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printed July 29, 2014
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Hands-On: Sony Xperia Z1S for T-Mobile

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Jan 6, 2014, 8:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sony announced the Xperia Z1S for T-Mobile, today. The device impresses with its waterproof design and high build quality. Here are Phone Scoop's first impressions.

Sony's new Xperia Z1S, which is a slightly modified version of the Z1, takes the high bar set by the Z last year a step further thanks to an improved camera and better feel in the hand.

The Z1S has a round profile , which makes it comfortable to hold and use. The rounded edges aside, it is still a big phone. It is impressively thin, but it is wide and tall to accommodate the 5-inch display. It is also very light. The Z was light, too, and Sony did a good job packing the device with features while also keeping the weight down.

The screen looks really nice. It uses Sony's mobile Bravia engine, in addition to what Sony calls TriLuminos and X-Reality technologies. Basically, it is bright and sharp, though brightness drops off when the phone is tilted from side to side. When viewed head-on, though, it looks fantastic. The bezel surrounding the scree is huge though. Sony really needs to get a handle on its bezels, as they make a big phone that much bigger.

 

Z1S Body

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The phone has a bevy of buttons and hatches placed along the edges. The hatches are to protect the Z1S from water ingress. Sony says it can sit in up to 4.9 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. I find the hatches make day-to-day use annoying, though most people may not notice them other than when plugging their device in to be charged. They cover the memory card and microSD card slots, in addition to the USB port. The headphone jack is waterproof, though, and it does not require a hatch.

The screen lock button has Sony's signature look. It is large, round, and chrome colored. It stands out nicely along the side of the phone and has good travel and feedback. There's also a volume toggle and dedicated camera button - all along the right edge of the phone. The buttons all have a nice feel to them.

There are holes for the speakerphone drilled into the bottom edge.

The Z1S's user interface runs Android 4.3 and has Sony's custom look and feel. There are a handful of new features for the camera that make it more fun to use. Some of the features mimic those of Samsung's Galaxy S4, which as Timelapse shot and so on. I liked the camera features, which were already powerful to begin with.

 

Z1S UI

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The Xperia Z1S is Sony's "hero" smartphone device for the U.S. It will be sold by T-Mobile beginning later this month.

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Subject Author Date
SMH!... at myself! Im.So_Phone-FRESH Jan 7, 2014, 9:44 PM
when will this phone hit stores ranthon6 Jan 7, 2014, 12:24 PM
 
 
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