Last Updated: September 7th, 2013

IFA is well under way in Berlin, and Sony is the first manufacturer to let loose with a volley of hardware clamoring for your bleeding edge dollars. The Xperia Z1 (nee "Honami"), the sequel to last year's flagship Xperia Z, was just revealed in Sony's press conference. It's a modest bump to most hardware with a massive, massive focus on the camera. As leaked in multiple reports, the Z1 sports a 20.7 megapixel rear camera, soundly smashing current-generation Android competitors.


Sony isn't just competing in pure megapixels, either. The CMOS camera sensor is 1/2.3" large sitting behind Sony's "G" lens, which uses a 27mm wide-angle glass and F2.0 aperture. In non-tech speak, that means it's fast and well-equipped for low-light shooting. Sony is chirping up its "BIONZ" image processor, not to mention a suite of software features including visual search, augmented reality, and various social add-ons. The Social One software allows for live video streaming to Facebook.

The rest of the hardware is nothing to sneeze at. The screen is a 5" 1080p LCD which seems to be par for the course for current high-end smartphones (though Sony is hyping its "Triluminous" technology). But underneath you get the potent combination of a Snapdragon 800 processor (2.2Ghz quad-core), Adreno 330 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. Storage is a bit limited at 16GB, but at least you get a MicroSD card slot to play with. The non-removable battery is a respectable 3000mAh. Software is Android 4.2.2 with Sony's added skin and apps.


It's all wrapped in a body that looks more than a little bit like the Xperia Z, thanks to a glass back and metal frame. It gets the same relative resistance to water and dust as the previous phone, but strangely, Sony has actually made it a tiny bit thicker at 8.4mm, probably to help fit in a larger battery and all that camera tech.

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1_Xperia_Z_1 2_Xperia_Z_1 3_Xperia_Z_1

The Xperia Z1 will go on sale worldwide later this month in black, white, and purple colors. Sony is keeping mum about carrier availability and pricing. Photos and hands-on will be coming soon.

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Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Danny Davis

    Beautiful piece of hardware. This very much a front runner for a new Android device for me. Have to see what Nexus will have.

  • Aaron Stevenson

    Does anyone else think this looks suspiciously similar to the next alledged nexus that was leaked at the kitkat unveiling? Look at the camera and flash placement, and the size/shape of the device. Could we be getting a sony nexus?

    • Aaron Stevenson

      The 20 megapixel camera would also fit with Google's focus on better camera quality lately...

      • Joshua

        But more megapixels means nothing when the camera software backing them is crap, as is found in stock Android right now. It's why the 13MP shooter on the Asus Padfone wasn't any good compared to the 8MP one of the Galaxy S3--it's because Samsung knows how to write good camera software. Until Google delivers better software, the camera experience won't change no matter how many megapixels you throw at the problem.

        • Herman

          Yeah yeah we know, but this is Sony we're talking about.
          The camera is much more than just megapixels, it's got Sony's lenses etc. as well.

        • Vardan Nazaretyan

          That's why Sony made a 20MP one, and not 41MP one. Sony is Sony, they have the best digital cameras around, and, they can easily make a superb smartphone camera.

          • http://www.facebook.com/morrissex Javier Cárdenas

            I have a Nokia 808 PureView (yes, the one with the 41MP camera), which I find it awesome in terms of image quality in low light conditions. I want to see how great Z1's photographs will be like.

          • Danny Davis

            I'm more interested in seeing the comparison from the 1020 and this. The camera on the 1020 is going to be very hard to top with what is present on the market or coming soon

          • Vardan Nazaretyan

            I don' complain about the camera quality of the 808. In fact, it has the best one along with the 1020 when it comes to smartphones. FYI, compared to 808, the 1020 has even better low light performance.
            What I want to say, is, that 20MP are good enough, they just need do concentrate on other camera tech, like the lenses etc.

