Sony's best Android phone to date is merely decent by the broader market's standards.

- Vlad Savov , The Verge 

It's a relief to see Sony now making a concerted effort to make a premium phone -- and that's what this is.

- Mat Smith , Engadget 

Reviews summary

8.7/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 45 reviews

What's good  

    What's bad  

      As the flagship of the Xperia series, this phone is packed with features and hardware and marks a shift in focus for Sony to premium smartphone provider. Mat Smith of Engadget says “Once you get to look at the phone in person, all Xperias that came before it pale in comparison. The phone feels solid and you'd be hard-pressed to describe any part of it as plasticky.”

      From the high-gloss glass weave case design of the phone to the Bravia Engine 2 and a five-inch 1080p display, reviews of the handset are positive. Chris Hall of Pocket Lint says, “If you’re not wowed when you see the Sony Xperia Z, then you should probably stop reading now. No tactile plastic, no dubious back covers, just a feeling of substance and, dare we say it, perfection.”

      Show more

      Other notable features include IPX5, IPX7 and IP5X ratings for both water and dust resistance, with rubber plugs and caps for the various ports on the device. Both Engadget and TechRadar tested the phone in full submersion and directed stream tests and report that the phone was unharmed. Mat Smith of Engadget notes, “It's rare to see such protection on a phone that's not being marketed as a rugged device, let alone a company's new flagship.”

      Phil Lavelle of TechRadar describes the phone as “one speedy son-of-a-Sony” and says that performance is one of the first things users will notice. Unfortunately, there are some minor concerns many reviews noted as well.

      One of the most common complaints in reviews was the quality of the loudspeaker on the handset. Mat Smith of Engadget says, “the speaker is tinny and, even on full blast, lacks punch during video playback.” Killian Ball of Cult of Android notes that the speaker “appears to be pretty small — and it sounds it. It’s not all that loud, and it’s a little dull.” However, most reviews note that the headphone jack offers clear audio and Bluetooth with most wireless headsets is flawless with no delays or problems maintaining sync with devices.

      Another consideration is the screen. Sony’s OptiContrast display is based on TFT technology. This leads to a few issues with viewing angles and less than ideal viewing in bright lighting or direct sunlight. Comparing the display to the competition, Mat Smith says “its performance doesn't offer the same viewing angles, or outdoor performance, of HTC's Super LCD 3 screen. In fact, turn the screen away from straight-on viewing, and you'll see a grayish discoloring that starts to obscure what's going on -- especially under bright light.”

      Reviews were also mixed on battery life, with reports ranging from just under six-hours from Engadget to all-day use from Pocket Lint. With a 2300-mAh battery, if you use your phone heavily, the phone will likely require daily charges. Fortunately, the mini-USB charging port will make finding travel chargers and other accessories a breeze.

      Pocket Lint’s Chris Hall sums up the device well when he says “there’s a lot to like about the Sony Xperia Z. It is the strongest Android phone that Sony has produced to date, fusing power, design and features.”

      The Good: Water- and dust-resistance, support for microSD cards, 1080p display, HDR video support and premium materials.

      The Bad: Screen viewing angles, screen brightness in direct sunlight, weak battery and slow camera response times.


      Specs summary

      Screen
      5"

      The Sony Xperia Z's screen is 5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

      Processor
      1.5GHz

      There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 Quad-core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

      OS

      The phone runs on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 5.1.1 Lollipop) operating system (OS).

      Camera
      13+ MP
      You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.
      Storage
      16 GB

      Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

      Battery
      2330mAh

      The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2330 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 23 days standby time, 660 minutes (2G), 840 minutes (3G), 397 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.


      Prices (Where to Buy)


      Online Buying Options



      Resources


      Manuals / User Guides Helpful Links Carriers Who Offer This Phone

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      Have a question?

      Visit the Sony Xperia Z Q&A Forum to ask the community a question or help others.


      Compare this phone to:

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      Reviews summary

      8.7/10AVG.
      RATING
      Based on 45 reviews

      What's good  

        What's bad  

          As the flagship of the Xperia series, this phone is packed with features and hardware and marks a shift in focus for Sony to premium smartphone provider. Mat Smith of Engadget says “Once you get to look at the phone in person, all Xperias that came before it pale in comparison. The phone feels solid and you'd be hard-pressed to describe any part of it as plasticky.”

          From the high-gloss glass weave case design of the phone to the Bravia Engine 2 and a five-inch 1080p display, reviews of the handset are positive. Chris Hall of Pocket Lint says, “If you’re not wowed when you see the Sony Xperia Z, then you should probably stop reading now. No tactile plastic, no dubious back covers, just a feeling of substance and, dare we say it, perfection.”

