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Sony Xperia Z review

Has Sony finally got a smartphone right?

Our Verdict

The original waterproof powerhouse from Sony is still potent thanks to a lower price point.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 13 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 11 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Water resistant
  • HD Voice
  • Good video camera
  • Stunning music quality

Against

  • Non removable battery
  • Software bugs

Sony Xperia Z review

Google Chrome is the default browser on the Sony Xperia Z - this follows a choice made by Google to ditch its stock Android browser and bring everything in line, which makes sense.

Prior to Jelly Bean, you had to download it as a separate app from Google Play.

The internet is where the Sony Xperia Z really shines. Not too big, not too small, pages look absolutely mind blowing on that ultra-sharp, bright and vivid display.

Chrome is a fast browser, the Sony Xperia Z is a fast phone and when you throw LTE into the mix, you realise just how powerful this baby is.

If you thought HSDPA+ on the Nexus 4 was fast, you'll be equally (and a bit more) blown away by what you see on the Sony Xperia Z. We loaded the Daily Mail site because it's a data-heavy, busy page rather than the fact that we love reading about Kim Kardashian (it's all lies).

Sony Xperia Z review

Wi-Fi took four seconds to load it fully (though we could start seeing things after two seconds.) This was on a par with the Nexus 4.

But when we took it down to LTE, it got even faster. Almost instantly, it was all there and ready to go. It's an amazing feat and we couldn't see how it could be better.

Those who aren't keen on Chrome can always replace it as their default browser with something else - Firefox, Dolphin, Maxthon and Opera, to name a few, all provide credible alternatives - but we can't see a strong reason to switch unless you are massively anti-Google.

Or unless text reflow is a big deal, because by default, it didn't seem to work straight out of the box on the Sony Xperia Z.

Thankfully, tap to zoom does - but why only half a job, Google?

Sony Xperia Z review

When it comes to bookmarks, we're massive fans of the Chrome way.

All of your desktop bookmarks are synchronised with your Google account (so long as you use Chrome on your desktop, of course) and appear on your handset.

Here is where we would also normally lament the lack of Flash. We've been doing this for years. Adobe has ceased Android support and Chrome never played with it on mobile devices.

We won't make a big deal of it, since Flash has clearly gone the way of Betamax and lost out to HTML5.

We'll just say we're sad to not have the option to view many of the sites that still use Flash and haven't/won't be updated for any reason. But que sera sera. It's becoming a less relevant gripe with each new Android handset.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS, HSPA+
SAR Value0.48 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXperia Z
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 850, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution13 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time11 Hour
Product ModelC6603
Screen Size12.7 cm (5")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)146 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density441 ppi
Height139 mm
Width71 mm
Depth7.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXperia Z C6603 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Product LineXperia Z
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Gyro Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number1270-5659
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

HDR video camera

Xperia Z features Exmor RS™ for mobile, the world's first image sensor with HDR video for smartphones, so you can take beautiful stills and movies even against strong light.

13-megapixel camera

The 13 megapixel fast-capture camera and the next-generation Sony Exmor RS™ for mobile sensor makes Xperia Z the Android mobile that delivers crystal clear photos wherever, whenever.

Great in all light conditions

With Exmor RS™ for mobile and HDR, Xperia Z takes sharp photos and videos both in lowlight and strongly backlit conditions. The lowlight sensors on front and back make it the first dual Exmor R™ for mobile camera.