          • http://www.facebook.com/morrissex Javier Cárdenas

            +1 to this.

          • Vardan Nazaretyan


          • hajmola

            "they have the best digital cameras around"

            I don't know about "best"...

          • Vardan Nazaretyan

            Ok, than, One of the best.

          • Bronco

            I will interject that the Sony Cybershot digital cameras use Carl Zeiss Lenses which are the same lenses that the Nokia Lumia 1020 uses; plus the fact that it's 41 MP. Not to bash Sony, or troll your comment, but I don't like misleading information.

          • Mad Ruckus

            The only thing the lumia has on sony is if you're going to be using it for a longer ranged zoom (and this hasn't been tested in z1) The storage option (actually having a microSD slot) and overall phone specs (2.3 ghz quad-core snapdragon 800 vs. yesteryear's dual-core 1.5ghz s4) and aesthetics leave the lumia in the dust! (which, by the way, you shouldn't take your lumia into). I wince when I think about the storage of those massive 41mp pictures on a phone with no external and limited internal memory... just my humble opinion.

        • Lucian

          Much bigger sensor, previous 13MP Exmor RS sensor are 17.3mm2 in size, while this on Z1 is 58.1mm2 so really big difference. More light, less noise and 3x lossless zoom because of 20.7MP.
          There is also G lens with F2.0 aperture and Bionz processor to produce great shots.

        • Cody Curry

          Too bad we're using a platform that doesn't really allow modification of camera software.

          Oh, wait, we're on Android. Find an app that shoots raw and stop worrying whether or not the software is cutting edge. Do you really expect stock Android to always be cutting edge in every aspect? It's always going to need to lag behind in some areas. Getting too experimental with the core OS is asking for trouble when it's so easily modified.

          As for better binaries... good luck.

          • paulshaw69

            Camera Apps dont alter the image quality on the Z as the ''AWFUL'' software is written in to the camera (not the technical term i know) so any apps you use will still have the massive compression, bad post processing and noise issues. Thats why the 13mp camera gives shots that are just about better than VGA quality - especially if zoomed in! makes me wanna cry the quality is so bad.
            I sold a £40 Xperia Mini for this and the camera on that was way better (software speaking of course).
            Ericsson knew there stuff, Sony definitely does not

      • Sqube

        On the other hand, when you're making it a point to give less storage in your devices and no SD capabilities, I don't know that you really even WANT a 20mpx shooter.

    • RTWright

      No because it looks like all other Sony devices they've put out recently and no, it's not the next Nexus. It has a microSD slot and that is something Google seems to be against in their beloved Nexus line.

      • Aaron Stevenson

        Didn't the Optimus G have a microSD card slot that was removed for the Nexus 4? Why can't they do the same for this device?

        • RTWright

          Well first off they shouldn't, secondly Google is as bad as Apple now where this is concerned. I'd rather have the microSD than not. My opinion no this is, if it's there? People have the choice to use it or not, but by taking it away? You've taken that choice away. MicroSD's are far more secure way of keeping things than even Cloud, because YOU have control over it and not putting it in the hands of someone else and possibly having no access to those files for lack of signal or WiFi connections. All that aside, I have come to the conclusion Google does not know what it is to be everything to all, they want to be a dictatorship in the industry. This is why I personally will never even consider anything that says Nexus.

          • Aaron Stevenson

            I'm not arguing with you whether or not Google SHOULD include a microSD card slot. I also think they should! I was just saying that just because the z1 has a microSD card slot doesn't rule it out from being the base of the next Nexus, that's all. Google has removed the microSD card before (hence the Optimus G/Nexus 4 example I gave).

