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Sony Xperia Z review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £500
inc VAT

It's still a classy handset but it's the upcoming Android 5.0 update that makes this a potential second-hand bargain


Android 4.1 (JellyBean), 5.0in 1,920×1,080 display

The Xperia Z was Sony’s flagship phone for 2013, and continued the screen size and resolution arms race with its 5in, 1,920×1,080 display, which compares well to contemporary rivals such as the Full HD-equipped HTC One. It also has all the specifications you would expect from a high-end smartphone, including a quad-core 1.5GHz processor and a camera with a huge 13-megapixel sensor. It’s not as old as its name makes it sound either, as Sony released both the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z3 in 2014, with the original Z only dating back to Febuary 2013.

Read our full review of the new 2015 Sony Xperia Z5

Sony is continuing to support all its powerful Z-series phones and tablets. The Xperia Z is currently running the latest Android 4.4 Kit Kat operating system, but that’s not the end of the road for it. Early in 2015 Sony is promising to update the Xperia Z to Android 5.0, effectively giving the phone a whole new lease of life. You can read all about it in our Android 5.0 review, but we’re yet to see what Sony’s take on the new operating system will be. Its Snapdragon Pro S4 chipset should be up to the task, but we can’t say for sure until the update rolls out.

In April 2015, a post on Sony’s blog said that Xperia Z Android 5 updates would begin rolling out “in a few weeks time” – this hasn’t started as of the end of April, but keep an eye on your software update notifications.

Sony Xperia Z

The display’s Full HD resolution is the same as that of the HTC One, but the slightly larger screen size should make text more legible at this resolution. We found we could view web pages in desktop mode and still read all the page’s text easily without zooming in. This is a trick that the HTC One also pulls off, but we found the Xperia Z’s extra 1/3 inch screen size made reading more comfortable.

Sony Xperia Z browser Browsing desktop web pages without zooming in is possible on the 5in 1,920×1,080 display

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Main display size5.0in
Native resolution1,920×1,080
CCD effective megapixels13-megapixel
Internal memory16384MB
Memory card supportmicroSD
Memory card included0MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 8
Wireless dataHSDPA+, LTE


Operating systemAndroid 4.1 (JellyBean)
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord, Excel, PowerPoint
FM Radioyes
Accessoriesstereo headset, charger, USB cable
Talk time11 hours
Standby time23 days

Buying Information

SIM-free price£500
Price on contract0

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