Sony Xperia Z1

Sony offers a worthy successor to the original Xperia Z

We're hot off the heels of Sony's press conference here at IFA 2013 in Berlin where it has just announced its latest flagship phone, the Xperia Z1. Just as the name would lead you to expect the Xperia Z1 is a logical next step from the Xperia Z, which was announced back in January at CES. The Z1 builds on the design language of its predecessor with a similar shape, design elements like a metal circular power button and a glass back.

Inside you'll find much-welcomed spec upgrades with a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 3000mAh battery, 16GB of storage and an SDcard slot. Working to improve on its display technology, Sony has a 5-inch 1080p 'Triluminos" display on the Xperia Z1, which offers a wider palette of colors and better clarity. Naturally the phone is completely water resistant, and can be completely submerged without issue.

The big story here is the camera though, and we're looking at a drastically larger 20.7MP 1/2.3-type Exmor RS sensor here with a f/2.0 aperture, Sony "G Lens" and dedicated image processing engine. Sony claims that the Xperia Z1 also offers 3x digital zoom with no loss in clarity, likely possible because of the raw megapixels at play here.

Backing up the newly improved optics are several camera features, many of which are evolutions of what we've seen in previous interfaces from Sony and other manufacturers. New modes like "Timeshift burst" take 61 images in 2 seconds both before and after you touch the shutter to get just the right shot.

Stick around for a full image gallery and hands-on video of the Sony Xperia Z1.

There are 98 comments

XavierMatt says:

Same design. Boring design. Uninspiring design..... Why Sony. I've been waiting on you to blow me away. .... And change that awful UI while to you're at it.

HTC ONE ~ Android Central App

Visual360 says:


Hargoth says:

Love the design, love the Z, looking forward to the Z1.

To me it looks ALOT nicer in the pics than the LG G2. But that's just my opinion.

Webby534 says:

This a great phone, definitely worth buying.

stoney73 says:


sunburned says:

I personally think it looks much better than anything Samsung has made in the past couple years. They make literally all of their devices look exactly the same. Talk about boring design.

Sony now has 3 different high-end 5" screen phones with 3 different bezel sizes. ZL for tiny bezels, Z for medium and Z1 for giant bezels. Should have stuck with the small.

Why don't you ever have anything nice to say :'(
*single tear*



Posted from my phone, using your girlfriend's Internet, while you're at work.

Jonneh says:

I cry every time I read his comments too. :'-( They're always the same short, negative comments that the mind tends to finish reading before you can consciously choose to scroll past! lol

We get it. You love the One.

You can quit trolling all the articles now.

Posted via Carrier Pidgeons and an HTC One

XavierMatt says:

Trolling... Far from it. I could definitely flame the one for its flaws also. I have no problem with Sony, just the design of its latest line up of phones.

HTC ONE ~ Android Central App

gmaninvan says:

What is wrong with the design? I think it looks fantastic. Aluminum body with near edge to edge screen. On screen nav which I far prefer to the One (no stupid menu bar).

I like the One but I think this is a better phone based on the internals and the camera alone.

tx_tuff says:

"with near edge to edge screen". You did look at the pictures right? Those side bezels look about the same size as my GNex!!

nbell978 says:

Other than the Moto X, that "awful UI" is about as close to stock Android as you can get... It's not all bastardized like your precious Sense.

XavierMatt says:

This is true. Well except for the One part. htc UI is not terrible, still dark and they've made to much use with dark blacks and gray tones other than that it's alright.

But back to your original point, it is close to stock. I think the icons turn me off, however that can be changed. Lastly Stock Android is not really,... Pretty either.

HTC ONE ~ Android Central App

nbell978 says:

I don't care for Sony's roundish icons for their own apps, but then again I never have those on my homescreen's anyway. Well, other than album. But I can deal with it. I just don't like the fact that you can't get completely get rid of blinkfeed on the one. Blah.

gmaninvan says:

"Lastly Stock Android is not really,... Pretty either."

I think you are a minority on that point. The holo interface is considered to be the most attractive form of android by most people. I personally think that Sony's UI is one of the least intrusive and most intuitive. I have no problem with it.

aaronwe says:

Your "boring and uninspiring" is my "clean and simple."

