Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

What are the feelings that rush through your head when you touch something dear to you – an object that moves you emotionally? Excitement, joy, awe, and inspiration all come to mind, but the Japanese have a term dedicated specifically to that kind of multifaceted experience – kando.

Sony takes pride in the fact that kando is at the root of its design philosophy – its products are not only meant to serve a practical purpose; they must also make one go "Wow!". Will the Sony Xperia XZ1 – Sony's latest Android flagship smartphone – have that kind of impact on us? We spent a couple of weeks in its company to find out.

Design

The classic Sony look is distinct and instantly recognizable, but its age is starting to show.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

While it is true that Sony's phones haven't changed much over the past few years, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Xperia phones are distinct and recognizable. They stick to their own style without trying to mimic the looks or feel of any competing product. Kudos for that!

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review
Sony Xperia XZ1 Review
Sony Xperia XZ1 Review
The metal-made Xperia XZ1 in particular feels reassuringly solid in the hand. Its bold, rectangular shape gives it a classy, timeless appearance, and its sealed, water-resistant construction makes using it in the rain perfectly safe. Mind you, this is not a _phone_ that would impress the demographics who don't know what a pager was. However, it would be a good fit for the inside pocket of a gentleman's business suit.

By the way, the _phone_ should survive at least one corner drop on the pavement from a pocket height. Make a guess how we know.

On the topic of design, while we're willing to accept the Xperia XZ1 as it is, we can't deny the fact that it has an old-fashioned flavor to it. We're currently witnessing a shift in the industry – one paving the way toward bezelless, all-screen smartphone designs; one lead by well-known names like LG, Samsung, and Apple.

One glaring issue with the Xperia XZ1 is that its fingerprint scanner – embedded in the power button on the right – is disabled on the US model. Sony has yet to disclose the exact reasons behind this decision, but in any case, the lack of a fingerprint scanner on a $650 phone is inexcusable. An effective substitute isn't present.

Luckily, our review unit has a functioning fingerprint scanner, but while it gets the job done, it could have been executed better. One complaint that we have is that we can't just take a peek at our lock screen notifications – pressing the button to wake the phone automatically takes us to our home screen. For some reason, double-tap to wake the screen isn't an available option, even though it was present on previous Xperia phones.

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Front view | Side view
Sony Xperia XZ1
Sony Xperia XZ1
5.83 x 2.87 x 0.29 inches
148 x 73 x 7.4 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Sony Xperia XZ1

Apple iPhone 8
Apple iPhone 8
5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches
138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
5.22 oz (148 g)

Apple iPhone 8

Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy S8
5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches
148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm
5.36 oz (152 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8

LG G6
LG G6
5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches
148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm
5.75 oz (163 g)

LG G6



Display

A vivid and detailed screen of a traditional aspect ratio gets the job done.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

A 5.2-inch IPS-LCD screen with a classic, 16:9 aspect ratio adorns the Xperia XZ1's front side. Frankly, there's nothing bad to say about its qualities: the 1080p resolution is perfectly sufficient, colors look nice and vibrant, and outdoor visibility has never been an issue during our time spent with the phone.

But again, phones like the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 put the available space to better use – through the use of “taller” aspect ratios, they fit considerably larger screens, thus more content, within the same handset dimensions.

Our display measurements indicate that colors on the Xperia XZ1 are given a slight saturation boost. We're confident that most users wouldn't mind their appearance, but if color accuracy is imperative to you, feel free to switch to the so-called professional mode in the display settings menu.

Support for HDR content is one of the Sony Xperia XZ1's highlights. If you have an Amazon Prime Video or Netflix account, you can stream HDR movies and shows to your XZ1. Support for YouTube’s HDR videos is not present at this time.

One cool extra that Sony has thrown in is the so-called Glove Mode, which – you guessed it – lets you use the screen while wearing gloves. One thing that’s missing – a blue light filter for night-time use with less eye strain.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 494
(Good)
5
(Excellent)
1:1210
(Good)
7362
(Good)
2.13
3.95
(Good)
6.68
(Average)
Apple iPhone 8 663
(Excellent)
3
(Excellent)
1:1461
(Excellent)
7026
(Good)
2.14
3.16
(Good)
4.15
(Average)
Samsung Galaxy S8 570
(Excellent)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6784
(Excellent)
2.11
5.79
(Average)
5.26
(Average)
LG G6 506
(Excellent)
4
(Excellent)
1:2164
(Excellent)
8639
(Poor)
2.12
5.68
(Average)
7.55
(Average)
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all
Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

What are the feelings that rush through your head when you touch something dear to you – an object that moves you emotionally? Excitement, joy, awe, and inspiration all come to mind, but the Japanese have a term dedicated specifically to that kind of multifaceted experience – kando.

