Naina KhedekarNov 18, 2013 11:29:47 IST
When it comes to technology, Sony has provided the world with some of the most unique and iconic gadgets over its history
CEO Kazuo Hirai’s famous ‘One Sony’ project is exemplified with the launch of the Sony Xperia Z1, that truly combines the best of Sony’s technology.
Design and build
The Xperia Z1 continues Sony’s modern design language with sleek lines and a rugged body. The phone is encased in a waterproof and dustproof body, which has solid one-piece aluminium frame with tempered glass on the front and back. So the Z1 can survive a drop on the floor or even in the pool. Sony’s much-praised OmniBalance design lends the phone great stability when handled with one hand. It is available in three colours – black, white and purple, each bringing a unique look to the phone.
The highlight of the Z1 is undoubtedly the camera, but we’ll save the best for last. Let’s head over to the display of the phone to see what Sony has done here. Just like the Xperia Z, the Z1 has a 5-inch full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. That’s one of the best combinations for a smartphone display in the market. Befitting its high-end status, Sony has packed in some serious display tech into this panel. The panel itself is a Triluminos Display for mobile and has Sony’s X-Reality for mobile engine enhancing images and colours. When visuals pop, it’s a shame if the audio isn’t up to the mark. So the Xperia Z1 also brings Sony’s ClearAudio+ feature to automatically optimise the audio experience.
Sony Xperia Z1
In terms of processing power, the Z1 benefits from the top-end system-on-a-chip from Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 800 chipset has four Krait cores clocked at 2.2GHz, making it the fastest Android-running processor in the market. In addition, there’s 2GB of RAM for buttery performance.
Finally, we can talk at length about the camera on the Z1. Benefitting from Sony’s camera expertise, the Z1 features Sony’s award-winning “G Lens” with a 27mm wide angle lens and bright f2.0 aperture. These are generally reserved for advanced point-and-shoot cameras, but Sony has managed to cram this into the slender frame of the Z1, which is quite an engineering feat. The custom made large 1/2.3” Exmor RS for mobile sensor is a 20.7-megapixel unit and Sony has also included its much-lauded BIONZ for mobile image processing engine for delivering near-DSLR quality images. The camera is easily the one to beat in the Android space and comes to close to matching Sony’s excellent RX-100 II in terms of image quality.
You can have all the camera tech in the world, but ultimately it’s the camera software that will deliver great photos. In this regard, Sony has added a number of new elements to the camera firmware. The Xperia Camera Applications at launch include Social live, which lets you broadcast videos live from the phone to Facebook. Then there’s Info-eye, Sony’s answer to Google Goggles or image search which gives related information on landmarks and on items such as books or wine captured by the camera. In Timeshift burst mode, the Z1 captures 61 images in 2 seconds, allowing users to pick the one that looks the best. AR effect is fun and can keep kids occupied all day. It overlays a selection of animations over your captured images using SmartAR™ augmented reality technology.
Sony has gone with Android 4.2.2 for this phone, with its own UI running on top. The customised UI is not all that different from stock Android and brings a ton of features that have been developed by Sony. In addition, users get 6 months free unlimited streaming and download on Sony Music and can watch TV shows from the SAB, Sony Entertainment and Max networks through the LIV app including exclusive content access for the popular KBC and Indian Idol Series.
The waterproof, dustproof body of the Xperia Z1
The Xperia Z1 also includes a 3000 mAh battery, which is rated for up to 14 hours of talk time and up to 880 hours on standby. Sony says you can listen to 110 hours of music from full charge and up to 6.6 hours of video playback.
As usual, the Xperia Z1 will be accompanied by a bunch of accessories. A bulk of these are compatible with Sony’s one-touch functions thanks to NFC built into the Z1. The Z1 is not short of connectivity options by any stretch of the imagination. Besides 3G cellular connectivity, it brings Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac support. There’s Bluetooth 4.0 as well, which brings the low-powered state needed for tethering with wearables and other accessories without burning too much battery.
There’s no doubt that the Sony Xperia Z1 represents the best of the Japanese companies various innovations over the years. It is one of the best Android smartphones available in India, and will give the offerings from market leader Samsung as well as Indian manufacturers such as Micromax tough competition. The clean, sleek design, top-end internals and a groundbreaking camera make it an excellent choice for those looking for a new smartphone.
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