I'll take 2, please.

XavierMatt says:

The Nexus for is simple and clean and the design of that phone leaves very little to be desired. The iPhone 5 is simple and clean and leaves basically nothing to be desired besides a bigger screen.

Editor in chief of

gmaninvan says:

Really? The Nexus 4 and iPhone 5 are really nice well thought out designs. The small things set them apart. On the Nexus 4 the soft touch plastic on the edges makes it feel excellent on the hand. On the iPhone 5 the two tone metal body is a nice touch.

I am beginning to think you just plain hate minimalist design. I like the one but I don't see why it's design is SOOO MUUUCCH BEEETTTEER in your opinion other than the front facing speakers.


For some reason, your comment made me think of the song Simple and Clean, lol. Now, it won't stop playing in my head.

Posted from my phone, using your girlfriend's Internet, while you're at work.

Jonneh says:

Try the "Hikari" version out too if you haven't already. Very nice

E90 Commie says:

The only device that can compete with Sony when it comes to design is the Lenovo K900.

Unfortunately, HTC One and Galaxy S 4 is ugly devices to me, the Sony OmniBalance design and the K900 is very nice and stylish on the other hand.


I wouldn't call the One or the GS4 ugly, but, I will agree that Sony and Lenovo, both, have very sleek and interesting designs.

Posted from my phone, using your girlfriend's Internet, while you're at work.

E90 Commie says:

I dont like rounded devices too much. Other nice designs are the Lumigon T2 and Huawei Ascend P6 and also d2. The Z1 is nicely designed but somehow, I think the Z and Z Ultra looks even better, hard to describe but I would say that it is about the proportions.

Posted from my Xperia Z Ultra via the Android Central App

rd_nest says:

OmniBalance design?

WTF is that?

it's a rectangular shaped bar phone. Like every other phone in earth now. OmniBalance .. LOL!!

it's like Sony names like Mobile Bravia 2 Triluminos display with X-Reality engine. Damn.. Why not simply tell that it's a LCD display??

E90 Commie says:

Omnibalance is their name cor the 2013 Xperia design. Dont tell me that HTC One or Galaxy S 4 is nicer...;)

Posted from my Xperia Z Ultra via the Android Central App

vcarvega says:

I love the design! This is probably the phone I'll buy this year... depends on if they come to more carriers than T-Mobile and what the Nexus 5 ends up looking like.

Kayone73 says:

What are you talking about, it's the same beautiful slick design language as the other phones, you should perhaps look at this hardware before commenting

Posted via Android Central App

MasterElwood says:

16GB on a hero device?

Are you kidding me?

Even with SD: FAIL!

Thifiell says:

it reminds me The Verge who put maximum point for iPhone and its design, they said it is cool, ascetic and very stylish and minimum for Xperia Z, they said it is repeating the previous model... hallo?? it is xperia line, and why no the same words about iphone?
I find the most ugly phones HTC (except HTC one) and Samsung (hate their round shapes) and the best for design from Sony and iPhone.
Be objective. But I think there is no accounting for tastes.

Visual360 says:

Hope the camera lives up to the hype. I can't wait to get my hands on this.

camera samples please fast

^^^^ this

Posted via Carrier Pidgeons and an HTC One

teejay69 says:

Ok - so lets hear about what Android version it's runnimg, and who will be carrying it in the USA.

Lets keep in mind that Sony revolutionized portable music with the SONY Walkman, then flipped the PDA world on end with it's SONY CLIE products. If they can stick with it, and not skin it too much, we may have a new king indeed.

Thank you Android Central for being our eyes out there in Germany. If you have any toys you want a regular person to play with, you can deputize me!

Amir47 says:

Look at the pictures. It says 4.2.2

snookasnoo says:

That was a long time ago and it's been years since they have done anything worthwhile. The CLIE line was an utter failure.But this phone and their latest tablet look decent. Stock Android would be better though.

vcarvega says:

I have never heard of a Sony CLIE, lol.

