Sony Xperia Z1 Review

*This post may have affiliate links. For example As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link I may receive commission (don't worry, there's no extra cost to you). This helps support the work I put into the site.

The Sony Xperia Z1 is a BIG phone, especially if you are use to an iPhone sized mobile.  It’s a large slab of glass and aluminium that has a nice weight to it and feel very comfortable in the hand.  The Z1 feels like a really nice premium mobile, although the glass seems to attract dust like no other mobile used before.  On the top is a headphone jack; On the right is the SIM card holder, power button, volume/zoom rocker and camera button; The bottom has the speaker; On the left are ports for microSD card, charger and the docking pins.

The ports all have covers on to make this a waterproof phone, you can take this and use it under water (up to 1m) for around 30 minutes, e.g. you might want to take a photo underwater.  The covers do feel a little flimsy so it’ll be interesting to see how well they hold up over time.  With the option of a dock you don’t need to remove the covers at all, you could just dock this to charge without using the USB  charging cable.

Sony Xperia Z1

Z1 Battery life is brilliant thanks to Sony adding some power management tools.  It can automatically disable apps from using data when the screen is off (you can select which apps that applies to) and you can have location based wifi, so wifi is on at home but then automatically switches off when you’re out and about.  It then automatically turns back on when you return home or arrive at work/a friends house/anywhere else you’ve designated as a wifi area.

The stock keyboard is OK, but on a screen this size the space bar was far too small and resulted in a lot of full stops being pressed by mistake.  This little niggle was easily solved by installing the excellent Swiftkey which made much better use of the Z1 screen space available.

Sony have pre-installed a lot of software on the Z1 which unfortunately can’t be removed if it’s of no use to you.  There are some gems, for example the album, music and video apps look really great and the music app allows you to ‘throw’ your tunes to an external speaker/headphones without needing to go via the bluetooth menu or installing 3rd party DNLA apps.  You can do the same with your videos, ‘throwing’ them to a compatible TV, and while this was useful for home videos it was disappointing that this feature couldn’t be used with an LG TV to watch films downloaded from the Sony store, it’s likely you’ll have better success when streaming to Sony TVs.

The Z1 camera is whopping 20.7 megapixels and comes with lots of photo and video options, with the ability to download additional modes.  I really love that this has a dedicated camera button, makes it so much easier than using the on screen controls.

Example Sony Z1 photo  Example Sony Z1 photo 2

A nice addition is the AR mode, which allows you to add animation to your video, for example a dinosaur stomping around (see video below).   Generally these work really well, allowing you to move around the scene and look at objects from different angles, they add a bit of fun to videos, and it’s an impressive demonstration of how powerful the phone is to be able to render the animations in real time.

This performance is demonstrated again during gameplay, games are responsive and there wasn’t any lag in the controls.  The large screen gives you lots of room for controlling the game while being able to see it at the same time and is one of the major advantages over playing games over a smaller screen mobile.

The Sony Xperia Z1 plays games really well, takes photos and videos really well and has a great battery life.  This is a brilliant phone that does a lot to be different from other Android mobiles.

Available now on Amazon: http://goo.gl/2yhyac

Sony Xperia L1 SIM-Free Smartphone - Black

£72.93  in stock

3 used from £72.93
Buy Now
as of 25/02/2021 5:07 am


  • Signature Sony design, with a large 5.5” HD display and rounded frame that feels great in your hand
  • Engineered for smooth performance in its category with efficient processing power and large expandable memory
  • A user interface that learns and adapts, to make everyday tasks simple and more enjoyable
  • Adapts to your habits - Xperia L1 learns and adapts based on how you use it, getting smarter and more personal every day
  • Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology, aptX / a2dp

Original Sony MH750 Black Mobile Headset In-Ear-Stereo Wired Jack 3.5 mm Earphones Earbud Headphone For Sony Xperia Z Z Ultra Z1 Z1 Compact Z1s Z2 Z2a Z3 Z3 Compact Z3+ Z3v Z4 Compact Z4 Ultra Z4v ZL ZR Xperia C C3 C4 C5 Ultra E E1 E1 II E3 E4 E4g go ion HSPA ion LTE J L LT29i Hayabusa M M2 M4 Aqua M5 miro neo L P S SL sola SP T T LTE T2 Ultra T3 tipo TX U V acro HD SO-03D acro S Sony D 2403 Sony Tablet P S Sony Xperia Tablet S S Z Z3 Compact Z4 3G LTE WiFi

£9.92  in stock
4 new from £9.92
Buy Now
as of 25/02/2021 5:07 am


  • Original Sony Stereo Headset MH-730 Handsfree Earphone
  • Standard audio plug - the MH750 connects to phone, computer or other device
  • A longer call - press the answer key when a call comes in and enjoy comfortable handsfree calling on the go with HD Voice
  • A bigger sound - a 9.2 mm dynamic speaker driver behind each earphone and advanced micro audio technology combine to deliver an impressive audio experience
  • Color :- Black , Warranty :- 12 months

Sony Genuine Black Type C USB Data Cable Xperia XZ/Xperia X Compact/Xperia L1 / Xperia XZs/Xperia XA1 / Xperia X Premium Compatible With Other Type C Models (No Retail Packaging)

£2.95  in stock
4 new from £2.95
Buy Now
as of 25/02/2021 5:07 am


  • Official Sony Product
  • Genuine Sony Type C Cable
  • USB Type A to Type C Cable
  • Reversible Connector as USB-C is a user-friendly design that lets you insert the connector the right way, every time
  • For Charging and Data Transfer at high speeds

Mark J Draper is a self-confessed gadget lover who forged a career in the telecommunication and utility industry while maintaining a hobby of writing and filming reviews that are published on YouTube and Reviewify.co.uk.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply