Telecom Lead India: Announced globally on 7 January, the Sony Xperia Z, a premium smartphone, is a slim and sleek stunner that is way tougher than it looks, with its glass fiber polyamide frame.
Indian smartphone users will be attracted its durable tempered glass front that has resisted scratches even after being roughly used for a few weeks, and when we say ‘roughly’ used, we mean roughly, because for the first time ever, here is a smartphone that is waterproof (upto 1 meter under water) and dustproof. Even the speaker and mic are water resistant.
The Sony Xperia Z, from the #3 smartphone vendor, has a 5 inch TFT capacitive, full HD touchscreen with shatter proof glass – another first – and a ‘Touch Gesture’ feature that makes it brilliantly responsive to every slide and scroll. It is powered by the 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with 2 GB RAM and Bravia Engine 2 which visibly enhances the quality of images. The crisp contrast, saturation and sharpness of images, Sony has done all they can to ensure a superlative viewing experience.
Xperia Z comes with a Jelly Bean version of 4.1.2. The 13 MP camera features 16x zoom and an LED flash. The camera was a bit sluggish to start up. Pictures taken with the primary camera were of top quality. The secondary camera is of 2 MP and although we expected the pictures taken with it to be a bit grainy, they came out surprisingly well. Our experience with the HD video recording feature was similar to that of any other phone with the same feature, except for the huge difference that 3D surround sound made. The clarity while playing music, videos and FM radio was quite enjoyable.
Internet on the phone was tested with a 3G connection, the USB, as well as Wi-Fi. Tethering via USB had us waiting for a few minutes. There were a few hiccups with connecting to the PC and it took more than 2 attempts to get the phone to sync with the PC, but the smooth browsing experience more than made up for the wait. After around 3 hours of being used almost constantly, the phone did heat up a bit, as expected with any other phone, really.
The phone’s 16 GB internal memory is expandable upto 32 GB usinng a micro SD card. Data can be transferred via bluetooth or DLNA.
The Xperia comes loaded with the usual suspects, pre-installed apps like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and a few others that you may not use on a daily basis.
Loaded with so many features, one would expect the battery life to be average. The battery actually lasted around 11 hours – after all the talking, browsing, streaming videos, listening to music, social networking and taking pictures. Perhaps due to the ‘battery stamina’ mode which supposedly increases the standby time fourfold by killing the battery draining apps when the display is off and switching them back on with the screen.
There were a few reports in the media about some Xperia Z users complaining that their smartphone suddenly became unusable. Sony released a software update last month that apparently fixes the issue.
Specifications of Sony Xperia Z
5” 1080 x 1920p full HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
13MP Fast Capture camera with Exmor RS for mobile, the world’s first image sensor with HDR video for smartphones
Dust and water resistant (IP55 & IP57) with a durable glass display
1.5 GHz asynchronous quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB RAM
Battery STAMINA mode improves your standby time by at least 4 times
One-touch functions enable consumers to easily share music, photos and videos from their smartphone to an array of
NFC-enabled Sony devices
LTE, 4G for superfast entertainment
A unique OmniBalance design with subtly rounded edges and smooth reflective surfaces on all sides
TelecomLead.com’s Rating: 8/10
Our verdict: This phone is easily an 8/10 though at a steep price of around Rs 38,990. Some of us are secretly hoping that like brands Micromax, Lava and Karbon will soon start launching 5 inch, full HD phablets at prices that won’t burn a hole in smartphone users’ pockets.