First impressions of Sony Xperia Z (C6603 Yuga) - the flagship of the 2013 line

In today's market, creating devices at the intersection of mobile phones and tablets with a screen diagonal of more than 5 inches is a new trend created by products such as the Samsung Galaxy Note and Note II, which have had a huge impact on manufacturers. Sony also wants to get their piece of the pie from this segment, and this is how the C660x line models were born. This device will be presented in various modifications, for different networks, with different radio interfaces and some differences in software. Their names will differ by the last digit of the C660x number, this first glance is based on C6603.

Content:

Design, dimensions, controls

The design of the C6603 is very different from current Sony devices and follows a new philosophy. The phone has sharp corners, clean lines, a slim profile, and an almost complete lack of conspicuous body elements on both the front and back. Simplicity is perceived as a virtue or a drawback, depending on personal tastes, but it creates a unique perception of the device. With a screen of this diagonal, this phone is quite large in size, but the thinness of the body and light weight give the impression of convenience, Toyota Shoe Kit ( bande frein ) but it is still difficult to put the phone in most pockets (there are no differences from the Galaxy Note II, that is, both devices are in the same category).

The construction of the phone uses expensive materials, something that has been lacking in Sony phones in recent years - both sides of the phone use plastic with a glossy finish that looks like glass and gives the phone a chic, makes you feel that its price is high. The build quality is perfect, all parts fit tightly, which gives this device extra points in comparison with models from other manufacturers.

The front of the phone is occupied by a large screen. There are no touch or hardware keys here, just like the Xperia T, Android's on-screen buttons are used. The speaker grill above the screen is the only visible element, while the proximity sensor is hidden behind black plastic. Under the screen you can find one of the microphones, in fact, that's it.

The back of the phone is simple, with a 12-megapixel camera module at the top, it doesn't protrude at all and blends into the surface. There is also an LED flash and a hole for the second microphone.

Display

The screen is the main reason for this smartphone, the 5-inch display is the main reason for buying the device. This screen has a resolution of 1080p (1920x1080 pixels), which so far can only boast of a few models in a small number of markets. The real resolution is a little less, since in most applications the lower part of the screen is reserved for buttons. The dot density is amazing and the image detail is excellent. Given that the screen provides a density of 440 dpi, it is decidedly impossible to see individual dots, no matter how you look. Even though 720p screens are already great for displaying graphics, icons, everything looks even better on a 1080p screen. Watching videos or photos on such a high resolution screen is really enjoyable and makes your experience unique.

But Sony couldn't do everything perfectly and added a fly in the ointment to the screen performance. Color reproduction is perfect in all multimedia applications that use the Sony Bravia Engine, in all other applications the picture is noticeably worse. The reflections of the backlight of the screen are perfectly distinguishable in the black areas of the picture and this is annoying. Viewing angles are poor as colors fall apart and this is the downside of using the Bravia Engine.

As before, all the advantages of the screen in the flagship model are offset by disadvantages that cannot be found in competing solutions. Despite this, the C660x is one of those phones that will amaze you with its screen quality and resolution.

Battery

The phone uses a built-in battery, while the company has not officially announced its capacity. Taking into account the early version of the software in the prototype, the large screen and the platform used here (more about it below), it is impossible to draw conclusions about the operating time of the device. I will only note that at the moment the device can work most of the daylight hours, which is quite expected at this stage.

Communications

Like any flagship, this device has all possible communication methods.

Bluetooth. Version 4.0, all profiles are supported. The maximum data transfer rate is an impressive 2 Mbps, achievable when paired with another phone that supports this version of Bluetooth.

USB. The connector on the case is used to connect to a PC and other devices, but also supports USB Host mode, you can connect flash drives, a mouse or keyboard to it.

Given that the device runs on Jelly Bean, it was expected that the memory access is carried out via the MTP protocol, but Sony has added support for USB Mass Storage, however, only for microSD memory cards (the built-in memory is not visible).

p>

USB Tethering mode is supported, you can connect your phone to PC and use its network connection. On the PC side, this connection is transparent, the phone acts as an NDIS emulator, making the PC think it is a standard network cable. The huge advantage of this trick is that no drivers are required, everything works on the fly.

Wi-Fi. The device supports all frequencies and modes for the 802.11 standard, which means that it works in a/b/g/n networks, as well as in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Of course, there is support for the wireless hotspot mode, up to 10 devices can connect to the C660x, while previously the maximum number was 5 simultaneously connected devices.

Wireless media transfer is supported through Sony's proprietary interface and is very easy to use. Surprisingly, this unit is capable of streaming 1080p without any problems to compatible devices (we tested this feature on the Playstation 3). In this mode, power consumption is maximum, and one full charge is enough to watch a whole movie with great difficulty. Transferring music and photos is just as easy, but the battery life isn't as heavy.

< /td>

microSD. It's not quite right to talk about memory cards in the "Communications" section, but it is the card that offers another way to transfer and store files on devices. The C660x supports SDXC card format, which means the maximum card size is 128 GB.

It has already been mentioned that there is a USB Mass Storage protocol for accessing the memory card, but Sony also added the option in the settings section to copy the entire contents of the internal memory to the card, this is more than a convenient feature that can be welcomed in standard software.< /p>

LTE. At the moment, LTE is used for data transmission. The C660x uses a Qualcomm MDM9615 modem, which theoretically allows the phone to operate on all available LTE frequencies, in any network. In the real world, no device is tuned to all frequencies, since such a setting would cost too much, so the versions of LTE phones differ for different networks and countries, and these are different modifications of the device. For the C660x, it's important to note that this is not the case and is the first truly global LTE phone that will work worldwide. For people who travel a lot, this will be a nice feature of the device.

Platform

The platform used in this device is relatively new to the market and differs in some aspects from existing solutions. This means that this section of the review will be somewhat longer than usual, but there will also be more topics for discussion.