Sony takes pride in the fact that kando is at the root of its design philosophy – its products are not only meant to serve a practical purpose; they must also make one go "Wow!". Will the Sony Xperia XZ1 – Sony's latest Android flagship smartphone – have that kind of impact on us? We spent a couple of weeks in its company to find out.

Design

The classic Sony look is distinct and instantly recognizable, but its age is starting to show.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

While it is true that Sony's phones haven't changed much over the past few years, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Xperia phones are distinct and recognizable. They stick to their own style without trying to mimic the looks or feel of any competing product. Kudos for that!

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review
Sony Xperia XZ1 Review
Sony Xperia XZ1 Review
The metal-made Xperia XZ1 in particular feels reassuringly solid in the hand. Its bold, rectangular shape gives it a classy, timeless appearance, and its sealed, water-resistant construction makes using it in the rain perfectly safe. Mind you, this is not a phone that would impress the demographics who don't know what a pager was. However, it would be a good fit for the inside pocket of a gentleman's business suit.

By the way, the phone should survive at least one corner drop on the pavement from a pocket height. Make a guess how we know.

On the topic of design, while we're willing to accept the Xperia XZ1 as it is, we can't deny the fact that it has an old-fashioned flavor to it. We're currently witnessing a shift in the industry – one paving the way toward bezelless, all-screen smartphone designs; one lead by well-known names like LG, Samsung, and Apple.

One glaring issue with the Xperia XZ1 is that its fingerprint scanner – embedded in the power button on the right – is disabled on the US model. Sony has yet to disclose the exact reasons behind this decision, but in any case, the lack of a fingerprint scanner on a $650 phone is inexcusable. An effective substitute isn't present.

Luckily, our review unit has a functioning fingerprint scanner, but while it gets the job done, it could have been executed better. One complaint that we have is that we can't just take a peek at our lock screen notifications – pressing the button to wake the phone automatically takes us to our home screen. For some reason, double-tap to wake the screen isn't an available option, even though it was present on previous Xperia phones.


Front view | Side view
Sony Xperia XZ1
Sony Xperia XZ1
5.83 x 2.87 x 0.29 inches
148 x 73 x 7.4 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Sony Xperia XZ1

Apple iPhone 8
Apple iPhone 8
5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches
138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
5.22 oz (148 g)

Apple iPhone 8

Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy S8
5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches
148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm
5.36 oz (152 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8

LG G6
LG G6
5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches
148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm
5.75 oz (163 g)

LG G6



Display

A vivid and detailed screen of a traditional aspect ratio gets the job done.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

A 5.2-inch IPS-LCD screen with a classic, 16:9 aspect ratio adorns the Xperia XZ1's front side. Frankly, there's nothing bad to say about its qualities: the 1080p resolution is perfectly sufficient, colors look nice and vibrant, and outdoor visibility has never been an issue during our time spent with the phone.

But again, phones like the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 put the available space to better use – through the use of “taller” aspect ratios, they fit considerably larger screens, thus more content, within the same handset dimensions.

Our display measurements indicate that colors on the Xperia XZ1 are given a slight saturation boost. We're confident that most users wouldn't mind their appearance, but if color accuracy is imperative to you, feel free to switch to the so-called professional mode in the display settings menu.

Support for HDR content is one of the Sony Xperia XZ1's highlights. If you have an Amazon Prime Video or Netflix account, you can stream HDR movies and shows to your XZ1. Support for YouTube’s HDR videos is not present at this time.

