Sony Xperia XZ1 Review – A Flagship with Surprises

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

Sony in an exciting company when it comes to mobile products. They’re not really confirming to what’s going on in the industry, with bezel less screen and the Dual camreras or whatever. They’re just sort of doing their own things and making phones the way they see fit. Whether that’s going to work for them or not. Sony Xperia XZ1 is their latest flagship smartphone and it’s really just more of the same from Sony. But this phone does have some interesting things which we are going to see in this review. But before that, let’s take a quick look at its complete specifications list:

Sony Xperia XZ1 Specifications:

  • Android 8.0 Oreo OS
  • Single / Dual SIM options
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 5.2 inch HDR TRILUMINOS Display with X-Reality and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
  • Octa-Core Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform with Adreno 540 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB internal storage memory, Expandable up to 256GB using microSD card
  • Water Resistant (IP65/IP68)
  • 19 Megapixel rear camera with Exmos RS sensor, 1/2.3″ sensor, f/2.0 lens, Predictive capture and 5-axis stabilization
  • Ultra HD 4K video recording, 960fps slow-motion video
  • 13 Megapixel front-facing camera with 1/3″ Exmor RS sensor, 22mm wide-angle and f/2.0 lens, 1080p video recording
  • DSEE HX, LDAC, Digital Noise Cancelling
  • 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz / 5GHz) MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/ GLONASS, NFC, USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 2700mAh battery with Qnovo Adaptive Charging support

If you’ve been using Sony Phones for the last five to six years the design on the XZ1 will look very familiar. It still has that overall boxy rectangular look but Sony has done a few things to give a change. It has the loop design so the sides are rounded off which makes it feel quite comfortable in hand but its still not as comfortable as Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG V30. This loop design has now been extended to the top and bottom of the phone. The phone is completely made out of metal so it does have a very sturdy construction but the overall look of the phone very dated as for the 2017.

Sony Xperia XZ1

The display is not going to be the most eye-catching part about this phone. It doesn’t go edge-to-edge alike competitors, it doesn’t have curved glass. It is just a pretty standard looking display, 5.2 inches IPS LCD with a resolution of 1080p, but it is a very good looking screen, it has really nice looking colors, good viewing angles and also gets plenty bright in the outdoor even at direct sunlight is not an issue. The software also allows you to tweak the color of the display.

Sony has made good use of the thick bezels by giving you front facing speakers. This phone comes with a headphone jack and Sony has always put a pretty big emphasis on audio with their smartphone so you have support for high res audio codecs and you also have Sony’s proprietary technology that can upscale any of your music.

Inside the Sony XZ1 is powered by Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM. It perform just about as well as any other flagship with these same specs. It is very fast and responsive, multitasking is not a problem. It also plays all the graphically demanding games perfectly fine without dropping any frames. The phone has got all the stuff that you might expect from a Sony flagship. Its IP68 which protects it against submersion and water or using it in the rain.

Talking about the storage, the Xperia XZ1 has got 64GB of internal storage and also has a microSD card slot if you need more. The battery is not the biggest battery we have seen in a smartphone its 2700mAH which sounds pretty small. But comes with standard Quick charge 3.,0 so it doesn’t take a whole lot of time to fill up.

Camera, this is the department where Sony has always excelled in. Here the camera is a 19 MP sensor that Sony is dubbing ‘Motion Eye’. Essentially what this means is it can capture unexpected motion or emotions such as baby smiling. Basically the way this works is it will actually take three photos before the one that you take yourself. If it detects there’s any unexpected motion or emotion in the frame. It actually works surprisingly well and because of Sony’s predictive hybrid autofocus it can capture these photos with very little to no motion blur.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Camera

The most important aspect of any cameras of course is the picture quality and that on this phone is just OK. In good lighting situations you can get some pretty nice-looking shots. The photos are vibrant without looking saturated. But the camera lacks a lot of dynamic range and not much of detailing. Even in the low light it gives a bit of noise in the pictures and the lack of OIS really hurts the performance.

The software experience is to the rescue here. The Xperia XZ1 is the very first Android phone to run 8.0 OREO. That’s the only big selling point for this phone. You get feature like notification dots, native picture in picture support, a revamped settings menu etc the list goes on and on. The only thing which may affect some is the Sony skin on top. While it is very light and very close to stock it hasn’t really been updated to fit the aesthetics of Oreo. So hopefully Sony updated that soon.

We think only the most die-hard Sony fans will appreciate this phone for its design. But if you’re looking for a solid Android smartphone with some really nice features there are tons of better options out in the market.

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