January 6th 2014 9:37 am

82

conclusion:We like it

82 February 18th 2014 11:37 am

Sony's Z1S looks and feels like a Sony product, but with the added ability to take a dip in water without fear. Unfortunately, it lags in a few other areas that keep it from really standing out in a crowd of similarly-priced Android devices. The Z1S certainly improves on the durability of last year's Z1 by adding IP58 certification, which means it can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes and CNET finds it "as hardy as advertised." Sony also knocks it out on the battery life front by packing in a 3,000mAh battery, and TechRadar says "you'll rarely ever worry about having to charge your battery." Past that, the features start to wane in quality, such as a display that leaves critics split. Gizmodo says "the screen is really lovely," while CNET finds it "pales in comparison with other flagship smartphones' displays." As an actual phone the Z1S is "A-OK," according to Computerworld, but they note it's "awkward" to talk on due to the earpiece location. The Z1S has a lot to offer with its camera, durability and outstanding battery life, but the sum of all its parts keep it from truly excelling. If you're concerned about your phone being wet or are a more adventurous person you'll do well with the Z1S, but others may want to wait and see what comes out of this year's Mobile World Congress.

Critic reviews

7.8
11 reviews
  • Reception and call quality
    6.1
  • Display
    7.1
  • Battery life
    9.0
  • Camera
    7.4
  • Ease of use
    6.5
  • Design and form factor
    8.4
  • Portability (size / weight)
    6.4
  • Media support
    8.1
  • Durability
    8.7
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
    7.1

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User reviews

8.6
5 reviews
8.0
CNET Jan 13, 2014

The Xperia Z1S is the most impressive smartphone Sony has ever sold on any carrier, but an inferior screen makes Samsung's Galaxy handsets better deals.

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8.0
PC Mag Jan 13, 2014

Sony brings some welcome innovation to Android camera phones with the Xperia Z1s, a potent, waterproof model that nonetheless falls just short of greatness.

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8.0
Computerworld Jan 14, 2014

If comfort and ergonomics are your priorities, the Z1S probably isn't the best choice for you. If you want a sleek and premium product, though, and don't mind a bulky frame, the Xperia Z1S is an outstanding high-end smartphone I'd readily recommend.

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7.0
Gizmodo Jan 12, 2014

Unless you find yourself constantly getting your phone wet, there's just not a whole lot of reason to consider this one ... this feels like an Android phone where the manufacturer spent too much time on bells and whistles consumers don't want or need.

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6.0
Laptop Magazine Jan 14, 2014

The Xperia Z1s is a smartphone that can take a dip without calling it quits. ... Unfortunately, the Z1s' narrow viewing angles and lackluster camera are disappointing for a flagship smartphone.

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9.0
phoneArena Jan 13, 2014

Yes, this is one of the few flagship phones we can take into the shower with us. In addition, it’s a premium feeling and made smartphone that puts those other plastic ones to shame.

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9.0
TechRadar Feb 5, 2014

The bottom line is it's powerful, has a great screen, a decent camera, memory card support up to 64GB and it's waterproof. Unless you're extremely picky, it doesn't really get much better than that.

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8.0
Phone Scoop Jan 14, 2014

The Xperia Z1S isn't perfect, but it is perhaps as close as Sony has come to smartphone nirvana. The hardware works on almost every level: it looks good, is well-built, and functions well. The basics are well in hand: the screen is decent, the battery life excellent, and call quality very good.

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9.0
Business Insider Jan 31, 2014

With its big, bright screen, it's great for reading and other media consumption, though you might find its five inches a little clunky if you just want to use your phone for texting and Facebook.

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8.0
Digital Trends Jan 14, 2014

If you’re an Android fan (or an iOS user looking to switch) who wants a powerful smartphone with image-focused features, this is the new phone to beat.

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8.0
MobileBurn Jan 23, 2014

If you're someone who doesn't care about being on the cutting edge ... the Xperia Z1S is a solid purchase. The Sony Xperia Z1S shows how Sony excels at hardware design; if the company can move quicker on the software front, there will be few reasons to complain.

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget Jan 6, 2014

The Xperia Z1S, set for release January 22nd at $528 outright or $22/mo, retains much of its Z1 counterpart's spec load -- 5-inch, 1080p Triluminos display, Snapdragon 800, 3,000mAh battery and 20.7-megapixel camera -- albeit with some notable upgrades.

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product preview
PC Mag Jan 6, 2014

This may be the best camera phone you'll be able to get on T-Mobile. Still, though, I'm a little concerned about the image quality, as the Z's 13-megapixel camera didn't rule over good 8-megapixel shooters.

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product preview
TechCrunch Jan 7, 2014

It has the same 5-inch screen as the Z1, but it’s fatter and heavier because of its 3,000 mAh extended battery.

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product preview
Ubergizmo Jan 6, 2014

Overall, the Sony Z1s is a nice addition to T-Mobile’s line-up and I feel like the carrier is trying to do what it takes to get devices that will attract users ... Despite its larger size (when compared to the Z), it does feel pretty good in the hand, and I want to see how the camera will perform...

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product preview
Android Authority Jan 10, 2014

On the outside, the obvious change is the replacement of the aluminum frame with a plastic one, which takes away from the phone’s premium feeling, but makes it a bit nicer to hold in hand. The plastic frame also makes the device a bit lighter than the international version.

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product preview
phoneArena Jan 6, 2014

Distinctively an Xperia device of some kind, more so when it boasts the usual design elements we’re accustomed to seeing with Sony’s lineup of Xperia smartphones, the Z1S is undoubtedly premium in almost every facet.

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product preview
The Verge Jan 6, 2014

The Z1S runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Sony's custom interface and apps. It has a number of apps to take advantage of its high-powered camera, including a new "background defocus" app, which lets you simulate the blur effect of a large camera and bright lens with your phone.

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product preview
MobileBurn Jan 7, 2014

Surprise! It's still sexy! Sony doesn't rock the boat much when it comes to its design, and that's a good thing.

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8.0
jay1108 jay1108

I love the phone but the front cam could be better and instead of a single speaker 2 would be nice otherwise great phone with the exception during high usage like constant uploads to instagram with make the phone get wamer than I'm used to or high data traffic due to searches on Google and...

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9.0
bodenschatz10 bodenschatz10

Love the device so far, but wish the screen wasn't so washed out. Really missing the slick, gorgeous apps available on iOS, but it isn't Sony's fault Android apps suck.

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9.0
caitlinbestler caitlinbestler

The big issue for me was confirming that the magnetic dock would be usable. I liked the Qi charging on my Nexus 4, and did not want to go back to stick micro-USB cables in very time I got back to my desk. The magnetic dock has proved just as usable as the Tylt VU Qi charger. On the plus side...

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9.0
ncschamp ncschamp

Waterproof is awesome. I submerge it in a glass of.water to prove to my friends its real. The camera is spectacular at 20.1 megapixels it rocks! Battery life is killer rarely ever have to charge it.

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