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Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Tradiepad and dracomjb have been selected from the Mobile Insider Team to participate in Sony Xperia Z1 product trials and reviews. Over the next few weeks the guys will be reviewing the new Sony Xperia Z1 and letting us know what they think. In this thread we will be asking the guys a few questions to find out how they rate the phone and encouraging other crowdsupport members to share their opinions or ask for more details. 

 

So let’s start easy:

 

What phone were you using before starting the Sony Xperia Z1 review and what features did you most like about that phone?


What steps were involved in setting up your Sony Xperia Z1, and were you able to set it up with ease?

 

Take video and share on CrowdSupport the Sony Xperia Z1 “un-boxing” experience?

 

What do you think about the Sony Xperia Z1 waterproof features?

 

Have you uploaded any music or videos to the Sony Xperia Z1? If you have, was it easy?

 

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today || Get help with any Tech at Home with Telstra Platinum || Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Like to the member(s) who helped you out.

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23 REPLIES 23
dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

First of all a thank you to Telstra Crowd Support for this opportunity, the Xperia Z1 looks like a nice phone.

 

First some personal phone background which is long and varied; my current phone is an iPhone 5s, it replaced an iPhone 5, which replaced an HTC One XL which replaced an iPhone 4s, which replaced and iPhone 3GS which replaced an iPhone 3G and prior to iPhones I was trying to find the perfect smartphone going through various Nokias and Sony Ericssons.

 

What I like about the iPhone is the app store and iTunes store integration, the ease of use integrating with the whole Apple ecosystem.  I've been using a Mac for about the last 6 or 7 years and iTunes has worked well for me organisng my CDs and working with iPods prior to getting an iPhone. When the iPhone was released I was happy that I could have my music, audiobook and podcasts on the same device as my phone.  The ability to have my phone contacts on my Mac via Mobile Me at the time was pretty good as well.

 

I dipped my toe in the Android waters with the HTC One XL, at the time the best 4G phone Telstra offered, and while it was a nice phone, it felt big compared to the 4s it replaced, and at the time I couldn't manage audiobooks, music and podcasts in the same app.  After a month I went back to the iPhone and bought the iPhone 5 when it came out.  I upgraded to the 5s primarily for the extra processing power and fingerprint unlocking which makes life so simple as I have to have a security lock to comply with my employer's requirements for having email on the phone.

 


What phone were you using before starting the Sony Xperia Z1 review and what features did you most like about that phone?

 

iPhone 5s.  The features I most like are the fingerprint unlocking, the ability to sync my information across multiple Apple devices and the vast variety of apps on the App Store.

 

What steps were involved in setting up your Sony Xperia Z1, and were you able to set it up with ease?

 

I'll get back to this one, once I've been able to put a sim card in and go through the setup.

 

Take video and share on CrowdSupport the Sony Xperia Z1 “un-boxing” experience?

 

https://vine.co/v/hd3leJ2EFtt

 

Unboxing most technology these days isn't that exciting, the box is quite small, the obligatory headphones, usb cable and usb to power plug.  Telstra also nicely provided a Magnetic Charging Dock which I'll post pictures and a video later once I've got it setup, most likely tomorrow.

 

What do you think about the Sony Xperia Z1 waterproof features?

 

 

I'm really surprised at how good the waterproof and dust proof claims are and I'm looking forward to testing that aspect of the phone.  I'm planning on going Kayaking once the weather here in Melbourne improves, so I'll be taking some video and photos and seeing how it manages in a watery environment.

 

Have you uploaded any music or videos to the Sony Xperia Z1? If you have, was it easy?

 

Not yet, expect more about this tomorrow.

tradiepad
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

And the review begins....

 

I must admit I was pretty excited to get my hands on this new phone, I looked into the specs and reviews after I was asked to take part in the review and it looked pretty darn good. Massive thanks to the Telstra Team for including me, I really appreciate the opportunity.

 

What phone were you using before starting the Sony Xperia Z1 review and what features did you most like about that phone?