One cool extra that Sony has thrown in is the so-called Glove Mode, which – you guessed it – lets you use the screen while wearing gloves. One thing that’s missing – a blue light filter for night-time use with less eye strain.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 494
(Good)
5
(Excellent)
1:1210
(Good)
7362
(Good)
2.13
3.95
(Good)
6.68
(Average)
Apple iPhone 8 663
(Excellent)
3
(Excellent)
1:1461
(Excellent)
7026
(Good)
2.14
3.16
(Good)
4.15
(Average)
Samsung Galaxy S8 570
(Excellent)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6784
(Excellent)
2.11
5.79
(Average)
5.26
(Average)
LG G6 506
(Excellent)
4
(Excellent)
1:2164
(Excellent)
8639
(Poor)
2.12
5.68
(Average)
7.55
(Average)
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all

Software and interface

A familiar experience on top of the all-new Android 8.0 Oreo.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

Sony deserves credit for being the first to launch a phone running Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box – The Xperia XZ1 runs the latest, safest, most up-to-date Android software that Google has to provide. Alas, the benefits of having Oreo at launch aren’t immediately obvious, as Android 8 itself isn’t very exciting of an update from a user perspective. But all those under-the-hood improvements, including the better handling of battery-draining apps, are more than welcome.

On the Xperia XZ1 we find Sony’s own custom interface which, as the phone’s design, hasn’t changed much over the years. One thing we like about it is that it is quick and nimble – we have not experienced any significant slowdowns on the XZ1. The UI is rather simple with its execution and layout, so if you’re coming from a non-Xperia phone, there won’t be much to adjust to. It is also cool how the default live wallpaper subtly responds to user input and the phone’s battery level. We also see support for user interface themes, and Sony’s What’s New content curator app treats us to a new paid app for free every day.

Other aspects of the software experience could have been executed better. For starters, there’s still no proper Notes app pre-installed. Instead we have a Sketch app for finger painting which we’re much less likely to need. The stock News reader, while functional, throws in sponsored content in the feed, such as apps and games. And if we swipe down on the home screen, we’re shown a bar for searching through our apps – a redundant feature, as we can already do that from the Google widget. A much more practical use for the gesture would have been for it to pull down our notifications shade.

All in all, Sony’s software isn’t perfect, but it is quick and gets the job done without being obtrusive or anything.

Processor, memory, performance

Plenty of power thanks to Qualcomm’s top chip ticking inside.

Processing power is one thing the Xperia XZ1 has plenty of. Equipped with a Snapdragon 835 – the best chip Qualcomm currently has to offer – the phone runs even the most demanding games without issues. Having a 1080p screen instead of a higher-res, Quad HD one also helps with maintaining high framerates while gaming. Switching between apps is quick, and side-by-side multitasking is a smooth experience. Overall, we have no complaints as far as performance goes.

The Xperia XZ1 comes with 64GB of built-in storage, but since the operating system eats up a huge chunk of that, only about 54 gigs are available to the user. Still, that is a good amount of storage space for a phone of this rank, and if you need extra room for photos and videos, a microSD card slot is available.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 152162.33
Apple iPhone 8 215075
Samsung Galaxy S8 166646.66
LG G6 157208
JetStream
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 59.382
Apple iPhone 8 225.79
Samsung Galaxy S8 55.503
LG G6 57.368
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 2633.66
Apple iPhone 8 4226
Samsung Galaxy S8 3201.66
LG G6 2122
Geekbench 4 single-core
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 1814.66
Apple iPhone 8 4239
Samsung Galaxy S8 2008.33
LG G6 1797
Geekbench 4 multi-core
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 6064
Apple iPhone 8 10405
Samsung Galaxy S8 6575
LG G6 4285
View all


Internet and connectivity


Without going much into details here, you have Chrome set as default browser on the Xperia XZ1. It is an app most Android users should be familiar with, and a substitute isn’t necessary, in our opinion. Chrome is fast, covers the essentials, and syncs your browsing data across devices for easy access.

On the topic of connectivity, we should clarify that Sony is not launching the Xperia XZ1 through any of the major US carriers. Instead, you may get one through Amazon (that’s where Sony’s official website links to). The Xperia XZ1 being offered is unlocked and compatible with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, with support for super-fast Cat. 16 LTE. However, it won’t work on Verizon or Sprint. Interestingly, the Amazon listing states that the XZ1 is dual-SIM capable.

Camera

A shooter with plenty of potential, but low light situations prove challenging. Predictive capture is pretty cool, though.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

On the hardware side, this is the same camera we saw in the Xperia XZs and Xperia XZ Premium – a 19MP shooter with plenty of potential. Its strength lies in the memory chip built into the sensor, allowing for large amounts of image data to be recorded within a short amount of time. This is what enables the Xperia XZ1 to shoot slow-motion video at 960fps, for example. The lack of OIS could prove a weak spot for the Xperia XZ1, but electronic image stabilization is available in videos, thankfully.

