Sony Xperia Z Review: The Fragile yet Beautiful Swimmer

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Sony Xperia Z is an expensive and beautiful smartphone from Sony which hit the markets having water resistance as its USP. Katrina Kaif, the brand ambassador of Sony Xperia flashed it on TV channels promoting the Xperia Z.

Xperia Z has 1.5GHz Krait 200 Qualcomm processor with 2GB RAM & Adreno 320 GPU. It has a 5 inch Full HD display & ~13MP rear camera. Find out more if this flagship device stands to the promises.

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z Purple & White

Pros and Cons

• Camera

• Design

• UI

• Fragile Display

• Poor Audio Level

• Heating of Battery

What does the Retail Package come with?

  1. The Handset.
  2. USB Cable, USB charger, Headphones.
  3. Warranty Card & Quick Start Guide

User Experience

i. Design: The Delicate Swimmer

The first impression on the Sony Xperia Z is a slim metal box with a glass coating. Sony came out with an innovative design with edgy sides & the corners without those regular curves.

Inspired from iPhone 4S & the Nexus 4, the Xperia Z is attired with a glass surface in the front & the back. This gives a beautiful looks to the smartphone but mind it!

The glass gets smudged up with your fingerprints very easily.

You will always have to keep a micro-fibre cloth (used to clean screens) handy. If you work in a kitchen then please flush out the thought of buying this phone.

The back panel is non-removable & the ports on the sides are covered with flaps to give it a water-resistant property. Even the earpiece & the speaker are covered with a thin transparent layer to avoid water from percolating inside.

There is a difference between Water-Proof & Water Resistant

Sony claims the smartphone to be a Water-Resistant phone & not a Water-Proof phone. I have seen people calling it a Water-Proof device. They should try this- “Swimming for an hour with Sony Xperia Z”.

The manufacturer states that the phone can stay inside water for a maximum time of 30 minutes & a maximum depth of 1 metre provided all the ports are closed. The phone is designed to withstand these limits.

Is this useful? Yes, of course! If you drop your phone in the toilet then you can assure no harm to your phone if you pick it up in time at the cost of your hands getting filthy.

The screen isn’t shatter-proof; it is FRAGILE.

After doing a research on the web & hearing grievances from my friend, I am disappointed with the build of the device. There are numerous complaints on the phone getting a crack on the screen even without applying pressure on the screen.

The service centre says that the screen is not replaceable so you’ll have to pay Rs. 20,000 in order to replace the phone. Sony has gone crazy.

A good try from Sony, but in the end- A Disappointment.

ii. User Interface: Beautiful

Sony Xperia Z comes with Android 4.1.2 JellyBean out of the box (instead of 4.2.2). The UI is customized with Sony’s Bravia Engine 2. You can customize your home screen, lock screen & even select a different theme from a bunch of predefined themes by the manufacturer.

Overall, the UI is very smooth to operate. The transitions & the animations added are as expected from a flagship device (better than Galaxy S4).

iii. Display: The Review Ends

Xperia Z boasts a 5 inch display giving a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels that packs a pixel density of 441 ppi. The screen is said to be shatter-proof & scratch resistant. Well, it is scratch resistant but not at all shatter-proof.

A very good feature by Sony- you can adjust the white balance by customizing the Saturation & Hue from the display settings.

The phone has a light sensor which will guide the brightness on the screen. The reflection on the screen is too much & hence you’ll need the auto-brightness feature always on.

The corners of the display could be reached using a single hand but at the cost of losing the grip. Viewing angles are amazing even at the horizons.

Everything goes perfect as you expect in a flagship device display, except the critical screen shattering problem. I would like to END my review here by advising you to dump your desire to buy this phone.

[Huh! My Team wanted me to complete this Review. So hang on!]

iv. Typing:

Typing in landscape as well as portrait mode is as easy as expected. The keyboard has many customization options (check out the screenshots).

The swipe (or continuous input) feature works good leaving trails according to the colour of theme you’ve selected. The prediction options are good & it comes out with personal dictionary to add up user-defined words.

vi. Extra Features


Camera: Great Features


Primary cam- Sony Xperia Z

Primary cam- Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z has a 2.1MP front camera & a 12.78MP Exmor RS rear camera with AF & LED flash below the camera sensor. It captures pictures with a resolution of 4128 x 3096pixels. Sony markets the product as 13MP rear & 2.2MP front camera (Don’t Lie).

The UI of the camera is way different than the stock UI. It will take short time for you to get acquainted but soon you’ll love it.

The rear camera of the flagship device does not disappoint you at all. The camera is rich in features (some useful, some not).Check out the Camera UI in the images below.

The Superior Auto mode automatically corrects the image, no efforts required. HDR images turned out to be striking. The panorama stitches the images well but distorts the overall view.

The burst mode can capture upto 1000 pictures at the rate of 10 pics every second to flood your memory.

Secondary cam- Sony Xperia Z

Secondary cam- Sony Xperia Z

It has 16x zoom but the colours are retained only upto 4x zoom. Beyond the point, you’ll start losing the picture quality. The front has a 2.2MP Exmor R camera that could be used for video calling or self-photography.

