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DanCooper

How would you change Sony’s Xperia Z?

Sony’s been trying to reinvent itself, and in doing so, is hoping that we can put these turbulent last few years behind us. Nowhere is this more evident than in the company’s smartphones, like the Xperia Z. The Z was the first “omnibalance” phone, and the first not to be associated with the company’s former partnership with Ericsson. It brought along a 1080p display, water resistance and, surprisingly for a phone significantly more expensive than a Nexus 4, pretty crappy battery life. That fact alone was enough for it to register a measly 80 score from our reviewer, but did you agree with them?

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27 replies
soulreaver99

The Z2 is already out, which is 2 generations right after this phone. It's a little ridiculous asking this questions right now since the Z2 has made vast improvements over the original Z with a new IPS display, much improved battery life, and having one of the best smart phone cameras out there. NEXT!
3 like dislike
keestu

What are you talking about?
The Z2 is one of the best/Jack of all trades phones out there in the market in terms of anything. It's actually slightly ahead of the curve in many aspects and Sony is coming back to what I used to remember "Its a Sony" brand. Quality is unmatched and what is the battery life were you expecting out of todays android phones?
Nexus 4 is a far away generation device which is an unfair comparison. Then if you see that way anything compared with the massive battery phones like droid maxx and lenovo's P series phone will look bad.
EXPEnsive --- well it's an EXPEria phone by Sony.

The only problem that I have with the Z2 is even after someone pays so much I cannot get stereo quality like how the HTC one delivered with a lot of common sense "Front facing" speakers.
Don't bother arguing about camera. HTC one's camera is a sorry excuse in the name of one. Apart from the low light I don't have an optical zoom or have any mega pixels to zoom at all. I don't think they know what zoom means. Pixels are definitely required.
3 like dislike
smnc

Re-read the OP, it's talking about last year's original Z.
The Z2 IS one of the best phones today.
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keestu

Doh
1 like dislike
smnc

It happens to all of us
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XIPRELAY

Give it remote control learning capability. So i can use my existing old remotes and new remotes without the need for internet access.

FM Transmitter so i can pipe audio through my cars radio. Without the need for bluetooth.
1 like dislike
RobDickinson

I have a Z. My work on call phone is a galaxy S3.

I far far prefer the Sony. better feel, better look. I dont find the battery life an issue either.

I've been anti sony for a long time, but they are doing a lot of things right with this (and other things) now.
1 like dislike
ZaXperia

I've been using Z for over a year, it has done its job very well. Others reported there are some issue on the camera, however it isn't happen to mine, its just a matter of luck. It is said crappy battery life, yes it is. Updates on firmware improve those issue, but again it wasn't significant. Now, it depends on the user, how will you deal with your crappy battery-life-phone? by playing a lot of games/videos with extreme usage, buy an external battery, or limit your usage & get the stamina mode on.

I think this question is a proof that some of us do love their Xperia Z.
It is simply because we tolerate the craps! and of course, it is worthy 80 score
Want some phone with gimmicks go for S, want a metal/aluminum body go for H, want a fancy simple phone go for an A, and want others, just don't buy Xperia.

now, I'm a Z2 user. Really Worthy upgrade! Great Battery life, Improved display, Improved Speaker, Camera, Design (Less Flaps & Magnetic charge), tap to wake, Camera button and many more.
and Again I tolerate the Craps:
- Smaller tactile buttons.
- Bigger/heavier.
- 16gigs storage.
- crappy flash
- and still no IR. (One-device-for-all dreams)

Z
1 like dislike
gtown

Ive owned the Sony Z since its release and I think it is the best looking phone to date.

The Z1 and Z2 are bigger and more baulky which is a massive shame because they have improved on the areas that the Z is lacking but sacrificed the look in the process.

The only gripes I have with the Z is the camera (although it was great at the time the Z2 camera is much, much better), the battery life (again, Z2 is much better) and the speakers (still room for improvement here). I honestly love the Z's screen, which apparently went downhill for with the Z1 and improved again for the Z2.