There’s a physical shutter button on the Xperia XZ1. Just like on a dedicated camera, you press it halfway to lock the focus and exposure, and pressing it completely takes the shot. But probably the best use of this button is as a camera shortcut – it lets you launch the camera from any screen without even looking.

Camera app


Once in the camera app on the Xperia XZ1, we’re greeted by a familiar interface. The default shooting mode is designed to automatically analyze the scene and adjust the camera settings, though you do have access to some manual controls in Manual Mode. Tapping on an object within the frame triggers the camera’s object tracking feature, which is as finicky as usual – sometimes it works well, sometimes the rectangle indicating the focus area confusingly wanders off or changes size.

What’s probably the coolest perk of Sony’s camera app on the XZ1 is its Predictive Capture feature. In a nutshell, the camera captures full-resolution stills before you press the shutter. If the photo you took isn’t quite perfect – if someone had blinked or if a moving object has come out blurry – the camera will automatically pick up to three alternative images from the frames it intelligently took. Pretty cool stuff!

Another trick the XZ1 has up its sleeve is the ability to change the focus while shooting bursts of photos. While you’ll be using this feature rarely (if ever at all), it could allow an experienced photographer to capture cool split-second moments in great sharpness.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 1.9
1.9
No data
No data
Apple iPhone 8 1.16
1.91
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy S8 1.2
1.3
281
261
LG G6 1.7
2.7
522
530
View all

Image quality


We recently featured the Sony Xperia XZ1 in a camera comparison against the iPhone 8 Plus, the Galaxy Note 8, and the LG G6. Truth to be told, Sony’s flagship can take good-looking photos if given enough light: with plenty of detail, accurate exposure and pleasing color reproduction. However, it lags behind the competition when it comes to low-light situations, presumably due to its lack of optical image stabilization. OIS allows for better low-light shots by enabling the camera to set longer exposure times, thus absorbing more light. To be clear, the XZ1’s low-light photos are perfectly usable. They’re just not as good as what other current high-end phones can produce – details simply aren’t as clear, presumably because the camera tends to shoot at higher ISOs.

Selfies shot with the Xperia XZ1 turn out clear and detailed, and the front camera’s lens is wide enough to fit plenty of people in the frame. Though we’ve noticed that in certain situations, skin tones come out somewhat unnatural, as in our group photo with Mr Statue here. Still, for the most part, the front camera performs adequately well. If light is insufficient, the screen can act as an impromptu flash.


Video quality


As any other phone of this category, the Xperia XZ1 can shoot clear and smooth 4K video at 30fps. Detail is undeniably plentiful, and even low-light footage looks mighty good to us. However, you might notice a slight jitter now and then, introduced by the software image stabilization. Sony also has the so-called Intelligent Active image stabilization, which produces smoother, more cinematic video, but jittering may still occur if you’re not steady enough.

The front-facing camera tops off at 1080p video, but supports the aforementioned Intelligent Active stabilization, and the results are pleasant to look at.

One thing we’re pleased by is the sound in videos. It is loud, with a good presence of lows and highs. What’s more, sound remains clear even in noisy environments like concerts and parties, without any of that crackling distortion.

What’s unique about the XZ1’s camera is that it is able to capture 960fps slow-motion videos. While these look epic, they can be tricky to capture because you can’t record an entire clip and then slow down the portion of interest. Instead, you tap the super slow-motion button while shooting, and a moment roughly a fifth of a second in length gets stretched to 6 seconds. As you can imagine, your timing needs to be very, very accurate to get good results. 



3D creator


It seems like every new phone comes with a gimmick of some kind – a flashy feature that draws attention even if it isn’t of any immediate practical benefit. On the Sony Xperia XZ1 we have 3D creator – an app that uses the phone’s camera to scan faces and objects. The purpose? Well, you can turn yourself or a buddy into a cute VR character and place it in your photos. You can also 3D print a scan – either by yourself or through a 3D printing service Sony has partnered up with. Sharing on social media is also an option, though not a very elegant one due to the nature of the content. All in all, there’s no doubt that the XZ1’s 3D scanning abilities are an impressive showcase of technology, but its practical use would concern a very, very small niche of consumers.