 

I currently have a few different phones due to the work that I do. iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and an Alcatel OneTouch 995. The Alcatel was my first Android and is really used as a test/demo unit for Android Apps. My most regularly used phone is the iPhone 5, I love the solid feel and slim size of the hardware and especially love the layout of the User Interface, simple, effective, very intuitive and easy to operate.

 


What steps were involved in setting up your Sony Xperia Z1, and were you able to set it up with ease?

 

Very simple, turn on, worked my way through the guided setup wizard, I already have a Google account so that was a simple process, and everything just worked. Can't fault it. The only negative I found was the sim card tray, a bit flimsy and plastic and seems as though it would be easy to break if you were a bit rough with it, but apart from that all good.

 

 

Take video and share on CrowdSupport the Sony Xperia Z1 “un-boxing” experience?

 

Check out the video in my profile.

(view in My Videos)

My video is a bit crap but you get the idea, it was a bit tricky with one hand. When I took the lid off the box and saw that big chunk of glass I nearly fell over, maybe an exageration but it's pretty impressive. I thought I was going to hate the size of it but I'm actually liking it more and more.

Now I didn't record this in my video but I had a dig around in the box after I opened it and found some pretty cool treasure.

- Xperia Privilege info sheet - Details of the Sony Xperia Privilege app on the phone which lets you access unlimited music for 60 days and 5 free movies - WINNER!!!

- You Can Campaign envelope - An envelope you can use to send off your old mobile phone/s for recycling to raise money for Youth Cancer - DOUBLE WINNER!!!! Nice work Sony!

 

 

What do you think about the Sony Xperia Z1 waterproof features?

 

I'm impressed with the opening covers around the edges, they're quality and seem to have a good solid O-ring seal on them all, but I'm still skeptical. I'm a plumber by trade and I know what water can do. I certainly won't be chucking it in a bucket of water but if it was in my pocket during a storm and I got drenched, I'd be pretty comfortable knowing the phone was OK. If the same happened with my current phone I think I'd freak out a bit and look for an umbrella.

I can't help looking at the headphone port in the top of the phone and thinking there's no way that's waterproof but after some research sure enough it is. The Startup Guide advises you can use the phone in the swimming pool, diving and shooting photos and videos underwater, can't wait for summer......

 

 

Have you uploaded any music or videos to the Sony Xperia Z1? If you have, was it easy?

 

So after finding my Xperia Privilege treasure in the box, I redeemed my 5 free movies and some funky tunes. Very happy.

It was a bit of a task to go through and create the Sony Entertainment Network account and redeem it all but nothing too difficult. The actual downloading of the videos and music was a piece of cake. Thanks Sony, I'm going to enjoy Django!

 

So all in all it's been a pretty positive experience. I'll get the phone out on the road over the next few days and and put it through its paces with some of the business apps I use and recommend to clients and we'll see how it performs. The OS is looking pretty fast and sleek, very different to iOS but not impossible.

 

Stay Tuned!!!!

 

dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

So to continue, with the bits I wasn't able to do yesterday - 

 

What steps were involved in setting up your Sony Xperia Z1, and were you able to set it up with ease?

 

Installing the sim was interesting, the sim card holder is really just a plastic guide and quite flimsy.  The first time I iinstalled the sim it was tricky, subsequent attempts, now I know what to expect, it's much easier.

 

Once installed, going through the setup wizard was nice and simple, already having a google account does help with Android setups.  

 

There were a couple of pre-installed apps that needed updating, plus a system update, they didn't take long at all.  The only annoyance with Android is that several of the pre-installed apps, such as Google Play require updating before you can use them.  I found this with a Samsung tablet I was testing for work recently and with the HTC One XL I had a year or so ago.  Either Google is updating its apps very frequently, or the devices are getting pre-installed with old versions.

 

Have you uploaded any music or videos to the Sony Xperia Z1? If you have, was it easy?


I haven't tried plugging into the computer to copy files, but I did find a free app called AirDrop that allows you to upload files to the phone via a web browser.  I uploaded a couple of videos but for some reason they've been added to the Camera folder, may be a setting I need to fix somewhere.

