Sony Xperia XZ1 Review: The best Cameraphone of 2017 (Video)

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Sony has yet to alter its design and possesses yet to convert to 18:9 and edge to edge, they may finally do that in 2018. In order to compensate they make use of their SteadyShot cameras and also the odd gimmick, like 3D Creator or Super Slow Motion. The modern showcasing of their might will be the Sony Xperia XZ1, which we reviewed below. This fall flagship saw the light of trip to IFA 2017 and it’s the follow-up for the Xperia XZ. It’s charging around $600.

The set up is accessible in black, silver, blue or pink and reminds me of your Nokia N9, owing to the rounded sides and flat bottom and top. It feels very light and compact for the flagship, not if you do not count the Xiaomi Mi 6 though. It’s got a smooth back, a reasonably OK grip and also a big upper and lower bezel. You can still notice the trademark Sony Xperia DNA, because of it being a typical rectangular body, more angular as opposed to modern curvy units.

It’s easy to wield using a single hand and measures 7.4 mm in thickness, which happens to be much slimmer than the 8.1 mm Xperia XZ and as well slimmer in comparison to the Xiaomi Mi 6 (7.5 mm). The handset weighs 155 grams, just as before lighter than the predecessor as well as the Xiaomi Mi 6. The antennae design can be quite discrete as well as the device gets IP68 waterproofing. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass 5 upfront.

There’s steel unibody approach here, should you were wondering, by using a soft touch finish at the back. Although in the beginning sight you’d say there’s nothing fundamentally new here, Sony did across the edges and promise some innovation for 2018, so the signs are here. It’s a comfortable phone, that’s well built and feels nice to use, for even extended periods of time.

As far for the reason that display is involved, we’ve had a 5.2 inch Full HD IPS LCD panel, with HDR support as well as usual Triluminous and X Reality technology. We’ve also got sRGB 138% calibration, so that you understand. The Xperia XZ experienced a 5.2 inch Full HD screen too, to ensure the evolution isn’t that big, aside from the HDR thing. The viewing experience featured a bright and crisp image, very vivid colors and ideal clarity.

View angles were wide as well as the HDR helped with the colors and contrast. Furthermore, the contrast is fairly solid, even in full sunlight. Pixels have an RGB Stripes arrangement, as shown by our microscope and then we also did a luxmeter test, achieving 553 LUX units, which is great. This beats the iPhone 7, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 8, but scores below the Sony Xperia XZ and Xperia XA1 Ultra, both at 611 LUX.

The screen Settings feature brightness, adaptive brightness, Smart Backlight Control as well as alternatives to tweak Color Gamut and Contrast to Professional, Standard or Super Vivid mode. The white balance is likewise tweakable via red, green and blue sliders. We’ve also got video image enhancement, font size, display size and glove mode. I’d refer to this phone excellent for gaming and Netflix, owing to HDR and customarily a pretty good screen panel.

Now if you need to REALLY talk hardware, we’ve reached mention the flagship CPU, the Snapdragon 835, working together with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. There’s yet another sd card slot here, with support for as many as 256 GB of extra storage. The handset becomes manifest pretty quickly, lag-free and it’s actually our first experience of preinstalled Android Oreo, keeping up with causes it to be very snappy.

I would say I\’ll experience the increase of fluidity from Nougat, in reality. Apps start up fast, the boot and reset are really fast and the situation is very snappy. Riptide GP Renegade, our usual benchmark game runs okay, by using a great frame rate and appearance stunning. All of us did benchmarks, like Quadrant, where we got a practically identical score for the one of the Xperia XZ Premium. We beat the Xiaomi Mi 6 and Huawei Mate 9 Pro, but scored within the HTC U11 and HTC 10.

In AnTuTu 6 we placed 9th in the time the review, throughout the Google Pixel XL and LG G6, but inside of the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7. We all did a GPU test, 3D Mark Slingshot Xtreme, which in fact have us placed third, on top of the Xperia XZ Premium and HTC U11, but under the Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi Mi 6. In GeekBench 4 the outcome were also 5 top material. Things solid, including temperature, since we achieved 34.4 degrees Celsius in GFXBench and 34.3 degrees after running Riptide, so overall there’s no overheating.

As far as battery goes, there’s a 2700 mAh unit here, with Quick Charge 3.0 support plus a Stamina Mode. The Xperia XZ stood a 2900 mAh battery before it, but we’re not scared of the since Sony already optimized virtually the Xperia XA1 models this current year. Thus we begin the video playback test, achieving 8 hours and 54 minutes, that\’s just OK, however, not exactly groundbreaking, can it be?