I guess we are talking about a wishlist for the Z3 and if thats the case the following would be on my list:
-return to the minimalist Z design in terms of look rather than the Z1/2 (at least as small as the Z or even smaller as the Z could still shave off about 8mm in height and 3 mm in width with GLASS on all 6 sides rather than metal or plastic on the edges and or back)
-better speakers, they don't have to be great but for a company that has made as many great speakers and headphones as Sony, I expect something on par with the competition, not less
-add in optical image stabilization for the camera
-(being extremeily wishful here) add on a 5" OLED screen (I'd rather have a 5" screen on a smaller sized phone than a 5.1 on a larger phone)

That's it, if Sony released something like this I'd payout the rest of my contract and upgrade immediately.
1 like dislike
Zunido

Agree with all your points except the OLED, I'm fine with a good IPS screen.
0 like dislike
mxm9

Man I'm loving this phone, best phone I've had in a long time. Massive step up from the Samsung Galaxy S series. Form factor, thickness, water proof, style, the button on the side (classic), performance, camera quality, stability (even though recently I've had a couple of sudden reboots). Things I would like to see changed: button could use a tiny bit more travel, it gets really warm using some apps (no reason it seems), battery life (as everyone else), the covers for the usb and headphone port could have been less flimsy (do you even need to waterproof a headphone port?). But overal, lot of respect for Sony for getting this right!
1 like dislike
Mitchellmckenna

I think Sony completely blundered the marketing of this phone. I thought the Xperia Z's design was up there with Android's phone of the year 2013 - the HTC One, however it didn't become nearly as popular. They did a great job of getting it hyped at CES January 2013, but then they didn't get the phone on any carriers till 6 months after launch, and it was only T-Mobile (not even one of the bigger carriers). I thought it was great they launched an unlocked phone from the get-go, however, you need carriers to have these phones in their stores, so people can see them and play with them. And to this day you can only find the unlocked versions on Amazon and Best Buy.
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mdulcey

The US has not been a high priority market for Sony so far. They do not make CDMA versions of the current Xperia line, which means that they are not available on Verizon or Sprint; with no availability on the biggest US carrier their market share will always be limited. The current ones will not be suitable for use on Verizon even after they implement VoLTE because they lack coverage of some of Verizon's LTE frequencies. (They do include coverage of Sprint LTE frequencies including 2600MHz, and cover all AT&T and T-Mobile frequencies.) Sony has also focused on sales of unlocked phones directly to users; the T-Mobile Z1 is the first exception, and is still sold without subsidy because that carrier has abandoned the subsidy model.

This may be changing going forward. Sony has accidentally(?) leaked pictures of an Xperia Z2 with Verizon logos, though the company currently denies that they plan to market such a device.
0 like dislike
qmage

Z and Z2 is too bulky and heavy, make it lighter and thinner, and if possible, smaller bezels too
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Rajs

They screwed up the speaker on the phone really badly - I am stuck using the default ringtone since I bought the phone. The waterproofness while a great feature coming at the expense of great sound quality that is expected from Sony was a HUGE drawback in the phone.

Other things that need changing:

Poor battery life
Make facebook uninstallable
Use better scratchproof glass for the screen front and back

Things that should continue to be done:

Exceptional, Beautiful UI
Ongoing support far after the product is released
Continue making beautiful looking phones - the most beautiful looking.
0 like dislike
simonckenyon

i have had this phone since august 2013. there really is only one thing i would change.
that is the covers on the ports. they are attached with little plastic lanyards which are going to snap one day. they are also pretty awkward to open and close.
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iamMrDon

I bought my Sony Xperia Z around a year ago and this is the best phone I have ever had by far. Usually every 6 months, I was always thinking to replace my phone with the latest that available on the market, but now I never think that. It has an impresive camera and the battery is not too crappy for me like everyone said (but I guess it depends on your usage). I always activated the stamina mode which only allow emails, messengers and couple of social media active during lock screen and my phone can last for at least 14 hours a day on average. The only down side for me is the speaker is only on one side and there is no shutter button. But other than that, this phone is amazing. Its been more than a year and the performance is still incredible. It has the right size, for me this is the biggest as I want it, if its bigger than this than I would not consider to buy it. This phone really helps me for doing my job and much better performance than my tab.
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NonAnon011

Truthfully, I agree with issue in the U.S. Sony has truly done a good job at making the phone. The issue I normally have with it is the peripheral apps. Video unlimited has two different apps for one part. It feels clunky. Music unlimited is all but a nuisance on the computer and half way navigatible on phone. I have the z1s and it has done fantastically!

Another which was already said was flaps. Yup, it would be nice to get a little sturdier flap.

