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Review: Sony Xperia XZ1

Sony’s Xperia XZ1, is the company’s latest flagship smartphone. The phone was initially unveiled at IFA 2017, and one of the major highlights of the device is that it comes with Android 8.0 Oreo right out of the box.

Another stand out feature of the Xperia XZ1 is its 3D scanning camera. The specs of the Sony Xperia XZ1 is quite similar to the XZ Premium, though a few differences are still present. In terms of look and feel, the XZ1 features the same design as its siblings – the classic Xperia design and aesthetics.

The build quality is top notch – something Sony has been known for decades. The XZ1’s square lump of metal is typical high-end smartphone fare, with the usual diamond chamfered edging – a common feature these days – complete with rounded sides.

On the top edge you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack and on the bottom is the solitary USB Type-C port for charging and faster data transfer. On the right-hand side, you’ll find the XZ1’s most useful feature: a power button that does double-duties as a fingerprint reader for added security.

At the back however, instead of the glass backplate seen in the XZ Premium, this time around, the XZ1 opts for matte finish. I should know the minus points of a glass backplate – I dropped the XZ Premium, a week into the product review, and shattered it. And that happened just when I was thinking that I should probably invest in a phone case. But Sony was kind enough to replace the shattered backplate on the XZ Premium!

So, coming back to the XZ1, under the hood, the phone is powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. The phone also packs in 4GB of RAM and an Adreno 540 GPU under the hood.

You also get 64GB of inbuilt storage with an option to expand it further using a microSD card to up to 256GB. The phone also packs a 2700mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology. The Sony Xperia XZ1 has a fingerprint scanner embedded on the power button, on the right edge of the device.

The XZ1 features a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) HDR display powered by Sony’s Triluminos display. The Xperia XZ1’s display is bright at 538cd/m2 and its contrast ratio is great, too, at 1,116:1. Viewing everything from movies to pictures look phenomenal on this screen, no question. You also get X-Reality technology with the phone, which has been configured for smartphones.

Sony Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ Premium.

In terms of camera, the Sony Xperia XZ1 comes with a MotionEye 19-megapixel Exmor RS sensor with 3D scanning abilities. The phone measures 7.4mm in thickness and weighs in at 155-gms. The Snapdragon 835 chip, coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB built-in storage, makes the XZ1, a performance powerhouse.

Sony Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ Premium.

The XZ1 just breezed past our benchmarks that included Geekbench and AnTuTu. Geekbench 4’s multi- and single-core processing tests ended with the Xperia XZ1 reaching 6,751 and 1,976 respectively, which is brilliant. On AnTuTu it came up with 164073 points.

The Sony Xperia XZ’s camera was quite a performer. It consistently churned out good-looking pictures. Low-light performance was impressive as well, as it produced images with plenty of details and low noise. Autofocus was very swift, and the camera was able to focus on background and foreground aspects of an image instantly in our camera tests. So it seems these camera improvements are especially evident in this model.

Now, let’s speak about XZ1’s 3D scanning feature. Switch on the 3D Creator app and it lets you scan things such as people’s heads, or any other objects you feel fit. You can then use these scans to send to people, or create a 3D avatar of yourself and see your face on a different body, or even order them to be printed into a 3D model.

While many my argue that the 3D scanning feature is a pretty pointless feature, there might be ways you could use it to your benefit. Probably use the feature to produce customized 3D prints for friends and families, use them as 3D avatars in games, and so on. Using the 3D Creator app requires a learning curve, but it isn’t too tedious to use.

In terms of specifications, the Sony Xperia XZ1 has everything you’d expect from a flagship: Snapdragon 835 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, expandable up to 256GB, and a 13-megapixel front camera, all backed by a 2700mAh battery. The performance of both the phone and the camera is very good. If you are looking for a dependable and super hihg-spec Android phone that competes with all the flagships around at a cheaper price, the Sony Xperia XZ1 is your best bet.

Price: AED 2399

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