Sony’s latest premium smartphone Xperia XZ1 takes cues from the company’s earlier 2017 flagship, the Xperia XZ Premium. It has got a solid build quality, latest Snapdragon processor, long battery life, and capable cameras. It’s also evident that Sony hasn’t yet reached that goal to perfect its flagship device. The Xperia XZ1 has Sony’s distinctive rectangular design. It is different from other phones available in the market that feature more rounded corners. It weighs a paltry 156g and measures 7.4 mm in terms of thickness. Having an all-metal design and gentle matte finish, the Xperia XZ1 feels solid at first glance. On the right-hand side of the phone is the power button, volume rocker, and a dedicated camera shutter button. I have always liked a camera shutter button because it’s easy to launch the camera by pressing the button and capture the moment. Like some earlier Xperia phones, the fingerprint scanner on the Xperia XZ1 is placed underneath the power button. That’s a clever positioning to unlock the phone—and I found to it be fast and responsive. A USB Type-C port can be seen at the bottom. The single camera lens sits on the top left corner, and the subtle Xperia logo is in the middle. The left edge of the device is home to the SIM and MicroSD card slot. Like every other Xperia phone, this device also has IP68 dust and water resistance. Sony promises the audio experience on the Xperia XZ1 will be better than the competition, thanks to its front-facing speakers which sound loud and clear in my testing. The 3.5mm headphone has also been included, which is a huge plus point.
On the front, the Xperia XZ1 features a 5.2-inch, Full HD (1920 x 1080) display. Corning Gorilla 5 protects the screen. This isn’t an 18:9 screen like the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the iPhone X. Nevertheless, the screen is very good for watching movies and videos. It offers good colour gamut, contrast and viewing angles. The display panel works fine in outdoors as well.
Yes, I am a believer in Sony’s minimalistic design approach but unfortunately it is time to accept the reality. In the age of the “bezel-less” design trend, phones such as iPhone X, Galaxy Note 8 and Mi Mix 2have minimal bezels and edge-to-edge displays. But the Xperia XZ1 sticks to a flat top and bottom—resulting in a dated design. But we are sure the next high-end smartphone from Sony won’t look like the Xperia XZ1. The company has confirmed that its next phone will have a new design.
Powered by Qualcomm’s latest octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor, Adreno 540 GPU and 4 GB RAM, the Xperia XZ1 is fairly capable device.
In fact, Sony Xperia XZ1 has pretty much the same specifications as the Galaxy S8 ( the Indian version uses an Exynos 8895 SoC) and HTC U11. Performance-wise, it handled with ease everything I threw at it. I was able to play graphics-intensive games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne and Real Racing 3 without any issues. I was surprised to note that the phone didn’t get hot after playing a long gripping session of Asphalt 8.
Camera sees a big improvement on the Sony Xperia XZ1, though it still uses a single camera lens. The back camera features a 19 MP sensor with a f/2.0 aperture, electronic image stabilisation, laser autofocus and predictive phase detection. The camera is capable of taking good shots in daylight, especially outdoors.
Overall, the Xperia XZ1 is a well-made phone that feels good in the hand and has a good camera.