reading QR codes, a Notes app, TrackID (a Shazam like music recognition app), PlayNow, Smart Connect (which lets users set an event when an accessory is connected to the phone), Xperia Link (to share Internet connectivity with Sony devices), and Wisepilot (for navigation).
Performance/ Battery Life :
The Xperia Z is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 Pro quad-core processor with 2GB RAM onoard, and an Adreno 320 chip for processing graphics.
However, we did notice that the phone gets a little hot even if you use it for 10 minutes at a stretch. We're not sure if it's limited to our unit or a universal issue.
We were able to play full-HD clips, and all formats including MOV and AVI but not AVCHD were natively supported by the phone. The phone also supports ClearAudio+ which gives the sound more clarity while playing music.
The call quality was good and the phone was able to latch on to the network in weak signal areas. The phone comes with a giant 2330mAh battery, and in our usage, it lasted us a full working day.
The phone also supports LTE (4G) connectivity, but the Indian LTE band of 2300MHz is not supported.
The Sony Xperia Z is one of the best Android phones we've used combining a major set of features, a great HD screen and great build quality. The phone's IP55 and 57 dust and water resistant body.
Compared to the HTC Butterfly, the phone's Rs. 38,990 price tag makes it better priced. But comparing it to other non-HD screen flagships, the price is a bit steep.
The phone's launch comes at a time when HTC just announced its flagship phone, the HTC One, which also sports an HD screen, albeit a little smaller in size, but excellent build quality and a new design. The Samsung Galaxy S IV is also set to debut on 14th March, and is expected to sport better specifications, HD screen and some new smart features. If you're willing to look at non-Android phones, the iPhone 5 is still the best smartphone available in this price range.