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Sony Xperia XZ1 review

SONY REVEALED its latest top-end handset, the Sony Xperia XZ1, at the IFA tech conference in Berlin last month, touting the flagship as a smartphone with a camera like no other.

This is because the handset boasts 3D scanning capabilities linked with social functions, alongside some of the best bits from its predecessors, such as an IP65/IP68 dust-tight, waterproof design.

But how does this high-spec handset compare to its rivals, such as the HTC U11, or Samsung Galaxy S8? Read our in-depth review below to find out.

Design and build 
Sony has kept true to the rugged design of earlier Xperia models. Thanks to its dust-resistant and waterproof IP65 and IP68 certification – the highest possible waterproof rating – Sony claims that the Xperia XZ1 can be safely dunked in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5m. We tested this claim, and can safely say it’s correct.

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Sony says the Gorilla Glass 5 on the display also means the smartphone is tough enough to take on all the knocks and drops. We did actually drop it on the floor several times and it emerged unscathed, so this claim is probably correct too.

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For a personalised touch, the Xperia XZ1 has an integrated fingerprint sensor, which Sony has managed to retain on top of the small power button, so you can conveniently unlock the device when you pick it up without having to move your hand to a separate button. 

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Overall, the phone looks super slick, thanks to its satin finish. Size-wise, the Sony Xperia XZ1 is very similar to the Xperia XZ that came before it, measuring in at 7.4mm thick and thus feeling slim in the hand. As for its weight of 155g, for a phone of this size, it feels lovely and light, making it easier to hold for long periods.

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The only downside, however, is that in terms of design, Sony hasn’t really tried anything new with the XZ1, looking and feeling just like its predecessor, the Xperia XZ. But on the other hand, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Next: Display, performance and battery

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