Sony goes for the premium market with its new flagship.
Price: $749 | Website: sony.com.au
Sony hasn’t had a truly stunning smartphone for a while, but the Xperia Z should qualify - at least on paper. It sports a 5-inch 1080p (441ppi) display on top of a 1.5GHz Snapdragon quad-core S4 processor and 2GB of RAM alongside an impressive 13MP camera that’s also HD video-capable. It’s 4G LTE 1,800MHz and NFC capable as well.
It has a solid, understated design that’s only slightly marred by an odd power button on the right-hand side. Every other connection hides behind a flap because the Xperia Z is both dust- and water-resistant. It scores well in Android benchmarks, managing 2,127 in GeekBench 2 and 6438 in Quadrant, and Sony wisely hasn’t cluttered the design with lots of its own crapware either. The camera is generally very good, although the app can be slow to start up, even from the Android lock screen.
So why don’t we unreservedly love it? It’s simply because the battery life is very poor. Sony tries to combat this with some aggressive power management utilities, but these generally work around turning off services when the screen is locked. That’s fine if you don’t mind waiting while it reconnects to a network to get all your emails, tweets, messages and other online tools. It’s a pity as otherwise, this is a top-notch phone. If you’re always in reach of a charger, it’s a great buy; if you’re truly mobile, you’re going to have to switch off services or realise halfway through the day that your Xperia Z has gone completely flat.
Pros : Premium construction, powerful, great camera
Cons : Weird power nipple, terrible 4G battery life
Rating : 8 out of 10. Highly recommended.
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