Feeds
Sony Xperia Z1

Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

The super smartphone Sony should have released six months ago

Security for virtualized datacentres

Are you Xperia’d?

Thankfully, Sony has given the Z1 a larger battery than the phone it replaces: a 3,000mAh unit versus the Z’s 2,330mAh. That’s enough to put the Z1 up with the very best of the competition and you can easily get between one-and-a-half and two full days of pretty intense use out of a charge.

Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2

Z1 and G2

The Z1 died just under ten hours in my usual 1080p MP4 video loop test. That’s two hours before the impressive G2 but was still much, much better than the original Z and a more than decent performance by any standard.

Like all Xperias the battery is fixed in place. That is either a good or bad thing depending on your personal preference. Granted you can’t replace it, but on the other hand the handset doesn’t disassemble itself when you drop it.

The final area where the Z1 trumps its predecessor is its loudspeaker. Despite being water tight, it’s very good. Not HTC One-good, but certainly a big step forward from the Xperia Z and Ultra and a match for the equally impressive G2.

Sony Xperia Z1

The back – and battery — aren’t readily removable

If the body, screen and camera aren’t enough to tempt you from a default Galaxy S4 purchase there’s also the final issue that Sony’s take on Android 4.2.2 – KitKat is coming “soon” – is less overburdened by the extra features that make up Samsung’s TouchWiz launcher. The Z1 is just an easier bit of kit to get with grips with though in my book LG’s Optimus UI has them both beat. Add to that Sony's media apps, which are simply superb, and the Z1 makes for the more satisfying user experience.

As with all modern Android flagships the Z1 packs an IR blaster, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and an NFC chip. There’s also an FM radio. I have no problems to report with reception or call quality. The 4G/LTE radio has also been upgraded from the one in the Z, it’s now Cat 4 rather than 3 and supports 150Mbps downloads, should such be available. The Micro USB port meanwhile supports MHL video streaming and On-The-Go hosting out of the box.

Sony Xperia Z1 media apps

Sony’s media apps are excellent

The Reg Verdict

The Sony Xperia Z1 introduces some very important improvements to the Z, which was a decent but not outstanding smartphone. The screen is now superb, the processor is one of the most powerful you can get in a smartphone and the camera is impressive. Add to the fact that it’s waterproof, looks altogether lovely, is built like a brick outhouse and the case could be made for it being the best smartphone in the world at the moment in time.

If I’d bought an Xperia Z six months ago, I’d be a wee bit peeved that the new Z1 is so much better, but such are the perils of buying a smartphone these days. But be that as it may, the Z1 is a very fine bit of kit and is now my personal first choice Android dog’n’bone. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

Sony Xperia Z1

Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

Why couldn’t Sony have released the Z1 instead of the Z? It fixes the Z’s faults to become a very decent smartphone – and current pick of the crop.
Price: £492 Sim-free RRP

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.