Sony Xperia XZ1 Review: 3D-licious

If you think the Xperia XZ Premium too large to handle, then rejoice. Sony has heard your plea and has released two variants: the Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact. They are some of the more compact smartphones around that are fitted with the latest and fastest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor.

Sony Xperia XZ1

The XZ1 and the XZ1 Compact differ only by the display size: they measure 5.2-inch and 4.6-inch respectively, and the latter sports an 8MP super wide-angle 18mm (120-degree) selfie front camera while the XZ1 comes with a 22mm camera with a higher pixel count of 13MP. Apart from the dimensions, all other hardware and features are almost identical, even the battery capacity at 2700mAh. And when we compare the XZ1 and XZ Premium, again there are small differences in the hardware. The XZ Premium has a larger 5.5-inch display and larger 3,230mAh battery capacity.

Little wonder when the overall experience of the XZ1 is somewhat similar to the XZ Premium reviewed previously. But the more compact XZ1 feels more manageable, and the seamless metal loop surface that surrounds the exterior provides a comfortable on-hand experience with zero seams along the sides.

Apart from the BRAVIA HDR display, the astounding 960 fps super slow motion video capability and premium Hi-Res Audio, the XZ1 offers the ability to generate 3D scans of objects using Sony’s in-house algorithm. The 3D renders can be output to 3D printer, or as animated fun avatars on the camera app’s AR effect mode.

Keeping to Sony’s audio legacy, the XZ1 has most of the premium audio features taken from the Walkman lines, like DSEE HX engine, ClearAudio+, LDAC wireless audio codec, and the much-appreciated front-facing stereo speakers that deliver better sounds than average smartphones.

My only disappointment is that the battery life is rather feeble and can fail to last an entire workday, depending on your usage patterns. Thank goodness the XZ1 supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 which fills the battery up in less than an hour.

Sony Xperia continues to rattle the smartphone market, thanks to offerings with unique features. Its incessantly regular launches of new handset models are a testimony to their unwavering commitment to growing their mobile market position in a highly competitive segment.


Rating 4/5

You can always count on Sony to offer something a little different. Which is why they’re most likely to provide flagship class performance but in a smaller form factor. The battery life suffers a bit because of the smaller size, but small is not what you would use to describe its performance. This is a pocket powerhouse.

Price S$898