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Considering what the rival Android smartphone makers are up to, this is the time when Sony has no real headroom for getting it wrong, at least as far as their flagship offering is concerned. The Xperia Z is the first quad-core powered Android smartphone from Sony, and is essentially gearing up for competition with the likes of the HTC Butterfly, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the HTC One and even the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S IV, to a certain extent.
In terms of the phones available in the market, the Xperia Z (Rs. 38,990) has pretty much the same specs as the HTC Butterfly. However, it will be competing with very competent Android phones in the high-end price bracket. Just to give you an idea of what the latest Sony flagship is up against, here is a spec comparison with some of the top Android phones – some that are already in the Indian market, and some that will be arriving within the next couple of months. For the consumers who are looking at things like usability, longevity and even factor in brand loyalty, the newness of a product does not always remain the top criterion.
Sony Xperia Z
Samsung Galaxy Note II
LG Optimus G E975
Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon
Qualcomm APQ8064T (Snapdragon 600 chipset)
NVIDIA Tegra 3 AP37
Clock Speed (GHz)
Display resolution (pixels)
LCD - Reality Display
Pixel density (ppi)
Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)
Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean)
Before we get down to the serious benchmark and testing bit, we put the phone through the photo-shoot paces, to give you a better idea of the build quality and the persona of the device.
It is a big phone, and the Xperia Z shows that off without any shame!
The clean look up front, with no hardware or touch keys below the display. The three keys are integrated in the UI throughout.
The 5-inch display has, what Sony calls, shatter proof glass. The Bravia Reality Engine 2 is the evolution of the same feature seen in 2012 Xperia phones.
While the phone has an enamel white finish, the glass layer on the back does mean it will get scratched very easily.
The Sony Xperia Z has the IP57 rating for being water and dust resistant. Hence the classy covers for all ports and slots.
On one side are the micro USB slot and microSD ports, both with covers that enable the Xperia Z to be water resistant to a certain rating.
The opposite spine has the power key, the volume rocker and the tiny handsfree speaker. For a design that has most elements flush with the chassis, the power key is a contrast.
The redone UI looks much better than the predecessor. Maybe because we were bored of it by now!
There is a new way the widgets and home screens are handled. The range of widgets remains pretty much the same, apart from the Google Now feature with the new OS.
Typing on this keyboard is a bit weird. The three key strip at the bottom means the keys are placed higher than they should be. Good key spacing though.