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Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2

Great reviews of the Sony Xperia Z1 so far guys below are our next set of questions:

 

    • What Apps have you installed? How do you rate Sony Walkman, Album and Movie App so far? 
    • Have you connected to an NFC device or are you considering buying one? 
    • How do you rate the touch screen rate compared to what you have used before ?  How do you rate the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean against your previous device for its:
      • Layout?
      • Icons?
      • Responsiveness
    • How do you rate the Sony Xperia Z1 for:
      • Gaming?
      • Emails?
      • Messaging?
      • Social media?
      • What do you consider to be the overall pros and cons for the Sony Xperia Z1?

 

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dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2

Warning quite long

 

What Apps have you installed? 


Over time this list would become huge, but over the last week I've installed the following apps that I use regularly - 

 

WinAmp - Music program that has a companion app that can sync with iTunes

AirDroid - Android manager via a remote web browser - basically connect to the Android phone from a web browser on any computer on the same wifi network, upload files, view the camera, take photos with the phone camera, it's an awesome little app and totally free.

Telstra 24x7 - Of course, how else to manage phone account usage?

MobileIron  - Mobile Device Management software to allow the phone to access my work email

Email+ - this is part of my employer's MDM software for Android devices, a custom email app that is provided by the MDM vendor.

Foxtel Guide - TV Guide for Foxtel channels and allows to setup to record programs remotely.

Pocket Weather - great Aussie developed weather forecast app, uses BoM data so it's got accurate local weather.

Pocket Casts - another Aussie developed app, this time for Pod Casts.  I've been using it on the iPhone for about a year now and this version syncs subscriptions and progress between the two devices, so it's great.

Speedtest - see how fast the 4G network is compared to iPhone 5s (basically the same speed).

Amazon Kindle - when I haven't brought my Kindle with me, best way to catch up on my reading.

NFL Mobile - up to date news on the American Football addiction I have.

NFL Game Pass - live and recorded American Football via the internet, keeps my NFL addiction going.

Junos Pulse - VPN client for access work.

Flickr - uploading and view photos I've taken.

IMDb - always using this when watching TV or DVDs to work out what I've seen that actor in.

Pocketbook - great bank account aggregator.

ANZ goMoney - Mobile Internet Banking.

Real Racing 3 - awesome car racing game, and surprisingly syncs between iOS app as well.

Fing - Network toolkit, great for my job or just checking whether the internet is still working at home.

Skype - Instant Messaging with added voice/video capabilities.

 

How do you rate Sony Walkman, Album and Movie App so far? 

 

Album is pretty good, nice organisation of pictures, my only annoyance is that it shows videos loaded not just photos, which would be fine if it were just video captured by the in-built camera, but it's any video - downloaded from the Sony Video store or ones copied to the phone.

 

Movies is good at showing what videos are on the device, nice clear information, touching and holding brings up details on the file.  Also provides access to the Sony Video store.

 

Walkman is a little harder to get used to compared to the iPhone music player, but I think that's just the familiarity that I have with the iPhone player that makes this a bit harder to use.  I also find I'm not listening to music as much as I used to now I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I haven't been able to get a familiarity due to using it much this last week.

 

Have you connected to an NFC device or are you considering buying one?


I haven't and I really don't see myself getting one.  I suspect I'd be looking at a more generic bluetooth device if I were to look at hardware to pair with this.  I do plan on testing the NFC file transfer between the Sony and my wife's Samsung, but I haven't managed to get to that yet.

 

How do you rate the touch screen rate compared to what you have used before ?


It feels much the same as the iPhone, it feels better than I remember the HTC One XL I've used previously plus better than a Nokia 920 I tested at work a few months ago.  I can't recall any problems I've had where my touch hasn't registered or registered in the wrong location.  I can't fault it.

 

  • How do you rate the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean against your previous device for its:
    • Layout?
    • Icons?
    • Responsiveness

One thing to note is that the software updated to 4.2.2 when I first setup and accepted the system update.  I don't know exactly what version was on there before I did that update, whether it was 4.1 or 4.2.0, but these comments are based around 4.2.2, plus I'm not sure if they are features of Jelly Bean or the Sony launcher.

