Sony Xperia Z1 review: A smartphone with a camera-sized sensor
DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.
The Sony Xperia Z1 was launched in September at the IFA consumers electronics trade show in Berlin and replaces the Xperia Z, which itself was only launched at CES in January as Sony's top-of-the-line smartphone. The new model comes with the same impressive build quality and waterproof body as its predecessor and with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor and a 5-inch 1080p screen, the Z1 offers top-end specs all around.
For photo-centric users the really big news is the Z1's camera. The 1/2.3-inch sensor in the Sony's camera module is the same size as you would find in most consumer level compact cameras and therefore larger than the 1/3-inch sensors common in the current crop of smartphones.
The comparatively large sensor is combined with a high pixel count of 20.7MP, a fast F2.0 lens and a physical shutter button, all of which demonstrate that Sony, like other high-end mobile device manufacturers, has identified camera performance as a key differentiator in the highly competitive smartphone market.
We've put the Sony Xperia Z1 through our rigorous testing regimen. Read on to find out if the impressive specs translate into top-level image quality.
Key Photographic / Video Specifications
- 20.7 MP 1/2.3 Exmor RS CMOS sensor
- F2.0 lens
- 1080p/30 fps video
- HDR video
- Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz processor
- 5-inch 1080p Sony TRILUMINOS display (441ppi)
- Android 4.2
- 2GB of RAM
- Waterproof body (IP55/58)
- 16 GB internal memory
- microSD up to 64GB
- 3,000 mAh battery, non-removable
- Available in black, white and purple
Our 11-page review
We've considered every aspect of the Sony Xperia Z1 camera, with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes. Click any of the links below for more information of specific functions and continue to our conclusion for a final summary of our findings.
- Page 2: Design and Hardware
- Page 3: Camera Operation
- Page 4: Camera Features
- Page 5: Camera Features cont.
- Page 6: Image Quality and Performance
- Page 7: Video Mode
- Page 8: DxO Mobile Report
- Page 9: Image Quality Comparison (Bright Light)
- Page 10: Image Quality Comparison (Low Light)
- Page 11: Conclusion and Gallery
- Canon EOS M58.8%
- Panasonic G85/G803.3%
- Panasonic FZ2500/FZ20001.9%
- Panasonic LX10/LX151.2%
- Panasonic GH5 development3.6%
- Sony a99 II15.9%
- Nikon KeyMission 170 and 801.0%
- Fujifilm GFX 50S development28.3%
- Olympus E-M1 II development18.7%
- Olympus E-PL80.1%
- Olympus 25mm F1.2 Pro1.5%
- Olympus 12-100mm F4 IS Pro1.9%
- Olympus 30mm F3.5 Macro0.1%
- Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art3.6%
- Sigma 12-24mm F4 Art2.6%
- Sigma 500mm F4 DG OS HSM Sport2.4%
- YI M12.2%
- GoPro Hero50.8%
- GoPro Karma drone2.2%
|Flower in flower by atdigit|
from Random Items Challenge 26
|Surface tension by atdigit|
from Right in the middle
|A Normal Dat at Thomas's Clap 2016-9379 by Andrew Maltzoff|
from Show us SCHOOL!