The C660x is one of the few devices that runs on the Qualcomm APQ8064 chipset, which contains 4 Krait cores along with an updated and improved Adreno 320 GPU. In addition to using 4 Krait cores and an updated GPU, this solution differs in that it does not the radio part, which was in the dual-core MSM8960 and MSM8260A, is built into the chipset. This means that the radio part must be installed separately to add network functionality to a tablet or phone, this is not a one-chip solution. This means that phones using this solution are more difficult to design, cost more, and consume more power. At the moment, there are only two widely available devices on the market with this chipset - LG Optimus G and Nexus 4. You can remember the HTC Droid DNA and its Japanese counterpart Butterfly J, they use the same platform, but are not widely used yet.

Like the two HTC models, the C660x combines this platform with a 5-inch 1080p display to create an interesting device in terms of both performance and multimedia capabilities. The increased screen resolution means that the GPU and four cores have more work to do, not only in multimedia, but also for fairly routine tasks.

Thanks to Adreno 320, the phone can easily handle all tasks at this screen resolution, rendering graphics without any problems. The power of the quad-core processor is enough for all conceivable tasks, and in most cases it is even excessive. There are no lags in the games, on the other hand, there are currently no games for this screen resolution or for using the capabilities of the graphics accelerator.

The user interface has been redesigned for a higher resolution, and all icons, captions look very good. Playing multimedia files also occurs without delay, opening web pages is one of the fastest among all mobile devices.

You can also download archives with all tests, as well as compare performance with HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3:

Unfortunately, this is where the advantages of the platform come to an end and the disadvantages begin. First, the platform and screen used consumes a lot of power. Using the multimedia features on the C660x is fabulous and drains the battery very quickly. Even web browsing drains the battery quickly, making it hard to expect the phone to last all day. Improved standby power consumption, on the other hand, allows you to hope that during the working day the phone does not sit down (if you do not actively use it).

As a final note, the C660x is an amazingly fast device with its limitations. Most of us don't treat our phones like computers, and are hardly prepared to make sure that the phone does not overheat, as PCs sometimes do. Despite the fact that C660x is not the first phone on this platform, it is the first device where all the shortcomings of this approach are clearly visible.

Camera

Compared to the Xperia T, a step back, it uses a 12-megapixel module, not a 13-megapixel one. The reason for this change is not very clear, especially since the capabilities of the sensor installed in the Xperia T have not been fully disclosed. At the same time, the images from the C660x are much better than those from the Xperia T - both in terms of detail quality and colors (even considering the degree of product readiness). A back-illuminated sensor should in theory perform well in the dark, but detail suffers. Using the new platform allowed Sony to add new features to the camera. First, the phone uses the entire sensor when recording HD video, and stereo audio is also recorded. The HDR option is now available not only for photos, but also for videos (a first for a mobile phone!). Another notable change is the Burst photo mode, where you can take an unlimited number of shots in a burst. The only limitation may be the overheating of the phone, but out of curiosity we tried to hold the shutter button and got 999 shots (then the counter stopped). The last notable change is the Superior Auto mode, where the phone can shoot both video and photos at the same time, with controls for both video and photo shown on the screen. Also in this mode, automation determines the scene, including turning on macro when approaching an object or night mode in low light. The function is well thought out and implemented.

Software

This is the flagship of the company, which will appear on the market in early 2013 (tentatively in late February-early March). This means it must run on the latest version of Android, currently running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Apparently, an update to version 4.2 will be available by the time the device is released or a little later. But this is not so important, since most of the functions of 4.2 are available in the current version through customization from Sony.

Sony has a long tradition of adding features to new phones that are not available to older models, and this phone is no exception. Most of the changes concern the interface, they make the device pleasant to use. There's a new unlock screen, when you swipe your finger across it, your picture shatters into pieces. Themes have different options for the unlock screen. In lock mode, you can quickly launch the camera or the Walkman app, which replaces the stock Android player. By the way, the Walkman application has acquired new features, for example, “Clear Audio +”, here the phone determines the genre of music and automatically changes both the equalizer and the playback volume. There is an option “Surround Sound”, in which you choose the type of room (hall, club, and so on). The “Clear Stereo” option improves the sound and does not allow the sound in the channels to overlap, in practice the sound changes for the better, and this is very noticeable. Unfortunately, there is only one speaker in the device, but some options are available when playing music through it: “Clear Phase” automatically adjusts the volume to reduce noise, “XLoud” increases the speaker volume, which directly cancels out what the previous option does. The “Dynamic normalizer” option reduces the difference in sound level when jumping from music to video or vice versa.

Gallery app has been renamed to Album and is completely identical to the one found in Xperia T. Even though videos are available in Album, there is a separate Movies app that has a different interface, showing icons of saved videos and there is a preview for the last played file. In this application, you can also try to restore tags for videos, using the Gracenote service.

< /td>

The program for launching applications has been changed, you can choose how many screens in the standby mode you want to see, the application menu has been somewhat redesigned. The dialer and messages now use a white background, but they have not changed functionally, although they look nicer.

The “Smart Connect” app handles both wired and wireless connections, including NFC, and can also manage NFC SmartTag tags. All other features are inherited from Xperia T and described in the corresponding material.

< /td>

You can see all the screenshots on a separate page.

Conclusion

After a long period of trying to catch up with the competition, today, completely controlled by Sony, it is heading in the right direction and trying to release interesting devices. The first example is the Xperia T, which is not perfect, but displays this approach. And the Xperia Z continues the same strategy, with

First impressions of Sony Xperia Z (C6603 Yuga) - the flagship of the 2013 line

In today's market, creating devices at the intersection of mobile phones and tablets with a screen diagonal of more than 5 inches is a new trend created by products such as the Samsung Galaxy Note and Note II, which have had a huge impact on manufacturers. Sony also wants to get their piece of the pie from this segment, and this is how the C660x line models were born. This device will be presented in various modifications, for different networks, with different radio interfaces and some differences in software. Their names will differ by the last digit of the C660x number, this first glance is based on C6603.