On the other hand, the Playstation 1,2,3, & Vita have all been wonderful products... and this phone looks like the first Sony phone I'd consider. I'd be glad to see them rise to the top. I need a U.S. carriers announcement.

Hunter Petit says:

This phone is really calling my name! Hopefully on T-Mobile!

Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App

Oh Sony... You make my One look even older.

Posted via Android Central App

kingjames924 says:

Phone looks nice. Really high end finish which also makes it a fingerprint magnet without a case on it.

Thank for being our American Ambassador!

Amir47 says:

What carrier?
all major carriers I hope

reeper55 says:

Dude those bezels are 2009 huge!!!! That is really sad for 2013. I do love the the potential of this camera though and it being waterproof is great too.

Amir47 says:

willing to bet the bezels were needed to waterproof it

Nigandnog says:


wolf0491 says:

Pretty sure it has more to do with the large camera sensor and the bionz image chip.
View some promo videos for it you will see what I mean

Connor Mason says:

I'd choose shockproof over waterproof any day though.

Posted via Android Central App

Johnny Z says:

Does the camera have OIS?

Posted via my thumb(s) and the Submit button

marko358 says:

Other than the photos, where are the "hands on" comments? How does the screen look? How snappy does the UI feel? How does it feel in your hand? Do photos look amazing?

sooooo the G2 has a bigger screen and is a lot smaller :/

marko358 says:

Can't go kayaking with the G2.

lol I know I have my Xperia z for that

milesmcever says:

Was thinking about this phone for kayaking not happy at all with my GoPro 3 black edition, sell it and it would almost pay this off.

Posted via Android Central App

tx_tuff says:

I don't go kayaking so I will take the bigger screen on a smaller phone.

nbell978 says:

So the lame Note 3 gets a video, but this doesn't?

mfriedman79 says:

Too much bezel for my taste, but still nice looking device.

miknxn says:

I like that right there...

v¡a ACapp njo¡!

aaronwe says:

This is going to live or die on the camera. A 1/2.3" sensor is a pretty big deal, but you've still got a tiny little lens on it. If it's better than the One or S4, this is probably my next.

Also, I'm surprised they didn't include magnets in the case for mounting the QX lenses right on it.

DJCBS says:

The Lumia 1020 also has a tiny little lens (albeit the huge awful hump in the back) and it produces some awesome pictures. The lens matters but the hardware and software that surrounds it play a big part in the end result (again, a Lumia 920 before the last firmware update by Nokia took worse photos than after the update. All they needed was to fix software).

I'm sure Sony will have calibrated this pretty little beast for optimal photos. Specially since - much like the L1020 - the main feature of the phone IS the camera.

Can't wait to see who's going to Carry it and when

Posted via Android Central App

Please, AT&T. PLEASE!!

^^ this. And if it isn't on AT&T, may just get get it through Sony store which I believe they said would be a possibility.

you dont need to say please you already know at&t gets all the good phones.


This. They may even get an exclusive...

Posted from my phone, using your girlfriend's Internet, while you're at work.

Big woop... I own a black htc one (love it) and i absolutely love Xperia Z, Z tablet design and fell in love with Z1's design!

Is T-Mobile's exclusivity contract with Sony only for the Xperia Z or does it include future Sony handsets?

Jacques says:

My one turnoff with the Sony though is that compared to the G2, it looks even bigger (taller and a little wider too).

I remember reading that it would come with 4G LTE. So we can go with Verizon getting this one for sure!!

NoNexus says:

They all say 4G lte. I would hope this would come to all carriers though

Posted via Android Central App

dharmik28 says:

No less then an SLR

Posted via Android Central App

soullover says:

plz sony
Make it as google play edition, and I will buy it.

FailDeadly says:

I can't say if there will be a Google edition, but I know Sony is one of the better manufacturers when it comes to the development community. Expect some good, stable ROMs relatively quickly.

cctpitts01 says:

Why say Hands-On if there is no video attached to show your hands on experience with the device?

radgatt says:

Video has been added.

ramonm2 says:

I hope it's coming to T-Mobile!

