Sony Xperia Z1

8.1/10 AVG.
RATING



8.1/10
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.

The "1-Minute" Review

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
Android
Processor
2.2 GHz
Screen Size
5"
Camera
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
PCWorld

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
GottaBeMobile

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
ZDNet

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


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Sony released the Xperia Z1 on September 17, 2013.


Sony Xperia Z1 prices will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. Sony's suggested retail price is $649.99. You can compare Xperia Z1 prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sony Xperia Z1 user manual here.


Sony backs up the Xperia Z1 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Xperia Z1 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




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Quick view

Screen Size
5"

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

Processor
2.2 GHz

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

OS

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

Camera
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.

Storage
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.

Battery
3000mAh

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

Overview
Release date September 17, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, UK
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/2100/800 /850/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
variations
SIM card Micro-SIM
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 Flash Memory 16/32 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD No
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
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
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 441 pixels
Size 5 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
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
Connectivity
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
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB)
PC Synchronization SyncML
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
20+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
8x digital
Flash
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
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
Self-portrait
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
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
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 -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony Honami, C6906, Sony Xperia Z1s

Variations:

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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Critic Reviews


Expert Reviews

The Sony Xperia Z1 is a faster, better-looking Xperia Z

from Expert Reviews

The Sony Xperia Z1 is a definite improvement over the Sony Xperia Z, but smartphones are still improving rapidly and it's actually lost ground the competition in the intervening six months.

It's quicker and has a more pleasing design, and we like the screen and Sony's Android customisatio...More

The Sony Xperia Z1 is a definite improvement over the Sony Xperia Z, but smartphones are still improving rapidly and it's actually lost ground the competition in the intervening six months.

It's quicker and has a more pleasing design, and we like the screen and Sony's Android customisations. However, it's let down to earth with a bump by its disappointing camera, which is miles away from the competition for quality. The Nokia Lumia 1020 is still the ultimate cameraphone, and if you're after an Android handset the LG G2 (review shortly) takes far superior photos.

Read full review

Less

PCWorld

Modern-looking, angular devices with capable specs

from PCWorld

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 t...More

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 company plans to regain some of its barely-there U.S. marketshare. If the Xperia Z1S is where Sony's heading, then we can't wait to see what's next.

Read full review

Less

GottaBeMobile

It doesn’t necessarily excel at any specific thing despite Sony’s excellent heritage with displays and cameras

from GottaBeMobile

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...More

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 looking for the entire package, the Xperia Z1s will offer a lot of delight to users.

Read full review

Less

What Hi-Fi

Superb sound, sophisticated screen, and great battery life

from 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 services brilliant...

More

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 services brilliant.

Add in expandable storage, good picture quality and excellent sonic skills, and the Z1 makes a convincing case for itself.

Read full review

Less

ZDNet

20 megapixel camera phone in a waterproof wrapper

from ZDNet

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 the Z1s.

...

More

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 the Z1s.

It's about that time I start to think about a new device and the waterproof design, physical camera button, very long battery life, solid camera, and overall performance have me seriously considering a Sony Xperia Z1s.

It is reasonably priced for a high end smartphone and I plan to keep using this evaluation unit until my allotted time expires so I can try to make an informed decision. It is a classy looking phone and has some unique features. 

 

Read full review

Less

Minimally Minimal

The Xperia Z1S and Android both over promised and under delivered

from Minimally Minimal

This turned out to be another failed attempt at falling in love with an Android phone. I really wanted to love this phone but both the Xperia Z1S and Android both over promised and under delivered. Craftsmanship and sensitivity in design are the most important traits that I look for in a product...More

This turned out to be another failed attempt at falling in love with an Android phone. I really wanted to love this phone but both the Xperia Z1S and Android both over promised and under delivered. Craftsmanship and sensitivity in design are the most important traits that I look for in a product but they weren't found in both the phone and its software. Android has a lot of "good" phones and is slowly becoming more cohesive and easy to live with with every iteration. It's still not quite there yet so I guess I'll be waiting another year.

Read full review

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Business Insider

A great Android phone and perfect for selfies in the shower

from Business Insider

The Xperia Z1S is a solid phone, whether or not you actually plan on taking it on your next snorkeling trip. With its big, bright screen, it's great for reading and other media consumption, though you might find its five inches a little clunky if you just want to use your phone for texting and Facebook.

