Sony today announced this year’s flagship Xperia XZ1 in India at an event in New Delhi. The company first showcased the Xperia XZ1 at IFA 2017 held in Berlin. It is the first smartphone to ship with Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box. It is priced at Rs. 44,990, which isn’t that surprising seeing the company’s pricing history. We were able to attend the launch event and had the chance to experience the new smartphone for some time. Here are our first impressions of the Sony Xperia XZ1.
Design and Build Quality
Sony has been using the same design language across its smartphone line-up since the launch of the original Sony Xperia Z back in 2013. Sony calls the design loop which I feel is extremely good as it provides the extra grip that is required to hold a sleek smartphone and also makes the device look extremely premium. The device in this design is sculpted out of a single piece of aluminium. However, the device does come with extremely thick bezels on the top, bottom, and the sides which makes it look dated, as now most companies are releasing their flagship devices with a bezel-less display.
On the back, we get to see the Xperia branding in the middle and the camera module on the top left corner. On the right edge, we get to see the fingerprint sensor embedded into the lock button which I feel is the best placement for it, however, setting up the fingerprint is a lot of work as if you unintentionally lock the device while registering the finger you will have to start again from the scratch. We also get to see the volume rocker and a dedicated camera shutter button, which I feel that every company should provide (this is a personal preference). On the left edge, we get to see the SIM Card and microSD card slot. On the top edge, the company has added a secondary microphone for noise cancellation and a 3.5mm audio jack which has become a rarity these days. On the bottom edge, there is the primary microphone and the Type-C port for charging and data transfer.
Just like every any other Z-series smartphone from the company, the Xperia XZ1 also comes with IP65/68 water and dust resistance rating. Which I feel has become extremely necessary for these days flagship smartphones. As for the build of the smartphone, it felt extremely good in the hands due to its solid metal build. Nothing rattles in the device when shaken, pointing to the fact it is well packaged.
The Sony Xperia XZ1 sports a 5.2-inch full HD display. The company has reduced the size of this device as compared to its predecessors, thus making it much more pocketable. This smartphone features an HDR (High Dynamic Range) display making it one of the devices that are able to view HDR content. The display was extremely good and legible both indoors and outdoors under direct sunlight. The auto-brightness was spot on and I didn’t need to adjust the brightness levels even a bit. The viewing angles of the device were good.
As for the software, the device runs on Google’s latest Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box. The company, as usual, has added a skin over it which some people tend to like a lot and some people hate, I’m somewhere in the middle, as I love stock Android, however, the skin seems a bit useful.
The company also says that with the help of its Qnovo charging technology they have improved the battery life of the device as compared to its predecessors, however, its battery capacity has been reduced to 2,700mAh compared to the Sony Xperia XZs.
The company also has added a 3D sensing software in the smartphone, which can help you scan 3D objects for various purposes like scanning objects for 3D printing, medical uses, and more. However, I see this as a gimmick which will be used for a bit and then left.
Also Read: Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review
As for the camera, the Sony Xperia XZ1 sports a 19-megapixel primary shooter with the capability to shoot slo-mo video at 960 fps. On the front, it features a 13-megapixel selfie camera similar to the one seen in the Xperia XZ Premium. The company also has added a few more features into the camera like the predictive capture feature which makes it much more fun to use.
During my testing I found out that the camera didn’t disappoint me, it took extremely well shots in well-lit conditions both indoors and outdoors, however, when it came to low light photography the camera didn’t perform well and a loss of colours and sharpness could be seen along with a lot of grain.
As for the front camera, I do feel that the front camera could have been a bit better as the images taken with the device took in extra lighting and it looked like the images were overexposed a bit.
As of now, I do feel that Sony has put out one of the best devices it could in the market. I’m sure it will give good competition to the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the iPhone 8 and others. However, I do recommend that you wait for our complete review to make a decision.