Review Part 2 – Sony Xperia Z1

Welcome back to part 2. To read first impressions and earlier articles on the Z1 click here.


The weather has been constant rain but the sun did appear briefly,  for long enough to run outside in to my backyard. The above photo snapped on the Z1 was taken in superior auto mode.

So as you can imagine I’ve been using the Z1 non stop. In fact last night it was downloading all my games. During the day yesterday it was downloading my Sony Entertainment movies. I now have all my apps and games installed.


I have setup all my folders and kept a fairly simple homescreen. For the time being I’m using the Sony launcher but at some point I will setup Apex Launcher as my default.

The Z1 out of the box can be configured to work with a Sony Ps3 Dual Shock Wireless Controller.  And it works really well. I also connected my Moga Pro Game Controller and that works fine too.  Good news for gamers.

The Z1 also has small apps that can be sitting on the screen. These are selected using the running apps menu button.

The default Sony keyboard is the only keyboard you will need, so hold off downloading any third party offering. When you first use it after setting up the phone you will see a magic wand icon. This takes you through layouts and options and more. In the system settings you can change the skin/theme too. Talking of themes, the Z1 has the option for changing the theme. There are automatic themes to choose from, that when applied alter the look throughout the whole phone.

I also opened the Sony Privilege app to get my free films and 60 day music unlimited trial. The deal from Clove Technology also includes the Sony SmartWatch 2. These are due to be posted out at the end of the month.

I also had a look at the apps pre installed. Fortunately, Sony don’t go too crazy. There was an anti virus app which I unistalled first. The rest seem ok. There is a diagnostics app, which allows you to test hardware and software performance. Box, the file storage app which is similar to Dropbox. Setting up Box on the Z1, gives you 50gb storage for life. If you want this too, let me know in the comments. I will be able to see your email only when you reply. I will then send the referral link to you via Box.

Photo editing options include the basic photo editor and Pixlr Express. The Z1 includes a FM radio too with RDS. There is also a sketch app which I have yet to explore.

On the subject of audio, Sony include a pair of Sony Mh750 headphones / headset. These retail at around £22 and are one of the best quality cans I’ve seen packages with the phone. The Z1 produces great audio reproduction via the headphone jack.

It’s early days to discuss battery life but from what I’m seeing one whole day hammering the phone is possible. I would imagine 2 days if average usage.
Now that I have pretty much setup the phone I will start to look at all the other software and hardware features.

On a negative note, the Z1 has rebooted twice since I have had it for no apparent reason. Other than one of the times I was multitasking over 28 apps, many of which were games.

Until tomorrow…..

7 thoughts on “Review Part 2 – Sony Xperia Z1

  1. That’s an impressive backyard 🙂

    Seriously though, looks like a good shot. I’m hoping you’ll be able to explain the difference between the two auto settings at some point – Intelligent and Superior. Sounds like Superior might try to do a load of its own auto-enhancements – is that true?

    If with the Box thing your saying that a referral would also give me 50GB for life then send it through!!



  2. Thanks Gavin…… I do enjoy reading your comments.
    Besides the fact your articles are honest and straight from the users point of view, there is always something new not generally found in other reviews.
    Take the headphones you mention; that was interesting. Normally these are the first items I discharge back to the box never to be seen again, always referring back to my favourite ear buds ~ Skullcandy. Not the dearest set I own but they have always delivered a great listening experience.

    I look forward to your next piece Gavin.


  3. I’d like to know your thoughts on browsing & video playback, as GSMArena (on a pre production unit) had well… pretty awful scores for a 3k mA/hr battery. Can you beat 6hrs each for video playing & browsing?


      1. Can you also post a screenshot of battery usage before and after you do the battery test? Or just a day to day when you wake up, screenshot battery usage, then at the end of the day do the same? Thanks.


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