Feeds
Sony Xperia Z1

Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

The super smartphone Sony should have released six months ago

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

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
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.