It's not often a company says "yes you can pour water on our new mobile phone". So naturally that's what we did.

First look review: Hadyn Green

Sony Xperia Z

Immediately after firing up Sony's new flagship Xperia Z and logging in to Android, I found a tap and put the phone under running water. True enough (and to the relief of our insurance company) the phone survived. Not only that, the screen was usable even while wet – though sometimes water droplets were interpreted as fingers which caused minor havoc. According to Sony the Xperia Z will withstand fresh water to a depth of one metre for up to 30 minutes; we didn’t test this claim.

The need to keep the ports closed while doing this is clear. Annoyingly though, if you want to plug things like headphones into your phone, then you need to keep those covers open. As the cover dangles by a plastic cord I was more worried about one of them breaking off as I listened to music than I was about dunking the phone underwater.

The Xperia Z is beautifully made, following Sony’s design convention of long devices with glass fronts. The Z also has a glass back which adds to its iPhone-esque good looks. However, the 5-inch screen is housed in a 138.6 x 71 x 7.9mm body, making it slightly too big for many people.

Running the newest version of Android – Jellybean – the Xperia Z goes superfast and multitasking was no problem. I did find the phone heated up quickly when certain programs were running, but never to any dangerous extent. Sony's "skin" for the Android is a lot more minimalist than Samsung’s or HTC’s, but still relies too much on Sony apps that do the same thing as basic Google apps.

Without a doubt the Xperia Z has the best camera I have ever used in a phone. The photos looked stunning in any light level and I was amazed at how good a shot of my friend's dragon boat race looked, even though I had to zoom in a fair way to take the picture. The camera took a little while to load, but it was worth it for the excellent shots.

The Xperia is one of the new phones in our market that is LTE (4G) compatible. I wasn't able to test this as Vodafone's network hadn't been launched in Wellington.

The Skinny

Sony Xperia Z
  • Price: $999 RRP
  • Bottom line: The Xperia Z is a very pretty phone, if somewhat on the large side. A beautiful big 5-inch 1080p screen is backed up by a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5 Ghz processor with 2GB RAM. With all the ports closed it can be immersed in water up to one metre for 30 minutes.

    The camera takes better images than any phone I have used (including the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5). The images taken in low light were amazingly clear and action shots when fully zoomed-in were still impressive.

    In my opinion this phone is the best Android on the New Zealand market and a competitor for the iPhone 5. The Xperia Z is available on Telecom and Vodafone.


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