Sony Xperia XZ1 review: Rebuild your world with an XZ1

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By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation

Sony’s latest heavyduty Xperia phone packs a 3D Creator app for scanning objects

The Xperia XZ1, Sony’s newest flagship phone, has good performance, a fast Internet connection and good-quality cameras. If that all sounds pretty routine, how about this: you can use it to create 3D models.

Other Sony products – the Cybershot cameras, Bravia TV sets, Handycams and Walkmans – have all played a role in the development of the XZ1. In fact the firm boasts that it represents “the very best of Sony technologies in a single device”.

You have their core expertise in camera technology and image sensing in the combination of four new camera-focused features – the 3D Creator, Autofocus Burst, Super Slow Motion Video, and Smile Predictive Capture.

Xperia XZ1

The XZ1 has a unibody design (Loop Surface), a 5.2-inch Full HD HDR display, High-Resolution Audio, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octacore processor running at 2.46GHz, four gigabytes of working memory and 64GB of UFS internal storage.

I checked the phone’s performance with the AnTuTu Benchmark and got 157,670 marks, a very high score.

Then I tested the Internet connection on TrueMove H’s LTE network and was hooked into the Web impressively fast. Applications were downloaded quickly and my snapshots were backed up to my Google Photos cloud storage in no time.

 The Ookla Speedtest app measured downloads at 121.03Mbps and uploads at 32.85Mbps, both impressive results.

The fast CPU, generous storage and hefty amount of RAM allows the XZ1 to create 3D models in real time. The 3D Creator app uses Sony’s Motion Eye camera technology, with its memory-stacked sensor, image processing engine (Bionz for mobile) and redesigned Sony G Lens. You do the calibration, then superfast scanning and finally texturing.

High-quality 3D scans of objects can be rendered in just a minute using any of the head scan, face scan, food scan or freeform scan modes. Each mode has its own custom guides for ease of use.

Scanned objects can then be shared on messenger apps using 3D stickers or uploaded to 3D communities such as Sketchfab. Users can also bring scans to life by using them as avatars on the camera’s AR effects options, third-party apps or as live wallpaper.

Scans can even be printed on a 3D printer and converted into memorable keepsakes. The 3D Creator app also sports a Find More option that provides access to a growing 3D ecosystem via Google Play.

Of course, the scanning will have to be made in a proper environment. For example, you need good light – not too strong – and the object must be solid (free of holes) and in sharp contrast with the background.

Xperia XZ1-1

The very good-quality main camera also has Motion Eye, along with a 19-megapixel 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS-formobile memory-stacked sensor that has pixel pitch of 1.22 microns, and Sony’s award-winning G Lens with an f/2.0 aperture. You get good lowlight performance of ISO 12800.

There’s also Predictive Capture, which automatically starts buffering images seconds before you press the shutter button so you never miss the shot you want.

The camera is great for fast action thanks to Autofocus burst technology, which tracks and captures moving objects in sequences and in sharp focus. Superslow motion is possible because Motion Eye can record 950 frames per second – four times more than most phones. The more frames, the slower the replay.

I got beautiful shots with crisp detail and good exposure in Auto mode. Manual mode allows you to control shutter speed, focus, exposure and white balance.

The front camera uses a 13MP 1/3.06-inch Exmor RX sensor with a 22mm wideangle f/2.0 lens. It’s made for selfies – in any light since it has lowlight sensitivity of ISO 6400.

Xperia XZ1-2

Sony deploys its long Walkman expertise to make the XZ1 a powerful music player, good even for High-Resolution Audio.

The stereo speakers have 50 per cent more sound pressure than previous models, and SForce Front Surround simulates immersive speaker sound.

With HiRes Audio playback capability in several formats, including FLAC 24bit/192kHz and DSD formats, and coupled with Hi-Res Audio headphones, you can enjoy music the way the artists intended it.

I put on Sony’s MDR1ABT and I heard terrific sound with great detail and powerful bass.

The XZ1 will also HD Bluetooth-stream Sony’s own LDAC protocol and can handle the new Qualcomm aptX HD.

A DSEE X digital sound-enhancement engine upscales non-Hi-Res songs for better quality. There are several sound-enhancement settings, such as ClearAudio+ for enriching audio and ClearBASS to boost the lows without distortion.

If you have headphones with Digital Noise Cancelling, plug them into the XZ1 to remove up to 98 per cent of exterior noise.

Sony’s Music app supports Google Chromecast, allowing you to cast your music to a wireless speaker with Chromecast builtin, such as Sony HTMT500 sound bar.

The XZ1 supports several other wireless technologies, including Miracast and DLNA, allowing its Music app to find and play files stored on network drives, such as the Synology DiskStation DS418j. I had no problem using XZ1 to browse and play music files stored on the DS418j.

The 5.2-inch HDR (High Dynamic Rage) display is great for watching HDR video clips, as found on YouTube. The display uses Sony’s Bravia TV technology to play HDR shows.

Triluminos display-formobile produces about 138 per cent more of the colour spectrum that standard displays show. Mapping colours from a wider palette, it brings subtle shades to life for a more natural look.

X-Reality-formobile adds missing pixels, reduces noise and enhances texture to make everything look crisp and clear, even low-resolution content.

I enjoyed watching HD content and sports programmes via the TrueVisions Anywhere app. The pictures were sharp and smooth.

The display is also durable behind Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and the phone is water-resistant, conforming to the IP65/68 rating.

The XZ1 has a fingerprint sensor embedded in its power button, allowing you to unlock the phone fast.

The battery life is good, with 2,700mAh capacity and Smart Stamnia 3.0 technology. The phone estimates how long the battery will last based on normal use. If power is likely to run out later in the day, it prompts you to activate Stamina mode.

The Sony Xperia XZ1 has a suggested retail price of Bt22,990.

Sony Xperia XZ1: KEY SPECS

– Operating system: Google Android 8.0

– Networks: GSM GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS HSPA+ (3G), LTE (4G) Cat16 with Gigabit-class speeds

– CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform

– Memory: 4GB RAM

– Storage: 64GB UFS, upgradable with microSDXC by up to 256GB

– Display: 5.2-inch FHD HDR Triluminos for mobile

– Main camera: 19MP Motion Eye with 25mm f/20 Sony G Lens

– Front camera: 13MP 22mm wide-angle f/2.0 lens

– Connectivity: AGNSS (GPS + GLONASS), Wi-Fi Miracast, Bluetooth 5.0, DLNA, Google Cas, NFC, USB 3.1 Gen 15 / USB TypeC

– Battery: 2,700mAh, supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0

– Dimensions: 148x73x7.4mm

– Weight: 156g

The Nation
Republished with permission from The Nation
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