 

I have grown to like the ability to seriously minimise the clutter on the various screens.  My iPhone has 4 and a bit full screens of apps, and the only options for organising is to put them into groups of apps and try to minimise things that way.  Android allows me to only put apps that I need quick access to on the main screen and adjacent screens, I can start on a middle screen and swipe left and right for less accessed apps plus I can have widgets that show more active content like my work email inbox and my personal email inbox, so I can quickly see what has recently come in. 

 

For less used apps I can press the "apps" button and if I swipe left I can get just a single page of the 20 most used apps (which is what I tend to default to) or I can choose just those that have been installed, or an alphabetised list and finally I can create my own order, but I cannot think of any real reason to do that given I can get quickly to almost any app I need using either Most Used or Alphabetical.

 

  • How do you rate the Sony Xperia Z1 for:
    • Gaming?
    • Emails?
    • Messaging?
    • Social media?

Gaming, compared to the iPhone it's as good, with a bigger screen.  Real Racing doesn't appear any better or worse.

 

Emails, my biggest annoyance is having to use multiple apps one for personal email and one for work email.  I have a number of personal email accounts, and I'm glad I use GMail for all of those so I don't need a third mail client for IMAP access to any of those accounts.

 

Messaging, it works, it sends text messages, it sends picture messages, I'm not a high user of text messaging so I couldn't really say how good.  I do miss the iPhone way of having messages I receive in a conversation on the left half and the messages I send on the right half so it's easy to quickly see the different messages.

 

Social Media, Facebook and Twitter clients pre-installed, work fine, I haven't looked at alternate Twitter clients, the default Twitter one meets my needs, Facebook isn't any better than the iPhone app.

 

What do you consider to be the overall pros and cons for the Sony Xperia Z1?


Pros

- Screen, Screen and Screen.  The screen is excellent.  Pictures are stunning on the screen, videos are great and text is really really clear.  I think I prefer reading text on it than I do reading on the iPhone.  The size is partly to do with this, but also the quality of the screen as well.

 

- Chrome is a pretty good browser, some nice mobile features.  If you touch close to more than 1 link on a page there will be a small zoomed in section allowing you to choose exactly what link you wanted to touch.  A very nice idea there.

 

- Waterproof.  I've yet to test this, frankly I'm concerned that it won't be as waterproof as it says it is, but hopefully if I accidentally get it wet I'll see the benefits of it.

 

- Size.  Everyone I've shown the phone to are amazed at how light and thin it is and how big the screen is.  I used to think that no-one needed such a large phone, but I can see the attraction now, although there are still some cons relating to the size.

 

- Google Play app store allows you to browse on your PC, select an app to install and tell it to install on the phone.  This is probably the only thing I miss when I went back to the iPhone.  Browsing an App store on a small device (or even an iPad) isn't as good as sitting down to a 20+ inch monitor and using a web browser to search the app store, find an app, check compatibility and choose to install it all from a computer that isn't connected to the phone at all.

 

- Having the main phone screens separate from the list of installed apps, and being able to install widgets onto it.

 

Cons

 

- Size.  Yes it's a pro and a con.  I'm definitely finding the hardware buttons easier to manage because of Sony's placement compared to the HTC One XL I had and fiddling with my wife's Samsung, but there are still times when I have to use 2 hands to hold and touch the screen, or I've had to carefully reposition my grip and hope I don't drop the phone to be able to reach a particular part of the screen to touch a button or launch an app.

 

- App Store range.  It's definitely better than a year ago, I've managed to find pretty much everything that I use a lot of on my iPhone and been able to install on the Sony, but I've yet to find a decent Reddit client that is as good as Alien Blue.  Maybe I haven't tried hard enough, possibly, I just find it slightly easier to use Chrome to access Reddit on the Sony.