It may very well be preferable over the HTC U Ultra as well as Galaxy Note 4, but those work just like landmarks in phone batteries. We have beaten via the Xperia XZ by 7 minutes and also the LG V10, along with the elementary Xperia L1. In PCMark we have as high as 8 hours and 13 minutes, that is certainly rather OK, basically one full day\’s work or gaming, simulated on this test. It’s better than plenty of time that OnePlus 3 and Galaxy S7 offered us, but no match into the Galaxy S7 Edge or Huawei Nova.

Charging is performed into two hours and 37 minutes, long by current standards, but nevertheless inside a reasonable range. We did greater than the Xperia XZ by 5 minutes and as well beat the Huawei P8 lite. Pixel XL charges faster though… A move by step charge demonstrated that exist a 5% charge in 5 minutes plus a 31% charge in Thirty minutes. Sony didn’t take out the Stamina settings, so they’re here.

There’s Stamina and Ultra Stamina, cutting down the connectivity, brightness and CPU usage. We’ve also got battery care therefore, the phones left charging overnight won’t damage battery. I’d express that I expected more within the video playback time, but overall everything\’s sufficient. The perfect time to browse the acoustics. Sony has always done fine in this field and whenever it hasn’t no less than it offered a huge amount of tweaks and equalizer options.

Sony Xperia XZ1 packs dual front speakers and has the usual tech gimmicks like DSEE HX, Clear Audio+ and S Force Front Surround. There are not any bundled headphones, at least avoid our unit, today some retailers and carriers offer bundled wireless headphones, premium ones even. The iphone has LDAC support, that means better of music via Bluetooth, as well as aptx HD.

The preinstalled Music app is really a successor to the old and deceased Walkman app, with Spotify integration included. Equalizer choices generous, including DSEE HX (high quality audio), Clear Audio+ as well as equalizer permits you to fuss with genres, 5 custom channels along with a Clear Bass (with slider). There’s Surround/ S Force Front Surround, an enthusiastic Normalizer and Auto Optimization.

The microphone even features its own tweaks: auto, high, medium or low. As long as the listening experience goes, things were loud and clear, the surround was excellent and the bass is solid. I loved how a voice is heard in classical tunes as well as high notes of house music. There’s no distortion along with the back of your phone doesn’t vibrate. An effective piece of news is basically won’t cover the speakers by accident when using the device in panoramic mode for video watching or gaming.

We also did a decibelmeter be sure achieved an 80.4 dBA value in first place on the device and 79.9 dBA towards the bottom from the phone. Those are achieved with your typical acoustic test sample, but music and gaming can be a entirely unique story. We achieved 90.7 dBA in Riptide GP Renegade, which i\’ve to confess \’s no breathtaking value, since most of your phones we test already go past 94 dBA nowadays.

Anyway, the main values placed us on top of the ZenFone 3 and Moto Z Play, but in the Galaxy Note 5 and HTC U Ultra. Another test had us above the Huawei P10 Plus and Moto Z Play again, but below the Huawei P10 and Galaxy Note 8. I\’ve got to caution you here, because one of several rare cases when the speakers actually sound louder in real life than in the tests.

Not bad acoustics overall, I’d say still. Time for it to look at camera! We’ve received a main 19 megapixel shooter here, of your Motion Eye variety, this time with a 3D Creator feature, that enables you to capture objects in persons fully 3D as well as 3D print them afterwards. Back in you specs, it provides a 1/2.3 inch Exmor SS sensor and gets 1.22 micron pixels.

It offers F/2.0 aperture, which sounds somewhat underwhelming, seeing how you will discover F/1.6 phones around already. The common Sony lingo tells us that people buy the trademark technologies like G Lens, Bionz processing, Super Slow Motion and Steadyshot stabilization on 5 axis. Top camera, the selfie some may be a 13 MP shooter with F/2.0 aperture and 22 mm wide angle lens. This also possesses its own SteadyShot stabilization.

The camera app is fast to start and focus I’d say surprised me featuring a speed. And the can probably be said even with seeing the amazing focus from the Galaxy S7, S8 and Note 8. It’s not there yet, but it’s excellent. Still, in typical Sony style, the actual picture taking is quite within the slow side. The UI is as we left it within the remainder of the 2017 Xperias.

