First Impressions and Review Part 1 of the Sony Xperia Z1

My Sony Xperia Z1 has just arrived. I bought it from Clove Technology .Over the next few weeks I will be writing a daily review of the Z1, along with the QX10, and the Sony Z1 accessories as they become available. If you would like to know anything just ask in the comments.


And unlike some reviews, this is not a loan device but my own that I bought with my hard earned money.

Anyway, the official specifications of the Z1 are –

– Operating system – Google™ Android™ 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
– Processor 2.2 GHz Qualcomm MSM8974 Quad Core
– GPU Adreno 330

– Size 144 x 74 x 8.5 mm, Weight 170 grams
– Available colours – Black, Purple, White, SIM card Micro SIM
– Screen Size 5.0 inches, Resolution 1920×1080 pixels
– Type 16,777,216 colour TFT
– multi-touch, up to 10 fingers supported

– Memory RAM 2 GB, Flash memory, Up to 16 GB (11.7gb free
– microSD™ card, up to 64 GB (SDXC supported)

– Camera Resolution 20.7 MP, Digital zoom 8x
– Front Camera 1080p for video chat and 2 MP for camera capture
– Photo light  Pulsed LED
– Video recording HD 1080p

– Sensors, Accelerometer, Ambient light, Proximity, Magnetometer
– And Gyroscope

– UMTS – HSPA+ 850 (Band V), 900 (Band VIII), 1700 (Band IV),1900 (Band II), 2100 (Band I) MHz
– GSM – GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20)
– 4G- (Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20)

– Battery 3000 mAh minimum
– Talk time (GSM) Up to 830 minutes, Standby time (GSM) Up to 880 hours, Talk time (UMTS) Up to 900 minutes, Standby time (UMTS)
Up to 850 hours, Standby time (LTE) Up to 760 hours

– Music listening time Up to 110 hours
– Video playback time Up to 400 minutes

The Z1 came boxed as below with the following contents- USB cable, UK plug, some leaflets including a quick start guide. It also came with a front screen protector. Nice touch.

Below is some photos of the device. It sure looks lovely in the flesh. It feels solid in the hand and built to exacting standards.

Now the first thing the manual says is charge the phone for 30 mins. Please be assured I followed this point. Then insert your micro sim and micro SD card. I put my new 64gb card in the slot. All going really well so far. Power on and start following the start up guide, entering email accounts and so on. I already had a Sony account from my time when I had the Z Tablet, so it added the Z1 to my profile. After finishing the setup, I noticed Google was starting to restore my apps. I immediately stopped that process as you never know what you may need or not need on a new device. After a few existing apps had updated I with 10.72gb free internal memory.

Whatever you do, do not accept the 30 day unlimited music offer in the walkman app. Go to the Sony Privilege app. Within this app is a 60 day trial, 5 free films to download too. As I have bought games from PlayStation Mobile store, these are also available for to download. Sony also allows for a PS3 dual shock controller to connect to the Z1, so expect comment on this in later review sections.

A little surprise, after first setup, my Z1 has my Dartmoor scenic shot as the background. No idea if that was Google or Sony.

So, the phone is gorgeous to hold and look out. Lovely screen too but not as bright as the HTC One. So far I have taken a few photos. Some are good, some in low light were not so good due to being too noisy. I have tried the QX10 with the Z1 and it works really effortlessly. The Z1 camera is really fast. The shutter button is great.
z1 1

The loudspeaker is above average in quality and sound but not at HTC One quality. I am yet to test the audio quality via the headphones.

I connected the Z1 via USB to my Mac. The Z1 then asked if I wanted to install Sony Bridge for Mac which I did. This is a great piece of software. I have installed 1,000 photos selecting my events in iPhoto. The software also allowed me to import photos I had taken too back into iPhoto. I also copied 4,000 songs across which did take a few hours.

I still have plenty of exploration of all the apps and services available. I also need to fully install the balance of my apps and games.

Over the next few weeks, I will be looking at every aspect of the Z1 including the official accessories as they become available.

Now its time for more playtime with the Z1.

Just a quick thank you for Clove Technology for such a great service. They also have one of the best deals. Phone, Sony Smartwatch 2 and £110 Sony Entertainment media.

19 thoughts on “First Impressions and Review Part 1 of the Sony Xperia Z1

  1. thank You Gavin!
    This was what i was waiting: practical info.
    In the end i would like to know your opinion
    which is better HTCone or SONYz1?
    You said screen and sound were better on HTC.
    Is there difference when you use SONy lens on either?
    I mean Is it as good on HTC?
    Best regards


      1. what it means no ir blaster?
        Does it mean you can’t wireless show your
        photos etc. on your tv?
        English is not my native language,
        but i suppose You wouldn’t answer in Finnish…
        Thank You for your wtitings and opinions!
        Helped me to make decision.


  2. Hi, Gavin.
    I would like to know if its really bad for battery , if i haven’t charged my phone for 30 minutes for the first time?? Because i discharged it completely and after that i put it on a charge (being turned on) for 14 hours, but still


      1. Yes, i was also too excited because this phone is awesome, but what exactly do you mean by saying “to do a few cycles of charging before you optimise the battery”, could you clear this up for me?
        P.S: Nice review of the phone:)


    1. Just do as Gavin suggests.
      If I may add though….. Be very careful though when you you remove the plastic holder. There have been some owners reporting on the forums the plastic ends breaking off rendering the holder useless.
      One owner who broke his got back to Carphone a Warehouse whom he purchased from for a replacement holder. Their answer was they would not provide another nor would they take the phone back…..



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