We’re just under a week away from the Xperia Z’s official Australian launch on February 20. Many of the Ausdroid staff are excited to see what Sony’s cooked up for us, keen to see whether the phone lives up to our high standards and interested in how Sony’s adapted and customised Android Jelly Bean for its flagship 2013 device.
If you’re interested in seeing the phone for yourself, Sony is allowing customers an early peek at the device at its Sony Centre stores around Australia (except Drummoyne and World Square).
- Display: 5.0 inch 1920 x 1080 TFT LCD (441PPI)
- Dimensions: 139 x 71 x 7.1mm
- Weight: 146g
- Storage: 16 GB Internal, microSD expandable (max 32 GB)
- 3G: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone
- 4G: Telstra and Optus
- Rear Camera: 13.1 MP with Autofocus, LED Flash and HDR (both Picture and Video)
- Front Camera: 2.2 MP with 1080p recording
- OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean (4.2 update planned)
- Durability: IP57 certified with water and dust resistance
- Battery: 2330 mAh non-replaceable battery
Both James and I ventured into our local Sony Centre stores to check the device out. Our first impressions follow.
Adam’s First Impressions
When I picked up the Xperia Z, it felt as though everything fit quite nicely. Because I was using the Xperia Z in my left hand, I was using the power button with my index finger and the volume rocker with my middle finger, therefore it felt nice having these buttons right where you expect them to be. Comparing the size of the Xperia Z to my Xperia TX, it seemed to be very unusual as the Xperia Z is almost half the thickness of the Xperia TX at 7.9mm thick.
The physical size of the Xperia Z’s 5” screen didn’t feel as if it was too big, as I am currently used to the Xperia TX’s 4.6” Display. You can see a slight physical size difference between the Xperia TX (Left) and the Xperia Z (Right) below. As you may have noticed, the Xperia Z has glass on every side of the device. This really gives the phone a solid look and feel, although my one worry about using glass on all sides of the phone, is how catastrophic it would be if I were to accidentally drop the phone on the pavement. Aside from the concern about shattering the glass on the phone, I am really impressed by the overall design.
Because the Xperia Z uses the Mobile Bravia Engine 2, pictures and videos look amazing on the 1080p display. As for photos and videos that are taken with the 13.1 MP rear camera of the Xperia Z, the quality is almost identical to that of the Xperia TX, although the Xperia Z adds the functionality of HDR with both pictures and videos.
While flicking through the menus and multi-tasking on the Xperia Z, the operation of the phone felt rather smooth. With the combination of the S4 Snapdragon quad core processor, 2GB of RAM, the Adreno 320 GPU and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, I found the performance of the phone to be quite impressive. I didn’t get a chance to have a play around with some of the nifty features such as Google Now as it wouldn’t connect on the in-store Wi-Fi.
So far the Xperia Z is looking like it will be a great phone in 2013. It would be hard to say if it will be very popular here in Australia as it is very early in the year and it hasn’t officially launched yet. The phone will be a bit high on the price side as Sony Centre’s will be stocking the phone at the price of $749. The major mobile carriers Telstra, Optus and Vodafone will all be stocking the phone so you won’t necessarily need to purchase the phone outright.
James’ First Impressions
The Xperia Z is a very attractive device. It is thin and light, with a glass back and large, high-resolution display on the front. Although the screen was nice, I didn’t think the colour saturation was as good as that on the One X, but this might have been due to brightness settings on the display model. On the software side, Sony did a good job of adding their own skinned applications and features, while still keeping with the general design aesthetic of Jelly Bean.
Something that I really liked was how Sony chose to integrate their applications with Google Now, so you can search the messaging application, emails and Sony’s Walkman application directly from Google Now. The phone’s performance was exemplary, not lagging at all, no matter how many applications I opened at the one time. I’ll give Sony some credit here for really optimising the software on the Xperia Z, but I’ll also credit Jelly Bean and the Snapdragon S4 Pro system-on-a-chip that powers the Xperia for its beastly performance.
Sony has launched a Micro-Site for people who are interested in the Xperia Z to sign up to receive information as soon as it’s available. You can head over and check it out here.
Are you going to buy the Xperia Z when it arrives? Have you been into the Sony Centre to have a hands on look at the Xperia Z? Tell us in the comment section below what you think.