There’s color and brightness sliders, object tracking and ways for white balance, exposure, ISO, shutter as you concentrate, and also HDR and metering. Video might be shot in 4K or Full HD at 30 or 60 FPS. There’s even the approach to pick from H.264/H.265 and Super Slow Motion capture. Time for it to leave more or less everything chatter behind to check out the actual samples. We already come after a great Xperia XZ Premium, that took amazing closeups, detailed pics and videos.

The Xperia XZ1 somehow makes things better yet. First, it takes some next phase selfies, which come to feel amazing for even a 13 MP camera. It looks like a try adopted film, similar to an old-fashioned camera. I’m loving the texture of my pores, the facts within the eyes, each thread of hair, as well as the colors and clarity of your background. The primary camera captures perfectly calibrated greens rather than fails in relation to clarity.

The dynamic range is perfect along with the shade over a sunny day or even in all of the fun. Zoom is fantastic, even though you abuse it detail loss won’t be felt. I’m dealing with details seem on my computer as soon as the shot and seen within the “viewfinder” when you focus in real time. I could already start comparing this phone into the Galaxy Note 8 and I think that it surpasses it from the selfie area as a minimum. There is also a full gallery of time of day shots here.

Panoramas are generous with 21.536 x 3424 pixel resolution and there’s no burn or big curvature. The closeups were great, as always for Sony as you concentrate was nice these times. Usually Sonys are inclined to focus hard and long in closeups and carry blurred shots. That’s no longer the fact together with the Xperia XZ1, luckily. Texture of objects is ideal, palpable, as though they’re trying of the shot and dragging you into that universe.

Fabric is perfectly observed that way. You can easily simulate a Bokeh effect by focusing properly using a subject during the foreground and blurring the history. The Xperia XZ1 may easily go head to head with the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8, as well as the HTC U11. It never fails also to me it feels clearly a lot better than the LG G6, Huawei P10 and maybe even the iPhone X. It certainly captures more details than that model.

Now as far low light capture can be involved, the flash is perhaps bright and shades are kept realistic. Halos have reasonable size, but my overall feel is the fact pics could and will be brighter. Though having a F/2.0 aperture I was expecting that. Things also get a lttle bit yellow now and then, but there’s no grain. Details are excellent, everything\’s crisp and indoor shots were also highly rated.

In low light conditions the Xperia XZ1 shines, only resistant to the lesser flagships, like the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, maybe even the LG G6 slightly. Still, there’s a way to go till it beats the Galaxy Note 8, HTC U11 and iPhone 8. At least it improved some components of low light capture as compared to the Xperia XZ. Mind you, shoutout fot it picture associated with a church, which looks stunning at night time.

With the photos done, let’s talk videos. Firstly, we initiated while using the front camera, which films in very crisp manner, capturing the sun perfectly. I’m referring to the colour, your skin texture and stabilization, that are perfect. Vloggers are going to be super pleased with this phone. Back in the leading camera, we filmed in whole HD, MP3, at 30 FPS and 17 Mpbs in bitrate.

I loved the exposure change and also the dynamic range, which never failed. Even though the sun entered the clouds each of us were filming, you never missed a beat. There’s no hassle no matter if you’re filming with the sun till you. Zoom is good, very fluid and lean, no details lost, just pure honey. Stabilization is also great , being the smoothest ever.

Even modern phones like iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8 can’t even can rival this amount of stabilization, that is certainly handycam-level a beachside lounge chair. There’s no burn, not an issue, no artifacts. Super Slow Motion still looks gimmicky, like around the Xperia XZ Premium also it demands a lot of light to function properly. 4K videos look perfect too and that i mean it, you’ll never desire to bring an extra camera to you on holidays.

Overall, video-wise, this camera surpasses the Xperia XZ and LG G6 plus Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8. This can basically help it become the most effective phone for filming in 2017. Well, let’s not prosper of ourselves, since low light video capture is just not quite on par with the time time one. Things look… well, bubbly and there’s motion blur. We’ve got lots of odd reflections, but over the good side there’s nice colors, object tracking is solid as well as the microphone performed well.

Things tend to be, much darker compared to the F/1.7 and F/1.6 handsets. Clarity is right, there’s no odd yellow, pink or blue hue, however i did feel some floppiness when you’re getting around. Sony Xperia XZ1 is inferior to the Galaxy Note 8 and HTC U11, in relation to video capture following sun sets. I’d still say it’s finer quality than the Xperia XZ, so at the least that’s upgrading.

We also tested 3D Creator even though in theory it sounds great (rotate around a person, capture their head and print a 3D mold today with a 3D printer), the simple truth is everything\’s tougher. The tutorial is extremely hard and it’s very difficult to satisfy the conditions required to pass many of the tutorial steps. It needs far too much light, repeats, patterns, rotating around anyone repeatedly, so not really perfect.