Content:

Design, dimensions, controls

The design of the C6603 is very different from current Sony devices and follows a new philosophy. The phone has sharp corners, clean lines, a slim profile, and an almost complete lack of conspicuous body elements on both the front and back. Simplicity is perceived as a virtue or a drawback, depending on personal tastes, but it creates a unique perception of the device. With a screen of this diagonal, this phone is quite large in size, but the thinness of the body and light weight give the impression of convenience, Toyota Shoe Kit ( bande frein ) but it is still difficult to put the phone in most pockets (there are no differences from the Galaxy Note II, that is, both devices are in the same category).

The construction of the phone uses expensive materials, something that has been lacking in Sony phones in recent years - both sides of the phone use plastic with a glossy finish that looks like glass and gives the phone a chic, makes you feel that its price is high. The build quality is perfect, all parts fit tightly, which gives this device extra points in comparison with models from other manufacturers.

The front of the phone is occupied by a large screen. There are no touch or hardware keys here, just like the Xperia T, Android's on-screen buttons are used. The speaker grill above the screen is the only visible element, while the proximity sensor is hidden behind black plastic. Under the screen you can find one of the microphones, in fact, that's it.

The back of the phone is simple, with a 12-megapixel camera module at the top, it doesn't protrude at all and blends into the surface. There is also an LED flash and a hole for the second microphone.

On the left side of the phone there is a microHDMI connector, as well as microUSB, they are covered with plastic plugs attached to the body and look pretty good. A few contacts remain uncovered, apparently they can be used with desktop stands or other accessories.

Unfortunately, there are flaws on the right side of the phone, for example, the on / off button is gray and out of the general design, and its size is such that it is appropriate to compare it with a winding crown in a regular watch. The volume buttons are lower, similar to the Xperia T, but due to the size of this device, they are easier to use. The microSIM slot is above the power button.

Display

The screen is the main reason for this smartphone, the 5-inch display is the main reason for buying the device. This screen has a resolution of 1080p (1920x1080 pixels), which so far can only boast of a few models in a small number of markets. The real resolution is a little less, since in most applications the lower part of the screen is reserved for buttons. The dot density is amazing and the image detail is excellent. Given that the screen provides a density of 440 dpi, it is decidedly impossible to see individual dots, no matter how you look. Even though 720p screens are already great for displaying graphics, icons, everything looks even better on a 1080p screen. Watching videos or photos on such a high resolution screen is really enjoyable and makes your experience unique.

But Sony couldn't do everything perfectly and added a fly in the ointment to the screen performance. Color reproduction is perfect in all multimedia applications that use the Sony Bravia Engine, in all other applications the picture is noticeably worse. The reflections of the backlight of the screen are perfectly distinguishable in the black areas of the picture and this is annoying. Viewing angles are poor as colors fall apart and this is the downside of using the Bravia Engine.

As before, all the advantages of the screen in the flagship model are offset by disadvantages that cannot be found in competing solutions. Regardless, the C660x is one of those phones that will amaze you with its screen quality and resolution.

Battery

The phone uses a built-in battery, while the company has not officially announced its capacity. Taking into account the early version of the software in the prototype, the large screen and the platform used here (more about it below), it is impossible to draw conclusions about the operating time of the device. I will only note that at the moment the device can work most of the daylight hours, which is quite expected at this stage.

Communications

Like any flagship, this device has all possible communication methods.

Bluetooth. Version 4.0, all profiles are supported. The maximum data transfer rate is an impressive 2 Mbps, achievable when paired with another phone that supports this version of Bluetooth.

Wireless media transfer is supported through Sony's proprietary interface and is very easy to use. Surprisingly, this unit is capable of streaming 1080p without any problems to compatible devices (we tested this feature on the Playstation 3). In this mode, power consumption is maximum, and one full charge is enough to watch a whole movie with great difficulty. Transferring music and photos is just as easy, but the battery life isn't as heavy.

< /td>

microSD. It's not quite right to talk about memory cards in the "Communications" section, but it is the card that offers another way to transfer and store files on devices. The C660x supports SDXC card format, which means the maximum card size is 128 GB.

It has already been mentioned that there is a USB Mass Storage protocol for accessing the memory card, but Sony also added the option in the settings section to copy the entire contents of the internal memory to the card, this is more than a convenient feature that can be welcomed in standard software.< /p>

LTE. At the moment, LTE is used for data transmission. The C660x uses a Qualcomm MDM9615 modem, which theoretically allows the phone to operate on all available LTE frequencies, in any network. In the real world, no device is tuned to all frequencies, since such a setting would cost too much, so the versions of LTE phones differ for different networks and countries, and these are different modifications of the device. For the C660x, it's important to note that this is not the case and is the first truly global LTE phone that will work worldwide. For people who travel a lot, this will be a nice feature of the device.

Platform

The platform used in this device is relatively new to the market and differs in some aspects from existing solutions. This means that this section of the review will be somewhat longer than usual, but there will also be more topics for discussion.

The C660x is one of the few devices that runs on the Qualcomm APQ8064 chipset, which contains 4 Krait cores along with an updated and improved Adreno 320 GPU. In addition to using 4 Krait cores and an updated GPU, this solution differs in that it does not the radio part, which was in the dual-core MSM8960 and MSM8260A, is built into the chipset. This means that the radio part must be installed separately to add network functionality to a tablet or phone, this is not a one-chip solution. This means that phones using this solution are more difficult to design, cost more, and consume more power. At the moment, there are only two widely available devices on the market with this chipset - LG Optimus G and Nexus 4. You can remember the HTC Droid DNA and its Japanese counterpart Butterfly J, they use the same platform, but are not widely used yet.

Like the two HTC models, the C660x combines this platform with a 5-inch 1080p display to create an interesting device in terms of both performance and multimedia capabilities. The increased screen resolution means that the GPU and four cores have more work to do, not only in multimedia, but also for fairly routine tasks.

Thanks to Adreno 320, the phone can easily handle all tasks at this screen resolution, rendering graphics without any problems. The power of the quad-core processor is enough for all conceivable tasks, and in most cases it is even excessive. There are no lags in the games, on the other hand, there are currently no games for this screen resolution or for using the capabilities of the graphics accelerator.

