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January 17, 2013

Sony Xperia Z in the flesh

We were in Singapore a few days ago to witness the launch of the Sony Xperia Z. Let’s get up close and personal with Sony’s flagship handset and see why it’s regarded as one of the best smartphones of the recently-concluded CES 2013.

Sony Xperia Z

Ever since its first unofficial debut back in November, we’ve been keeping a close tab on this 5-inch handset. We got a chance to play around with Sony’s flagship device and marvel at its sheer elegance. We’ve extensively featured this upcoming handset in the past so, instead of going through the usual routine, we thought of giving you guys a more intimate look at the handset with this short video demo.

From the get go, it’s clear that Sony has put in a lot of thought to their torch bearer’s design, which is coined the “Omni-Balance design”. The term is a bit too gimmicky for our taste, but as fancy as it may sound, it doesn’t take away the fact the Xperia Z is one gorgeous handset that screams sophistication and class. Although the form factor was totally different from their previous handsets, the Xperia Z still has that iconic feel to it that’s undeniably Sony.

As mentioned before, this smartphone is only 7.9mm thick, making it one of the thinnest 5-incher in the market. But don’t for one second associate this thin profile for fragility, as Sony claims that the Xperia Z should be able to withstand elements and battering thanks to its tempered glass armor with a shatter-proof film coating. We’re not certain if there’s any truth to this claim, but from the looks of it, the glass exterior looks a bit more promising than what we previously saw on other glass-laden smartphones.

Xperia Z

And speaking of glass, owning the Xperia Z means that you’d have to live with the fact that the phone will attract fingerprints like it’s nobody’s business. This is a common thing for glass-covered handsets; it’s awesome to look at, but a royal pain in the neck to keep it neat and pristine.

We find the thoughtful placement of the buttons to be ideal for a smartphone of this size. The machined aluminium power key, along with the volume rocker, is situated at the middle of the phone’s right side, making it easier for user to reach for it. Just to set things straight, the Xperia Z doesn’t have a physical camera button. Alright?

Xperia Z Sample

Above is an image captured using the Xperia Z’s 13MP camera. Even in low-light conditions, the camera was able to compensate and provide an outstanding result. Sony was able to enhance this handset’s snapper by incorporating some of their proprietary imaging technologies found on their NEX and Alpha offerings.

Both the 2.2MP front-mounted snapper and the main camera are capable of recording videos at 1080p resolution. In addition to its arsenal, the camera at the back also offers HDR (High Dynamic Range) video recording to further enhance the quality of your clips.

Xperia Z philippines

The display is nothing short of impressive, something we’ve come to expect from Sony’s flagship handsets. The screen provides sharp images, outstanding color representation and decent viewing angle making it ideal for movie watching. It also offer very decent listening experience thanks to some minor audio tweaks that the smartphone is equipped with.

In terms of performance, we expect nothing but fluidity and responsiveness from the 1.5GHz Krait processor and 2GB RAM tandem that is at the heart of this smartphone. True enough, the Jellybean (4.1.2) smartphone was able to deliver. Whether we’re watching a Full HD movie, launching an app or switching from one app to the other, the handset remained cool and composed even under pressure.

We actually tried to perform a quick benchmark test on the Xperia Z, but due to the limited internet access at the venue, we weren’t able to download the apps needed to do it. You just have to wait for our full review for that, we guess.

Sony Xperia Z philippines

Sony has been known for manufacturing great devices with superior build quality and sleek design. And although their previous high-end handsets were not too shabby, it’s evident that the Xperia Z is a totally different beast altogether.

It’s not just a specific design aspect that makes this smartphone stand out. In fact we feel that it’s the combination of the “Omni-balance” design, thin form factor and tempered glass on the back that makes this phone aesthetically great. The intricate machined power button is just the cherry on top to make it all the more eye-pleasing.

Xperia

The phone’s elegant design is properly complemented by its snappy performance and other purposeful enhancements in the camera, display and audio. The phone is basically the epitome of all the expertise that Sony has, whether in imaging (NEX and Alpha cameras), display (Bravia TVs) and Audio (WalkMan) all rolled into one marvelous 5-inch handset.

In summary, Sony’s recent shift of attention to their handsets seems to be paying off quite nicely, and the Xperia Z is a testament to that. Moreover, we think that this handset has enough fire power to boost the company to the top and reclaim their place as one of the big players in the smartphone industry. The only question now is their marketing strategy and how the Xperia Z will fare against the upcoming flagship handsets of their competitors.

