Sony Mobile has been on a launch-spree this fall and has unveiled the likes of Xperia XA1, Xperia XA1 Plus, Xperia XA1 Ultra, Xperia XZs and the Xperia XZ Premium in the last six months or so. However, the one thing that has been missing from all these devices is the perfect combination of high-end specifications and a mass appeal.
Which brings Sony Xperia XZ1 into the picture. This is an attempt but the company at saving the legacy of Xperia smartphones as their line-up has been slipping behind its rivals. At least on the specs sheet, the Sony Xperia XZ1 looks like a smartphone from 2017 but when it comes to the overall package, you might end up confused at first glance.
While the likes of Samsung, Apple and LG have almost gone bezel-less, and the likes of OnePlus 5 as well as HTC U11 are almost there, Sony Xperia XZ1 still bears that age-old thick bezels as both the top and bottom of the device, however, the edge-to-edge display somehow manages to be a silver lining.
That being said, 2017 has been the year of Android flagships bearing SD 835, a solid built, dual-cameras and latest Android versions, and while we won’t say the Sony Xperia XZ1 excels in everything but yes, it does a great job of being just enough or might be, even more.
So how well the Sony Xperia XZ1, at Rs 44,990, gives the impression of being a flagship among its blood-sucking competitors? Let’s see.
Sony Xperia XZ1 Specifications
- Metal unibody design
- 5.2-inch (1920 x 1080) HDR TRILUMINOS Display with X-Reality, offering 424 ppi and protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
- 64-bit Octa-Core Snapdragon 835 Chipset coupled with Adreno 540 GPU
- 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory, expandable up to 256GB via microSD card
- Android 8.0 (Oreo) out of the box
- Hybrid Dual SIM (nano + nano/microSD) and Fingerprint sensor embedded into the side mounting power-key.
- Water and Dust Resistant (IP65/IP68)
- 19MP rear camera with f/2.0 lens, Exmos RS sensor, 1/2.3″ sensor, 5-axis stabilization, Predictive capture, 4K video recording and 960fps slow-motion video.
- 13MP front camera with 22mm wide-angle f/2.0 lens, 1/3″ Exmor RS sensor, and 1080p video recording
- DSEE HX, LDAC and Digital Noise Cancellation
- 2700mAh battery with Qnovo Adaptive Charging and Quick Charger 3.0 UCH1.2
- 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz / 5GHz) MIMO, NFC, GPS/ GLONASS, and USB 3.1 Type-C
- Sony Xperia XZ1 measures 156 x 77 x 7.9 mm and weighs 155g
- Color Options: Moonlit Blue, Venus Pink, and Warm Silver
What we like about Sony Xperia XZ1
- The metal unibody design carved from a single piece of aluminum, gives Sony Xperia XZ1 a strong yet surprisingly lightweight feel, while its size makes it easy to handle and operate with a single hand, thanks to the more rounded edges than its predecessor.
- The 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera comes with Predictive Capture, Anti-distortion shutter, 5-axis image stabilization and Triple image sensing technology for shake-free videos. There is also the 3D creator app which lets users capture pictures as well as videos in 3D and then turn people as well as objects into high-resolution 3D avatars.
- The front camera is where the device really shines as the results are crisp, clear and there are no grains whatsoever.
- Sony Xperia XZ1 comes with a fingerprint scanner, thankfully, mounted beautifully into the power button.
- This is one of the first smartphones to come with Android Oreo 8.0 and that too in its stock avatar.
- IP 68 rating means that the device can handle being submerged underwater for around 30 minutes, a basic feature that many flagships fail to offer.
- Sony Xperia XZ1 comes packed with dual front-facing speakers with S-Force surround technology, providing 50% more sound pressure and letting users enjoy stereo surround sound while playing games or watching movies.
- The display is sharp, offers unbelievable color production and the text is easy to read while images are rendered at a high level of detail. The 5.2-inch display also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) for improved production of color and contrast.
- As far as the performance credentials are concerned, the Snapdragon 835 SoC, 4GB RAM, and Android Oreo are enough to satisfy the urge of heavy gaming as well as multitasking with more than 20 applications.
What we didn’t like about Sony Xperia XZ1
- The 3D capture features need a hell lot of time to understand and feels a little gimmicky.
- The thick bezels at the top and bottom make Sony Xperia XZ1 feel like a device from the yesteryears.
- While the rear camera, in itself, is a work of art, it still struggles to compete with the dual-camera setups from Samsung and Apple. However, we do think that Sony is saving the best for later, hopefully. And it struggles a bit under low lighting conditions.
- Although the SD 835 SoC and HDR display doesn’t need a lot of juice, the 2700mAh still fails to deliver a full day worth of backup with heavy usage.
- Although there is nothing wrong with the display, considering the likes the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, it still looks dated. And, moreover, you can get cheaper smartphones, such as the OnePlus 5, with decent displays like the one seen in Sony Xperia XZ1.
There’s not even a single flaw in the Sony Xperia XZ1 but while it offers some decent specs including a good audio output, bright display a good camera and a sturdy built, it still struggles to stand out in the highly competitive market. Phones like Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 seems to be a better proportion as they make Xperia XZ1 look outdated while devices like the OnePlus 5 and Honor 8 Pro offer better ‘Value For Money’ at a lower price point.
That being said, Sony Xperia XZ1, in itself, is a huge improvement over its predecessor and if this the path that Sony has decided to follow, we might see a device from their stable to turn around the tables as well as save the legacy of Sony mobiles.