The user interface has been redesigned for a higher resolution, and all icons, captions look very good. Playing multimedia files also occurs without delay, opening web pages is one of the fastest among all mobile devices.

You can also download archives with all tests, as well as compare performance with HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3:

Unfortunately, this is where the advantages of the platform come to an end and the disadvantages begin. Firstly, the platform and screen used consumes a lot of power. Using the multimedia features on the C660x is fabulous and drains the battery very quickly. Even web browsing drains the battery quickly, making it hard to expect the phone to last all day. Improved standby power consumption, on the other hand, allows you to hope that during the working day the phone does not sit down (if you do not actively use it).

The second flaw is even more noticeable. Using this platform inside a thin phone case such as the C666x causes the case to get warm. When the user actively uses the functions of the device, the heating becomes such that it becomes unpleasant to hold the phone in hands or speak on it. We have been using devices of this family for more than a month and during this time we constantly faced with their overheating. It even got to the point that the phones refused to take pictures, the “Camera” application reported that the phone was overheated and you had to wait until it cooled down! Even though Camera is the only app that refuses to start due to overheating, overall performance suffers as well. In APQ8064, the developers have tried to reduce the frequency of each core to avoid overheating. This is also true for other platforms, such as NVIDIA Tegra 3, Samsung's Exynis 4412, but in APQ8064 the drop in frequency and, as a result, performance is very easy to notice. For example, when watching 1080p video, the phone warms up so quickly that it becomes impossible to hold it in your hands.

As a final note, the C660x is an amazingly fast device with its limitations. Most of us don't treat our phones like computers, and are hardly prepared to make sure that the phone does not overheat, as PCs sometimes do. Despite the fact that C660x is not the first phone on this platform, it is the first device where all the shortcomings of this approach are clearly visible.

Camera

Compared to the Xperia T, a step back, it uses a 12-megapixel module, not a 13-megapixel one. The reason for this change is not very clear, especially since the capabilities of the sensor installed in the Xperia T have not been fully disclosed. At the same time, the images from the C660x are much better than those from the Xperia T - both in terms of detail quality and colors (even considering the degree of product readiness). A back-illuminated sensor should in theory perform well in the dark, but detail suffers. Using the new platform allowed Sony to add new features to the camera. First, the phone uses the entire sensor when recording HD video, and stereo audio is also recorded. The HDR option is now available not only for photos, but also for videos (a first for a mobile phone!). Another notable change is the Burst photo mode, where you can take an unlimited number of shots in a burst. The only limitation may be the overheating of the phone, but out of curiosity we tried to hold the shutter button and got 999 shots (then the counter stopped). The last notable change is the Superior Auto mode, where the phone can shoot both video and photos at the same time, with controls for both video and photo shown on the screen. Also in this mode, automation determines the scene, including turning on macro when approaching an object or night mode in low light. The function is well thought out and implemented.

Software

This is the flagship of the company, which will appear on the market in early 2013 (tentatively in late February-early March). This means that it should run on the latest version of Android, currently running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Apparently, an update to version 4.2 will be available by the time the device is released or a little later. But this is not so important, since most of the functions of 4.2 are available in the current version through customization from Sony.

Sony has a long tradition of adding features to new phones that are not available to older models, and this phone is no exception. Most of the changes concern the interface, they make the device pleasant to use. There's a new unlock screen, when you swipe your finger across it, your picture shatters into pieces. Themes have different options for the unlock screen. In lock mode, you can quickly launch the camera or the Walkman app, which replaces the stock Android player. By the way, the Walkman application has acquired new features, for example, “Clear Audio +”, here the phone determines the genre of music and automatically changes both the equalizer and the playback volume. There is an option “Surround Sound”, in which you choose the type of room (hall, club, and so on). The “Clear Stereo” option improves the sound and does not allow the sound in the channels to overlap, in practice the sound changes for the better, and this is very noticeable. Unfortunately, there is only one speaker in the device, but some options are available when playing music through it: “Clear Phase” automatically adjusts the volume to reduce noise, “XLoud” increases the speaker volume, which directly cancels out what the previous option does. The “Dynamic normalizer” option reduces the difference in sound level when jumping from music to video or vice versa.

Gallery app has been renamed to Album and is completely identical to the one found in Xperia T. Even though videos are available in Album, there is a separate Movies app that has a different interface, showing icons of saved videos and there is a preview for the last played file. In this application, you can also try to restore tags for videos, using the Gracenote service.

< /td>

The program for launching applications has been changed, you can choose how many screens in the standby mode you want to see, the application menu has been somewhat redesigned. The dialer and messages now use a white background, but they have not changed functionally, although they look nicer.

The “Smart Connect” app handles both wired and wireless connections, including NFC, and can also manage NFC SmartTag tags. All other features are inherited from Xperia T and described in the corresponding material.

< /td>

You can see all the screenshots on a separate page.

Conclusion

After a long period of trying to catch up with the competition, today, completely controlled by Sony, it is heading in the right direction and trying to release interesting devices. The first example is the Xperia T, which is not perfect, but displays this approach. And the Xperia Z continues the same strategy, with

First impressions of Sony Xperia Z (C6603 Yuga) - the flagship of the 2013 line

In today's market, creating devices at the intersection of mobile phones and tablets with a screen diagonal of more than 5 inches is a new trend created by products such as the Samsung Galaxy Note and Note II, which have had a huge impact on manufacturers. Sony also wants to get their piece of the pie from this segment, and this is how the C660x line models were born. This device will be presented in various modifications, for different networks, with different radio interfaces and some differences in software. Their names will differ by the last digit of the C660x number, this first glance is based on C6603.

Content:

Design, dimensions, controls

The design of the C6603 is very different from current Sony devices and follows a new philosophy. The phone has sharp corners, clean lines, a slim profile, and an almost complete lack of conspicuous body elements on both the front and back. Simplicity is perceived as a virtue or a drawback, depending on personal tastes, but it creates a unique perception of the device. With a screen of this diagonal, this phone is quite large in size, but the thinness of the body and light weight give the impression of convenience, Toyota Shoe Kit ( bande frein ) but it is still difficult to put the phone in most pockets (there are no differences from the Galaxy Note II, that is, both devices are in the same category).