 

 

Not really a con as such, but I have had two instances in the last week where the phone was turned on, and still seeming to be working but the screen was just blank.  I had to google on my iPhone to find out how to hard reset the phone (Power and Up volume held down until it vibrates 3 times) to get it working again.  There apparantly is a reset button in the sim card slot, but the second time I had this problem that didn't work.  The second time was actually while writing this.  I'd turned the screen on and unlocked it  to check what apps I'd installed, had done this a few times when I noticed the screen was flickering.  Thinking there was something wrong I pressed the power button, the screen went off, pressed it again and nothing.  I tried the reset button, nothing happened, so I did a hard reset and it turned back on and has been no problem ever since.  I don't think any phone is going to be perfect, software these days is often quite buggy, but it I felt I should mention it.  I have also had my iPhone 5s just reboot while using it, at least twice in the last month.

 

The things I miss about the iPhone when using the Sony Xperia Z1 are:

 

- a central location for setting all notification settings for all apps installed that use notifications.  I wanted to turn off Skype notifications because whenever I received a message the phone vibrated and made a noise and an alert showed up in the notification area  Somehow I've managed to turn off the notifications but still kept the noises and alerts.  I then decided I wanted the alerts to show up but I have yet to find out how to turn those back on, and the phone was still vibrating and making a noise when a Skype message came in.  I Googled notification settings and found that Google had put notification settings within each Application settings area, so I was finally able to turn that off.  I still can't work out how to put alerts back on though.

 

- Touch the top of the screen to scroll straight to the top of a page you are reading (web browser, Facebook. Twitter).  I find myself trying to do this several times a day, only remembering that it's not a feature once nothing happens.  Most likely this is just because I've been using iOS for several years now.

 

- Automatic syncing of content with iTunes over wifi.  Yes I can handle this a lot better than when I was last trying, WinAmp certainly makes it easier, but it's a manual process if I need to make changes.

 

If I had never used an iPhone I suspect this would be very high in my list of phones to get.  I think I'd prefer slightly smaller dimensions, but not by much.  I used to think people were crazy using phones this size, but now I understand their attraction, especially with a screen this good.

tradiepad
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2

  • What Apps have you installed?
  • I'll break it up into a couple of pretty distinct groups: Work and Kids

 

Work: I've added a heap of the apps I use in my business and for my client. I was keen to see the performance comparison.

-GeoOP

-Invoice2Go

-iAuditor

-Google Chrome

-Google Drive

-Google Calendar (waste of time, impossible to see anything)

-Evernote

-Skitch

-Moves (Awesome movement tracking app!!)

-Magic Plan (Very powerful app that performed amazingly well)

-Formitize (Was a dream to use with the big screen)

-My Measures

-Smartsheet

-Snarl Traffic

-Salesforce Classic

-Logger

-Canvas Business Apps

-Fires Near Me NSW (Very appropriate at the moment!)

 

Kids: There's no way we could have a new device in the house and the kids not have a go at some games....

-Toca Builders

-Angry Birds

-Dumb Ways To Die (Awesome on big screen!)

-Little Fox Music Box

-Toca House

-Peppa Pig

(More but now I'm getting a bit embarrassed...)

 

  • How do you rate Sony Walkman, Album and Movie App so far? 

Walkman App

-Super easy to use, I much prefer it over Music app on the iPhone. Just seems to be a more logical layout and a bit more "shiny". The sound from the speakers isn't super impressive but my Bose QC headphones absolutely crank.

 

Album

-I'm loving the camera and equally loving the Album to show off the pics I was grabbing. Everyone kept saying "What phone is that?" 

The layout is easy to use and I love the inbuilt access to Flickr. Albums are easy to create and manage. Not a bad thing to say.

 

Movie App

-Not a lot of time for me to watch it but the kids are huge fans. If they can use it then anyone can use it. The video I did watch was phenomenal quality, just like a mini TV!

 

  • Have you connected to an NFC device or are you considering buying one? 
  • Yes I connected to my Sony Speaker Ball. Super easy and much better than the built in speakers! 