            Edit: Although, the Nexus was originally intended to be a developer device. So saying that Google doesn't "know what it is to be everything to all" is kind of beside the point. They also don't use it because of the issues it can cause. Google has enough bugs to fix. =P

          • RTWright

            Ok, that Developer Edition has gone out the window a long time ago when they got popular. As for it causing bugs? That slot nor the card causes any bugs. Poorly written APPS from crappy developers are the bugs, not the OS, not the microSD slot or card itself. We all know better than that. Also, as a developer, I'd want the slot because I would be storing a lot of my files for testing right there to keep them separate from the files in use. This would give me access to them even if I have to wipe the main internal system. So I'm not sure where you are getting the information that it causes bugs, it's nothing more than a storage extension just like having more than one HDD/SSD in your laptop or desktop.

            I think my problem is, back when it was Blackberry only pretty much for a decent smartphone, it was a welcomed sight to see Android. Apple started off the sealed off proprietary crap and pretty much convinced people that it was the perfect choice. Now given back then that they gained popularity off of their name alone. They were probably right to a point to not give much storage as a marketing scheme. If you wanted more storage, buy the one with more or wait out your contract to get a new one. They did that perfect. Now days we have too much going on our devices that take up anywhere from 500MB to 4GB ( Some of those games mind you are that big ). So this 16GB space is stupid, minimum now days should start at 32GB instead.

            Anyway, not arguing, just stating some facts that typically get washed away by all those that seem to fall in line like lemmings to the Apple way of doing things even on Android. My first Android was a HTC Evo 4G, chose it for a lot of reasons and the fact it had expandable storage. In all the years I've dealt with these phones even before Android, the cards have never caused a single issue. It's all poorly written Apps that cause the issue....

    • fonix232

      Nope, while the camera really looks similar, the device was shaped more of the LG G2, especially on the bottom. The Z1 is a perfect rectangle, while both the alleged Nexus 5 and the G2 have a slight curvature on the bottom and top edges.

      But I would be definitely happy if this turned out to be the next Nexus phone!

      • Aaron Stevenson

        Compare the shape of the Optimus G and the Nexus 4. The Nexus 4 is way more rounded. Keep in mind, they make changed to the body of the device as well when designing the Nexuses.

      • RedPandaAlex

        The casing is easier to change than the location of components like the camera. They changed the casing quite a bit between the Optimus G and the Nexus 4, but the cameras are identical.

    • RSerda

      DUDE! that was EXACTLY what i thought when I saw the pic on this article... the LENS is the give away!?!?! (say it ain't SO man!)

    • Craig Hawkins

      Kinda, but the next Nexus will be based off the LG G2.

    • jessem1323

      The leaked Nexus device looked like a shrunken Nexus 7, not this.

      • Aaron Stevenson

        The biggest clue to me are the camera lens/placement and the flash placement. Compare the z1 and the nexus leaked in the photo. Then compare the Optimus G2 and the leaked photo. Do you guys think they would move the camera THAT much from the original design? The Nexus 4 kept the same camera placement as the Optimus G. Even the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy s2 kept the same camera placement!

        • RTWright

          Well the Lens looks twice that of the Z1 in diameter. So does the flash point, so can't go on that really. Also the placement isn't exact either. Similar, but not exact. I seriously doubt it's Sony's.

          • Aaron Stevenson

            I contribute the difference in diameter to the lack of the chrome lining around the lens in the leaked photo. It'd make a bigger difference than you think.

    • briankariu

      Oh lord, just the thought made me jizz in my pants!!! awesome!

    • Jose Torres

      It's almost certain that the phone in that video is another LG.

      • Dinofan01

        Not that there word should be take as bible but didn't LG explicitly say they weren't doing the next Nexus?

        Found a link. They said they weren't working on it as of May. How long did it take to develop the first Nexus 7 again? I know they did that in no time but was it this quick? Between May and now seems pretty quick to pump out a new Nexus. http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/lg-says-no-to-nexus-5-1154749

        • Guest

          Yeah the same way Google has been saying that Android was Key Lime Pie this whole time until recently. After reading the article and knowing how PR people are they would say "We are NOT working on Nexus 5, (but we are working on the Nexus 4 2014)!!!!

