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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

The Sony Xperia Z's video capabilities are impressive (on paper), with that 13.1MP camera able to give Full HD 1080p recording at 30 frames per second.

For one thing, you're able to select scene modes from landscape, to beach, to party to sports and much more. There's even one for shooting videos of your food, called Gourmet. This is something we're used to seeing in still camera modes, but on videos, it's pretty rare and a great addition.

Sony Xperia Z review

On top of that, Sony's HDR mode kicks in here to make your movies look better, and given the sheer level of processing going on we're really impressed with the results.

We tried the video stabilisation function and it coped admirably. You're also able to change things such as the focus mode and white balance, which just gives that extra level of usability.

There's not as much of a sharpness issue on video as there is with the still images, and you can see clearly that if something is out of focus, the camera is constantly trying to fix it as you move about.

You do have to be aware, too, that videos shot at Full HD will be absolutely massive. You'll struggle to send them via many email providers, and we ended up having to upload them to Dropbox and then forward people links to view stuff we'd shot. It all felt a little crude.

Sony Xperia Z review

This is especially annoying when you consider that some phones will automatically resize videos for you or enable you to trim them once shot as par for the course.

Also, remember that if you're on a 4G plan, you'll eat through data like Pacman through those little dots just sending that photo of your Gran pulling a Christmas cracker then falling off her seat.

However, overall the Sony Xperia Z is definitely one of the top phones on the market for those that like to savour life's memories in more than just the odd snap. Once you get the footage off the phone, it's immense.

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.