Sony Xperia Z1-Sony’s Best Phone in Years (Mobile Test)

TEST: Z1 is with lightning fast processor, round shapes and long battery life, Sony’s absolute best smartphone this year. Read the test of Xperia Z1.

For only half a year ago I notified Sony Xperia Z, who at the beginning of 2013 had been published at CES in Las Vegas. At that time I said that Sony had finally created a product that could make it among the sharp competitors on the Android platform.

Xperia Z was not perfect and suffered from audio and connectivity issues, but overall the product got a fine average rating.

Sony has perhaps well known that Z’eren had a number of challenges, for after the sensor is already ready for sale in the shops. Xperia Z1 can best be described as a product, that is, as the Xperia Z should had been. A little sharp set up, could the original Xperia Z well be missed.


More round shapes

The rectangular design from Sony Xperia Z is soft, and rounded up more of. It provides a more comfortable feeling when the phone is held in the hand, so the design change is a big plus for the top of the Xperia series.

The receiver is moved to the bottom of the phone, so the sound easier escapes into space, and not smothered by desktop phone is on. Generally, it is a giant step forward that manufacturers remove the speakers from the phone’s back on their newer products.

On Xperia Z was speaker opening located in the left bottom side, which made the man often came to block the sound with the hands, particularly if there was playing games in horizontal view, so here too-a huge step forward for Sony.

Headset-connection now no longer sits behind a plastic flap, but is directly accessible in the top-yet a welcome change. The phone is still water-and dust-proof.

Another tasty innovation is the physical camera button is left with Sony, so you can now take photos, without the need to use the touch screen. I am sure that a great many Sony fans will like this.

Even Sony’s new smartphone weighs 170 grams, and has 144 x 74 x 8.5 mm objectives, so feels the delete not as large as it is on paper.

I’m not a fan of the power button, which I think filled too much up Xperia Z’s right side, but here has the Sony also optimized and made button a little less. So all in all I can’t spot the places where Z1 not on construction is a step forward.

Waterproof is Sony’s brand name

Previously Sony known for the Walkman, but this is in these streaming-sometimes placed in the background, although the fine musikdel is preserved. Instead, dust-and waterproof products, been Sony new characteristics, and this also applies to the Xperia Z1.

The phone is waterproof IPX5 and IPX8 after certification as well as dust resistant after IP5X, which means that it may be located at 1.5 meters deep water in 30 minutes, so Z1 is actually better in this part than Z.

In General, it succeeded in Sony to manufacture products that keep for a bit more than the competition, without it has gone beyond the design. In the old days you had to put up with, to have everything wrapped in a rubber case, if one were to gain just a small degree of water resistance.

Sony’s products are made to be used, which I welcome, as it undoubtedly reduces the number of workshop hours for the end user, so the total cost of the product, will be less.


A huge speed boost

Smartphones have been given a huge boost on speed in recent years, and Xperia Z1 is no exception.

Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon processor with 800 2.2 GHz quad-core, can therefore calculate some complicated equations, in no time.

Z1 comes out in Antutu Benchmark with a score of 35,196, while its predecessor lay down on 18,363 points. For comparison, the Z1-competitor LG G2 achieved a result on 35,559. Z1 and G2 are therefore faster on raw computing power than both the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.

Your phone supports mobile data communication via both 3 g and 4 g, the latter in the so-called category 4, which theoretically can give 150 mbit/s download and 50 mbit/s download. The typical speed I’ve measured, located at 30-40 mbit/s.

Upscale pictures and videos

The screen is TFT-type with Full HD and 1080 x 1920 pixels (441 PPI) divided into 5 inch, bordered by an aluminum frame in one piece. Front and back are made of tempered glass, which simultaneously is scratch resistant and shatter-free.

As on the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is also used so-called Triluminos screen technique with X-Reality, which should provide a more natural colour reproduction.

The technique can upscale pictures and videos, by adding more pixels, but Sony promises it does not alter the hudtoningen on people, so they appear unnatural.

In connection with the test of the Z1 I’ve met Sony’s Product Marketing Manager Rikard Skogberg. In this feature, you can hear him tell more about how Triluminos works.

The Z1 has a really good display, and the contents are displayed, looks really nice out. Unfortunately, the picture tends to be blurred a little bit when it is viewed from the side.

In General, this is a phone which is fully packed with modern hardware, so you go either miss the NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 or the latest Wi-Fi ac option. There is 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of built-in memory, expandable with up to 64 GB via microSD cards.

Well-arranged user interface

On Sony products, one can not fail to highlight the user interface that is laid on top of the Android system, which in this case is version 4.2.2.

Clarity is great with a classic Sony-feeling that has not been smacked into the pastel colors and other graphical stuff. Actually it is very simple made, but it works.

The program menu is that, compared to previous versions, come an additional panel, which can be dragged in from left to right. Here you can choose how to sort the shortcuts, and “Uninstall” feature enable a simple access to remove installed programs.

Good Gallery, Walkman and radio

Sony has its own photo gallery, which is clearly among the best on the market, and there is no shortage of features. You can so easily see pictures from Facebook friends, discover photos from Flickr, or view all your snapshots on a map. It can also be recommended to open the movie and video gallery, which is really cool. As soon as it is opened is displayed at the top, a preview of the latest video has played. It is really cool.

The classic Walkman, Sony has not forgotten, and that is without a doubt, a delicious music player, but in these times where many have streamingtjenester as TDC Play, WiMP or Spotify, so downplaying this unfortunately need the Walkman player, especially if the music is not located locally on the device.

TrackID can recognize songs listening to, e.g. when the radio is playing a song you would like to have information on. Nor does the FM radio is forgotten, in fact it is a really nice one at that, and TrackID are integrated directly into this.


