SONY XPERIA Z: Head Turner

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Mar 14 2013, 20:01pm hrs
SONY XPERIA ZSony?s best phone yet, packed with high-performing hardware and plenty of apps. (Reuters)
Theres a lot to like about the Sony Xperia Z Android phone. It looks and feels great in the hand, and has a host of eye-grabbing features, including the full high definition screen for watching movies, a great camera, long battery life, and the unique water and dust resistance feature.

The Japanese technology firms latest devicepriced at R38,990 and easily the best Android phone Sony has ever producedis jostling for consumer attention in the high-end smartphone segment, alongside Apples iPhone series, Samsungs Galaxy smartphone range and the BlackBerry Z10. I spent almost 15 days with this beautifully designed device and take my word, the Xperia Z is a phone that will make your friends jealous. Read on to find out.

It is true that Sony is one of the most recognised consumer electronics brands in the country, with a reputation for new age technology and fairly good after sales service. I have personally been a user and fan of Sony products since many years; Sony Bravia 42-inch LED TV is the latest gadget in the living room, joining the ranks of a Sony music system, DVD player and a Sony Walkman (all still running smoothly). Therefore, it was a natural extension for me to associate with the Xperia Z. This is the first smartphone to be entirely developed by the Japanese firm since its separation from mobile phone partner Ericsson last year.

By any yardstick, this is easily Sonys best phone yet, and one of the best Android offerings ever released. It offers a pleasant design and an interesting interface. The device comes in white, black and purple colour. Gone are the curved edges and rounder corners. Instead, Sony designers have gifted us with a slab of technology which looks imposing and beautiful at the same time.

Theres a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 13.1-megapixel camera, 4G cellular connectivity and 16 GB of built-in storage, which can be augmented using microSD cards. Xperias Z powerful Quadcore processor allows its users to play four videos simultaneously. Despite its slim 7.9 mm body, the phone is highly durable with tempered glass and anti-shatter film on the front and back. Water and dust resistance is another unique and interesting feature that the Sony Xperia Z offers, which are very relevant to customers in the country.

Switch on the device and its 5-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel Reality Display pops with colour and vibrancy and packs a pixel density of 443ppi. The phones display is one of the best that I have seen in recent months. This 1080p screen has the kind of clarity you would normally expect from your television. Its impossible to discern individual pixels, and high resolution images look stunning.

Xperia Z operates on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean platform. Its got enough processing power under the hood to run pretty much any game or application you can throw at it. In addition, the Xperia Z features Sonys legendary Walkman technology for amazing audio playback, a battery stamina mode than can help increase battery back-up up to 50%.

The smartphone shares capabilities with Sony digital cameras and features Exmor RS for mobile, the worlds first image sensor with HDR (High Dynamic Range) video for smartphones. HDR technology gives clear images against strong backlight, so users can capture razor sharp pictures and videos whatever the conditions.

To amplify wireless connectivity between different devices via use of NFC feature available on Sony Xperia Z; the company has a slew of NFC-enabled devices, including speakers, headphones and TVs. Sony is committed to driving NFC technology forward to enhance the user experience. With Xperia Zs superior 13 megapixel camera you get the best camera quality to capture the moment in perfect clarity.

If you are using the phone a lot and the screen is on a high brightness level, youll need to charge the device every eight to nine hours. Sony is clearly aware of this and has introduced Stamina Mode, which completely disables all mobile data activity when your screen powers down.

On the apps front, Sony is offering six months free unlimited streaming and music download of over 15 lakh songs from Sony Music library. It will also have a unique video streaming app called Sony Liv. With this app, consumers can enjoy catch-up TV of SAB, Sony Entertainment and Max. Not only this, Xperia users will have access to special moments of KBC & Indian Idol. They can even watch over 77 programmes and over 4,500 hours of videos of their favourite shows.

In short, Sony deserves praise for bringing something new to the smartphone world.


* Dimensions: 139 x 71 x 7.9 mm

* Display: 5 inch, 1080 x 1920p full HD reality display

* Operating system: Android v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)

* Processor: 1.5 GHz asynchronous Quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor

* Camera: 13 megapixel

* Camera resolution: 4256 x 2832 pixels

* Memory: 16 GB; microSD, up to 32 GB

* Weight: 146 gram