          Show more

          Other notable features include IPX5, IPX7 and IP5X ratings for both water and dust resistance, with rubber plugs and caps for the various ports on the device. Both Engadget and TechRadar tested the phone in full submersion and directed stream tests and report that the phone was unharmed. Mat Smith of Engadget notes, “It's rare to see such protection on a phone that's not being marketed as a rugged device, let alone a company's new flagship.”

          Phil Lavelle of TechRadar describes the phone as “one speedy son-of-a-Sony” and says that performance is one of the first things users will notice. Unfortunately, there are some minor concerns many reviews noted as well.

          One of the most common complaints in reviews was the quality of the loudspeaker on the handset. Mat Smith of Engadget says, “the speaker is tinny and, even on full blast, lacks punch during video playback.” Killian Ball of Cult of Android notes that the speaker “appears to be pretty small — and it sounds it. It’s not all that loud, and it’s a little dull.” However, most reviews note that the headphone jack offers clear audio and Bluetooth with most wireless headsets is flawless with no delays or problems maintaining sync with devices.

          Another consideration is the screen. Sony’s OptiContrast display is based on TFT technology. This leads to a few issues with viewing angles and less than ideal viewing in bright lighting or direct sunlight. Comparing the display to the competition, Mat Smith says “its performance doesn't offer the same viewing angles, or outdoor performance, of HTC's Super LCD 3 screen. In fact, turn the screen away from straight-on viewing, and you'll see a grayish discoloring that starts to obscure what's going on -- especially under bright light.”

          Reviews were also mixed on battery life, with reports ranging from just under six-hours from Engadget to all-day use from Pocket Lint. With a 2300-mAh battery, if you use your phone heavily, the phone will likely require daily charges. Fortunately, the mini-USB charging port will make finding travel chargers and other accessories a breeze.

          Pocket Lint’s Chris Hall sums up the device well when he says “there’s a lot to like about the Sony Xperia Z. It is the strongest Android phone that Sony has produced to date, fusing power, design and features.”

          The Good: Water- and dust-resistance, support for microSD cards, 1080p display, HDR video support and premium materials.

          The Bad: Screen viewing angles, screen brightness in direct sunlight, weak battery and slow camera response times.

          Own this phone?

          Help inform others by sharing your experience with Sony Xperia Z

          Rate It:

          Reviews (8.7/10 Avg. rating)


          Huge, shiny, black and great

          from Expert Reviews (2 years ago)

          The Sony Xperia Z has the looks and the high-resolution screen to make it a worthy high-end smartphone. Currently, at least until the Samsung Galaxy S4 is released, its main competition is the similarly huge-screened HTC One. We prefer the HTC One's aluminium body, but if you don’t like the sw... More

          The Sony Xperia Z has the looks and the high-resolution screen to make it a worthy high-end smartphone. Currently, at least until the Samsung Galaxy S4 is released, its main competition is the similarly huge-screened HTC One. We prefer the HTC One's aluminium body, but if you don’t like the sweeping changes HTC has made to Android with its new Sense interface, you may prefer the more lightly-customised Xperia Z.

          Less
          10/10

          Gorgeous waterproof chassis and a great camera experience

          from Mobile Syrup (2 years ago)

          The Xperia Z is a gorgeous smartphone – Sony’s best to-date. The all-glass design is something that any user would be proud to hold, but one must be careful not to drop it. Other than aesthetics, there is no real reason to choose the Xperia Z over the ZL, which is cheaper, smaller and av... More

          The Xperia Z is a gorgeous smartphone – Sony’s best to-date. The all-glass design is something that any user would be proud to hold, but one must be careful not to drop it. Other than aesthetics, there is no real reason to choose the Xperia Z over the ZL, which is cheaper, smaller and available across more carriers. If waterproof is your thing, then go for it; if not, the ZL, with its IR blaster and camera shutter button, is actually a comparable smartphone.

          Less
          8/10

          A fully loaded Smartphone with rich features, great camera and solid battery life

          from TelecomTiger (2 years ago)

          Sony Xperia Z is an amazing phone with brilliant features and good design. It’s loaded with latest features and applications, power packed with 2 GB RAM and 1.5 GHz Quad Core processor. The battery life is good, display is wonderful and the 13 megapixels Exmor RS main camera is outstanding and... More

          Sony Xperia Z is an amazing phone with brilliant features and good design. It’s loaded with latest features and applications, power packed with 2 GB RAM and 1.5 GHz Quad Core processor. The battery life is good, display is wonderful and the 13 megapixels Exmor RS main camera is outstanding and the 2 megapixels front camera has better picture quality. Sony’s anti dust and water resistant features are an asset to the device.