Read full review

The Xperia Z1S is a solid phone, whether or not you actually plan on taking it on your next snorkeling trip. With its big, bright screen, it's great for reading and other media consumption, though you might find its five inches a little clunky if you just want to use your phone for texting and Facebook.

Read full review

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GigaOM

Gorgeous waterproof design and an innovative camera

from GigaOM

Problems aside, the Xperia Z1s is one of the best phones available from T-Mobile. But that’s also part of the problem. T-Mobile might be growing by leaps and bounds, but if Sony really wants to make a name for itself in the U.S., it needs to get its phones on all four major carriers. By limiting itself to just one carrier, it significantly decreases its chances of breaking through...

More

Problems aside, the Xperia Z1s is one of the best phones available from T-Mobile. But that’s also part of the problem. T-Mobile might be growing by leaps and bounds, but if Sony really wants to make a name for itself in the U.S., it needs to get its phones on all four major carriers. By limiting itself to just one carrier, it significantly decreases its chances of breaking through.

And while this is one of the better Android phones available, I still wouldn’t call it the best. For a new smartphone on T-Mobile, I still think the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a better bang for your buck: It has a nicer display and a much lighter form factor, two features I think will attract more buyers than a waterproof design. The Moto X is another strong option. Its camera isn’t as good, but it’s a much better size to handle, and gives you a newer, almost-stock version of Android, along with a wide range of voice control features. 

Read full review

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BGR

It’s not a great phone and it doesn’t do enough to separate itself from the pack

from BGR

Sony’s Xperia Z1S has a lot going for it, but the device really doesn’t do enough to appeal to smartphone buyers in ways that leading phones do not. Waterproofing is a big innovation, but it’s also the only innovation as far as most consumers are concerned. Yes the display is bi...More

Sony’s Xperia Z1S has a lot going for it, but the device really doesn’t do enough to appeal to smartphone buyers in ways that leading phones do not. Waterproofing is a big innovation, but it’s also the only innovation as far as most consumers are concerned. Yes the display is big and bright, but plenty of other phones have big, bright displays. Sure, the 20.7-megapixel camera takes sharp photos, but many other handsets take great photos as well.

Read full review

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MobileBurn

A fine phone with a display that has terrible viewing angles, but it also has strong internal specs and exterior design

from MobileBurn

The Sony Xperia Z1S is everything that you wanted in a phone...four months ago. Judged against every flagship smartphone released last year, the Xperia Z1S can hold its own in every area except the display. The problem is that the phone arrives at the tail end of the product cycle and will soon b...More

The Sony Xperia Z1S is everything that you wanted in a phone...four months ago. Judged against every flagship smartphone released last year, the Xperia Z1S can hold its own in every area except the display. The problem is that the phone arrives at the tail end of the product cycle and will soon be replaced by something newer and better, including a new product from Sony that is already rumored to be more desirable. So why should anyone buy this phone? The same reason someone might have bought an Xperia Z last year - Sony arrives late, but it delivers when it finally shows up.

Read full review

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User Reviews


Great flagship device

This is an undoubtedly excellent phone put out by Sony, but nothing is without drawbacks. The camera is of course excellent which is my original reason for buying the phone. I am also happy with the battery life which gets me about a day and a half. This thing does not lack in performance either,...More
This is an undoubtedly excellent phone put out by Sony, but nothing is without drawbacks. The camera is of course excellent which is my original reason for buying the phone. I am also happy with the battery life which gets me about a day and a half. This thing does not lack in performance either, not a stitch of lag to be found. The screen is crisp and accurate, but like other reviews the viewing angles are indeed mediocre. I do also find the device to be a bit big for my average sized hands, and preferred my HTC one for overall comfort. Overall I give it a 9/10. Shame on Sony for locking the bootloader, plus it could do with an IR blaster. Less

Hard to like this phone when it doesn't work!

Just bought the phone. Only owned it for a couple weeks and was enjoying it until the screen shattered while in my coat pocket. I was just sitting in a chair and the phone was not dropped or hit on anything. Unlike the iPhone the sony does not work at all with a broken screen and big surprise it's not...More
Just bought the phone. Only owned it for a couple weeks and was enjoying it until the screen shattered while in my coat pocket. I was just sitting in a chair and the phone was not dropped or hit on anything. Unlike the iPhone the sony does not work at all with a broken screen and big surprise it's not covered under warranty! I googled this issue and found I'm not the only one this has happened too. Junk! Less

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