Another thing would be a better front facing camera. Now I know people don't. Really take panoramic shots and try to take the best type of picture with it but it would be nice if you bumped it up to a 8MP shot at least...

I'd also suggest a little more ergonomic bottom party of the phone. The back bottom edge does sometimes irritate my pinky finger while holding the phone. The omnibalance design overall, I dig.

The last part I'd like to see is a energy charging control like on your laptops. Set a start time and an end time where the phone will not charge beyond 50% or 80% until such time that it will take the phone to go to 100% at the end time each day. Maybe putting a pause button for the night owl crowd might but good to in the notifications bar.
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Zunido

I'm a happy owner of an unlocked, unbranded Xperia Z for more than one Year now (got it in late February 2013) and I'm very happy with its sturdiness (I always take it for hikes, and it suffered a few accidents with minor damage).

Coming from a Nokia N900, I miss the FM emitter and more internal memory, I also miss the slow-motion video stuff of the newer Zs and overall better camera (and the addition of a camera button).

Design-wise I think the Z is the nicer looking of the three.

Also I like the Xperia Z android tweaks, everything is very clean and functional.

More volume and less distortion in the phone's loudspeaker would be nice!
- I bought it with the Sony nfc-bluetooth speaker, which mitigates the lousy loudspeaker in the phone itself (I understand that some of its lousy performance is from being water-resistant).
0 like dislike
xplorn

Make it more widely available in the US! (this also goes for the Z1c, which is a brilliant little phone I'm happy to own). The Z2 is just released and the Z1 is barely even present here. Search on T-Mobile shows only the Z1S, on Amazon Wireless the ION.. wtf? We are missing out on one of the best phones built today.. great display, great battery life, water/dust proof, external storage, decent camera. Agreed the speaker could use some love.
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djcupitt

I found out the hard way that Sony use their own glass on their phones, rather than Gorilla Glass. After only a month of use, with never having dropped it or otherwise damaged the phone, I took it out of my pocket to find a spider web of fine cracks across the phone and the screen was unusable. Sony were not interested in any sort of warranty investigations, they wouldn't even look at it, and because the phone is waterproof it costs $350 to replace the screen. First and last Sony phone I will buy. Prior to that I had owned an iPhone for 4 years and never had a problem, and now have been happily running a year with a Nexus phone. Beware phones that use their own dodgy glass!
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xplorn

Which Sony? The Z/Z1/Z1c supposedly (though I've read articles that say they use GG or even a mix on the Japan spec phones w/ glass on the back) use Dragontrail made by AGC, which survives better than GG2. GG3 takes more abuse. Anecdotes mean little, but the support by Sony is disappointing to hear. Here's another anecdote, 3 drops and no cracks, so I guess it is zero sum for now. ;) www.androidauthority.com­/xperia­-z1­-drop­-test­-28008...
1 like dislike
djcupitt

This was the original Z. I think what most put me off was the disinterest from Sony support. At least they could pretend to care and take a look at the phone, especially in light of these sorts of articles which I mentioned to the Sony support person:
www.xperiablog.net­/2013­/11­/08­/sony­-will­-repair­-cer...
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ScornForSega

I can confirm. Had a Nexus One for years with no screen issues.

My Xperia Z barely lasted a week before the screen started scratching. If I had known it was this fragile, I would've waited for the Nexus 5.
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Zunido

Do you mean the screen itself or the protective (anti-shatter) film that comes from factory?
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yuan3y

I loved Xperia Z on the first sight and am still using it.
It was the best looking phone during the period when it was just on the market.
Working great for an everyday device, just the right size.
Things need/hope to be changed:
* battery life: barely lasts one full day even with Stamina mode on
* add in wireless charging and wireless earpiece in box would be wonderful: for it to be truly waterproof, charging and sound output should be made easy, without the need to open up the waterproof compartments (the rubber became too loose after one year, so technically no longer waterproof).
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angelox6

It needed a way better battery, a way better screen and a better camera. Within 2 months of use, the camera started showing black dots in all the pictures. This was a recurring problem for many Z owners. The phone also crashed and restarted itself, and sometimes it didn't start up at all. The battery indicators were sometimes vastly inaccurate. (displays 40% and 2 minutes later, phone turns off cause theres no battery left)

Also it was way too expensive to be having these problems.
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