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          9/10

          Beautiful screen, breathtaking design and powerful innards

          from TechRadar (2 years ago)

          The Sony Xperia Z has a beautiful design and finally represents an Android smartphone that can be used to show iPhone owners that they're not necessarily at the top of the heap anymore. The price is just a little too high in our opinion - but rush out a software update to improve the camera and you... More

          The Sony Xperia Z has a beautiful design and finally represents an Android smartphone that can be used to show iPhone owners that they're not necessarily at the top of the heap anymore. The price is just a little too high in our opinion - but rush out a software update to improve the camera and you have a strong contender for smartphone of the year.

          Less
          9/10

          A device that can shrug off water and take excellent photos

          from Laptop Magazine (2 years ago)

          The water-resistant Sony Xperia Z features a water-resistant design, an excellent camera and fast speeds on T-Mobile's new LTE network, but we wish the screen had wider viewing angles.

          The water-resistant Sony Xperia Z features a water-resistant design, an excellent camera and fast speeds on T-Mobile's new LTE network, but we wish the screen had wider viewing angles.

          Less
          7/10

          For people who desire a waterproof phone above everything else

          from Business Insider (2 years ago)

          The Xperia Z is a good Android phone. However, it's not the knock-your-socks-off revolution that Sony probably hoped it would be, and it's only going to really stand out to a niche group of people who desire a waterproof phone above everything else.

          The Xperia Z is a good Android phone. However, it's not the knock-your-socks-off revolution that Sony probably hoped it would be, and it's only going to really stand out to a niche group of people who desire a waterproof phone above everything else.

          Less

          Well designed and water-resistant

          from GigaOM (2 years ago)

          Surely, the Xperia Z is competing for sales against the current crop of flagship devices that have similar features, a heavier dose of manufacturer software and newer processors. In my time with the Xperia Z, however, I found it to be a very comparable contender that will keep most people happy. As... More

          Surely, the Xperia Z is competing for sales against the current crop of flagship devices that have similar features, a heavier dose of manufacturer software and newer processors. In my time with the Xperia Z, however, I found it to be a very comparable contender that will keep most people happy. As a result, I think it’s definitely worth a look.

          Less

          It definitely has a few shortcomings, but its makes up for them with several uncommon features

          from Phone Scoop (2 years ago)

          Sony created a very nice smartphone with the Xperia Z. It’s an attractive device that has top-class hardware and a long feature list to go with it. The Z was particularly impressive as a voice phone, and battery life was great. The device is water resistant as Sony claims, but the hatches need... More

          Sony created a very nice smartphone with the Xperia Z. It’s an attractive device that has top-class hardware and a long feature list to go with it. The Z was particularly impressive as a voice phone, and battery life was great. The device is water resistant as Sony claims, but the hatches needed to protect it from water are somewhat of a pain to use. The two-sided glass design means you have to be a bit more careful than you would with a plastic or metal phone, though.

          In terms of the software, nearly every app and service worked well. The Xperia Z clearly has Sony's stamp on the Android operating system, but that's a good thing. I found the user interface to be flexible and quick; the camera software allows for plenty of shooting customizations; and the media options are endless. Toss in excellent performance from the camera, and a fine viewing experience on the beautiful screen, and the Z is a media powerhouse.

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          8/10

          One of the most solid packages carried by T-Mobile USA

          from Android Community (2 years ago)

          Sony’s greatest smartphone effort to date is now one of the most solid packages carried by T-Mobile USA. This device does battle with the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 like a champ, and isn’t going to take their spot in the industry lightly.

          Sony’s greatest smartphone effort to date is now one of the most solid packages carried by T-Mobile USA. This device does battle with the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 like a champ, and isn’t going to take their spot in the industry lightly.

          Less

          When it comes to devices that can resist water, the Xperia Z is more appealing than all of them

          from MobileBurn (2 years ago)

          The Xperia Z is a phone that makes a heck of a first impression and slowly reveals some small flaws that may chip away at someone's patience. Most people will be able to overlook those flaws without issue considering the tradeoffs. The Xperia Z is on the large side, but we've seen people willing to... More

          The Xperia Z is a phone that makes a heck of a first impression and slowly reveals some small flaws that may chip away at someone's patience. Most people will be able to overlook those flaws without issue considering the tradeoffs. The Xperia Z is on the large side, but we've seen people willing to put up with larger than normal phones to a point that "large" is the new normal. When it comes to devices that can resist water, the Xperia Z is more appealing than all of them. Add a decent camera, strong battery life, and unobtrusive software, it's easy to see why someone might be willing to stick around.

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          I like it

          (3 years ago)

          It's a cool phone

          It's a cool phone

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          10/10