Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Sony Xperia Z C6603 Factory Unlocked LTE BANDS 1/3/5/7/8/20 International version No Warranty Original Phone Yuga Black
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on August 9, 2013
I had been looking for a waterproof mobile phone for a long time. I even bought one made for use in the Japanese market, but had to give it up because it's features were so dumbed down for outside Japan, that it wouldn't receive signal outside the country I bought it in I'm in Asia). So when Sony came out with the Acro, a waterproof phone which wasn't tiny (I can't type on screens smaller than 4 inches) and wasn't slow as a dog (not mentioning Motorola's attempts at waterproof mobiles), I gave it a try. I chose white because it looks better than black, and I have this fear that if I drop it in the pool or ocean, it'd be easier to see when trying to catch it before it disappears from sight.

(you can read my review at the Acro page in Amazon)

I was so confident that recently I went to the beach and went into the water with it. I'd already done it once before a few months ago. However, this time, the waves were much stronger, and I was waist deep in the water when a couple of consecutive waves hit me, twisting my phone from my grasp, and my acro slipped away, never to be seen again. The white colour helped not a whit. It was totally my fault. In hindsight (such a wonderful thing...), I realised I should have at least put a string/wrist strap on it, which I did have, but was currently attached to my torch.

So fast forward a day, I was without a mobile phone, so I rushed down to the local telco shop (took an hour off work for it! hehe) and got the Z. My criteria for a mobile hadn't changed, and Sony had released several new waterproof phones, of which Z was one. I've had it almost a month now, and I like it even more than the Acro, and I'd already kept the Acro for almost a year (I'd considered it a keeper)

The Good:
---------

- looks good. Feels good in the hand. However, at 5 inches, the size is starting to seem a little big

- well spec'd- good processor and latest Android OS.

- Generally good phone- clarity of both listening and speaking and it's external speaker are more than acceptable.

- 13mp camera has a lot of features. I don't know if it's the Android software, or Sony's input, but the camera is revamped:

** There are buttons for still shot photos and red dotted video button on the screen so you don't have to swop functions through a menu- just press one button and you're done.

**If you take a video, there is yet another button next to the stop button which allows you to take a 1 mp pic at the time without stopping the video. You know it's a 1mp pic because the button says "1mp".

** There is a multi shot option. As far as I can see, there is no limit to how many photos you can take. Today I used it as a helicopter did a flyby and stopped at 139 photos. I don't know if they are full res or not. On the album, you do not see all 139 photos. Instead, you just see a single pic and at the bottom left corner you see a series of rectangles overlapping to indicate it was a series of multishot photos.

** at the top you have simple clear buttons for flash, increase/decrease exposure, HDR, Camera shot function- which includes single shot, multishot, panorama, evening etc, and settings. Personally I find HDR to be of limited use as you have to be extremely still to do this. For those who don't know, HDR is a technique to get a sharper better colour/shadow balance and is done by taking 3 consecutive photos- slightly darker, normal and slightly brighter, and then superimposing all three together to get the final HDR photo. It does mean you have to be very very veyr very still, as if you move, at least one photo is now not the same and the final result is blurry. With real world cameras, you'd do HDR ideally by placing your camera, usually a dslr, on a tripod. Good luck getting the same precision handholding your slim Xperia z. I tried it twice and I can't do it.

- Have had no problems with browsing. Internet connections are very speedy. I thikn it uses 4G? Not sure about that.

- Has a LCD light on the front of the phone to notify you if you've received messages, etc. However, unlike the acro, it does not keep blinking forever until you view your message. It seems to stop after a while- maybe 15 minutes? I have found no options in settings to change the time which the LED light continues to blink, only the colour.

- decent battery life. I know some reviewers have been bitching about bad battery life. Well let me tell you, I think it's just fine. I used a Sony Ericsson Arc S before the Acro, and it's battery would be down to 15% after just 6 hours using msg apps only, like whatsapp. I use power save function and when you go to screen save or it turns off, data stops as well. In addition, you can manually stop data exchange yourself. It makes a big difference. If you let the phone continually exchange data- browsing, chatting etc, then the battery can decrease by as much as 1% a minute. But when you turn it off, it may take an hour on standby to drop 1%. You can view the % on the new versions of Android.

- Waterproof. I have taken it into the shower a couple of times to keep chatting. Yeah yeah yeah...showing off :)

- 5 inches is a very useful size. It is sharp, colourful and I've had no problem with the capacitive part.

The Not so Good:
----------------

- I suspect it's more because of Android than Sony, but the predictive text is just nuts. it no longer gives words based just on those you typed, but a whole host of other words too, regardless of whether or not you typed them. And there is no working dictionary. In theory, there is a very unwieldy way to do it, by going to setting;language and input;personal dictionaries. You then press Add, and input your word or (for me) acronyms. In reality, even though I've entered the word, it doesn't appear in the list of word options. Crazy.