        • Jose Torres

          "...didn't LG explicitly say they weren't doing the next Nexus?"

          The same way Google has been saying that Android was going to be Key Lime Pie?

  • Christopher Robert

    holy bezel!

  • Garry DeWitt

    If it's less than 700 unlocked and available in the US this month I'd call this a home run for Sony. Only thing I could think to complain about is no 32 GB option.

    • Nathaniel_G

      It has a microSD slot...

      • Greyhame

        I'd still rather have 32GB internal... SD card slot or not.

      • Garry DeWitt

        I dont really care. I enjoy my nand space and don't like multiple partitions. It's a small complaint though, I'm smitten with the rest of the phone.

  • João Deiró

    Is it waterproof?

    • aya


      • Danny Davis

        Water resistance not water proof. There's a difference

        • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

          No, waterproof.

          "The Xperia Z1 is completely waterproof" -AC

          • Danny Davis

            No its not "completely waterproof" It has a IP rating of 55 and 58, both that RESIST outside material but doesn't complete PREVENT entrance. Yes you can take the phone under water. No you cannot stay under water for long duration or certain depth. Please read about IP55 & IP58 before stating something is completely waterproof.

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            Where does it say those specs?

          • Danny Davis

            Or just google. Even Sony knows not to say Water Proof. Samsung and AT&T mislead customer with the term water proof and look at what happened with that. There is a difference. Even your watch knows not to use the term water proof.

          • Andrew

            Cannot stay submerged? They have their units in the Sony store submerged 24/7 under water. Now depth on the other hand, is a different story. Pressure is pressure.

          • Danny Davis

            Your full or yourself. This is the second phone that Sony has made that has an IP58 rating. The Sony Z had an IP55 IP57 rating which means it could only withstand water submerging for 30 mins up to 1m below. The only other phone that had the IP58 rating was the ZR and nothing ever said Sony keeps the phone under water 24/7 and it still be turned on. All connectors would have to be covered for it to even have the IP58 Standard. It being kept underwater at the store is what is called advertising. Real world testing for any of their phone all state under water for 30 mins with IP58 having a depth more than 1m. In reality 1.5 metes. ALL specs on Sony phone states water resistance.

            Straight from their test results

            **In compliance with IP55 and IP58, Xperia™ ZR is protected against the ingress of dust and is waterproof. Provided that all ports and covers are firmly closed, the phone is (i) protected against low pressure jets of water from all practicable directions in compliance with IP 55; and/or (ii) can be kept under 1.50 metres of freshwater for up to 30 minutes in compliance with IP58. The phone is not designed to float or work submerged underwater outside the IP55 or IP58 classification range that may lead to your warranty will being void.

            Stop building up Sony phone as being invincible.

        • David Becker

          No, the video said waterproof not water resistant, so you can take pictures and videos beneath the surface.

          • Danny Davis

            And when you read the specs it says water resistant. Sigh forget it I'm not explaining the difference.

          • David Becker

            Oh, I know the difference. So they have contradicting marketing. I guess we will have to wait until the device is released more to see what it's tolerances are.

          • Danny Davis

            The specs already specifies IP58. That's only water submergence of 30 mins to 1.5m depth. Doesn't sound too water proof to me. Companies need to quit throwing that word around. Its a misconception.

  • fonix232

    Looks really nice, and competes well against the LG G2. If priced similarly, it will be more successful, thanks to the better camera and build quality of Sony.

    Plus there's the freaking camera!

  • Trevor Beckett

    The leaked Nexus 5 photo showed the LG logo.

    • Aaron Stevenson

      Not quite. It showed what looked to be similar and possibly might be the LG logo. I haven't found a photo that shows a clear LG label on it. Have you?

      • bitch_please
        • Aaron Stevenson

          Now in this photo, it looks more like an LG Logo. Thanks

          • bitch_please

            You're welcome.

