The Sony Xperia XZ1 is not the top of the range device from the Japanese company but goes to a step below the Premium in terms of price and hardware. Yet, this Xperia XZ1 liked us more. The main motivation is usability and features that should be the key functions to choosing a smartphone. Let’s learn more in our quick Sony Xperia XZ1 review below:
First, we have to talk about design. Sony has maintained its classic Omnibalance style, which has been declining for several years, yet still delivering a feeling back to the user. The thickness down to 7.4mm, and changes in antennas that are now on the side edges, more visible in the light colors. The available colors: Moonlit Blue, Warm Silver, Venus Pink and Black.
The all metal body and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 that protects the front of the device. The handset is harmonious and offers a very pleasing feel to the touch. If we do not have a particularly large size and a weight of 156 grams, ergonomics will become one of the most interesting aspects of this Xperia XZ1.
The placement of the side buttons is the classic one. Volume buttons in a convenient position, as well as a lightweight knob on the fingerprint sensor that quickly and accurately, recognizes the prints. A little further down there is the button dedicated to the camera. On the opposite side, however, is the microSD and the nano-sized SIM card slots. At the bottom, there is the USB Type-C 3.1 port and microphone. The second microphone is placed on the top where a 3.5mm audio jack also placed.
On the back, there is the Motion Eye camera with LED flash, the ToF sensor for laser focus and RGBC-IR. Besides, its the NFC antenna was also positioned. At the front, in addition to the brightness and proximity sensors, there is also a small, comfortable RGB LED notification, a 13-megapixel camera and at the lower bottom with a loudspeaker.
The Sony Xperia XZ1 also water and dust resistant with IP65 / 68 certification. However, Sony is advised not to expose the device to sea water, salt water, chlorine or other liquids (for example, beverages). In fact, any misuse or improper use of the device will void the warranty.
The hardware part of the Xperia XZ1 is practically the same XZ Premium: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (MSM8998), a 2.5GHz octa-core with Aredno 540 GPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory UFS 2.1, approximately 55GB are free to use. Memory can be expanded through microSD, but it cannot be set as the default, just lets you move on photos, music, and videos.
As for the performance, we will have to repeat: always good, no slowdown, all applications open fast and games that always reach the maximum frame rates. Performance is something very important and given that the temperature is never excessive, even when we use it with some intensity, of course, thanks to an effective heat dissipation system.
The Sony Xperia XZ1 is also compelling from the point of view of connectivity. In addition to the Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac dual-band MIMO with DLNA and Miracast, we also have Bluetooth 5.0 and GPS with GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo. The LTE is in category 16, so it can reach a maximum 1Gbps speed in carrier aggregation. Many sensors include an accelerometer, ambient light, barometer, compass, gyroscope, proximity, pedometer, step detector, motion detector, game rotation vector and geomagnetic rotation vector.
Sony Xperia XZ1 features a 5.2-inch IPS Triluminos display with FullHD resolution, HDR technology, 138% sRGB coverage, 424ppi and 16:9 display. Indeed, there is optimized content to see a movie, series or documentary on Netflix or on other platforms will be exactly the same as 18:9 display.
This display is also HDR, so it can reproduce a wider dynamic range as long as the content is optimized. Amazon Prime and Netflix have already included this smartphone among the supported ones.
The device packs a 2700mAh battery which is lower than many other high-end smartphones on the market that incorporate 3000mAh and higher batteries. We found the battery life as same as the XZ Premium which has a 3230mAh battery capacity. To compensate for consumption, in addition to a display that requires less power, there could also be the optimizations offered by Android Oreo.
On average, we managed to reach up to 5 hours active display on about 15 hours of normal usage time. Netflix and YouTube consume about 6% every 10 minutes of streaming under a Wi-Fi network with 50% volume and brightness. 10 minutes of gaming with Real Racing 3, instead, they lower the battery by about 3%. If needed, Sony’s STAMINA energy-saving systems will help us to increase the battery life by sacrificing some functionality or minimizing the use of some applications.
Even Sony Xperia XZ1 also supports the Qnovo Adaptive Charging technology, depending on usage, allows to control and adjust the battery charging to maximize battery life over time. Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 Quick Charging is also supported, but only through a charger that is sold as an optional accessory.
What we like is the audio quality. Sony is always very careful about the audio of its smartphones and also on this Xperia XZ1 we have HiRes support and a noise-canceling system that works in conjunction with compatible headphones. There is also a five-band graphic equalization with preset profiles and all other ClearAudio+, Clear Bass, DSEE HX, 3D Surround Sound (VPT) features and a dynamic normalizer that minimizes volume differences between music and video tracks.
The Bluetooth 5.0 also supports LDAC and aptX HD for better audio quality, which is all heard using compatible headphones. The audio is great, full of light and good volume. No problem with signal reception. The loudspeaker only uses the main speaker. In this case, the quality is all good, but the volume is not very high.
Android 8.0 Oreo
Great news, you will not have to wait for the latest version of Android on this device. Sony Xperia XZ1, in fact, is among the first smartphones to come on the market with the latest Android 8.0 Oreo operating system.
We have found the same photo gallery on the Xperia XZ1 already seen on Xperia XZ Premium (quick review), both for the rear and front cameras. Back panel with a 19MP Motion Sensor with 1/2.3″ Exmor RS sensor, 1.22μm pixels, 25mm Sony G Lens F2.0 wide-angle lens, BIONZ image processing system, 8x digital zoom, and SteadyShot digital stabilizer on 5 axes (3 axes when recording at 4K).
The front camera, on the other hand, has a 13MP Exmor RS sensor with 1/3.06″ automatic focus and 22mm wide-angle F2.0 lens. There is also a 5-axis digital stabilization for the front camera. It can also support HDR, Auto Focus and Digital Stabilization, is also very good, allowing you to record full HD video at 30fps.
The rear camera lens is stable, detailed, and fast focusing and perfect exposure. Videos can have a maximum resolution of 4K at 30fps with H264 or H265 encoding, but we can also record in FullHD at 30fps or 60fps. Obviously, there is no possibility of recording videos in Super Slow Motion at 960fps in HD resolution but provided optimum lighting conditions.
The Sony Xperia XZ1 price is $699.99 / £599.00, fairly high, and is sold in four color options. The Xperia XZ1 is a smartphone that we liked under almost all points of view. Particularly, we appreciated the performance, the HDR display and, as repeatedly, the usability.