The Sony Xperia Z1: initial impressions

, posted: 5-Dec-2013 13:03

I was pretty excited to be given the opportunity to review the Sony Xperia Z1 by Telecom. I have read a few reviews of the phone and it sounded great, so I was looking forward to trying in the flesh. This won’t be a technical review, there are plenty of those around, I am more interested in how the phone works for me on a day to day basis.

Before I start, it is important to put my current technology use into the picture. My current phone is an iPhone 5, before than was two other iPhones. Prior to the iPhones I have had a number of phones including Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Symbian. The last Sony phone I owned was a Sony Ericsson T681, which I think was around 2002. Considering my recent history, it is natural that I will be comparing the Z1 to the iPhone 5.

Before the phone arrived, there was two things that stood out from the reviews, firstly its sharp looks and secondly the camera (and even more so that it was waterproof). When I opened the courier package the first thing that surprised me was the size of the box, it was pretty small and compact considering the size of the phone.

My first impression of the Z1 was that it is a pretty amazing looking phone and despite its size it sits very comfortably in the hand. The curved metal edge around the phone seems to help this. Overall the phone is beautifully crafted, but its size and weight difference to the iphone 5 is noticeable, especially when you put it in your pants pocket.

Starting up the phone I found it fast and responsive, It seemed as smooth in this sense as the iphone. Sony has put their own flavor on top of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, but they don’t seem to try and recreate everything, the biggest impacts are the Walkman audio and video playback and an app for using Sony’s media library.

Setting up the phone with the information from my iPhone was easy. The Sony sync software transferred everything over from a backup of the iPhone.

A few other things I noticed early on:

- No physical home button, something I am used to on the iPhone to start it up , check notifications
- The power button on the side took a bit of getting used to, probably again because I was used to the way the iPhone worked. But after a while it was easier to remember and you could pick up the phone and turn in on with one hand.
- Side charge port with cover, now I know this is so it can be waterproof, but it is a pain having to flick the cover open and closed. I wonder how long before the cover breaks? Luckily there is an open side port to plug directly into a charging dock that would ease this frustration.
- Flashing LED for notifications. Not exclusive to this phone by any means, but a nice addition as compared to the iPhone

So there you have it, I have the phone up and running, everything seems smooth and apart from learning about the ins and out of Android the phone seems like a good replacement for the iPhone 5. The question is will how will the other features stack up.

The other areas that I intend looking at are:

- The Camera, especially the underwater feature!
- How the kids rate the Z1
- How the Z1 performs for work
- Integration with our other IT devices at home

Let me know if you have any questions or want to know anything else.

My name is Mat (mule on Geekzone) and I am an Accountant in an accounting firm in Napier. I have been on Geekzone for over ten years. I have used a number of different phones, but it is fair to say that at the moment our family is fairly entrenched on the Apple side because it works so well together. In our house we have two iPhones, iPad 2, Macbook Pro, iPod shuffle and two Apple TVs.



Other related posts:
Sony Xperia Z1: The Camera
Sony Xperia Z1: first impressions






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Telecom New Zealand
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New Zealand


Telecom Tech is a different type of blog. We're sponsored by Telecom New Zealand, but most of the posts here are from every day users like you.

We choose tech savvy Geekzone users to "test drive" the new handsets from Telecom New Zealand.

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