Sony Experia Z

 
The Sony Xperia Z is obviously built to look good, not feel good. Its squarish design is in stark contrast with the numerous competitive models out there with smooth curves. Glass panels cover most of the phone while the corners and edges are fused with matt rubber material to add ruggedness and durability, which I feel would ensure the phone can withstand a few drops.
 
All the connector ports are well-concealed with caps that are blended into the design, you wouldn't even notice them. The covers are a necessity to provide the Xperia Z its much-needed water-proofing. This might prove to be inconvenient if you use the ports regularly, like plugging in your headphones or charging the phone.
 

Sony Experia Z

The most prominent feature of the Xperia Z must be the power button, placed almost midway along the sides of the phone. This placement provides greater accessibility to the button, and its physical prominence means I will be able to find the button just by feeling it. The volume rocker buttons, located just below the power button, are another well-thought design, for its length is long enough to prevent any mis-presses.
 
Features That I Like
Connectivity - With MHL, USB-OTG, micro SD card slot, and various other Sony-branded wireless sharing features, the Xperia Z has no problems sharing content by means of file transfer or display mirroring. Plug the phone via USB to your PC and you can access the internal memory for ease of data transfer.

Walkman - Xperia Z is now more music-friendly. Its Walkman app offers some audio enhancement features which I feel works well and does not give a distorted audio experience like many other players. I can also control my player from the lock screen and dropdown notification screen. The Xperia Z comes bundled with the earphones MH-EX300AP which deliver rather decent audio quality: flat response with slight treble bias, moderate mid-range, faithful bass. It is lightweight and does not exhibit cable rub noise when moving.

Sadly, I cannot say the same for the phone speakers, which produce uninspiring quality and lack volume. Nevertheless, credit has to be given to Sony design team for placing the speakers at the side instead of the rear, so the phone remains audible even when placed on flat surfaces.

Mini Apps - Sony is not the first to support apps that run as a floating window, but Sony allows you to download these Mini Apps from the Google Play store and expand the app list. With Mini Apps, I can run apps like Calculator, Voice Recorder, Unit Converter, Notes, and even Camera, as a floating window. But only one Mini App can be run at one time.

Pre-installed Sony Apps - In general, the pre-installed apps in the Xperia Z are functional and good-looking, and somewhat remind me of Microsoft's Windows 8 look. The Album app allows you to change the thumbnail size just by swiping left or right, and has a globe view of your images tagged with location data. The Sony Car app provides large icons for you to press when behind the wheels. The Socialife app brings all your social feeds into a single app. The TrackID helps you find the songs that are played over the air.