The construction of the phone uses expensive materials, something that has been lacking in Sony phones in recent years - both sides of the phone use plastic with a glossy finish that looks like glass and gives the phone a chic, makes you feel that its price is high. The build quality is perfect, all parts fit tightly, which gives this device extra points in comparison with models from other manufacturers.

The front of the phone is occupied by a large screen. There are no touch or hardware keys here, just like the Xperia T, Android's on-screen buttons are used. The speaker grill above the screen is the only visible element, while the proximity sensor is hidden behind black plastic. Under the screen you can find one of the microphones, in fact, that's all.

The back of the phone is simple, with a 12-megapixel camera module at the top, it doesn't protrude at all and blends into the surface. There is also an LED flash and a hole for the second microphone.

On the left side of the phone there is a microHDMI connector, as well as microUSB, they are covered with plastic plugs attached to the body and look pretty good. A few contacts remain uncovered, apparently they can be used with desktop stands or other accessories.

Unfortunately, there are flaws on the right side of the phone, for example, the on / off button is gray and out of the general design, and its size is such that it is appropriate to compare it with a winding crown in a regular watch. The volume buttons are lower, similar to the Xperia T, but due to the size of this device, they are easier to use. The microSIM slot is above the power button.

As before, all the advantages of the screen in the flagship model are offset by disadvantages that cannot be found in competing solutions. Regardless, the C660x is one of those phones that will amaze you with its screen quality and resolution.

Battery

The phone uses a built-in battery, while the company has not officially announced its capacity. Taking into account the early version of the software in the prototype, the large screen and the platform used here (more about it below), it is impossible to draw conclusions about the operating time of the device. I will only note that at the moment the device can work most of the daylight hours, which is quite expected at this stage.

Communications

Like any flagship, this device has all possible communication methods.

Bluetooth. Version 4.0, all profiles are supported. The maximum data transfer rate is an impressive 2 Mbps, achievable when paired with another phone that supports this version of Bluetooth.

USB. The connector on the case is used to connect to a PC and other devices, but also supports USB Host mode, you can connect flash drives, a mouse or keyboard to it.

Given that the device runs on Jelly Bean, it was expected that the memory access is carried out via the MTP protocol, but Sony has added support for USB Mass Storage, however, only for microSD memory cards (the built-in memory is not visible).

p>

USB Tethering mode is supported, you can connect your phone to PC and use its network connection. On the PC side, this connection is transparent, the phone acts as an NDIS emulator, making the PC think it is a standard network cable. The huge advantage of this trick is that no drivers are required, everything works on the fly.

Wi-Fi. The device supports all frequencies and modes for the 802.11 standard, which means that it works in a/b/g/n networks, as well as in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Of course, there is support for the wireless hotspot mode, up to 10 devices can connect to the C660x, while previously the maximum number was 5 simultaneously connected devices.

Wireless media transfer is supported through Sony's proprietary interface and is very easy to use. Surprisingly, this unit is capable of streaming 1080p without any problems to compatible devices (we tested this feature on the Playstation 3). In this mode, power consumption is maximum, and one full charge is enough to watch a whole movie with great difficulty. Transferring music and photos is just as easy, but the battery life isn't as heavy.

< /td>

microSD. It's not quite right to talk about memory cards in the "Communications" section, but it is the card that offers another way to transfer and store files on devices. The C660x supports SDXC card format, which means the maximum card size is 128 GB.

It has already been mentioned that there is a USB Mass Storage protocol for accessing the memory card, but Sony also added the option in the settings section to copy the entire contents of the internal memory to the card, this is more than a convenient feature that can be welcomed in standard software.< /p>

LTE. At the moment, LTE is used for data transmission. The C660x uses a Qualcomm MDM9615 modem, which theoretically allows the phone to operate on all available LTE frequencies, in any network. In the real world, no device is tuned to all frequencies, since such a setting would cost too much, so the versions of LTE phones differ for different networks and countries, and these are different modifications of the device. For the C660x, it's important to note that this is not the case and is the first truly global LTE phone that will work worldwide. For people who travel a lot, this will be a nice feature of the device.

Platform

The platform used in this device is relatively new to the market and differs in some aspects from existing solutions. This means that this section of the review will be somewhat longer than usual, but there will also be more topics for discussion.

The C660x is one of the few devices that runs on the Qualcomm APQ8064 chipset, which contains 4 Krait cores along with an updated and improved Adreno 320 GPU. In addition to using 4 Krait cores and an updated GPU, this solution differs in that it does not the radio part, which was in the dual-core MSM8960 and MSM8260A, is built into the chipset. This means that the radio part must be installed separately to add network functionality to a tablet or phone, this is not a one-chip solution. This means that phones using this solution are more difficult to design, cost more, and consume more power. At the moment, there are only two widely available devices with this chipset on the market - LG Optimus G and Nexus 4. You can remember the HTC Droid DNA and its Japanese counterpart Butterfly J, they use the same platform, but are not widely used yet.

Like the two HTC models, the C660x combines this platform with a 5-inch 1080p display to create an interesting device in terms of both performance and multimedia capabilities. The increased screen resolution means that the GPU and four cores have more work to do, not only in multimedia, but also for fairly routine tasks.

Thanks to Adreno 320, the phone can easily handle all tasks at this screen resolution, rendering graphics without any problems. The power of the quad-core processor is enough for all conceivable tasks, and in most cases it is even excessive. There are no lags in the games, on the other hand, there are currently no games for this screen resolution or for using the capabilities of the graphics accelerator.

The user interface has been redesigned for a higher resolution, and all icons, captions look very good. Playing multimedia files also occurs without delay, opening web pages is one of the fastest among all mobile devices.