 

Plugging into a PC the phone prompts for an install, which then happens on the PC.  I assume this is a security feature, not 100% sure.  Copying files to the phone are very easy.  It's like copying to a usb drive, it also appears to be quite fast.

 

The only thing I miss is some way to automatically sync things.  As I'm a Mac user with iTunes I have heard that WinAmp is an app that I can sync over wifi with iTunes, I'll be testing that out tonight when I get home.

 

I also did discover the Xperia Privilege and will be looking forward to downloading the 5 movies and will be checking out the music subscription trial, I just have to remember to cancel it if I don't want to continue it as it's asking for a credit card to start the trial.

tradiepad
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

So I gave the Xperia Z1 a bit of a work out over the weekend at a couple of family events. A couple of things stood out.

 

CAMERA

LOVE the camera! The images are amazing and that big screen makes viewing them that much better. Everyone commented on how bright and  alive they looked. Colours are vivid and it handles highlights and shadows amazingly well. I can't believe how well it performs in low light. In an room with almost no light it produces a very acceptable image with no flash. I don't know how it does it but it does it way better than iPhone 5. The built in camera app is a little bit restrictive, I need to find a different app that will give more control, I use 3 different apps on my iPhone that allow different things. Can anyone give any suggestions please...??

I have a few test/comparison photos that I'll put together and post up when I get a chance. Here's one of my favourites from the weekend. Check out the colour and the way it's handled the shadow to highlight areas....

CakeStall.JPG

 

SIZE

Everyone comments on the size, some positive, some negative. I have to admit that it is bulky to carry around in a pant pocket and I'm very aware that it's there. The iPhone seems to sit in a pocket almost unnoticed but I guess I'm just still getting used to it. On a positive note, the screen size for the photos as I previously mentioned is awesome, and it kept the kids occupied with a video or game of Angry Birds on more than one occasion. It's certainly a great device for multimedia content. The Full HD screen is just a winner.

 

GENERAL

Love the power button on the side, very easy and natural to find and use. Good design Sony.

The facial recognition security lock is really cool, it started several conversations over the weekend but made it a little hard for the kids to use if it locked.

Battery life is phenomenal, one charge on Friday night and it's still powering along. It's not getting a heap of call time but it's had that 5 inch screen blaring for quite some time. Very impressive.

 

So it's handled a weekend of family adventures, thankfully the waterproof nature hasn't needed to be used yet but I must admit that knowing about it being waterproof is very reassuring when in the hands of my munchkins. I'll give it more of a workplace workout this week and keep you updated.

 

Please fire any questions or comments at me, I'm more than happy to test/trial/advise on anything you good readers are looking to find out. Bring it on.

 

Cheers, Clinton.

 

dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

I spent the weekend getting to know more about the Sony Xperia Z1.

 

Firstly, WinAmp does seem to do a good job syncing with Android over wifi.  AirDrop is continuing to be a great option for manually getting files across wifi  to the phone without having to plug into a computer.  I do still miss the automatic syncronising that I get whenever I plug my iPhone into power at home.

 

I'm starting to really get used to the size of the screen.  While some things are still harder to do one handed do to having to strech to reach the top of the screen.  The difference between this phone and the HTC One XL I had previously and didn't like the large screen is the position of the power button, camera button and volume buttons.  With the HTC One XL I was always struggling to reach the power button, I was always accidentally hitting the volume button.  Sony have the buttons in a good positon to reach when holding one handed, plus I'm rarely hitting them accidentally.

 

With work email being pushed, and however the Gmail app handles push or pull, plus regular Twitter and Facebook access, the occassional game, web browsing I ended up with about 12 hours of battery life on Saturday.  Overall this is very comparible to any iPhone I've used.  This is quite impressive given the size of the screen.

 

The phone is larger in my shirt pocket or pants pocket but it doesn't feel bulky.

bathroom
Level 15: Special Agent

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Does it charge faster when using the charging dock compared to plugging the micro-usb in directly? I'm getting the phone next week and I'm currently unsure whether I should get the charging dock or not. Thanks!


