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.

 

Reader comments

Sony Xperia Z1 hands-on [updated with video]

98 Comments

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

"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.

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 Futureproff.com

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.

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.

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

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??

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

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App

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!

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.

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

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?

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

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.

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.

This. They may even get an exclusive...

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

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

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

Posted via Android Central App

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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..

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.

I expect pricing to be in the 650-750$ range for a retail buy...so 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.