You can also download archives with all tests, as well as compare performance with HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3:

Unfortunately, this is where the advantages of the platform come to an end and the disadvantages begin. Firstly, the platform and screen used consumes a lot of power. Using the multimedia features on the C660x is fabulous and drains the battery very quickly. Even web browsing drains the battery quickly, making it hard to expect the phone to last all day. Improved standby power consumption, on the other hand, allows you to hope that during the working day the phone does not sit down (if you do not actively use it).

The second flaw is even more noticeable. Using this platform inside a thin phone case such as the C666x causes the case to get warm. When the user actively uses the functions of the device, the heating becomes such that it becomes unpleasant to hold the phone in hands or speak on it. We have been using devices of this family for more than a month and during this time we constantly faced with their overheating. It even got to the point that the phones refused to take pictures, the “Camera” application reported that the phone was overheated and you had to wait until it cooled down! Even though Camera is the only app that refuses to start due to overheating, overall performance suffers as well. In APQ8064, the developers have tried to reduce the frequency of each core to avoid overheating. This is also true for other platforms, such as NVIDIA Tegra 3, Samsung's Exynis 4412, but in APQ8064 the drop in frequency and, as a result, performance is very easy to notice. For example, when watching 1080p video, the phone warms up so quickly that it becomes impossible to hold it in your hands.

To conclude, the C660x is an amazingly fast device with its limitations. Most of us don't treat our phones like computers, and are hardly prepared to make sure that the phone does not overheat, as PCs sometimes do. Despite the fact that C660x is not the first phone on this platform, it is the first device where all the shortcomings of this approach are clearly visible.

Camera

Compared to the Xperia T, a step back, it uses a 12-megapixel module, not a 13-megapixel one. The reason for this change is not very clear, especially since the capabilities of the sensor installed in the Xperia T have not been fully disclosed. At the same time, the images from the C660x are much better than those from the Xperia T - both in terms of detail quality and colors (even considering the degree of product readiness). A back-illuminated sensor should in theory perform well in the dark, but detail suffers. Using the new platform allowed Sony to add new features to the camera. First, the phone uses the entire sensor when recording HD video, and stereo audio is also recorded. The HDR option is now available not only for photos, but also for videos (a first for a mobile phone!). Another notable change is the Burst photo mode, where you can take an unlimited number of shots in a burst. The only limitation may be the overheating of the phone, but out of curiosity we tried to hold the shutter button and got 999 shots (then the counter stopped). The last notable change is the Superior Auto mode, where the phone can shoot both video and photos at the same time, with controls for both video and photo shown on the screen. Also in this mode, automation determines the scene, including turning on macro when approaching an object or night mode in low light. The function is well thought out and implemented.

Software

This is the flagship of the company, which will appear on the market in early 2013 (tentatively in late February-early March). This means it must run on the latest version of Android, currently running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Apparently, an update to version 4.2 will be available by the time the device is released or a little later. But this is not so important, since most of the functions of 4.2 are available in the current version through customization from Sony.

Sony has a long tradition of adding features to new phones that are not available to older models, and this phone is no exception. Most of the changes concern the interface, they make the device pleasant to use. There's a new unlock screen, when you swipe your finger across it, your picture shatters into pieces. Themes have different options for the unlock screen. In lock mode, you can quickly launch the camera or the Walkman app, which replaces the stock Android player. By the way, the Walkman application has acquired new features, for example, “Clear Audio +”, here the phone determines the genre of music and automatically changes both the equalizer and the playback volume. There is an option “Surround Sound”, in which you choose the type of room (hall, club, and so on). The “Clear Stereo” option improves the sound and does not allow the sound in the channels to overlap, in practice the sound changes for the better, and this is very noticeable. Unfortunately, there is only one speaker in the device, but some options are available when playing music through it: “Clear Phase” automatically adjusts the volume to reduce noise, “XLoud” increases the speaker volume, which directly cancels out what the previous option does. The “Dynamic normalizer” option reduces the difference in sound level when jumping from music to video or vice versa.

Gallery app has been renamed to Album and is completely identical to the one found in Xperia T. Even though videos are available in Album, there is a separate Movies app that has a different interface, showing icons of saved videos and there is a preview for the last played file. In this application, you can also try to restore tags for videos, using the Gracenote service.

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The program for launching applications has been changed, you can choose how many screens in the standby mode you want to see, the application menu has been somewhat redesigned. The dialer and messages now use a white background, but they have not changed functionally, although they look nicer.

The “Smart Connect” app handles both wired and wireless connections, including NFC, and can also manage NFC SmartTag tags. All other features are inherited from Xperia T and described in the corresponding material.

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You can see all the screenshots on a separate page.

Conclusion

After a long period of trying to catch up with the competition, today, completely controlled by Sony, it is heading in the right direction and trying to release interesting devices. The first example is the Xperia T, which is not perfect, but displays this approach. And the Xperia Z continues the same strategy, with

First impressions of Sony Xperia Z (C6603 Yuga) - the flagship of the 2013 line

In today's market, creating devices at the intersection of mobile phones and tablets with a screen diagonal of more than 5 inches is a new trend created by products such as the Samsung Galaxy Note and Note II, which have had a huge impact on manufacturers. Sony also wants to get their piece of the pie from this segment, and this is how the C660x line models were born. This device will be presented in various modifications, for different networks, with different radio interfaces and some differences in software. Their names will differ by the last digit of the C660x number, this first glance is based on C6603.

Content:

Design, dimensions, controls

The design of the C6603 is very different from current Sony devices and follows a new philosophy. The phone has sharp corners, clean lines, a slim profile, and an almost complete lack of conspicuous body elements on both the front and back. Simplicity is perceived as a virtue or a drawback, depending on personal tastes, but it creates a unique perception of the device. With a screen of such a diagonal, this phone is quite large, but the thinness of the body and light weight give the impression of convenience, Toyota Shoe Kit ( bande frein ) but it is still difficult to put the phone in most pockets (there are no differences from the Galaxy Note II, that is, both devices perform in the same category).