[I work for Telstra but please note that the views and opinions I express are my own and doesn't necessarily reflect those of Telstra]
dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1


@bathroom wrote:

Does it charge faster when using the charging dock compared to plugging the micro-usb in directly? I'm getting the phone next week and I'm currently unsure whether I should get the charging dock or not. Thanks!


That's not something I've tested.  The charging dock is a USB connection same as the micro-usb cable so you plug it into the same power plug as you would the micro-usb.  

 

If I get a chance tomorrow I'll see how long it charges on one and then the other.

 

The advantages I see for the charging dock are -

1. you don't have to open up the cover of the micro-usb port, reducing wear/tear on that part.

2. you can configure it to play a slideshow when docked and I seem to recall there were some actions that could be taken that trigger on being docked.  

 

What I've yet to find, maybe my unfamiliarity with Android, is a way to not lock the screen while docked, so I can just keep the home screen on and view info while I work.

 

bathroom
Level 15: Special Agent

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

 

Thanks for that dracomjb! I think you convinced me in getting a charging dock so I wouldn't have to worry about fiddling with the micro-usb flap every now and then.

 

I'm currently using a Samsung Galaxy phone and there seems to be an option on "Settings > Developer Options" where you can choose to keep the screen lit up as long as its charging/docked. Not too sure if its the same for Sony. Cheers!

 


[I work for Telstra but please note that the views and opinions I express are my own and doesn't necessarily reflect those of Telstra]
dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Settings doesn't seem to have a developer options. I'm sure there's an app that I could install that might do something, will have a hunt around tonight.
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Yeah, I've been putting off getting the charging dock for my Xperia Z.

 

Looks like I will just go ahead and order one

 

and an edit.  Just ordered the Purple one to match the Telstra Xperia Z.  $44.95 including delivery.  Should have it before 7th November according to tracking.

 

I might compare the old Xperia  (old, LOL, like 6 MONTHS OLD!!) with the new one.

 

Great reiview BTW.

 

 

 

__________________

If I've helped in some way, a Kudos would be appreciated.
Any opinions I express or advice I give are purely my own, and don't represent Telstra.


HeintzG
Level 10: Junior Detective

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Defiantly do get the charging dock, I have for my Xperia Z defiantly the best investment I've made in ages Smiley Happy

 

Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Traidiepad,

 

How's the temperature on the Xperia Z1, when you are running intensive apps?

 

Mine heats up, not to the painful point, but I was disconcerted at first. Now not so much.  GPS navigation heats it up, but mounting the phone in the car over a vent (even without A/C on) keeps it completely cool. I think it's just airflow.

 

__________________

If I've helped in some way, a Kudos would be appreciated.
Any opinions I express or advice I give are purely my own, and don't represent Telstra.


bathroom
Level 15: Special Agent

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

I thought the issue with over-heating on the XZ was sorted out with a firmware update (They said it was due to the fact that the XZ was overclocking the processors too much when using basic apps causing them to overheat). If its an issue with airflow, I guess this should be expected on a water-resistant and dust-proof phone. I hope this isn't an issue with the XZ1 as the only reason I put off buying the XZ was because of all the negative reviews about over-heating and low battery life.


[I work for Telstra but please note that the views and opinions I express are my own and doesn't necessarily reflect those of Telstra]
bathroom
Level 15: Special Agent

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

 

@dracomjb

 

Just found out that Android 4.2 and higher hides Developer Options by default. To unlock it, you will have to go to "Settings > About Phone" and tap Build Number seven times. Once you go back to the previous screen, you should be able to find it.

 


[I work for Telstra but please note that the views and opinions I express are my own and doesn't necessarily reflect those of Telstra]
dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1


@bathroom wrote:

Does it charge faster when using the charging dock compared to plugging the micro-usb in directly? I'm getting the phone next week and I'm currently unsure whether I should get the charging dock or not. Thanks!


Ok, I left the phone to run down a bit overnight and this morning at 6% charge it took an hour to get to 51% on the charging dock.

 

I used the phone a small amount for about 20 minutes and then from 50% it took an hour and 10 minutes to get to 94% on a micro-usb cable connected to the same usb-power plug adapter that the charging dock had been plugged into.

