Sony Xperia XZ1 review
Android O meets 3D Creator
Our Sony Xperia XZ1 review highlights one of the first smartphones to be released with Google’s new Android O operating system. The new Sony Xperia XZ1 will also put the 3D Creator app into the hands of owners, for the very first time.
The Sony Xperia XZ1 has a 5.2” Full HD HDR display. This lets you watch HDR movies on the go with Amazon Prime Video, which includes Amazon Original Series. There is a whole host of technologies working in the background, ensuring the most realistic viewing experience possible.
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Inside, there is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB RAM. This brings a serious upgrade in performance, being up to 20% faster than previous Sony phones.
Design and durability
The Sony Xperia XZ1 has the same look as Sony’s other most recent phones, including the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. The premium and seamless metal loop surface has diamond cut edges and it meets the durable Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which protects the phone’s display.
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This Sony mobile has IP65/IP68 certification, testifying to the fact that it can resist the ingress of both dust and water. Even with this level of durability, the Sony Xperia XZ1 still only weighs 156g and it remains slim at 7.4mm thick.
A subtle range of colours can be selected from. These colours includes Moonlit Blue, Warm Silver, Venus Pink and Black.
Phone Set Up
The Sony Xperia XZ1 has a fingerprint sensor for security. The sensor is built into the power button on the side of the phone, making it easy to wake up and unlock the phone with one touch.
Sony has been quite generous with the internal memory of 64GB. Even so, there is a microSD card slot that supports memory cards with a value of up to 256GB.
The 3D Creator app is first new piece of software that you will want to explore. The 3D Creator lets you scan, with the camera, an object, pet, face or your cuisine. It only takes between 15-60 seconds to complete the scan.
You can then turn this data into a 3D avatar and share it. You could 3D print the avatar at home or have it printed through a 3D printing company. It is also possible to set the 3D image as a wallpaper, with a change of angle shown as you swipe through your menus.
Two features of the 3D Creator are AR-Object and AR-Avatar. AR-Object shows you scanned objects in AR (Augmented Reality), while AR-Avatar puts your face on different bodies. You can see a few examples in our photo gallery.
The Sony Xperia XZ1, like all Sony products, is fantastic when it comes to playing music. Hi-Res Audio, with a Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE HX), raises the quality of all of your music.
The sound is forced towards you through stereo speakers, with S-Force Front Surround. These are the most powerful Xperia speakers with 50% more sound pressure. The sound can be tuned to your ear through the equaliser and Clear Bass works to deliver a truly thumping beat.
Google and Sony apps
Google’s latest Android O operating system provides the basic experience, which includes the use of the intuitive Google Assistant. Sony has added its own apps and these include Spotify, AR effect, What’s New, Xperia Lounge, Movie Creator and PS4 Remote Play.
Xperia Actions help you optimise performance, while Xperia Tips gives preemptive reminders, such as to call back a missed call. To keep performance in tip top shape, the Smart Cleaner deactivates unused apps and clears the phone’s cache.
Camera & Video
Motion Eye photography
The 19MP Motion Eye camera is simply superb. This lets the Sony Xperia XZ1 capture super slow motion video, recording at a rate of 960 frames per second. This is four times more than other smartphone cameras can achieve.
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Predictive Capture automatically buffers images before you press the shutter button, while Autofocus Burst captures a sequence of moving objects. These are all kept in sharp focus, letting you choose the best result to save.
Further camera features includes the 0.6 seconds Quick Launch & Capture, 4K video recording with SteadyShot and a 13MP selfie camera with a display flash.
Smart Stamina 3.0
The 2,700mAh battery certainly isn’t the biggest found in smartphones. However, the Sony Xperia XZ1 uses Smart Stamina 3.0 to give longer running times, that match the times of phones with bigger batteries.
There is more to this story though. The Xperia XZ1 has Qnovo Adaptive Charging with Battery Care. This manages charging to vastly extend the life of the battery.
This technology also reduces the charging speed as the battery gets closer to being full and only finishes the charge just before you wake. By doing this, the battery doesn’t lose anywhere near as much performance going into the second year of its life, compared to others.
The battery supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, so with a Quick Charger you can get hours of use from just minutes of charge.
Next: LG V30 review
Written by: Michael Brown