- The top of the screen shows icons of apps being used or messages received eg by whatsapp, sms, gmail, etc. However, they are all only in grey. In the Arc S, they were all different colours, so it was easy to see what app had received a message. Now you have to squint more to see the tiny icon shape.

- Unlike the Acro, the Z does NOT come with a charging dock, just a ubs cable. This is not good because it means you have to peel open the catch for it, and that means everytime you do that, the seal of the latch becomes just that tiny teeny bit less solid a seal, which, in turn, reduces the waterproof aspect of the phone. I have bought a charging dock from a third party online- awaiting it now.

- Have to remove any covers you've put on in order to put it in said charging dock.

- This is a minor thing, but it's a bit too symmetrical for me. I often take it out of my bag upside down because there are no obviously physically distinguishing sides, unlike the Arc S.

Overall, should you buy this phone?

If you want a waterproof phone, then definitely yes!

If you are looking for a normal touchscreen phone, then it's defintely worth a look! It has decent features, is well made and has good holdability, good speakers, battery life and is attractive.

If you've made it to the end, then thanks for reading!
66 comments| 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 10, 2013
I finally switched from IOS to Android and I have no regrets at all.
For two an half years I was very pleased with my iphone 4 but I got tired of the UI and the small screen.

What attracted me with the Xperia Z was the Build quality, far much better than those cheap plastic Samsung build, but still not as good as an iphone. The waterproof feature was also one of the thing that made me make the move. This phone is just beautiful...

The phone is very very fast and responsive, I was impressed. I really like the widget that allow you to access to different phone configuration very quickly. Turning wifi, bluetooth and GPS OFF in just 4 clics. Every thing is faster with Android, access to configuration, killing running application, switching application ... Apple should learn something here.
The 5 inch display is just gorgeous, every things look great... photos, videos, web browsing ...

Regarding the camera, I was a little disappointed with the Sony Camera App, it has a lot of feature but the final image was not that punchy so I purchased an app called "HDR camera+" and waooo... this app literally changed every thing with the camera and get the best out of this 13 megapixel sensor. Exposure, color tone, color temperature, color saturation, sharpness... everything is so much better ...

What I miss from IOS is the Airplay feature build into the system. Android has some third party application available to stream music and video but it does not work as well as IOS.
For example It recognize my Yamaha RX-V773 as an Airplay receiver but I was not able to stream any music, the Android music player just got stuck.
But I can stream music and video to my Philips 46 inch TV ... I don't get it....

Now about battery life, it's not that great ... This 5 inch full HD display suck a lot of juice and don't expect more than 5 or 6 hours oh intensive use. I mean by intensive use, 3G connected and display on all the time ...

The problem with that phone is that you can't stop using it all the time ... So get prepared to get some extra juice somewhere ... for example an external battery pack ....
33 comments| 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 20, 2013
My previous review was: "Fast, responsive. Battery could be better (after using a Note II it is hard to level down). Screen color reproduction is not the best. But if you want something you don't need to worry about dust and water and don't wanna use a defender case, this is the only option available."
And I could actually say the camera is awesome too. BUT, after 7 months of use I can only say: DON'T BUY. Sony's customer service is TERRIBLE.
The phone itself never presented any major problem until, after regular use plugging and unplugging the charger, the micro usb connector started to bounce. It was loose and suddenly it simply pop out of the phone, attached to the recharger cable. Obviously, after that the phone couldn't be charged anymore.
Sony was contacted and said this is not on warranty. Like you would open the latch and try to break this apart on purpose. But not only that. they don't even have a place where they could examine what happened to provide a solution. First the attendant said I would need to pay 185 USD and the phone should be shipped to a place in Texas to be repaired. But then she contacted her supervisor and they told me this problem doesn't have any solution so, basically, after 7 months of regular use you have to throw your 650 USD phone away... Just because you had to plug and unplug the charger. that's it...
Tried to talk with the supervisor (52 minutes on a call), after all, this situation is RIDICULOUS. He was busy in another call and promised to call me back. Never happened. they simply don't care...
So, do your self one huge favor and stay away of the XPERIA line. They are actually decent devices but if anything goes wrong the company simply has no structure to provide any service.

