Sony Xperia Z1 – The much awaited smartphone with 20MP camera



There have been rumors about a device called Xperia Honami for a while and on paper, it looked really convincing. The device is finally here and is called the Sony Xperia Z1. Now the Sony Xperia Z is a great device already but there are few things about the phone that can be improved. This new device takes care of all those bits and gives you some complimentary extras too. It was very obvious that we would see crazy benchmark numbers on new devices as soon as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset comes out and that is exactly what is happening in the market right now. Just when we thought that okay this is where the limit lies, even more powerful devices came out.

Sony Xperia Z1

This new device, Z1 looks mostly like the Xperia Z except for a few minor changes. The hardware, display and camera have improved considerably over the Z. The device retains the waterproof and dustproof rating so you can take it outdoors without any fear. We take a closer look at the device to figure out how much it has improved over the previous device and what competition it faces.

Design

The design of this device has got a family resemblance. It looks neat with a simple glass front and back. The camera sits on top left of the back and the LED flash sits just below it. The large aluminum power button has been picked straight from the Xperia Z and sits on the right spine of the device. Though the Z and Z1 look mostly similar, there are some differences to tell them apart. An aluminum bezel flows around the device and it has been made out of a single piece of metal. It makes the device better to hold and adds to the aesthetic appeal of the device.

Sony Xperia Z1

It is slightly fatter than the Z but not many would notice that. The device is quite large but is comfortable to hold. Though one handed operation still won’t be easy. The device is waterproof and can survive in water for 30 minutes upto a depth of 1.5 meters. It is the usual story with flaps and covers but unlike the Xperia Z, here the headphone jack itself is waterproof and hasn’t got any cover over it.

Display

Sony Xperia Z1

On paper the device has got almost the same display as the Xperia Z but we have been told that it has been updated. The device has got a 5inch full HD display which has got an amazing pixel density. The display on Z wasn’t exactly bad. It was just overshadowed by the rivals. It boasts of the Bravia technology that is found on their TV sets. It claims to boost colours, contrast ratios and sharpness of the display. The viewing angles aren’t as good as AMOLED displays but still they aren’t bad. White and black tends to grey out try to view the display at a large angle. Apart from that, the display is superb to look at and the images look sharp on it.

Hardware/ performance

Sony Xperia Z1

Inside that pretty design, runs the Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 800. The quad core processor is clocked at 2.2 GHz and has got the Adreno 330 GPU. The device has got 2 GB of RAM and that is plenty. The hardware can handle anything you throw at it very easily and lags are really not a topic to talk about. Until now, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One had high benchmark scores but this device will surely blow them out of their steam. There is no way you can get this device to slow down and every processing job is just immediate. Hardware this powerful would need a lot of power and to ensure decent battery life, they have put in a 3000 mAh battery.

Software/ Interface

The device runs Jelly Bean 4.2.2 which isn’t the latest version of android as Jelly Bean 4.3 has been there for a while now. But that won’t make much difference as the changes are very few and you might not even notice them if you get 4.3. They might provide you with an update soon, or maybe give you the 4.4 Kit Kat once it comes out in a few months. The android on this device has been modified by Sony to make some changes. The most prominent one is the launcher. You get highly customizable launcher interface and unlike stock android launcher, you can add or remove home screens and organize your icons the way you want them.

Sony Xperia Z1

Not only have they decided to change the interface but some apps have been modified too. They have said goodbye to the stock gallery and have added the Xperia gallery. Also they have used their own music player which is superb and adds a lot of features. The camera app has been heavily modified but we will talk about it in the camera section.

Camera

The device has got a 20.7 megapixel camera which is just amazing. It has got a sensor of size 1/2.3 inches which is larger than most high end smartphones being sold in the market. It uses a wide angle 27 mm f/2.0 G lens and has got the Bionz image processor to kill the noise in low light photos. The outdoor perform was good but not much better than other high end devices. The difference in low light photos is quite prominent though. And as the image size is huge, you get a lot of detail in each photograph.

The camera software on this device is smarter than ever. You can load apps directly in camera and avoid switching between multiple apps. The camera also allows you to live stream video to your Facebook. You get the usual modes like HDR and panorama on the camera app.

Verdict

The Sony Xperia Z1 is surely one of the most powerful devices on sale today and it simply mocks and humiliates the Galaxy S4. It would cost a bomb but it has got a lot over the Xperia Z to make it worth the price they ask for. It has got all the good bits with the Sony tag to make it a great device.

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