Sony Xperia ZL - A Powerhouse Phone In An Amazingly Compact Chassis (Part 4)

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Performance and battery life

Sony Xperia ZL

·         Quadrant (v2): 8,175

·         Vellamo (v2.0 HTML5): 2,214

·         AnTuTu: 19,078

·         SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 1,154

·         GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1,080p Offscreen (fps): 32

·         CF-Bench: 18,053

Sony Xperia ZL

Sony Xperia ZL

Sony Xperia Z

·         Quadrant (v2): 8,019

·         Vellamo (v2.0 HTML5): 2,198

·         AnTuTu: 19,876

·         SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 1,900

·         GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1080p Offscreen (fps): 29

·         CF-Bench: 16,079

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z


·         Quadrant (v2): 12,495

·         Vellamo (v2.0 HTML5): 2,429

·         AnTuTu: 25,140

·         SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 991

·         GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1080p Offscreen (fps): 34

·         CF-Bench: 25,267



You thought that having Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB RAM and the similar software would lead to the almost identical testing result. Was that right? Yes and no. most of our scores were consistent to what we saw before, but the ZL tester has performed much faster webpage in SunSpider, provided consistent speed with other S4 Pro devices, and brought back a much higher CF-Bench score.

From the practical view point, there’re a few differences in general speed. Both phones run smoothly across most of the Android interface, as well as inside the apps. We don’t have any stutter in multitasking overview as before, though sometimes we realize a pause throughout the transition time. A little bit of disappointment focuses around the unusually lasting camera startup time. Look at the score of HTC One and you will wish that Sony have waited for Snapdragon 600 so that the Xperia line can add extra longevity, though the basic performance is good enough.

We care more about battery life. Our current battery test, repeating an HD video with 50% brightness and Wi-Fi on (but no connection), can only produce 5 hours 15 minutes of running before the battery completely shut down. It’s not completely out of tune, depending on what Xperia Z has done, but it’s not the best number we’ve ever seen. One meant for AT&T has last 2 more hours under the same pressure and battery capacity. Other S4 Pro phones such LG Optimus G can last more than 8 hours in a milder test, which obviously has some issue in terms of power efficiency with the screen, software of Sony or the combination of both.

We reached 7 hours from a heavy real-time travel including 120 shots, 4 HDR video, 2 calls and lots of social network. Strangely, you will do much better in regular use, and we have no problem lasting over 1 day at the time testing Stamina mode with activated Gmail and social network connection, light web browsing as well as taking some images and making calls. We only wish we wouldn’t have to treat the Stamina feature as a secondary thing instead of a bonus.

We reached 7 hours from a heavy real-time travel including 120 shots, 4 HDR video, 2 calls and lots of social network.

We reached 7 hours from a heavy real-time travel including 120 shots, 4 HDR video, 2 calls and lots of social network.

There’s no shortage of mobile connection on Xperia ZL we have tested, which will have the same basic hardware all over North America. It provides, 42Mbps 5-band HSPA+3G with the support for the carriers based on AWS such as T-Mobile USA and smaller networks of Canada. Better still, LTE just realized that AWS has both 5-band, dealing with the bi carrier of Canada, AT&T, T-Mobile USA and some of the carrier all over the world, such as LG U+ in Korea and SoftBank in Japan.  You won’t change the international zone on LTE at areas such as Europe but you have lots of places where the data freely overflows.

Performance carried on Rogers is powerful though barely special. The tests Ottawa provided the average speed of 12.9Mbps for download and 8.6Mbps for upload while on LTE, with the intentional sink to HSPA+ giving us 6.1Mbps of download and 1.3Mbps of upload. Call quality on 3G is good for the receiver using home phone, though it sounds a little muffled when passing through earpiece. Don’t ever expect an improvement in moving the calls to the built-in speaker on the back – it’s pretty big, but sounds small.


To answer the clearest question: if a secret kind-hearted person showed us Xperia Z and ZL when we were able to keep one, we would choose ZL. Safer design and smarter efficiency is just over-valued to pass, as they create a 5inch phone without the sacrifice in size or comfort which sometimes accompanies with super-large size. The water-proof ability is not so important. While Z will be our choice if we usually idle away our time next to the pool we have some feelings the plastic-made ZL will have higher possibility for staying in its beauty for the rest of its life. After all, the glass is quite unfashionable when it’s broken.

To answer the clearest question: if a secret kind-hearted person showed us Xperia Z and ZL when we were able to keep one, we would choose ZL.

To answer the clearest question: if a secret kind-hearted person showed us Xperia Z and ZL when we were able to keep one, we would choose ZL.

ZL is also attractive for different reasons. If you ever wished that an “enormous” screen and one-hand using weren’t consider as exclusive notion that frequently, Sony stands by you. The 13MP camera is stable and the processor is still fast. UI of Sony represents one of the most interested Android implementation we’ve ever seen, as long as you’re ready to forgive its ecosystem.

However, it’s hard to doubt that the smartphone land has changed in several weeks since we reviewed Z and no support for ZL. HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 have already appeared or will do so soon, and both promise a higher-quality 1,080p screen as well as faster performance. At least One provides longer battery life under heavy use. One or GS4 will unnecessarily need to be more expensive. Bell and Rogers is selling Xperia ZL at the price of 100 USD and 125USd following the contract, while One will cost more than 150 USD on Rogers. Why not spend more to have innovated tech, especially when you have to buy microSD card to help ZL surpass the 16GB level of capacity? The only compromise of the American carrier for ZL up to now relates to Cincinnati Bell, and the price of 250 USD after discount may not attracts lots of people to change their network. We’re happy to introduce the second premium phone of Sony if the price is reasonable, but that price hasn’t popped out yet.


·         Price: $100


·         Compact for a 5-inch phone

·         Strong camera with HDR video

·         Sony UI is largely useful


·         Short battery life

·         Performance inferior to the rivals

·         Narrow viewing angle

Key point

·         Xperia ZL is an innovation that is superior to Z, but it can’t shie when sitting besides the current rivals.

Sony Xperia ZL’s specs

·         Size: 131.7x69.8x9.8mm (5.18x2.75x0.39 inches)

·         Weight: 5.33 ounce (151g)

·         Screen size: 5 inch

·         Screen res: 1,920x1,080 (443ppi)

·         Screen type: OptiContrast LCD

·         Battery: 2370mAh Li-Polymer (not removable)

·         Internal storage: 16GB

·         External storage: MicroSDHC

·         Rear camera: 13MP, BSI, f/2.4, 1/3inch-sized sensor, 1.12µm-sized pixel

·         Front Camera: 2MP

·         Video recording: 1080p, 30fps (front and rear)

·         NFC: Yes

·         Radio: GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1,800/1,900), WCDMA (850/900/1,700/1,900/2,100), LTE (700/850/1,700/1,900/2,100)

·         Bluetooth: V4.0

·         SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064)

·         CPU: 1.5GHz quad-core

·         GPU: Adreno 320

·         RAM: 2GB

·         Entertainment: MHL, DLNA

·         Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n 2-band, Wi-Fi Direct

·         Wireless charger: No

·         OS: Android 4.1.2, Sony UI



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