The design of the C6603 is very different from current Sony devices and follows a new philosophy. The phone has sharp corners, clean lines, a slim profile, and an almost complete lack of conspicuous body elements on both the front and back. Simplicity is perceived as a virtue or a drawback, depending on personal tastes, but it creates a unique perception of the device. With a screen of this diagonal, this phone is quite large in size, but the thinness of the body and light weight give the impression of convenience, Toyota Shoe Kit ( bande frein ) Toyota Shoe Kit ( bande frein ) but putting the phone in most pockets is still difficult (there are no differences from the Galaxy Note II, that is, both devices are in the same category).

The construction of the phone uses expensive materials, something that has been lacking in Sony phones in recent years - both sides of the phone use plastic with a glossy finish that looks like glass and gives the phone a chic, makes you feel that its price is high. The build quality is perfect, all parts fit tightly, which gives this device extra points in comparison with models from other manufacturers.

The front of the phone is occupied by a large screen. There are no touch or hardware keys here, just like the Xperia T, Android's on-screen buttons are used. The speaker grill above the screen is the only visible element, while the proximity sensor is hidden behind black plastic. Under the screen you can find one of the microphones, in fact, that's it.

The back of the phone is simple, with a 12-megapixel camera module at the top, it doesn't protrude at all and blends into the surface. There is also an LED flash and a hole for the second microphone.

On the left side of the phone there is a microHDMI connector, as well as microUSB, they are covered with plastic plugs attached to the body and look pretty good. A few contacts remain uncovered, apparently they can be used with desktop stands or other accessories.

Unfortunately, there are flaws on the right side of the phone, for example, the on / off button is gray and out of the general design, and its size is such that it is appropriate to compare it with a winding crown in a regular watch. The volume buttons are lower, similar to the Xperia T, but due to the size of this device, they are easier to use. The microSIM slot is above the power button.

Display

The screen is the main reason for this smartphone, the 5-inch display is the main reason for buying the device. This screen has a resolution of 1080p (1920x1080 pixels), which so far can only boast of a few models in a small number of markets. The real resolution is a little less, since in most applications the lower part of the screen is reserved for buttons. The dot density is amazing and the image detail is excellent. Given that the screen provides a density of 440 dpi, it is decidedly impossible to see individual dots, no matter how you look. Even though 720p screens are already great for displaying graphics, icons, everything looks even better on a 1080p screen. Watching videos or photos on such a high resolution screen is really enjoyable and makes your experience unique.

But Sony couldn't do everything perfectly and added a fly in the ointment to the screen performance. Color reproduction is perfect in all multimedia applications that use the Sony Bravia Engine, in all other applications the picture is noticeably worse. The reflections of the backlight of the screen are perfectly distinguishable in the black areas of the picture and this is annoying. Viewing angles are poor as colors fall apart and this is the downside of using the Bravia Engine.

As before, all the advantages of the screen in the flagship model are offset by disadvantages that cannot be found in competing solutions. Regardless, the C660x is one of those phones that will amaze you with its screen quality and resolution.

Battery

The phone uses a built-in battery, while the company has not officially announced its capacity. Taking into account the early version of the software in the prototype, the large screen and the platform used here (more about it below), it is impossible to draw conclusions about the operating time of the device. I will only note that at the moment the device can work most of the daylight hours, which is quite expected at this stage.

Communications

Like any flagship, this device has all possible communication methods.

Bluetooth. Version 4.0, all profiles are supported. The maximum data transfer rate is an impressive 2 Mbps, achievable when paired with another phone that supports this version of Bluetooth.

USB. The connector on the case is used to connect to a PC and other devices, but also supports USB Host mode, you can connect flash drives, a mouse or keyboard to it.

Given that the device runs on Jelly Bean, it was expected that the memory access is carried out via the MTP protocol, but Sony has added support for USB Mass Storage, however, only for microSD memory cards (the built-in memory is not visible).

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USB Tethering mode is supported, you can connect your phone to PC and use its network connection. On the PC side, this connection is transparent, the phone acts as an NDIS emulator, making the PC think it is a standard network cable. The huge advantage of this trick is that no drivers are required, everything works on the fly.

Wi-Fi. The device supports all frequencies and modes for the 802.11 standard, which means that it works in a/b/g/n networks, as well as in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Of course, there is support for the wireless hotspot mode, up to 10 devices can connect to the C660x, while previously the maximum number was 5 simultaneously connected devices.

Wireless media transfer is supported through Sony's proprietary interface and is very easy to use. Surprisingly, this unit is capable of streaming 1080p without any problems to compatible devices (we tested this feature on the Playstation 3). In this mode, power consumption is maximum, and one full charge is enough to watch a whole movie with great difficulty. Transferring music and photos is just as easy, but the battery life isn't as heavy.

microSD. It's not quite right to talk about memory cards in the "Communications" section, but it is the card that offers another way to transfer and store files on devices. The C660x supports SDXC card format, which means the maximum card size is 128 GB.

It has already been mentioned that there is a USB Mass Storage protocol for accessing the memory card, but Sony also added the option in the settings section to copy the entire contents of the internal memory to the card, this is more than a convenient feature that can be welcomed in standard software.< /p>

LTE. At the moment, LTE is used for data transmission. The C660x uses a Qualcomm MDM9615 modem, which theoretically allows the phone to operate on all available LTE frequencies, in any network. In the real world, no device is tuned to all frequencies, since such a setting would cost too much, so the versions of LTE phones differ for different networks and countries, and these are different modifications of the device. For the C660x, it's important to note that this is not the case and is the first truly global LTE phone that will work worldwide. For people who travel a lot, this will be a nice feature of the device.

Platform

The platform used in this device is relatively new to the market and differs in some aspects from existing solutions. This means that this section of the review will be somewhat longer than usual, but there will also be more topics for discussion.

