Sony Xperia Z1 Review: Hands-On

Sony Xperia Z1 Front Top - cropped
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Sony’s new flagship model, the Xperia Z1, is the most advanced handset the Japanese company has ever put on the shelves. Striding forth with impressive new software and toys, the newest addition to the Xperia family deserves a standing ovation.

Sony Xperia Z1 Edge - 550

Key Features

  • 5.0-inch Full HD display
  • 20.7 megapixel camera
  • Waterproof and dust resistant
  • Android Jelly Bean operating system
  • 2.2GHz quad-core processor

Not too dissimilar in appearance from its forerunner, the Xperia Z, the smooth edges are made up of several ‘flappy’ panels, excluding the headphone port which is left exposed on top.  The massive 5-inch display delivers breathtaking high definition, and when partnered by the impressive 20-megapixel camera, images have never looked so faultless.

Given the new high specs, it’s no surprise that shooting video has pushed its way to the top of the selling point list. Colour reproduction and image stability have taken a constructive leap in the right direction, but that’s not all the savvy snapper has up its sleeve.

The augmented reality feature has kept us entertained in the office for hours. It allows the user to generate up to nine moving fantasy elements to images, in which you can set up your own Hollywood studio with relative ease – no doubt keeping the kids entertained for a bit or, like us, the simple minded.  Whether dinosaurs roam the lounge or you plant a giant beanstalk, image creativity has never been so diverse.

Sony Xperia Z1 Back 550

Sony’s answer to Google Goggles, Info-eye, has been introduced in the Z1. Although the photo recognition software may be in its infancy at the moment, it can currently supply the user with a vast amount of information about books, QR codes, wines, barcodes and famous landmarks.  In our hands-on video you can see Info-eye reading a bottle’s label – serving up everything you’d ever need to know.

While the Sony Xperia Z is water resistant, which is great for when you accidentally go snorkelling with it in your pocket, you couldn’t then get a few snaps at the same time. Well now you can – the Z1 can capture photos even when it is completely submerged.

As the touch display is difficult to operate when underwater, you can access the camera from the lock screen by holding down the shutter button mounted on its flank. Magic.

Stay tuned to Phones 4u for a full review coming soon. You can pre-order the Sony Xperia Z1 by clicking here.