The rear camera can shoot 1080p videos @30fps. An interesting feature added to the list is the HDR video recording. Now it is possible to record HDR videos. I like it.

Camera start-up time < 1S
Time to see the Image preview Zero Shutter Lag

Camera Interface:

Camera Samples:

Zoom Test


Panaroma- Sony Xperia Z

HDR Samples:

Low-Light Sample (with Flash):

Low light with flash- Sony Xperia Z

Low light with flash- Sony Xperia Z

Multimedia: Huge Disappointment

Speaker- Sony Xperia Z


Sony has always taken care of providing good audio levels to its users. I was one of the fans of the famous Walkman series. But this phone again disheartens me. The audio levels are very very low. It gave me a second thought-

Is this really a Sony smartphone?

Simple reason to this- The speakers are to be protected from water, hence it is covered with a thin plastic layer which results into occlusion.

The music player is given a custom touch. It has shuffle, repeat & a bunch of equaliser options. The Visualiser looks good. It does not support .aac format in music play. The gallery of the phone uses File Commander App which has a beautiful UI.

The video player is also given a better custom touch. But with the low audio, the fun is ruined. Sony Xperia Z supports video play up to 1080p. However, it does not support .mkv & .flv format. If you are a movie buff, then this makes your decision clear.


Hardware Performance:

Sony Xperia Z brags a Qualcomm MDM9215M+APQ8064 chipset having 1.5GHz quad-core Krait 200 processor & Adreno 320 GPU. It has 2GB RAM & 16GB internal memory.

Read more on Processors
Xperia Z has APQ8064 processor & MDM9215M modem.

The APQ8064 processor is a Snapdragon S4 processor with 28nm semiconductor technology. It has quad-core Krait 200 CPU clocking upto 1.7GHz & Adreno 320 GPU.

MDM9215M is an LTE, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, GSM/EDGE modem (28nm) belonging to the Gobi family.

The processor speaks for the performance of the device & in our tests it proved out to be true. The phone passed our multi-tasking tests with microscopic lags in the UI. The only problem was with the heating of the device. The back panel gets heated up very quickly. It looks like Sony has not taken sufficient efforts to take the heat dissipation into account while designing the Xperia Z.

Benchmark Score
AnTuTu 18377
Nenamark 2 59.9fps

Pre-installed Apps & Games:

Useful Apps: Backup & Restore, Car Mode, Evernote, Facebook, File Commander, Linkedin, McAfee Security, OfficeSuite, Pics Art.

Extra Apps: Adobe Reader, appXtra, Chrome, Foneclay, NeoReader, Notes, Play Books, Play Magazines, Play Movies, Social Life, Sony LIV, Sony Select, X4 Video Player, Wisepilot, Word Search.

Games: No pre-installed games.


The device is low on audio levels. There is a notification light in the top left corner above the screen. There is no different volume control for ringtones & volume; both are integrated together.


Xperia Z has a 2330mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery. It can last slight more than half a day with heavy usage of the phone (Video, Wi-Fi browsing, 3G, calling, messengers, music, GPS).

The manufacturer did not take care of heat dissipation from the phone. The phone gets heated up every now & then- watching videos, game play, camera test, benchmark test, etc.

Power Management- Sony Xperia Z

Power Management- Sony Xperia Z

Connectivity options

What it has- 2G, 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot, GPS, USB 2.0 (MHL) with OTG & NFC.

What it misses- dedicated HDMI port.

Final Verdict

Why Waste Money

Sony Xperia Z is good at camera & the performance, but the battery disappoints us with the heating up. The water-resistant property has some conditions to be taken care of.

Overall, the smartphone has great looks but loses points on the breakable display & a poor response from service centres. This verdict is most simple for me to write. I would recommend not buying this phone.

AlternativesLG Optimus G Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Nokia Lumia 925, Apple iPhone 4S.

Sony Xperia Z1 Review: The Smart Paanwala’s Choice.

  • Looking for a Beautiful phone
  • A Power User
  • Going for under-water photography

  • A Music Lover
  • Unable to handle fragile stuff
  • Allergic to heated phones 😉


Samsung Xperia Z Specifications:


Sony Xperia Z

Chipset Qualcomm MDM9215M + APQ8064
Processor (CPU) Quad-core 1.5GHz Krait
GPU Adreno 320
Display Type TFT LCD Capacitive Touchscreen
Size & Resolution 5 inch 1080x1920pixels (~441ppi)
Primary Camera 12.78MP Exmor RS, AF, 16x zoom, LED flash, 4128x3096pixels images, records 1080p videos @30fps
Secondary Camera 2.1MP Exmor R
Android OS Android 4.1.2 JellyBean (upgradable to 4.2.2)
Battery Non removable 2330mAh Li-Ion
Memory Internal: 16GB; Expandable upto 64GB
USB Yes v2.0 (MHL) with USB OTG support
Bluetooth Yes v4.0
Dimensions 139x71x7.9mm
Weight 146g
Sensors Accelerometer, Light, Orientation, Proximity, Gyro, Magnetic
Dual SIM No
Colors Purple, Black, White
Online Price INR 31450

Device sponsored by Mobile Zone

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1 Comment

  • Intex Poolheizung says:

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