The C660x is one of the few devices that runs on the Qualcomm APQ8064 chipset, which contains 4 Krait cores along with an updated and improved Adreno 320 GPU. In addition to using 4 Krait cores and an updated GPU, this solution differs in that it does not the radio part, which was in the dual-core MSM8960 and MSM8260A, is built into the chipset. This means that the radio part must be installed separately to add network functionality to a tablet or phone, this is not a one-chip solution. This means that phones using this solution are more difficult to design, cost more, and consume more power. At the moment, there are only two widely available devices on the market with this chipset - LG Optimus G and Nexus 4. You can remember the HTC Droid DNA and its Japanese counterpart Butterfly J, they use the same platform, but are not widely used yet.

Like the two HTC models, the C660x combines this platform with a 5-inch 1080p display to create an interesting device in terms of both performance and multimedia capabilities. The increased screen resolution means that the GPU and four cores have more work to do, not only in multimedia, but also for fairly routine tasks.

Thanks to Adreno 320, the phone can easily handle all tasks at this screen resolution, rendering graphics without any problems. The power of the quad-core processor is enough for all conceivable tasks, and in most cases it is even excessive. There are no lags in the games, on the other hand, there are currently no games for this screen resolution or for using the capabilities of the graphics accelerator.

The user interface has been redesigned for a higher resolution, and all icons, captions look very good. Playing multimedia files also occurs without delay, opening web pages is one of the fastest among all mobile devices.

You can also download archives with all tests, as well as compare performance with HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3:

Unfortunately, this is where the advantages of the platform come to an end and the disadvantages begin. Firstly, the platform and screen used consumes a lot of power. Using the multimedia features on the C660x is fabulous and drains the battery very quickly. Even web browsing drains the battery quickly, making it hard to expect the phone to last all day. Improved standby power consumption, on the other hand, allows you to hope that during the working day the phone does not sit down (if you do not actively use it).

The second flaw is even more noticeable. Using this platform inside a thin phone case such as the C666x causes the case to get warm. When the user actively uses the functions of the device, the heating becomes such that it becomes unpleasant to hold the phone in hands or speak on it. We have been using devices of this family for more than a month and during this time we constantly faced with their overheating. It even got to the point that the phones refused to take pictures, the “Camera” application reported that the phone was overheated and you had to wait until it cooled down! Even though Camera is the only app that refuses to start due to overheating, overall performance suffers as well. In APQ8064, the developers have tried to reduce the frequency of each core to avoid overheating. This is also true for other platforms, such as NVIDIA Tegra 3, Samsung's Exynis 4412, but in APQ8064 the drop in frequency and, as a result, performance is very easy to notice. For example, when watching 1080p video, the phone warms up so quickly that it becomes impossible to hold it in your hands.

To conclude, the C660x is an amazingly fast device with its limitations. Most of us don't treat our phones like computers, and are hardly prepared to make sure that the phone does not overheat, as PCs sometimes do. Despite the fact that C660x is not the first phone on this platform, it is the first device where all the shortcomings of this approach are clearly visible.

Camera

Compared to the Xperia T, a step back, it uses a 12-megapixel module, not a 13-megapixel one. The reason for this change is not very clear, especially since the capabilities of the sensor installed in the Xperia T have not been fully disclosed. At the same time, the images from the C660x are much better than those from the Xperia T - both in terms of detail quality and colors (even considering the degree of product readiness). A back-illuminated sensor should in theory perform well in the dark, but detail suffers. Using the new platform allowed Sony to add new features to the camera. First, the phone uses the entire sensor when recording HD video, and stereo audio is also recorded. The HDR option is now available not only for photos, but also for videos (a first for a mobile phone!). Another notable change is the Burst photo mode, where you can take an unlimited number of shots in a burst. The only limitation may be the overheating of the phone, but out of curiosity we tried to hold the shutter button and got 999 shots (then the counter stopped). The last notable change is the Superior Auto mode, where the phone can shoot both video and photos at the same time, with controls for both video and photo shown on the screen. Also in this mode, automation determines the scene, including turning on macro when approaching an object or night mode in low light. The function is well thought out and implemented.

Software

This is the flagship of the company, which will appear on the market in early 2013 (tentatively in late February-early March). This means that it should run on the latest version of Android, currently running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Apparently, an update to version 4.2 will be available by the time the device is released or a little later. But this is not so important, since most of the functions of 4.2 are available in the current version through customization from Sony.

Sony has a long tradition of adding features to new phones that are not available to older models, and this phone is no exception. Most of the changes concern the interface, they make the device pleasant to use. There's a new unlock screen, when you swipe your finger across it, your picture shatters into pieces. Themes have different options for the unlock screen. In lock mode, you can quickly launch the camera or the Walkman app, which replaces the stock Android player. By the way, the Walkman application has acquired new features, for example, “Clear Audio +”, here the phone determines the genre of music and automatically changes both the equalizer and the playback volume. There is an option “Surround Sound”, in which you choose the type of room (hall, club, and so on). The “Clear Stereo” option improves the sound and does not allow the sound in the channels to overlap, in practice the sound changes for the better, and this is very noticeable. Unfortunately, there is only one speaker in the device, but some options are available when playing music through it: “Clear Phase” automatically adjusts the volume to reduce noise, “XLoud” increases the speaker volume, which directly cancels out what the previous option does. The “Dynamic normalizer” option reduces the difference in sound level when jumping from music to video or vice versa.

Gallery app has been renamed to Album and is completely identical to the one found in Xperia T. Even though videos are available in Album, there is a separate Movies app that has a different interface, showing icons of saved videos and there is a preview for the last played file. In this application, you can also try to restore tags for videos, using the Gracenote service.

The program for launching applications has been changed, you can choose how many screens in the standby mode you want to see, the application menu has been somewhat redesigned. The dialer and messages now use a white background, but they have not changed functionally, although they look nicer.

The “Smart Connect” app handles both wired and wireless connections, including NFC, and can also manage NFC SmartTag tags. All other features are inherited from Xperia T and described in the corresponding material.

You can see all the screenshots on a separate page.

Conclusion

After a long period of trying to catch up with the competition, today, completely controlled by Sony, it is heading in the right direction and trying to release interesting devices. The first example is the Xperia T, which is not perfect, but displays this approach. And the Xperia Z continues the same strategy, with