Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Sony Xperia Z1: solid yet beautiful

Ok so its now been just over 2 and a half weeks with my new Android phone. These posts arent coming as frequently as Id hoped but time is scarce when you've got 2 little kids :-)

I must echo what Ive read many other commentators sat about this phone: it is incredibly well engineered. It just feels solid; no a grain of plastic on the exterior, just glass and metal. It looks and feels sleek, and is a joy to hold. The iPhones are renowned for being well made, but honestly this is the best made device I have owned, and this is just what Sony are famous for. There has also been a lot of chatter (and quite frankly a lot of rubbish) about the screen and in particular the screen protector. Lets get things clear: there is a glass anti-scratch screen, which is covered by a shatter-proof layer. However, this layer is not scratch proof. So, people have gone to great lengths to remove this layer. Daft. You could do the far simpler thing, which is add the screen protector that Sony provide in the box. This is easy to apply, does not impair screen performance, protects your important shatter-proof layer, and cleans with no hassle.

While we are on the topic of the Z1's screen: viewing angles. Again, a load of rubbish surrounding this. I care about my HDTV's viewing angle, because I'm likely to sit at different angles to watch it. I generally hold my phone in front of me, so I really don't care that at 30 degrees the screen is not clear!!

The one thing about the design I don't like is the ports, in particular the one for the power. Even after less than 3 weeks, I'm losing confidence that the cover for that port will see me through to Christmas. I have ordered a magnetic desktop charger and a separate magnetic charging cable, as it seems like a no-brainer to use that port instead.

Its taken some getting used to having the power button on the side, but thats fine. I do wish the volume switch was a little further away and I am constantly pressing one when I want the other. Again, not a massive deal. The back of my Z1 does have a couple of tiny scratches. This is where I'd love to know what you all think: I have covered every smartphone I've had with a case, and so far so good as I've never had any serious damage caused to them. Initially I was going to use my Z1 "naked" but more and more I think it should be in a case, even just a thin rubbery one to at least give some protection if it falls and also a bit more grip when holding it. It's true: the Z1 is as slippery as a wet fish.

Finally, the size. It really has taken some getting used to, but I would not go back. Its such a joy to read on this sized screen, watch YouTube clips, look at photos and just about everything else. Its the perfect size: big enough to not strain my eyes and read comfortable, small enough to carry around very very easily.

Ok thats it for now. In the next few posts I am going to write about the customisation and all the apps I've been playing with. Some are old friends from iOS days, and some are new. Also, when I finally get around to it, I'll write about the QX10 lens from a complete amateur photographer's point of view.