When it finally works you’ll be capable of have a 3D image of your family or objects that suits you, even food. However, the tutorial kills it slightly you\’ll take pride in conditions you since you also can’t utilize app without passing all the steps and attempts. I’m loving the style though, because you can actually 3D print your loved ones as small statues.

The preinstalled browser at this point is Chrome, which can be fast and as well gets good benchmarks. For input we certainly have Swiftkey, with well spaced keys and Swype included, so everything checks out. Relating to connectivity, we’ve got 4G LTE here Category 16 (Gigabit speeds), GPS, Glonass, WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, Mircast, Bluetooth 5.0, DLNA, Google Cast, NFC and USB Type-C.

The calls are loud and clear we found the microphones to get great. SpeedTest produced some excellent results, with 129 Mbps in 4G downloads and 46 Mbps in upload. In WiFi we achieved 270 Mbps in download and 27 Mbps in upload. When i stated earlier, this phone was also our first hitting the ground with Android 8.0 Oreo. This became additionally a option to form of review this platform, like we did when iOS 11 arrived within the iPhone and iPad.

We’ve got new virtual buttons, which are now more “solid”, design-wise and the Settings menu is supposed to be shorter i say “supposed”, because in fact, about the Xperia ZX1 it’s actually not. Having looked at it from the new edition, I\’ve found the Settings menu rather confusing with a lot more nested options. Hues are actually lighter, having a lighter hue of gray.

Quick Settings feature new shortcuts plus in the notification area we’ve got small icons below the actual notifications showing those that didn’t fit on screen. You can also get persistent notifications for apps in the background and then there are adaptive icons, helping you to change icon shape. Android 8.0 Oreo brings new aspect ratio support and wide color gamut and HDR is superior seen now.

Notifications now support snooze high are also notification channels, plus notification dots, which plenty of settings. There’s Picture in Picture, at the least in writing, because the simple truth is we couldn’t even make it develop this handset. Also you can limit the setting resource use and there’s Play Protect as the novelty here. Back to the notification dots for the bit, they are similar to the unread badges. Should you bear them pressed you will see the details of app, something similar to the 3D Touch feature one iOS.

Smart text select can be another feature, enabling send pieces of text towards the app you may use, accurately predicting said app. Oreo is usually capable to learn your sharing habits and various features include Ambient Display, faster boot and reset, not to mention Autofill API, that may complete forms you, with passwords and user names. Faster updates are usually within the mix, because of Project Treble, with makes software components modular.

There’s Bluetooth 5.0 support and LDAC, a wiser Google Assistant and new downloadable fonts. Android Instant Apps are also here, pointer capture too, WiFi Assistant which lets you auto communicate with top quality WiFi. The background music control window through the dropdown portion has additionally changed its design, looking more fashionable now. I’d declare that Android 8.0 Oreo is really a minor upgrade from Android Nougat, which fixes a couple of problems and lacks.

The rise in speed, resource allocation and updates should be the headlines, but things device never get much credit. The preinstalled apps list includes 41 names, which is kind of a lot in 2017. There’s PS4 Remote Play, Weather, What’s New, Movie Creator, Sketch, Lounge, AVG Protect. I have to highlight again that Sony applied the Xperia UI atop Oreo, so some features can be lacking.

Time to the verdict now!

Here include the Pros:

  • compact design
  • solid build
  • good display
  • Android Oreo on board
  • top performance
  • good acoustics
  • great selfies
  • excellent pictures and videos
  • 3D Creator is a good idea
  • best stabilization ever

And the Cons:

  • same core design
  • unimpressive battery
  • low decibels
  • poor low light video capture
  • Super Slow Motion and 3D Creator are gimmicks


Usually we do objective reviews and don’t worry, simply because this is also in precisely the same vein. However, I find myself the desire to express an affordable and subjective opinion here: the Xperia XZ1 is our favourite device of this year 2017, because of the latest software, fantastic camera and rounded edges, which have been an attractive touch as compared to the usual designs. The performance is excellent and also the selfies and vlogging action are mind-numbing.

Aside through the battery, this flagship is basically perfect. When using objective note, nobody can contest great performance, pictures little format. To see what Apple and Samsung was required to offer at the moment, it’s nice to view Sony mattering in excess of in the years. Sony fans don\’t have excuse or any other product to receive currently, whenever they really need an Xperia. If you would like one, you may get it here.

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