Sony has always kept the customers happy by making innovative products. Ever since they started making mobile devices, they used to put that ‘something’ in their devices that made them different from other manufacturers. We remember using a monochrome Sony device having the scroll wheel which made it much later to the blackberries and Sony Ericsson touch devices. And when they started making camera phones, it was hard to come close. After all they were the pro players in the point and shoot game with their CyberShot cameras. The mobile devices also got the CyberShot tag and we saw some really amazing camera phones from this Japanese giant.
With the Xperia Z1 or the ‘Honami’, they are trying to remind the people and the competition that they haven’t lost character and are just as capable as they were in the past. The Z1 has got a superb camera, good enough to give the ‘ultrapixel’ and ‘clearpixel’ a run for their money. The cameras on android devices have improved a lot in the past few years but this one goes mental with the transformation thing.
The hardware, display and camera have improved considerably over the Z. The device still has the waterproof and dustproof rating so you can take it outdoors. We take a closer look at the device to figure out how much it has improved over the previous device and what competition it faces.
The design of this device has got a family resemblance. The front and back look neat and the fit and finish is top notch. The camera sits on top left of the back with the LED flash just below it. The large aluminum power button has become the Sony thing now after the Z and it sits on the right spine of the device. The two phones including the Z and Z1 look similar but you can find some differences to tell them apart.The Z1 does carry an aluminum bezel that goes around and they have used a single piece of metal to carve that stripe. This boosts the aesthetic appeal of the device and also aids the grip.
The device is slightly fatter than the Xperia Z but you can still hold it easily in hand. Though one handed operations would not be very easy. The device is waterproof and can survive in water for 30 minutes upto a depth of 1.5 meters. It is the same story with flaps and covers but unlike the Xperia Z, they have used a waterproof jack here so there is no cover on it.
The device might seem to have the same display as the Z but they have made quite a number of changes to make it better than the previous device. The device has got a 5inch full HD display which has got very good pixel density. The display on Z wasn’t bad really but the rivals made it look pale. It was up against the super AMOLED on S4 and the IPS display on HTC One. The Z1 boasts of technologies found on Sony TV sets which have contrast ratios, boost colors and sharpness of the display. The AMOLED displays are not that great for viewing but they are acceptable. White and black tends to grey out as you increase you angle of view. Apart from that, the display is good and the images look sharp on it.
Inside that pretty shell, runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. The quad core processor is clocked at 2.2 GHz and has got the Adreno 330 GPU. The device has got 2 GB of RAM and that is a lot to run everything you might run on this device. The hardware can handle anything you throw at it very easily and lags are really out of question. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has been leading the benchmark race for a while now but this device can easily beat the S4.There is nothing that can slow this device down and everything about it is just immediate. It would need a lot of juice to power hardware this powerful so they have used a 3000 mAh battery.
The device runs vJB (Jelly Bean) Android 4.2.2 which isn’t the latest version. Though this is a flagship device and sooner or later they would provide you with an update. The android on this device has been heavily modified. The most prominent change to the android is the launcherwhich is highly customizable. Unlike stock android launcher, you can add or remove home screens and the widgets too can be heavily customized.
They have made changes to lot of other apps too. They have got rid of the stock gallery and have added the Xperia gallery. Also they have used their own music player which is quite good. There are changes to the camera app too which we will cover in the next section.
The device has got a 20.7 megapixel camera which is just amazing. It has got a sensor of size 1/2.3 inches which is larger than most android devices. It uses a wide angle 27 mm f/2.0 G lens and has got the Bionz image processor to keep the noise levels to minimum. They are betting big on the camera of this device and the reasons are very obvious. Any decent camera can get you good shots outdoors but low light photography is where they all fail. This one excels at low light photography. The increased aperture and sensor size works wonders and you get really good low light shots.
The camera software on this device is way better than the camera app on any other device ever. The phone enables the users who can directly load apps without switching between apps. This makes the overall experience much faster and you don’t clutter your launcher with multiple app icons.
This is definitely the best android camera phone we have seen yet. Now some might mention the Galaxy S4 zoom but we would still stick to our word. The S4 zoom has got a good camera but it is not very practical for everyday use. And everything else about the S4 zoom doesn’t even come remotely close to the Xperia Z1.
Guest article written by: Julia. She wrote several tech posts for 91mobiles.com. Her passion for upgrading her knowledge puts her to research on topics relevant to her industry. Besides, she also likes to share her findings by writing about them in her free time.
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