 

  • How do you rate the touch screen rate compared to what you have used before ? 
  • I love it, very responsive and super fast. I know it sounds a bit wierd but it's really nice to touch, almost silky. Not hugely different to others I've used but the size makes a difference. The little gap around the edge of the screen freaks me out a bit though. It seems to be a collector of dust and crap. I've had to run my nail along the edge to clean it out a few times, maybe I need to clean out my pockets...
  •  
  • How do you rate the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean against your previous device for its:
    • Layout?
    • Different but very easy to use. It takes a little to get used to the fragmented screen layout no matter how many apps you have as opposed to the iphone that might only have 1 or 2 screens and everything in the one place. It's logical though so certainly nothing to complain about. The news and sport feeds are super cool and being able to add widgets to your lock screen is a big differentiator to iOS. I love this feature.
    • Icons?
    • I think they're a littlle on the small size, not a drama for me but anyone with bad sight I think would struggle. I did a comparison to the iPhone icons and they're the same size but the bigger screen makes them look smaller. Why not increase the size of them to fill up the screen a bit more rather than big gaps between them. Feel free to tell me I'm an idiot though if you don't agree...
    • Responsiveness
    • Very impressed, super fast and smooth. Very easy to scroll nice and slowly and controlled but scrolls lightening fast with a flick of the finger. Perfect.
  •  
  • How do you rate the Sony Xperia Z1 for:
    • Gaming?
    • I didn't do a lot but the kids loved it. My kids aren't really gamers though unless you class Peppa Pig in there... I'm not much of a gamer so I can't really comment. 
    • Emails?
    • Not that fussed. The Gmail app appears to be missing the Mark Unread button, I've searched and searched and can find no sign, anyone shed any light on it for me? Due to this I just don't use it. Feels a little silly really.
    • Messaging?
    • Fast and simple, exactly what I want messaging to be. No point in having heaps of funky frills, it's supposed to be quick.
    • Social media?
    • No complaints, twitter and facebook both got a work out. I like the Facebook app a bit better than the iOS version due to the larger screen. A bit more real esate to see and navigate. 
    • What do you consider to be the overall pros and cons for the Sony Xperia Z1?
    • Pros: Screen quality, camera quality, speed of general use, everything seems to be easy
    • Cons: The only thing I can count against the Z1 is the size. I love the big screen but it just feels a little too big when in the pocket and that's where it spends a lot of it's time. If I had a nice little ManBag I carried around I don't think I'd be so concerned, but I just don't see that happening any time soon. Everything else is awesome and I guess I wouldn't let this issue be the deciding factor on not buying the phone, but it is certainly something to take into consideration, especially if you wear tight jeans....

 

  • Feel free to shoot any questions at me people, I'm more than happy to help where I can.

 

Cheers, Clinton

dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2

To mark as read or unread in Gmail app you touch and hold the message and touch the envelope at the top. If reading and you want to mark as unread you touch the envelope at the top and it will take you back to the message list and mark it unread.
tradiepad
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2

So simple, thank you.

 

Maybe if it was so simple it would have been easy for me to find...??

 

Perhaps that's just a sign that I'm a bit simple?

 

Thanks a million dracomjb, good work.

Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2

Great review, traidiepad.

 

As for the size, and pocket issues,  I see there are new fashions that take into account the newer sizes of smartphones!

 

I recently saw boardshorts that had a "technology pocket", which was a waterproof!! pocket that could take a Samsung 5 inch phone.

 

Better than leaving it on the beach.

 

 

__________________

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 2

Awesome review guys! I just got the phone last week and I seem to be encountering issues pairing with Samsung devices (Bluetooth or WiFi-Direct). I've had the same issues pairing my old Samsung devices to a mate's Sony Xperia Play. Is it just me or are you guys also having issues?

 

I also have issues with the front-camera being very grainy when I view it. The picture turns out OK but I'd expect a premium device like this to atleast have a decent display for the front-camera especially since none of the other phones I've seen seem to be OK. Are you guys having the same problem? I don't really want to send this back to the service centre when I just got 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 2


@bathroom wrote:

Awesome review guys! I just got the phone last week and I seem to be encountering issues pairing with Samsung devices (Bluetooth or WiFi-Direct). I've had the same issues pairing my old Samsung devices to a mate's Sony Xperia Play. Is it just me or are you guys also having issues?