          • Aaron Stevenson

            Well, there's still no hard proof either way, and I still think it looks more like the Sony.

          • bitch_please

            How on the earth that looks like Sony? Just because you like Sony more than LG, it's still LG's logo on it. Anyway it's just looks like a generic blank black back cover with lens on the left, in other words just like many other smartphones.

          • Aaron Stevenson

            Sorry, I should have worded that better. The logo doesn't look like Sony, the phone resembles the z1 though. And when did I say anything about liking Sony? I didn't. I was just speculating that the z1 maybe the next nexus. Chill.

  • hocestquisumus

    nice, but too little to make me leave my 6 months old Z. the camera is pretty bit then, i only 'shoot' stuff that doesn't matter with my phone. got a NEX for that ;)

  • Ivan Myring

    What time is the note 3 unboxing (BST)

    • Nathaniel_G

      7PM CEST or 1PM EST

  • Trevor Beckett
    • Aaron Stevenson

      If you can tell that there's an LG logo on the back of that, then your eyes are MUCH better than mine sir.

      • Trevor Beckett

        I know that photo isn't exactly clear but all the reports on this state it's LG, which would make a lot of sense really,

  • Claw

    OH MY GOD they made it thicker so a bigger battery and a better camera could fit in. Wait till the thinness fags start complaining.

    • BozzyB

      0,5 mm is huuuuuuuuuuuge :)

    • ElfirBFG

      This isn't a chan board, the 'fag' suffix isn't chuckle-worthy here.

  • ngatalani

    owesome SEE THIS what Sandra responded I am surprised that some one can get paid $8835 in one month on the internet. more information go site64.COM

  • turboboxer

    Any one else seeing this? http://i.imgur.com/1SuQhNG.gif Will Sony be the next Nexus?

    • Kas

      Yeah except for the LG logo clearly visible on the left.

      • turboboxer

        Ah, I saw the hero shot for this article and was more focused on camera, but the camera in the pic on this article is way zoomed in

  • Kevin

    I will shit myself sideways if Verizon gets this.

  • ElfirBFG

    Google employee slaps on a $2 die-cut Nexus vinyl on his Z1 tester and throws the whole community for a loop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/morrissex Javier Cárdenas

    Sony Chile announced that it will be available here in November. What a bummer!

  • Connor

    Was there any mention of the rumoured mini version of this phone? THAT is the one I am interested in.

  • Colin Kealty

    'nee "Honami"' should be 'see'

    • Joshua

      No, it should be née, as in maiden name.

      • Colin Kealty

        Ah, no accent on it so i was confused, fair enough

  • ElvisMarmaduke

    What carriers?

  • ReedSolomon

    Non-Removable battery

    This is why I'm not buying your phones, Sony.

  • Shane MacPhee

    I need CDMA! i want a sony on sprint, but it doesn't seem like thatll be happening

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/109750032686582763214/posts Krystian Kamiński
  • Samuel Horne

    Solid phone!

  • Robert Boluyt

    The Xperia Z JUST arrived on TMO a couple weeks ago. This looks like a great phone, but their US launches are slow as molasses.

  • MrRtd

    What I find interesting, is the number of people who say it looks like some other phones. Seriously, how different can smartphones look. They all have touchscreens, are relatively flat and thin, so is it really such a stretch that they are all similar looking?

    • WhyWai

      LoL.. spot on.

  • Jon

    Whoah...I think this is the firt smarphone using a CMOS sensor. Up until now we were having all the time a CCD. Usually cheaper or most convenient. CMOS was mostly used nowadays on DSLRs. Definitely looking good.

  • RamitSuri

    What I'm inclined to think is that we might get two Nexus phones this year. Nexus is now an established range and even non tech consumers want them. I have 5 nexus devices at my home. So Google might be launching one as a direct successor to Nexus 4 with same 350$ price and the other one with full HD screen, a better camera, better processor priced at 600$