 

I suspect the difference of 1hr = 45% and 1hr 10 = 44% is either related to just using the % shown on the status bar rather than scientifically measuring, plus I know some phones try to do an accellerated charge at low battery so the phone might have been drawing more power at the lower % and less power once it reached 50% or something.

 

Further news on the Developer Options and staying awake while charged.  That option is greyed out within the Developer Options.  There may be an app that might allow it, or it's because Sony have prevented it for their own "Daydream" function.

 

bathroom
Level 15: Special Agent

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Thanks for all the info dracomjb and awesome job on the review! I guess there might not be a lot of difference in using the charging dock opposed to connecting the micro-usb directly but opening the flap all the time might compromise water-resistance if I damage it so I guess I'll go and buy a magnetic charging dock along with my new Z1. :-)

 

As for Developer Options, mine is also greyed out. However I can enable it by turning developer options on (I think its found on the top or top-right). I hope this isn't a function that Sony restricted as it can be a deal-breaker for some people.


[I work for Telstra but please note that the views and opinions I express are my own and doesn't necessarily reflect those of Telstra]
dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1


@bathroom wrote:

As for Developer Options, mine is also greyed out. However I can enable it by turning developer options on (I think its found on the top or top-right). I hope this isn't a function that Sony restricted as it can be a deal-break for some people.


With Developer Options showing, I go in and with the toggle switch top right off, everything in Developer Options is greyed out.

 

With the toggle switch on I see the following options - 

 

Take bug report - greyed out 

Desktop backup password  - available

Stay awake - greyed out 

Protect SD card - available

 

Debuging

USB debugging - available

Power menu bug reports - greyed out

Allow mock locations - available

Select debug app - available

Wait for debugger - greyed out

Verify apps over USB - greyed out

 

All Input, Drawing, Monitoring and Apps options are available.

 

Selecting a greyed out option does nothing.  I've tried docked and undocked and no difference.

bathroom
Level 15: Special Agent

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Oh well. I guess with the large pool of apps on the Google Play Store, there's bound to be one that would let you keeps your phone awake when docked.


[I work for Telstra but please note that the views and opinions I express are my own and doesn't necessarily reflect those of Telstra]
tradiepad
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Hi Bathroom,

 

I'm now a massive advocate of the charging dock. Not only for the convenience but it's a hit with my kids. I've added quite a few videos onto the Z1 in the last week (mostly kids cartoons) and the charging dock works a treat for viewing. Better than having to prop against something! Plus you're not draining the battery. Another double winner.

 

Not sure about charging speed, seems about the same but hard to judge.

 

The phone may be a bit big in the pocket but the screen is a great size for the munchkins to watch. Very happy!!

 

Cheers, Clinton

 

P.S I love your name as I am a plumber Smiley Happy and it certainly goes well with the waterproof Xperia!!

tradiepad
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Hi Wanglese,

 

I completely agree with your comment about airflow. When sitting on a flat surface and watching video I noticed quite a bit of warmth but when in the dock it's as cool as a cucumber.

 

I haven't tried the GPS as yet. I'll have to give it a go. The screen size and quality should make it very easy to follow!

 

Cheers, Clinton

tradiepad
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

It's definitely not something I'd be concerned about. My iPhone 5 has been way hotter than the Z1 has been and the battery life is amazing as far as I've experienced.

Cassy
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Hi

 

I have recently got my new Sony Z1 and wow love it!! Ivae had an iPhone 4s, 5 and a sony Z and this is by far the BEST!

 

My only prop is I cannot set up my bigpond email? it keeps saying "username, password or client certificate inncorrect"

 

if I chose manual set up it says " could not open connection to server"

 

could any one help please??

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 1

Hey Cassy, 

First thing I'd recommend is making sure that you are using the correct settings, we have 2 different sets of settings at the moment, as we are transitioning to using Windows Live for our email accounts. 

If you sign in here: https://messaging.bigpond.com/update/status.do

It'll give you the settings to use to allow you to manually set up your email account. 

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today || Get help with any Tech at Home with Telstra Platinum || Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Like to the member(s) who helped you out.

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