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Sony’s flagship Xperia Z replaces the still-fresh Xperia T at the top of the company’s roster. The Z’s breakout feature is its display, which crams the resolution of the high definition TV in your living room into a 5-inch screen, yielding stratospheric pixel densities. The upgrades are otherwise less dramatic, with a few incremental spec bumps (more RAM, more cores). The Z’s external design is a substantial departure from its predecessor, with a hard-edged, iPhoneish form rather than the T’s unusual curves. 

The Z’s camera carries forward the T’s 13-megapixel resolution, and on paper there’s little to distinguish its imaging technology from Sony’s last generation. We put the Z through its paces to see how its camera performance and features stack up against the competition. 

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 13-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor
  • F2.4 lens
  • LED flash
  • 1080p 30fps video recording
  • 2MP front camera with 1080p video
  • HDR (including video) and panorama modes
  • Scene modes
  • Digital image stabilization
  • 16X digital zoom

Other Specifications

  • 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • Android 4.1.2
  • 5-inch 1920x1080 443 ppi display
  • Water and dust-sealed body
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB storage (11GB user accessible)
  • Micro SD Card support up to 32GB 

Our 10-page review

We've considered every aspect of the Sony Xperia Z 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.


Total comments: 23

My Xperia z mobile model no-c6603. this mobile camera r not clear & bad condition picture. So can u halp me, the better Picture...


The majority of issues presented in this review were the softwares too heavy notice reduction.
Firaware has improved this, there is no reason why it shouldn't be able to take similar photos compared to the s3, consider they both use the same sensor. When burst mode reveals more details than normal, that is when you know that Sony messed up the software.
it would be great to see an updated review/comparison with the newer firmware. As this has supposedly improved image quality.


Meant the s4, the exile Rs.


Just buy a decent travelzoom cam. Smartphone's IQ is worthless (with the exception from Nokia 808)

1 upvote

I'm selling my DSLR tomorrow

Edited 16 seconds after posting

Just shows you that 13 mpix is unnecessary (too much) for f/2.4 lens over 1/3" sensor. There is no details at this level, or even close, even at ISO 40.

1 upvote

Please give me something pocketable yet with decent performance. Something like the Xperia Ray with dual core, 1GB ram, 8GB flash and decent MP3 playback through earbuds at $200 would be great. Am I asking too much?

Antonio Abreu

I can only talk about the Xperia ZL, one thing I love about it is the dedicated camera shutter button.
Taking pictures by touching the screen has never made sense to me.
I think the ZL takes good pictures for a phone but it's no Nokia Pureview 808.
I know Sony is more than capable of making a phone with a good camera, maybe if the rumored Cybershot phone is true we will soon find out.
@ Jostian horrible IQ Wow are you on crack

Edited 2 times; latest 3 minutes since posting

horrible IQ! disgusting, and this from a company that had the best camera phones a few years back... dunno what went wrong but something drasticly bad happened in the camera department!


I own the xperia z and rx100. Though it's clear xperia z camera is far far far from the excellent quality of my rx100, it wasn't as bad as it appears to be in this test. Mine was the newest firmware, and under bright lights they gave pleasing details, colour rendition and high DR for a camera phone. Albeit the video quality was soft compared to the amazing RX100 video capability, it's not THAT shabby. So I really don't know what you are talking about when you refer this as 'horrible' in terms of IQ. It certainly look comparable to iphone 5 photo quality in general lighting conditions.


Not when you compare the results on this test it does not. It comes up way short.


I supposed if you measure quality with numbers like the DXO indices, then xperia z comes up short. But look at real world comparison. One notable reviewer from Australia (his youtube name is blunty3000) made a side by side comparison. Though i definitely won't say xperia z is in any way surpassing iphone5, but the short he made and the video side by sides look comparable to me...


But fotografer there are real world samples on this review and they are not good.


It's a good phone, but not a good camera phone.Nokia, Apple, and Samsung offer some things better as camera phone.


I think Sony camera phone is better than Samsung Apple Nokia, as the Sony is more professional. :)

1 upvote

What's the firmware build number for the phone being tested? The DxO Mark score seems to have been from back in April. There has since been a firmware update (10.1.1.A.1.253) which was supposed to have improved the quality of pictures taken with the camera quite significantly.


The new firmware does improve image quality significantly. Much closer to the burst results than previously.


There is one major defect on this phone. The glass used on the screen is so poor that within less than a month of regular use, it is now full of scratches. I'd be willing to purchase a screen protector, but I have yet to find one.

Obviously, the screen is the one thing you look at when using the phone. Why could they not use Gorilla glass? I have owned a Samsung for 3.5 years without a screen protector and no scratches!

Hoping to resolve my concerns, I have visited the Sony Store in Vegas, and called their customer service folks and on both occasions, escalated the issue with their management to no avail.

Poor quality, even worse, poor service.

Feature wise, the phone and camera are actually impressive. Great landscapes with it's auto photo stitching feature. Fast processor.

However, after owning several Vaio's and a new Sony Z laptop my most recent experience with Sony has been a huge disappointment.

I do not recommend this product.


Those scratches are not on the screen. They are on the screen protector that Sony glues on top of the glass. You can remove that (use a pin) and you will see that the glass underneath is just fine.

Better yet, watch this video

Keep in mind that you will lose Sony logo once you remove the screen protector as the logo is printed on the screen protector itself! (dumb!).

Also, the screen without that screen protector attracts a lot of fingerprints so put a third-party screen protector on it.

Edited 7 minutes after posting

Thank you. No one of the many folks at Sony even mentioned this. I feel better now though that in time there will other screen protectors available.

No wonder it scratches so easily. It's not the glass that got scratched!


Three problems with this phone

(1) Camera is definitely below par (AF wasn't good either).
(2) The (only) side speaker isn't loud
(3) The viewing angles on the LCD aren't the best.

Pros: Good design and waterproof. and pretty snappy.

They need to go to the drawing board and fix these problems.

Edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Erin Lodi

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Total comments: 23
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