Multimedia


As we mentioned earlier, HDR video playback is supported on the Xperia XZ1. HDR movies and TV shows can be streamed from Netflix or the Amazon Prime Video service and deliver richer colors and better contrast.

The on-board gallery app is Sony’s own, packed with all the features you might need, including image sharing and editing, as well as cloud services integration. Speaking of editing, the stock video app lets you trim your videos, extract frames as images, and vary playback speed.

Sony is sticking with a headphone jack on the Xperia XZ1, meaning you can enjoy your tunes through a traditional wired pair of earphones. HiRes playback is supported, to no surprise. And if you choose to go wireless, the phone supports AptX and LDAC codecs for more accurate sound over Bluetooth.

Music listening through the front-firing stereo speakers is also an option, but we’re left a bit underwhelmed by their sound quality. They sound just okay: with clear vocals and sufficient loudness, but less highs and lows than what you’d get out of an iPhone 8, for example.

Audio output

Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 72
Apple iPhone 8 77.9
Samsung Galaxy S8 78
LG G6 74
View all

Call quality


This is far from the most thrilling part of any review, mostly because pretty much every phone handles phone calls without major issues. Same goes for the Xperia XZ1, whose earpiece does not lack in volume. We’ve had no complaints on the other side of the line either.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review

Battery life


There’s a 2700mAh battery inside the Xperia XZ1, which seems a bit worrying at first – most of Sony’s competitors have outfitted their flagships with batteries of 3000mAh or more. But in reality, the battery life of the Xperia XZ1 is quite okay. With normal use, it has never lasted us a full two days, but it has never died on us before bedtime either. Our custom battery benchmark reflects that real-life experience, indicating that the phone is behind major competitors, but still delivers acceptable battery life.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Review
As with previous Xperia phones, you can make the XZ1 last longer by activating Stamina mode. This reduces performance, but saves a significant amount of power – handy for times when you know you’re low on charge and won’t be near a charger anytime soon.

Wireless charging isn’t available on the Sony Xperia XZ1, but fast-charging is, as long as you have a compatible charger. The one that arrives in the box isn’t, which explains the unimpressive battery recharge time we measured. During a quick test, however, a QuickCharge 3.0 power brick took its battery from 25% to 70% in about 30 minutes, which is indeed pretty quick.

Speaking of charging, you'll find a toggle named Battery Care in the battery options menu. Behind the setting is an Adaptive Charging technology by Qnovo that Sony employs, aiming to prolong the battery’s lifespan. Since having the battery fully charged for a long time leads to faster degradation, the Xperia XZ1 pauses the process at 90%, then tops up the cell before you get up in the morning. We’ve never had any issues with this feature, but if you wish to disable it, you may do so.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 7h 44 min (Good)
Apple iPhone 8 8h 37 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S8 8h 22 min (Excellent)
LG G6 6h 9 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Sony Xperia XZ1 149
Apple iPhone 8 148
Samsung Galaxy S8 100
LG G6 97
View all

Conclusion


After taking an in-depth look at the Sony Xperia XZ1, it is time to throw its price into the equation. Right now, the figure stands at $650, meaning that Sony’s flagship is cheaper than the popular Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8, but more expensive than worthy competitors like the LG G6 and the OnePlus 5. Given all this, is the Xperia XZ1 worth getting? Well, it depends.

Sony deserves admirations for staying true to its principles, for having its own approach to making phones. It doesn’t mimic its competitors, it doesn’t “borrow” design ideas, it doesn’t clone trendy features, which is a good thing, to a certain extent. But if you’re a smartphone maker with a desire to survive on the market, it is worth considering some recent innovations – the increased popularity of dual cameras, for example, or the adoption of “taller” screen ratios and minimized bezel designs. In late 2017, the Xperia XZ1 feels dated upon release.

That is not to say that the Xperia XZ1 is a bad phone. Quite the contrary – there are many things to like about it, such as the snappy performance, the water-resistant design, the solid build quality, and the camera’s Predictive Capture abilities. And if it wasn’t for the less-than-optimal fingerprint scanner experience, we could have said that our 2-week test drive of the XZ1 has been a smooth and steady ride.

All in all, you won’t be making heads turn in envy with the Xperia XZ1, but if you’re looking for a phone with a traditional approach to design, if those flashy but fragile all-display handsets aren’t your cup of tea, then the latest Sony flagship is worth checking out.