Our friends at Wireless Vision hooked us up with a review unit of the brand new Sony Xperia Z from T-Mobile. I’ve been using it for the last few days and wanted to bring you some first impressions and a sample of photos from the Xperia Z’s 13 MP camera. Spoiler alert: it’s a solid shooter. But you probably expected that. The Xperia Z is the first smartphone from Sony to come to the U.S. officially.That is, sold and branded with a U.S. carrier. T-Mobile has an exclusive on it (for now) and let me just say — this is one of the most under-hyped devices all year. Samsung, Apple and HTC are always in the spotlight, due in part to their astronomical marketing budgets, and their enormous base of existing users. Being the new kid on the block here in the States (and only being available on one of the four major carriers), the Xperia Z has to earn its seat at the table.
I test and review a lot of phones, whether for my own use personally or here on ZAGGblog. I keep an account with T-Mobile on their $30 unlimited plan, but until now, I haven’t give the phone number out to anyone to actually use. The Xperia Z changed that. It’s such a great device, I want to use it more than my trusty Galaxy S4 (with Verizon).
The camera of any smartphone is the single most important feature for me. I take photos of everything. While the 13 MP shooter on the Galaxy S4 has been decent, it leaves a lot on the table. Samsung just doesn’t have the focus on camera performance that Apple, Nokia and Sony do. So, I wanted to bring you a few sample shots and a video from the Sony Xperia Z to judge for yourself. I’ll have a few more posts and some videos as I use the phone more, but for the purpose of this post, all these images were taken in “Auto” mode with no adjustments by me. They’re all untouched and unedited, right off the camera. I notice that many of them would benefit from some contrast correction — the Xperia Z seems to shoot with lower contrast — but otherwise, colors are vibrant and details are sharp. For the technical users among us, I’ve added some of the key EXIF info in the caption of each image so you can see the settings the BIONZ image processor chose.
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