The "1-Minute" Review
- Price compared to competition
- Lackluster rear camera
- No waterproofing
Sony’s sleek designs and polished experience have helped them stay near the top of Android phone rankings. With the redesign of their flagship series, Sony hopes they still have what it takes to be a leader.
The Sony Xperia XZ is one of the latest entries to the 2016 flagship market and reviews are rolling in. Is what they’re offering worth the price? Let’s dig into what everyone is saying!
Reviews all agree that one look at the phone and you know it’s a Sony product. Its square lines and minimalistic design were a hit with reviewers. Sony’s ditched the glass back panel of prior generations, going for a metal panel instead. However, no one had any issues with this decision. Trusted Reviews noted, “Sony has styled out this seam-heavy design perfectly, though. There are no sharp edges to ruin the feel, and all the parts are perfectly colour-matched.” Alphr called the XZ “a device that’s clean, crisp and feels wonderful in hand.”
However, the biggest change versus earlier designs--and a possible issue with this phone compared to other flagships--is a lack of waterproofing.
Flipping around to the front of the phone, you’ll find a 5.2-inch 1080p IPS display. Reviews on the screen are great despite it being a lower resolution than much of its competition. Trusted Reviews said, “the lack of QHD resolution isn't immediately obvious, particularly when the display already slaps you across the face with its bold style.” Expert Reviews got a little more scientific and declared, “To the naked eye, it looks beautiful, and our X-Rite colorimeter certainly thought so too.”
Of course, a display means nothing if the phone can’t push all those pixels smoothly. Sony opted for a 2.2Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor and 3GB of RAM to ensure there’s enough power to please. Recombu put the phone to the test and said, “Everyday performance is silky smooth, with no stutter or lag as you zip through menus and load up apps.”
You’ll also find generous on-board storage--up to 64GB depending on the model--and support for microSD cards leaving plenty of room apps and media. While the phone runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Sony has promised updates to Nougat.
To keep you sharing selfies or video chat long into the night, Sony’s opted for a 2,900mAh battery with QuickCharge 3.0 support. It also features smart charging that adapts to you daily schedule and only tops off your charge shortly before you’d start your day. Sony claims this will increase battery life. Reviewers had no problem getting a full day out of the phone and all noted quick top offs when connected to a supporting QC3.0 charger.. Good Gear Guide pushed their demo phone hard and noted, “After a day of rather-intensive use, including a bit of gaming and VR it wanted to move into low-power mode by the late afternoon. We’re confident it would last a full day ordinarily.”
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news with the new phone. Reviewers all agreed that the phone doesn’t compete with other flagships for picture quality. While the rear camera offers 23MP images, most reviews noted heavy detail loss due to image processing. Many also found the “five-axis image stabilization” touted by Sony inconsistent at best.
However, if you’re a fan of selfies, most reviewers loved the 13MP wide-angle front-facing lens. It includes a flash and the wide-angle helps get more than one person in a shot.
Overall, the biggest issue mentioned by most reviewers had nothing to do with performance, build quality or features--it was the price that led many to recommend skipping the XZ. Expert Reviews UK summed up opinions well, saying, “With such competition, the Xperia XZ fails to make much of an impression, even if its speed, screen and battery life are all excellent in their own right.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Sony released the Xperia XZ on October 6, 2016.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sony Xperia XZ user manual here.
Sony backs up the Xperia XZ with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Xperia XZ has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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