The Sony Xperia Z [Review]

Microphone & Speakers

Call quality on the Xperia Z is exactly what you’d come to expect from a modern, high-end smartphone. Even without a strong 3G signal, I found calls to be clear, and this was the same case in relatively noisy environments.

Call quality on the Xperia Z is exactly what you’d come to expect from a modern, high-end smartphone.

When it comes to the speaker, I was a little disappointed. If you’re using it for conference calling, then it’s okay in a quiet room, but you’ll want to plug in a set of headphones or connect a speaker when listening to music or playing games.

The tiny speaker.

The tiny speaker.

The speaker on the Xperia Z appears to be pretty small — and it sounds it. It’s not all that loud, and it’s a little dull. I like to blast music when I’m in the shower or doing things around the house, and the Xperia Z alone didn’t really cut it.

The other problem with the speaker is its placement. It sits on the bottom right corner of the Xperia Z, which means when you’re the device in your right hand, your palm covers it up. This is frustrating when you’re playing games in portrait mode.


I couldn’t test the Xperia Z’s LTE connectivity, because there isn’t an LTE network where I live. But I did put its 3G connection through its paces, and it proved to be just as good as any other smartphone I’ve tested.

On Vodafone with a full 3G signal, the Xperia Z was fast at browsing the web, downloading apps and music from Google Play, and sending images via email.

Bluetooth performance has also been good. When using Bluetooth in the car calls were clear, and music sounded good when hooked up to a decent Bluetooth speaker. I noticed a slight pause when switching tracks sometimes, but I’ve also experienced this on other devices.


When I first opened up the Xperia Z, I didn’t have high hopes when it came to battery life. I figured that a 1080p display couple with a quad-core processor in a device so thin was a recipe for disappointment, despite the fairly large 2,300mAh cell.

But I’m pleased to say I was totally wrong.

The back of the Xperia Z.

The back of the Xperia Z.

The Xperia Z always got me through an entire day, even with a spot of gaming, YouTube videos, music streaming, and a ton of web browsing. Some days the device was close to dying — I saw the final low battery warning — before it was time to charge, and other days I went to bed with 15-20% still remaining.

Battery life wasn’t spectacular; the Galaxy Note III still holds the crown for the longest-lasting smartphone I’ve used. But the Xperia Z gave as good as my iPhone 5 and my Galaxy S III, and better than the Nexus 4 and the BlackBerry Z10.

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