October 6, 2013

Sony Xperia Z1 - The much-awaited smartphone





The Japanese giant has been going all strong in the market for a while now. They launched the powerful and durable Xperia Z and ZR a while back and now they have come up with even better devices. As soon as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 came out, they launched the Xperia Z Ultra. It was a large phablet with 6.44 inch display. This new device, the Xperia Z1 is a powerful mobile device with an amazing camera. This device has been long rumored because it was going to improve upon the already very potent Xperia Z.
This device might be confused for the previous flagship Xperia Z but they have made significant design changes. It retains the waterproof and dustproof properties of the Z and makes some new additions. It is priced close to the recently launched LG G2 and it has got a superb camera to lure enthusiast photographers. We give you a better idea of what this new Sony flagship is like.
Design
It looks largely like the Xperia Z which isn’t a bad thing at all. The Z is a great looking device and this one is similar with that sharp rectangular design. The material used gives it a premium feel and it is comfortable to hold. There are a few visible differences though. The Z1 is slightly fatter but many would fail to notice that. What you would notice is the aluminum stripe that runs around the device. It looks great and helps with handling of the device.
You will also notice the large silver power key on the right spine of this device like some other Xperia devices. There is a physical camera key too which would make life easier for many. The device is comfortable to hold but unless you have got really large hands, one handed operations are still tough. While the device is waterproof and dustproof like the Xperia Z, they have made another change to improve upon that. Here they have used a waterproof headphone jack. That means you don’t have to uncover the jack every time you want to plug in your headphones. The device can survive in fresh water for 30 minutes upto a depth of 1.5 meters.
Display
This phone has got a 5 inch full HD TFT display. It is essentially the same display we saw on the Xperia Z with minor tweaks. It has a superb pixel density of 441 ppi. It is a surprise though that they haven’t gone for IPS or AMOLED display as the competition is using them and they are considerably better. It uses Sony’s Triluminous tech which uses ‘quantum dots’ to reproduce colours better. Though the gamma is not very good and some details are lost because the highlights are bright. The brightness is decent for using the device outdoors but viewing angles are not good at all. You might complain about the contrast ratios if you are used to AMOLED displays, otherwise it is good. Overall the display is decent except for the viewing angles.
Hardware
The device is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 which is the most powerful chipset we have seen on mobiles yet. It has got a quad core processor that can reach maximum clock speed of 2.2 GHz. It is complemented by an Adreno 330 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. It can handle any app or game with ease and you would never feel that you need a powerful device, well at least for another year. App launches have a sense of urgency and they open really fast. Everything about this phone is immediate and there is no way you can slow this device down. It gets all the connectivity options you find on any other high end device and it is powered by a 3000 mAh battery. It easily outperforms Samsung Galaxy S4; let it be performance scores or actual app performance.
Software/ Interface
It runs the Jelly Bean 4.2.2 which has been around for a while now. Though it doesn’t come with the latest version, we aren’t worried because the differences are minor and there is no way Sony won’t update their flagship device. Sooner or later you will be running a newer version of android on this device for sure. The interface is heavily modified and they have made changes to quite a number of apps. The app launcher is highly customizable and has a lot more features over the stock android launcher. The stock apps like gallery, music player and camera have been replaced to put in Sony’s own version of these apps.
Camera
Apart from the powerful processor, this is the highlight of this phone. It gets a 20.7 megapixel camera with large 1/2.3 inch sensor. A 27 mm f/2.0 G wide angle lens is used to allow light onto the processor. It gets the Bionz image processor to minimize noise when used in low light. And the results are just superb. Low light photos are way better than much point and shoot cameras.
The camera app has also been modified and you can load third party camera apps directly into it. This allows you to access them faster and you don’t have to switch apps like you used to. There is another smart feature which you might use when you go to live music shows. This phone can stream live video to your Facebook account for your friends to watch.
Verdict
Sony Xperia Z1 is really a great device and it stands strong against the competition. It is priced close to most of its rivals while carrying some features to edge them out. The display is a bit dull but that is the only drawback with this device. It is waterproof, dustproof and has a superb camera to make it a better buy than the competition.
About the author
The article has been written by Kundan Kumar, who is passionate about technology and how its changing everyone's life by making it easier. He's working at 91mobiles.com and writes about the latest in the tech domain, right from devices to innovations.

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