Also works for business

Email on the go doing Xperia Z1 also without problems. Mail client for Exchange-mail can display the contents as conversations, and you can easily put flags on important e-mails and move them around in the folders. The phone supports all known email account types, and, of course, is also Google’s Gmail application installed.

I think the calendar is foreseeable, and it has both the week numbers as well as the option of splitting in day, week, month, and agenda. So in relation to business use is Z1 a very good phone.

Sony has a terrific good message keyboard, which can be set up for one’s own desire, which includes being able to remove the annoyed character (dot and comma) to the right of the SPACEBAR, as most Android keyboards contain. These make that many Android users often put an end instead of the spaces.

But overall, the Sony’s keyboard and dictionary a pleasure, and well Yes, as you can inside the text messages add your location with a map section attached, as well as draw small sketches with your finger, and send as MMS.

20-megapixels camera

Sony is the world’s largest manufacturer of camera lenses, and generally have very good track of camera technique. Who does not remember Cybershot phones, which at the time was groundbreaking.

The camera of Xperia Z1 offers 20.7 megapixels image sensor with Exmor RS, in the so-called G Lens, and with the Bionz image processor to after treatment.

The lens is 27 mm wide angle with Aperture 2.0, so the hole that the light must enter through to hit the sensor. Sensor size is top notch on Xperia Z1 – actually the, according to Sony, the same size as in the small digital pocket cameras. The sensor in the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 is 1/3.0 “while the is 1/2.3” in Xperia Z1, therefore significantly larger.

In addition, there is an LED lamp for photo light.

The only thing I miss in Xperia Z1 is the optical image stabilizer, as both HTC One, LG G2 and not least Nokia Lumia 925 offers.

The camera takes some really great pictures, but it is precisely the lack of OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) can be seen, unfortunately, when darkness falls. Z1 scores, however, points out that could take reasonable images, even when it’s not resounding sunshine.

It is also not always easy to take macro shots, since one cannot go up close, without it will be blurred, and unfortunately the camera is not always understand where you want to put the focus point, though one shows the it, by letter on the screen.

In relation to the case of a mobile phone, are the images quite fine, though Sony at some points of the salesperson camera portion, but I am quite sure that OIS would have done wonders.

The camera now has apps

Sony has made it possible to use special camera applications that attaches itself to the camera in your phone, and it extends the functionality. That included four different apps, where Timeshift burst is the most important.

As soon as the function is activated, your phone starts by shooting images in the background, and a shutter release gives on a split second 30 frames before and 30 images after you pressed the button. Now can be scrolled back and forth in time, and pick out just the right photo. It gives great opportunities to catch very special moments.

You can also insert a dinosaurs in the image, created discotema on the picture of your friends, and much more, with the app AR-effect.

Info-eye is a kind of Google Google’s, where a picture of a book can obtain more information from Amazon, and the wine can be recognized with Vivino directly from the camera. Info-eye can also be used on prominent buildings and monuments.

Social Live send video to Facebook

If you are very active on social media, so can Social Live, used to broadcast live video from your phone, and on your personal Facebook profile. It could be you would live-cast from your birthday. The idea is great, but unfortunately in the free edition only send in resolution 240 p, and with a limit of 10 minutes. It is also not possible to upload video to Facebook sites and groups.

While broadcast users can on Facebook “like” and comment. These pops up in the display, with the one who holds the phone.

After finishing the stream with Social Live video can be replayed on the Facebook page and it will be saved on the phone in HD-quality. Social Live is created in collaboration with Bambuser, but does not require a user account in order to function.


Abundant battery to work day

Battery in Xperia Z1 is on 3,000 mAh, and with this, there is plenty of power for your work day. It is no problem to the round of 16 hours of operating time, and still have a 15-20 percent back on the battery.

This phone also has the special Stamina mode, where you can disable mobile data and Wi-Fi connections when the screen is off. It is really something that can extend battery life. You can even choose which applications that can use data off screen.

Stamina is a feature that should be standard in Android, since it can keep track of the many power hungry applications, you can risk getting downloaded from Google Play.

Sony can also take note of plus points for location-based Wi-Fi, only enable wireless network when you are physically near a Wi-Fi router, which the phone knows in advance.

Z1 does not hold quite as well as LG G2, but Sony is still in the Super League when it comes to battery and power management on Android smartphones.

In the sales package of Xperia Z1 here in Denmark included a small table mount that is connected to the charger, and can can be plugged into the phone (model DX31). The charger has an output of 1.5 amp.

Conclusion: Sony’s best phone in years

Let me make it very clear. Sony Xperia Z1 has been a nice joined, and it is significantly better than the Xperia z. so if you have a Z you should switch it out with the Z1.

The camera is good, but it is not hundred percent in the closet, however, I think the software updates will be able to correct some details. Here it must be said that I’m in the testing period had an update sent to, among other things, contained the camera improvements.

Call quality is good, and the sound from the speaker is reasonable, but not as good as on HTC One.Network connections and internet use, is also definitely approved.

Sony has with Z1 created their best smartphone this year and is clearly in the race, whether that be the year Mobile by 2013. Currently is the price without subscription of about SEK 4,900 according to

We end up on five beautiful out of six stars.

See also web-TV test, where we go close to the Xperia Z1.

If you need a giant big screen, then take a look at our review of Sony Xperia Z Ultra.


+ Well rounded and waterproof design
+ Possible extension of memory
+ Fine camera and good conversation quality

-Screen can stand a little washed-out when seen from the side
-Fine speaker placement, but the sound can be better
-No possibility to replace the battery