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Sony Xperia Z1 review

8.1/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Sony Xperia Z1 currently has an Informr score of 8.1 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 39 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Water and dust proof design
  • Incredibly fast and powerful processor
  • 20MP camera

What's bad

  • Body prone to scratches
  • Poor viewing angles
  • Bulky dimensions

Like its predecessor, the Sony Xperia Z1 features a lightweight, waterproof glass body. In addition to the 8.5mm thin body, the Z1 has a 2.26GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage and an expandable microSD slot. The 5” capacitive HD touchscreen has impressed many reviewers due to its bright and natural colors but there are still issues with viewing angles despite Sony’s “Triluminous” technology. Huffington Post notes that “it's just not that impressive except when viewing it directly head-on.”

Most reviewers agree that the build of the Z1 is a step up from the Z. While slightly larger, reviewers note that its actually easier to hold than the Z. T3 mentions that the corners of the phone are smoother which make for a “more sumptuous, confident build quality.” Despite this, T3 goes on to say that the phone is still rather large, measuring in at 144 x 74 x 8.5 mm, and that “those with small hands should probably look elsewhere.” Pocket Lint notes that the larger size and flat design also makes the phone “feel a little more slippery.” T3 also mentions that the body is prone to scratches. Despite this, most reviewers approve of the overall build of the phone, praising the higher-quality finish of the aluminum frame over the plastic frame of the Z.

The Z1 is waterproof so long as consumers cover all of the all the various slots with the appropriate metal slots. After extensive testing, Irish Times has confirmed its water resistant property and notes that the “first few seconds after it came out of the water, the screen wasn’t the most responsive it had been, although in under a minute it was back fully working again…” Unlike the Z, the Z1 headphone jack is now also waterproof so consumers no longer have to worry about closing up the port to fully protect the phone.

Another major improvement over its predecessor is the camera. The phone boasts a 20MP camera with autofocus and a 1/2.3-inch light sensor, which is much larger than most smartphones on the market. The camera also comes with a variety of features such as augmented reality and the ability to live stream videos onto social media platforms. Reviewers were generally impressed with the quality of the photos, though Wired notes “some shots can look a bit washed out when using automatic settings.”

Most reviewers agree that this is a very good high-end smartphone. Techradar praises the phone and says that “It's an impressive phone that packs so much technology inside you can't help but enjoy all the treats on offer…” Recombu also notes that “The Xperia Z1 is a very good package” despite its drawbacks.

Operating system
2.2 GHz
Screen Size
20+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...

Expert Reviews

Great build quality, huge performance and an impressive screen, but its camera lets the Z1 down.

- Chris Finnamore, Expert Reviews

Sony's device launches last year were a bit better than average, but this year the company seems committed to knock it out of the park. The Xperia Z1S isn't Sony's flagship device for the year, but its impressive camera abilities, speedy processor, and stylish outfitting are an indicator of how the...

- Florence Ion, PCWorld

That’s not to say that the Xperia Z1s is a bad phone–it really is an excellent device, but you shouldn’t walk into a T-Mobile store looking for one specific feature on the phone to buy. If you’re eyeing the camera, there are better camera phones out there. If you’re loo...

- Chuong Nguyen, GottaBeMobile
What Hi-Fi

Much like the Xperia Z, this is a brilliant smartphone not just for sophisticated picture and sound quality that's a cut above most rivals but also as an all-round package.The design is sleek, if not the most manageable, the camera is reliable, the battery life excellent, and Sony's entertainment se...

- Kob Monney, What Hi-Fi

When I first saw the Z1s announces for T-Mobile I didn't think too much about it because I am satisfied with my HTC One and Moto X. However, it has been many years since I owned an Xperia phone (very cool Windows Mobile Xperia model) and I actually really grew to like what Sony is doing here with th...

- Matthew Miller, ZDNet

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Screen Size

The Sony Xperia Z1's screen size is 5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

2.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 Quad core 2.2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 5.0.2 Lollipop) operating system (OS).

20+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 20+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.

16/32 GB

Internal memory is 16/32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3000 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 900 minutes, 359 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Xperia Z1 Specs

Release date September 17, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
1700/1900/2100/800 /850/1800/2600 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 5.0.2 Lollipop)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 Quad core 2.2 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.754 W/kg
Body: 1.149 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 400 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 359 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 900 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 36.7 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White, Purple
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.4 x 7.4 x 0.8 cm (5.7 x 2.9 x 0.3 in)
Weight 170 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 58
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 441 pixels
Size 5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB)
PC Synchronization SyncML
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Main Camera
20+ megapixels
8x digital
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Multi-shot, HDR, Scene, Metering
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
2+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, OGG, WAV
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony Honami, C6906, Sony Xperia Z1s


Sony Xperia Z1s
Dimensions: 14.57 x 7.39 x 0.855 cm (5.74 x 2.91 x 0.34 in)
Weight: 162 grams (5.71 ounces)
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia Z1 Reviews
Where to buy Sony Xperia Z1
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