Sony Xperia Z1 Review

As expected with Sony’s pattern of releasing flagship devices twice a year comes the Sony Xperia Z1, a super-sized 5-inch display that is basically a refresh of the Sony Xperia Z. But is it a noteworthy upgrade, or better yet, is the upgrade enough to steal the spotlight from the Android key players?

Design and Build

The Xperia Z1 has a slightly larger frame than the Z, measuring 144.4 x 73.9 x 8.5 mm. This large frame and the flat front and back make it more slippery to hold. It has larger dimensions than the Samsung Galaxy S4, which also packs the same 5-inch display. Regardless, the Xperia Z1 is built of high-quality and is quite a stunner.

Unlike the Xperia Z’s sharp edges, the Xperia Z1 was refined into curved edges with the aim of making it easier and more comfortable to grip. Instead of the older Z’s plastic body-colored panels, the Z1 exhibits a tighter and higher-quality finish which prevents it from attracting a lot of dust. Because it is still water-resistant though, there are still the plastic flaps that cover the ports and sockets.

Performance and Hardware

The Z1 runs on a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, alongside a 2GB of RAM. The processor, which is more advanced than some of the competitors, is unsurprisingly powerful and opens apps in a breeze. The downside with much power, however, is that the phone heats up. Fortunately, it only does this during more demanding tasks such as playing hard-core games.


Sony is definitely one of the biggest players when it comes to smartphone cameras, and it’s approach is more inclined to creating a smartphone cam that is as capable as a high-end shooter. The Z1 is equipped with a magnificent 20.7-MP sensor, and while we know better not to pay too much attention on megapixel count, there’s the intriguing ½.3- inch sensor. While the snapper is successful in producing quality photos in adequate lighting, it produces so-so outputs in poor lighting conditions. Still, the camera itself is lovely.

Battery Life

While any phone’s display suck most of its battery juice, the 3000mAh battery inside the Z1’s massive body is pretty powerful, thanks to Sony’s brilliant software adjustment. The Stamina Mode allows the user to have full control over the phone’s activity in order to save battery, for example, it lets you customize which apps to retain connectivity whenever the phone is idle.


  • Water resistant
  • Solid build
  • Nice camera features
  • Good battery life


  • Not the best display
  • Device heats up
  • Camera not as impressive as expected

The Verdict

The Z1 is definitely one remarkable upgrade from the original Xperia Z, and it’s hard to ignore how much fast and efficient it is to use. There’s also good battery life to be proud of, and while it may not exactly beat out the direct competitors, it’s undeniably one good phone. Again, one of the factors that may put you off is the size, and it could really be a stretch operating this massive handset, considering that there’s a smaller alternative that provides exactly the same screen space.