Sony Xperia Z specs:
5-inch full HD display (1920×1080), @ 441ppi
Sony Mobile Bravia Engine II
Qualcomm MDM9215M Snapdragon S4 Krait 1.5GHz quad-core
Adreno 320 Graphics
2GB RAM
16GB internal storage
up to 64GB via microSD card
DC-HSDPA 42Mbps, LTE 100Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC
GPS w/ aGPS support, GLONASS
Li-IOn 2370mAh battery
Dustproof (IP5X) and Water resistant (IPX57)
Android 4.1.2 Jellybean
Dimension: 139 x 71 x 7.9mm
Weight: 146g

Did the Xperia Z’s design come from Apple?
HTC One vs. LG Optimus G Pro vs. Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Ultra official: bigger and better Z at 6.5mm

19 Responses to “Sony Xperia Z in the flesh”

  1. reader says:

    very nice phone!

  2. johnonline says:

    sana may post paid plan ang smart para dito pag lumabas na to sa market..at sana nasa prcie range ng s3/ g2 lang xa.. :-)

  3. Enya says:

    Gagana kaya dito yung LTE sim ng Smart na provided sa Xperia V? Naliliitan kasi ako sa Xperia V ko

  4. Ged says:

    Halimaw sa specs :/

  5. edgar says:

    Sony Xperia ZL specs? hindi ba Z lang.

    • jozef
      Twitter: jozefrockz
      says:

      ZL = not water resistant/non dust proof (a bit thicker – not sure though plus a cool lead illuminated light at the bottom of the device)

      Z = water resistant/dust proof

  6. Anji says:

    We were “IN” Singapore…

  7. chi says:

    Release date?

  8. Jeremie
    Twitter: jeremie_17th
    says:

    This is not going to be cheap.. xD

    • Jam says:

      Unfortunately and indefinitely, Yes. It will be around €649 in Italy. So that will be, like, P35,144. Or to be more precise it will not be less than P30,000. -_- X)

  9. La+ says:

    Guesstimate at 34K+ Php.

  10. shocker says:

    Too flowery review! Too many unnecessary adjectives! You thought that made it cool? BS!

  11. iRonzkie23 says:

    Nice, ito na hinihintay ko!interesado talaga ako sa Xperia Z. i need more Review sir Yuga and hopefully ma test nyo ang Audio Quality sa Speaker nya dahil since Waterproof ito baka maapektuhan Audio. mahilig pa naman ako sa Music.. Malakas ba Sounds ng Speaker nya tska kpag nkaheadset maganda ba tunog tulad ng mga iOS device???huhuhu! i would surely get this one any network bastah hindi lang lumagpas sa 3k.. lol! :D

  12. Ghost Riley says:

    All phones from Sony are great. Sometimes, they even beat Samsung and Apple in terms of performance, usability, and in aesthetics. The ONLY thing that they’re lacking with is marketing. To tell you honestly, I haven’t seen any of their products being marketed heavily. It seems like they spread too thin in terms of marketing.

    I do hope Kazuo Hirai’s “One Sony” initiative will make them a more focused company — meaning leaning heavily on one smartphone. They should also stop naming their phones with confusing names like Z, ZL, Sola, Ion, etc. Seriously, for an average user, who can tell which is which?

  13. La+ says:

    Actually, for the average user, its so simple to distinguish which is which. Unlike samsung (no hard feelings here) naming their phones Galaxy (insert name here) i.e Galaxy Pocket, Galaxy Mini, Galaxy Wonder, Galaxy SII, Galaxy SII Plus, Galaxy Advanced etc. See the point?

  14. dj says:

    Thanks for the review. This won’t be cheap for sure when it reaches our shores.

  15. miongb
    Twitter: miongb
    says:

    non-replaceable battery?

  16. FrostJoke says:

    I was in Las Vegas (CES 2013) during the unveiling of Sony XPERIA Z and ZL. Luckily enough, I was also able to test run it.

    My God, Z and ZL was hella responsive (for an Android device) — even more responsive than Google Nexus 10 and LG Optimus G (though the latter was a tablet and bare-bones on skin). The device size was never an issue for me (Mr. Big Hands here), considering the fact that Z has a 5 inch display, the device is actually slimmer and shorter than Samsung Galaxy S III (which has a 4.8 inch display) — this one really fits perfectly on my hand, even on single-hand use, I can swipe on all directions perfectly, and reach top-and-bottom-most apps.

    Compared to the other 5 inch devices that was unveiled on CES 2013, hands down, Sony took the top crown. The next challenge though for this device is on the upcoming “Unpack/box Event” by Samsung.

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This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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