Sony Xperia Z1 review
Android 4.2, 5.0in 1,920x1,080 display
The Sony Xperia Z was the company's flagship handset from earlier this year, and while its Full HD screen and 13-megapixel camera ticked the necessary high-end Android boxes, we weren't so keen on its hard plastic edges and slab-like design. Surprisingly, considering that the Z has only been on sale for around six months, Sony has now launched a successor - the Sony Xperia Z1.
It looks similar, with its square edges and glass front and rear, but the frame is now metal instead of glass fibre. This is cool to the touch, and makes the phone significantly more comfortable to hold than the Z, as well as better-looking; we particularly like the version with the white rear. Like the Xperia Z and Tablet Z, the Z1 is also waterproof; it will cope with 30 minutes immersed in fresh water at a depth of up to 1.5m.
All this power certainly translates into real-world performance. Real Racing 3 was beautifully smooth, so demanding 3D games aren't a problem, and we can't imagine Android being much slicker. Apps open and close quickly, and home screen transitions are beautifully smooth. Complicated web pages render quickly, and there's barely a hiccup when flicking around past large images; there was none of the hesitation we see on many Android phones, even powerful models such as the LG G2.