Additional update: the micro USB connector in this phone is a bad design. Many people facing the same problem I mentioned above. Check official SONY forum before buying this: [...]
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on July 16, 2013
The phone reach my expectations, It works with every network in Venezuela, is so fast, great video, play and memory performance, elegant design ( I tried it taking pictures under the water it really works haha), you can use the phone with so many aplicattions opened it does not get frozen
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on March 1, 2014
hi all,

recently acquired the sony xperia z , I must say it is one of the best phones of 2013, works perfectly and I 've been lucky that I got the model 14W03 produced this year (2014)

, I just had to turn it on and get the upgrade to android 4.3 jelly bean 10.4.1.B.0.101

, many people talk about whether or not waterproof , just must say it is waterproof but not to live under water with the phone
maybe once in when at the pool but not all the time , much less on the beach. this is an excellent phone

, I've had several xperias (sony xperia S , T, V , SP ) and now the Z and have never had problems with any of them , and I assure you that is so and my purchases are more risky than those of you because in my country Venezuela there is no technical support , so what should I learn on my own thanks to forums like XDAdevelopers

, Greetings to all from my great country where we are fighting the regime they want to impose ,

REMEMBER

#PRAYFORVENEZUELA
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on July 2, 2014
This phone says that it is international version. The phone that I received from a listed seller who is from Singapore (who does not say that he is in Singapore)is a Singapore version of the phone in which most apps and menu items are in Chinese. It could well be the Chinese version of the phone. The one that I received looks a lot different that shown in the picture. It does not have a single Google app installed in it. Therefore, now I have to root it and install Google apps. I may lose warranty (if any available ,which I doubt in the US for a foreign phone). Bottom line is that the title "international version" is misleading (unless it means Chinese version). Therefore, please do not buy this phone unless if you make sure that the one you are getting has Google Play store and other Google Apps.
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on July 26, 2015
The pros are basically that it's pretty cheap, runs the wonderful new version of Android, and still has pretty respectable specs. I doubt most people straight up need their mobile to have the processing and graphics power of a decent laptop.

The cons are pretty annoying, though, and I'm replacing it once I get enough spare money to justify:
- It's hot. Very hot. If all the functions are enabled it can start running hot enough to (very mildly) burn you if you touch the top for too long, and the heat is so bad that it is literally cracking its own backplate
- The SIM loading method involves using a small paper/plastic tray as an interface. The directions on this are pretty easy to ignore and the tray looks like a placeholder for the actual SIM, so many/most people throw it away. This makes it very hard to get a SIM out once it's in and stops many SIMs from working well. You can get replacement trays, but compared to the ZL (push in to put it in, push further in to release) it's pretty inconvenient, especially if you travel internationally or change carriers at some point.
- Randomly gets caught in a continuously loop of restarts, possibly because of the overheating issue.
- Terrible battery life even with stamina on if it's hot, which happens a lot because of the overheating issue
- Slippery backplate (contrast to the ZL which has a textured rubber surface) makes it harder to hold onto

If you're going for a phone in this range I'd shell out the extra $50 and get the ZL, honestly. I'm upgrading to the most recent version as soon as finances permit, this is very much a temp.
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on October 7, 2013
I have bought this sony xperia z before and mine works fantastic and seriously is one of the best phones I have had! So I bought another phone to give to my girlfriend and I read it to NOT to buy refurbished! Oh surprise the phone worked for 3 months!! That is it!!! Because it says no warranty I send it to fix it and the person who did the work showed me, the phone has been opened before and refurbished!!! This has been a complete fraud!! if you want to buy a phone to this store please be careful!
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on October 5, 2013
english

Since this phone came to the market I wanted to have it, sony has always been the forefront in design and particularly this phone has one of the best designs in terms of smartphones are concerned. I have almost a month with it, and the performance is incredible pictures makes heavy tasks without complacations and games is like you really had a play station! the screen is incredibly sharp and activate the mobile bravia engine will notice the change in the management of images and videos. passeth good time with this before changing course and when sony has prepared another better than the Z1!

español

Desde que este telefono salio al mercado quise tenerlo, sony siempre ha llevado la vanguardia en cuanto a diseño y particularmente este telefono cuenta con uno de los mejores diseños en cuanto a telefonos inteligentes se refiere. Tengo ya casi un mes con él, y el desempeño es increible realiza tareas pesadas de imagenes sin cimplacaciones y los juegos es como si realmente tuviera una play station!! la pantalla es increiblemente nitida y al activar el mobile bravia engine se nota el cambio en el manejo de imagenes y videos. pasare buen tiempo con este antes de cambiarlo ya cuando por supuesto sony tenga preparado otro mejor que el Z1!
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on June 9, 2015
I was excited upon purchasing this phone, but expectations fell short. The phone has some nice features and seemed to do OK speed wise. The camera was OK in outdoor lighting, but was terrible in low light. The worst part for me was when I made calls, and would bring the phone down from my ear to hang up or use the dial pad, the screen would remain dark. I could push the power button 50 times, and I might get the screen to light up. I have accidentally called people and been unable to hang up. I have also had to borrow a phone to contact a call center because I could never get to my dial pad to press one for English.
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