Pros: Powerful, smooth performance, great rear camera, great display, plenty of connectivity tools, Can stay under water for upto 30 minutes, expandable storage upto 64GB, full HD recording front camera
Cons: Back panel heats up, odd speaker position, glossy and smudge prone, battery
Bottomline: A water-proof smartphone with all the ingredients of a top class device. From looks to performance, everything speaks in its favour and if you can overlook a few misgivings, it's as good as Samsung S3 or Note 2.
Almost every smatphone has some amount of grace, elegance, ruggedness and slimness. iPhone 5 is liked for its slimness, Nokia Lumia for its grace, Samsung S3 for sleekness, HTC 8X for rugged and compactness. Sony Xperia Z has a little of all. It's elegant with the glassy finish, light because of the plastic build (weighs only 146g) and has closed ports, which makes it a water ready smartphone. So you don't have to worry about spilling water on it, or taking it out in rain. In fact, you can put it in a bowl of water. But, that works only when the ports are closed.
Despite its TFT display, it looks great
Its full 1080 HD TFT display offers bright and rich visuals. Displays of most smartphones are LED based but they are only 720p, except HTC Butterfly. Xperia Z's 441ppi is by far the best pixel density in smartphones. The likes of Galaxy Note 2 or Lumia 920 is not even 350ppi. Its capacitive touchscreen is prompt and supports ten finger touch inputs. The cameras are exceptionally good; the front can record full HD videos, HTC 8X is the only other smartphone that does so, while the 13MP rear one can shoot excellent full HD videos quite at par with Nokia Lumia 920's. Powerful quad core processor and 2GB RAM along with good graphics make it a powerful substitute to the likes of Samsung S3 or HTC One X+; both are quad core though, but only 1GB RAM. Games run impeccably, though its back panel heats up within minutes.
Speaker is good and enjoyable and together with its striking full HD video playback makes up for a potent media device. It has good set of connectivity tools, a micro SD slot for extra storage, micro SIM for 3G & 4G services with HSDPA speeds, a 3.5mm universal jack, a proprietary USB slot for charging and data transfer. Inside, it has WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS and hotspot capability.
Water-resistant, but prone to smudges
Its elegant looking glossy front and back, though water and dust resistant, is miserably defenceless against fingerprints and scratches. The sharp edges don't seem comfortable. The speaker is unusually positioned, on the edge of the side panel, making it impossible to hold it with your right hand, without obstructing the audio output. When we thought of using it the other way, the camera and volume buttons were there again, but thankfully the playback wasn't affected. Its battery back-up is just 5hours, which is lower than the likes of Samsung S3 and Nokia Lumia 920's 7hours.