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Published on February 6th, 2013 | by toptech

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Sony Xperia Z Review

The latest Sony smartphone, the Xperia Z, was given its debut showing at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 in Las Vegas recently. The premium quality was evident throughout, with the latest spec to please even the most demanding smartphone enthusiast.

Sony seem to have used their experience with TV screen technologies, cellular and cameras to bring that all together in their latest smartphone offering. It is quite impressive and will be one of the leading phones when it is released shortly, albeit with one or two reservations.

Design

The design of the Xperia Z is very unusual because it is a solid rectangle shape with only slight curves on each corner. This compares with something like the saucer-shaped Samsung Galaxy S3 which is full of curves and reflections.

The phone is certified to IP57 standards as both dustproof and waterproof. The build quality is excellent throughout and gives a solid feeling when holding the phone.

Display

The 5-inch display comes with a 1980 x 1080 resolution. This delivers a pixel per inch of 441 which creates a screen so sharp that even starring up close at it, you cannot pick out individual pixels. It is mouthwateringly good.

Specs

The popular Qualcomm 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro is used (same as the latest Nexus 4 from LG) paired with 2GB of RAM.

Internal storage is limited to only 16GB with presently no plans to offer models with more storage. However, a microSD slot with a 32GB capacity is included.

The battery, which is not removable, has a 2,330 mAh capacity which might be decent, but we are waiting to see how it performs when running a demanding 1080p display.

The camera weighs 146 grams. The phone is built more from glass than plastic, so it weighs a bit more than the average smartphone.

Camera

Cameras are going up a level with the new slate of smartphones released in Q1, 2013. This phone has a front-facing 2.1 megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p video and a rear-facing 13-megapixel camera that can also shoot 1080p video.

Software

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is installed on the phone, but Sony is looking at upgrading to version 4.2 once it has been officially released.

There is the usual customisation of Android with Sony’s own skin that overlaps the display and creates a floating layer of apps above the main 1080p wallpaper. It is a matter of taste whether the skin suits you or turns you off.

Verdict

The Sony Xperia Z is a market leading smartphone and one of the first to come with the 1080p Full HD resolution. Whether the skin that comes with their version of Android appeals to consumers remains to be seen. The upgraded 13 megapixel camera, quad core processor and 2GB of RAM impress, but equally the 16GB internal storage (with no larger internal storage options), limited 32GB microSD capacity (not the market-leading 64GB), and relatively low battery capacity to power a 1080p display cause some concern. A mixed picture therefore and any buying decision will depend on carefully weighing the needs for the phone along with its relative strengths and weaknesses.

Peter Miles likes to check out new apps to try on his trusty iPhone 4 .

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