 

I also have issues with the front-camera being very grainy when I view it. The picture turns out OK but I'd expect a premium device like this to atleast have a decent display for the front-camera especially since none of the other phones I've seen seem to be OK. Are you guys having the same problem? I don't really want to send this back to the service centre when I just got it.


I never did get around to pairing it with any other devices, and my Wife's Samsung has just died so I can't even try.

 

I did notice the graininess when using the front facing camera, and was pleased to see the resulting photo was actually reasonable compared to the screen.  I have to admit the front facing camera wasn't even a consideration when I was doing the review because I don't really have the front facing need most of the time (although if FaceTime were availalbe on Android I would have used it extensively).

 

Apologies for not covering those things in my reviews.

luvsfootie
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2

Just got my Xperia Z1.

 

Upgraded from Samsung Galaxy S2 4G.

 

First impressions..........OMG.........how mobiles have progressed over the past 2 years.

 

The camera is fantastic.

The screen is much bettter.

"Sony companion" makes things much easier when compared to Kies.

From the Sony home page it looks like we will get to kitkat through 2 updates.

As they say.......size matters (within limits of course) LOL

DISC: I am a Sony fan so maybe I'm a little biased.

Will report back when I'm through thoughly testing this new phone.

 

cheers all.

luvsfootie
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2

Further to my recent post I have now had approx a week with this new phone.

 

Others have submitted excellent posts regarding performance etc so I wont repeat what's already been said.

 

This a great mobile phone and IMHO one that other manufacturers will seek to emulate.

 

It would be my recommendation that you also get the "Magnetic charging dock".

 

A quote from the Sony site which I totally agree with........

 

"A masterpiece crafted from metal & glass with the latest Sony TV technologies".

 

Cheers all

Level 17: Bureau Chief

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2


@Yannick wrote:

Great reviews of the Sony Xperia Z1 so far guys below are our next set of questions:

 

  • What Apps have you installed? How do you rate Sony Walkman, Album and Movie App so far? 
  • Have you connected to an NFC device or are you considering buying one? 
  • How do you rate the touch screen rate compared to what you have used before ?  How do you rate the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean against your previous device for its:
    • Layout?
    • Icons?
    • Responsiveness
  • How do you rate the Sony Xperia Z1 for:
    • Gaming?
    • Emails?
    • Messaging?
    • Social media?
    • What do you consider to be the overall pros and cons for the Sony Xperia Z1?

 


  • I've installed: MOG, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Greenify (root), Xposed (root), and some other apps
  • 4.1 was alright, however am now running 4.4.2 KitKat.
  • Touchscreen is the same as the XZ I had
  • Gaming / Emails / Messaging / Social Media and everything else runs beautifully
  • Pro's for the Z1 is running Cyanogenmod 11 and not needing to wait for updates from Telstra
  • Con's would be not rooting the phone and having to wait for updates
dracomjb
Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Sony Xperia Z1 - Community Review Part 2

I wanted to update this, given that about 2 weeks ago I decided to ditch my iPhone for the Sony Xperia Z1.  The time that I had spent on testing the Z1 in this exercise had sown seeds of discontent with my iPhone.  I spent a week using the Z1 and essentially decided to ditch the iPhone.  

 

The only issue I had was the size of the Z1.  After some considerable weighing up of options, I did a serious comparison of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the Google Nexus 5.  

 

Pros of the Xperia Z1 Compact - same hardware specs as the normal Z1.  Smaller than the Z1 and Nexus 5.  I was used to the Xperia UI.

 

Pros of the Nexus 5 - a purer Android experience and likely to be first with future Android updates.  Smaller than the normal Z1.  Cheaper.

 

Cons of the Z1 Compact - less screen DPI.

 

Cons of the Nexus 5 - Slightly bigger than the Z1 compact.

 

I ended up going with the Nexus 5 and while I miss a couple of things from the Z1 UI, I'm really happy with the Nexus experience, especially the wireless charger I also bought.  I miss a few UI things from the iPhone as well, and 1 app, but otherwise, I'm really happy.

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