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Sony Xperia Z Hands-On Preview

Stuart Fawcett goes hands on with the new Sony Xperia Z - a waterproof 13 megapixel smart phone from Sony.

| Sony Xperia Z in Camera Phones

Sony Xperia Z Cameraphone Goes Underwater

Sony Xperia Z Hands-On Preview: Sony Xperia Z in Water | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 1600
Sony Xperia Z in Water

Forget your waterproof camera housings or specialist tough compact camera, this new phone from Sony, released this Friday, has everything you need in one handy package you’d have with you anyway. Yes, this is for real we stirred the water round the bowl with the phone; dropped the phone into the bottom of the bowl, left it playing a movie and still were able to pick it up, dry it off and continue using it as any another phone.

The secret to its waterproofing is a series of pop open socket covers for the connectors and microSD slot on the phone, granted if you dive in a pool with the earphones on then the socket cover won’t help too much, but using the phone in the rain or on the side of a pool will now be much easier as it's certified for immersion up to a metre deep for half an hour.

It’s got a beautiful 5inch screen and lovely deep colours, in fact it’s got the same HD technology behind it as the Sony Bravia TVs. The video and images do look excellently detailed. It’s a 13 megapixel image sensor giving 4128x3096 pixels, with autofocus and LED flash. Looking for a dark area under a sofa for a completely unscientific ISO test, I shot the dark floor and it performed almost as well as my new HTC Windows 5 megapixel phone for on screen visible noise, so very good there, fine for dark party scenes with no flash.

Sony Xperia Z Hands-On Preview: Sony Xperia Z Event | 1/50 sec | f/4.0 | 32.0 mm | ISO 2500
Sony Xperia Z Event

Sony Xperia Z Hands-On Preview: Sony Xperia Z | 1/80 sec | f/4.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 2000Talking of dark party scenes, this was a natural environment styled launch preview, with our hosts, Citizen Relations UK, creating a realistic phone use bar scene in their offices with subdued lighting, burgers, beers and wine and invited a select group of photography people, mostly technology bloggers, to join them for exclusive hands on preview of the phone and facilitated impromptu chats around the phone, it wasn’t a steered or forced evening at all. This gave us plenty of time to discover the key features between us.

Both vertical and horizontal panning and automatic stitching were soon being done with super results. The phone even advises you on your panning speed to keep it within limits, personally I’d like a VU meter type indicator to help here rather than a on screen message but it still did produce very interesting images. Also you can shoot a burst of photos continuously until the card fills, or shoot video and still take stills during the shoot without affecting the playback.

I’d say its AWB is pretty good as the image here shows my camera putting a yellow tint on the lit scene, but the Xperia Z phone produces much more realistic colours and has a super depth of field, too, with its small sensor.

So, a cool phone with some interesting camera / video features running on and Android Jellybean OS and available from all the main vendors. To me I thought it might be just a little bit slow to respond occasionally but it seems like an excellent tech addition with great features. Add a few downloadable photo apps and you are all set.

If you want to check out specific details have a look at the Sony website.

Article by JackAllTog, Stuart Fawcett, 26th Feb 2013

Sony Xperia Z Specifications

Front Camera
PixelsNo Data
Max ApertureNo Data
Smartphone Cameras
Smartphone Cameras
    Additional CamerasNo Data
    Max Aperturef/2.4
    35mm equivalent28mm
    Optical Zoom1x
    Image Sensor
    Pixels13Mp (Megapixels)
    Pixels (W)4128
    Pixels (H)3096
    Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
    Sensor Size1/3 inch
    Sensor Size (width)No Data
    Sensor Size (height)No Data
    Aspect Ratio
    • 16:9
    • 4:3
    LCD Monitor
    LCD Monitor5in
    Screen resolution1920x1080
    Touch ScreenYes
    Focusing modes
    • Autofocus
    • Face Detection
    Exposure Control
    Shutter speeds shortestNo Data
    Shutter speeds longestNo Data
    ISO sensitivity125 - 1600
    Movie modeYes
    Video Resolution
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    Video FPSNo Data
    Stereo SoundNo
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationNo
    USBUSB 2
    Internal Memory16000MB
    Power Source
    Battery TypeNon-removable Li-Ion 2330 mAh battery
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsXperia¬ô Z, embedded battery, Sony MH-EX300AP headset, charger, micro USB cable for charging, synchronisation and file transfer, and user documentation.

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    JackAllTog Plus
    14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
    26 Feb 2013 12:19PM
    Ianpe 14 England
    27 Feb 2013 10:00PM
    The advert picture has a reflection in it that looks something like a dead fish floating against the mobile telephone!
    JackAllTog Plus
    14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
    27 Feb 2013 10:11PM

    Quote:The advert picture has a reflection in it that looks something like a dead fish floating against the mobile telephone!
    I think it was the bloke sitting next to me Wink

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