by September 20, 2013 0 comments

Sony launched its Xperia Z1 flagship smartphone with a 20.7 MP camera in the Indian market right after Samsung introduced its Galaxy Note 3 phablet and while there is not much to compare between each other (one is a smartphone, the other a big display phablet) but the fact that these two are flagship products for the companies it is imperative that both are judged for their features, hardware and the important of all, pricing.
You can check out our piece on what works for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and what not, in the meanwhile we give you our take on Sony’s Xperia Z1 smartphone. Without talking much about its hardware and specs (read here), we will talk about its overall appearance, design, built, performance and camera among others.

To put it in simple terms, Xperia Z1 is exactly what the Xperia Z was missing. Considering the Z was launched as a flagship model earlier this year, it did not really warrant the tag of a hero product to some extent which is why the launch of Z1 only six months after Z was launched, makes for a sound decision. The Xperia Z1 has been built with lot of precision and that comes out strikingly good. Following up on the Sony design for Xperia Z, the Z1 gets better side aluminum finish and looses the sharp edge that wasn’t well received. The Z1 weighs around 168 grams but the overall design structure betrays its weight and feels a lot lighter and comfortable to hold in hand. The Truliminous full HD display on the Z1 offers crisp, sharp and bright color reproduction. The audio speakers have improved on the Z1 and are placed at the bottom. The microSIM slot is there on the right while microSD slot on the left. The 20.7 MP camera is placed on top left side at the back and you also have a LED notification light alongside the front camera. The 3000 mAh battery is non removable and you 3.5 mm audio jack at the top.

We tried our hands at the Xperia Z1 and after using it for a short time; we felt the Z1 turns out be a better version of Xperia Z, from every possible way. It looks better and feels better. The display performs quite well but we will reserve our verdict until we use the device for a longer period. The Z1 packs 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU with 2 GB RAM and that clearly works out for the device. Snapdragon 800 is the top chipset available in the market right now, and while Samsung decided to offer its Exynos 5 octa-core variant, Sony has opted to give India the better variant. Experts and results have talked about Snapdragon 800 being a competent and top performer (via benchmark). The camera is the most intriguing part about the Z1 and this is where we want to put most of our focus. Firstly, the 20.7 MP camera comes with Sony G lens that enables the phone to offer Sony Cybershot like quality. The camera offers various modes like Burst Mode, wherein you can click 61 pictures in 2 seconds and it worked out quite well. Apart from that you have Panorama, HDR and other modes.

The low-light quality of the camera was put to test with the conditions offered at the venue and while the resulting pictures were quite detailed and did not show any signs of grain, however the noise visibility was quite apparent. It will be interesting to pit the Z1 camera with other smartphone cameras with low-light imaging capability, only then we can determine the better option. The 3,000 mAh battery should be a handful for plethora of features available on the Z1 and it is expected to last up to 10 hours with normal usage.

So, while Rs 44,900 for Xperia Z1 may sound a bit too much but with the high-end market now playing in this price range, it will be interesting to see how it fares in comparison to the likes of HTC, Nokia Lumia, BlackBerry and even Apple.

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