Posted via Android Central App

DJCBS says:

I just found the successor to my Lumia920 if Nokia does get sold to Microsoft.
And just in time for the PS4 launch. I am, however, curious to see the camera capabilities of this against the Lumia 1020.

icvos says:

snooze fest

MidMoMonkey says:

Makes me regret jumping on the HTC one bandwagon. :(

Posted via Android Central App

skipatrol says:

I was excited for note 3 today but this is actually resonating with me for some reason. I'm curious to see what those speakers on the bottom sound like.

Posted via Android Central App

NoNexus says:

Well the video talked me out of it. I guess unless something big happens between now and the note 3 release , I am going with the notw

Posted via Android Central App

FailDeadly says:

I am excited for this phone, but seeing it next to the G2 really put the size in perspective, particularly the height. I'd really be interested in seeing it side by side with some other phones and maybe a Note 3.

mayconvert says:

Looks like a nice phone. based off what I have seen all over the interwebs, I still am waiting for the LG G2.
I will see both in person before any final decision is made.

Of course, now that 4.4 is out, I may wait for nexus 5 since neither of these devices will see 4.4 within 6 months to a year..

RaiderWill says:

Loved the Youtube Video comparing the LG-G2 to the Z1.. G2 for me but it's amazing how both the Z1 & G2 with 2Gb's of Ram run so much smoother than the Note 3 does with it's new 3 Gb's of Ram.. Touchwiz must be a real bitch because both the Note 10.1 2014 and Note 3 show considerable stuttering issues in the videos I've seen so far.
Note 3 = Good Z1 = Better LG-G2 = Best.
Nexus-5 T.B.D.

codiusprime says:

I didn't see the stuttering on the N3 but it was embarrassing on the 10.1.

TechZOnline says:

I expect pricing to be in the 650-750$ range for a retail no go for me! Very much hoping the new N5 isn't a G2, it simply looks dull and very much like the older devices.

Amir47 says:

Optimus G and N4 didn't really look alike

Taz89 says:

Phone has too much bezel and is too big for a 5" device. It is almost the same size as a galaxy note 3 and is a much bigger than the same size screened s4 and it's sidi bigger than the g2 which has a bigger 5.2" screen. Look at this size comparison.

Posted via Android Central App

Maximdroid says:

It is a very nice phone, however, can someone ask Sony to cut down on the bezel for the next iteration (Z2) i'm guessing. More in keeping with the ZL. I would prefer more depth than length. It's as if Sony is in a competition to see who can make a 5" phone with biggest footprint.

Jmaxim says:

Phil, your review was so negative, why did you even bother. Weird kinda light, big ole power button, big ole speaker, weird kinda dock, etc. Even putting the phones side by side you made it appear as though the Z1 was so much bigger than the other phone. The only thing positive you mentioned was the Android app drawer. But then again this is Android Central.

Manningham82 says:


Manningham82 says:

Wow, the video reviewer really focused on the negatives. Didn't seem very objective.. I'm off to see what AAuthority has to say lol.

They better price this right though, if they over price this device then it is going sink. Price it around the G2 and it most likely be a major hit. I love it and want one from the Sony store already.

novahob says:

too big

aikonriche says:

Fantastic design and hardware. What Sony needs to improve more is their software. It's too simplistic. It needs more a lot of gimmicks like Samsung if they want to capture more audience.

SVx45 says:

I like the sound of them specs. That cam especially. The design is nice, acknowledging the fact it's hard to have fancy design working together with being water proof. Only for some reason, holding it's predecessor, it did feel somewhat cheaper than aluminum or polycarbonate imho. Then again, it's all about taste. Then again, anyone can argue about anything on the internets.

Posted via Android Central App

Rosemsanchez says:

my dad in law got a nearly new blue Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible by work using a laptop... This Site BAM%32%31%2E%63om

fightcrazy says:

Sony put a great camera in that phone. Wish Phil spent some time checking it out. To me nothing compares to the Note 3. The Note 3 is my phone. It's just great in all areas. Thank You Samsung.

Thifiell says:

what is the difference with Xperia Z? I can't find such info anywhere