Device reviews
    31 January 2018

    Amanda Tremeer

    Review: Sony Xperia XZ1

    Looking for an Android packed with features you won’t find anywhere else? Look no further.

    Looking for an Android packed with features you won’t find anywhere else? Look no further.

    I’ve long been a Sony fan - it look a lot to make me part with my beloved Sony Ericsson Arc that I used for four years. It was an awesome phone, and the design still looks great, even seven years after release.

    It had 320MB internal memory, though, so it’s lucky that things have moved on! And they have - way, way on, to the Sony Xperia XZ1.

    First, the basics: it has a 5.2-inch screen. That makes it bigger than an iPhone 8 (4.7-inch), but smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S8, which has a 5.8-inch screen.

    If you've been doing some smartphone shopping, you may have noticed that more and more phones are starting to look taller and thinner than ever before. That's because the aspect ratio of some new devices is 18:9 - in other words, the screen is twice as high as it is wide. This is the same as many new widescreen TVs and video content, and some smartphone makers are betting that it's the future of smartphones, too. However, many apps aren't there yet, which means you may want to stick to the usual 16:9 screens for now - and that's what you have here.  

    The screen is good, too - 1080x1920 pixels means high definition that will delight video watchers and gamers.

    And, of course, gamers are a large part of Sony’s market, as Sony Xperia phones can be connected to a PlayStation and used for remote play. Sony promises the phone is powerful enough for smooth play even of graphics-heavy games, and the powerful speakers mean your play can be as immersive as ever. You’ll also get access to exclusive mobile games.

    Fun in three dimensions

    Fun is at the heart of this phone - another unique selling point is 3D Creator, which allows you to take 3D photos of an object; you can even shoot a 360-degree photo which can be printed on a 3D printer. The photos can be simply animated for amusing chat messages and GIFs, or you could morph yourself into an alien. Create a social media avatar that can be fully rotated - the possibilities are endless.

    That’s great, but might not make a difference to your everyday life. What will, however, is Xperia Actions. This is a smart function that learns how you like to use your phone and suggests subtle changes that optimise its function and battery life. For example, you can decide to mute your phone while driving, or conserve battery while you’re travelling between two particular points - home and work, for example. Your phone will even remind you if you’ve forgotten to return a call. Now that’s a function I could use.

    Make it snappy

    Another feature that stands out is the camera. At 19MP, it’s way ahead of most of its flagship rivals. The Motion Eye is specially designed to capture moving targets in sharp focus. The camera can take 10 frames a second, and then help you select the best shot to keep (and delete the rest). Predictive Capture takes up to four frames before you even press the shutter - when it spots a smile, for example. Super slow motion and intelligent exposure (for amazing night shots) add to the functionality.

    Plus, it has an amazing 13MP selfie cam in a world where many top phones have a 12MP main camera. With that clarity, prepare yourself for all the Insta likes. 

    In short, Sony has gone to great lengths to cram top specs and some exciting surprise features into the Sony Xperia XZ1. As well as the features we demand, like excellent camera, fast performance and a crisp screen, it has so much more besides. A phone for business, and also for tons of fun.

    Get the Sony Xperia XZ1 from Vodacom Online here, and get free delivery, free SIM and free connection.



    Sony Xperia XZ1

    Screen size


    Screen resolution

    1080x1920 pixels




    Android 8.0 Oreo


    64GB internal, 4GB RAM

    microSD slot

    Yes - up to 256GB

    Camera: Main


    Camera: Front






    Amanda Tremeer