Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia ZMy BlackBerry Torch 9810 officially died last weekend… So long to a good and trusted friend, it’s done me well over the past 2 + years.

As i try to keep up (as best as any mere human can) with emerging tech, I had already made the decision to move over to Android. No offence to BlackBerry but with a questionable future, and the fact that a) i extensively use Google services, and b) that part of my website consulting business includes consulting clients on social media (there’s just not enough apps for BB platform) I decided Android was my best bet.

Once I’d decided on Android I quickly narrowed my preferred options down to 3 phones, the Sony Xperia Z, Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. Each phone has it’s pluses and minuses but they were all very comparable.

The Sony Xperia Z won out, for me, because of it’s durability and it’s water resistance, many times i’ve dropped my phone in snow, or been caught camping in the rain (I know, I know, i always say it never rains when I camp…) and soaked through to the skin. The other big + was the quality of it’s camera… I’m all for not needing to carry a phone and a camera when I don’t have to!

So Monday I picked up my new Xperia Z, I initially had gone to The Source at Georgetown Marketplace (they have given us excellent service in the past with Sara, Chris & Berts phones) but had to head over to the Bell store here in town and they too were great! Hard to find cases for it, but the phone itself needs less protection than most others with it’s scratch resistant glass etc.

So here’s my breakdown on the good the bad and the ugly after a couple of days immersing myself in the Xperia Z and Android experience:

The Good..

Love the look and feel, I was a bit worried about the squarer (is that a word?) corners on the Xperia Z! I was thoroughly impressed by the quality feel of the Xperia Z. I would definitely place it above my BB Torch 9810 in terms of look and feel. It’s a solid phone but not heavy.

I give kudo’s to Sony for the keyboard that ships with the phone. A few minor setting customizations and I was off to the races. After trying a few touch keyboards, speaking with other touch users and reading reviews on the native Android keyboard, I was leery of taking the plunge. Much to my surprise I was blown away at how quickly the Sony Android keyboard picked up many of my personal words and how accurately I was able to type! Wanting to see what else was out there, I was encouraged by many to check out SwiftKey keyboard for Android, which I did, and after the better part of a day, I deleted it. It was ok.. and I do prefer the # layout it has over Sony’s but the Sony keyboard was simply much more intuitive.. And I do a LOT of typing across social media, blogging, emails etc.

I haven’t had too much time to play around with the camera, I’m getting there, but so far, the few times I’ve used it, i’ve been impressed with it’s speed and the quality of the shots it takes.

I’ve read that some early models had some issues with the wifi and bluetooth connections but I have yet to experience those, I found the Xperia Z one of the easiest devices I’ve ever used to connect to networks, printers, head sets, computer and wifi. It picked up all the devices in the office and home and allowed me to choose whether I wanted to add them or not. Simply, nice!

Battery Life? I used the phone pretty solidly and got up to 12hrs before I hit 11% and decided not to temp fate and reconnected it to charge. Not bad, as that was about all I ever got on my BlackBerry before. I will note that hearing and reading all the info on superphones and battery life I did enable most of the battery saving options, though I did have wifi, data and bluetooth turned on, GPS is off, I turn that on as I need it. and as I am a little OCD, I am pretty religious on closing out the apps as I’m finished using them and clearing out the notifications as I proceed through my day.

On to a few initial thoughts on Android.. Holy Apps Batman! Heaven, I’m in heaven… K seriously… WOW!

One of my biggest pet peeves with using BlackBerry was that as a Website and Social Media Consultant I was relegated to exploring Pinterest and a few other social sites strictly from my laptop, grrrr… and others like Instagram which is only available for mobile was a total mystery to me! So now I have pretty much the full gammut of Social Media apps on board with room to spare.. I still haven’t gotten to the Social bookmarking sites yet.. I could seriously almost ditch the laptop, if all I did was Consult! Thankfully I do still need my awesome ‘ALF’ (that’s my Alienware14’s name) to manage and maintain clients sites, graphics work, and so much more..

My second biggest pet peeve with my ex? Google! So much of the Internet, Social Media and Websites centers around the worlds of marketing and SEO… I switched many years ago to Google Apps for communication, and have several clients and other accounts I help administrate that I’ve been pretty frustrated since Google stopped supporting BlackBerry Sync… This new phone is like ‘AHHHHHHHHHHHHH’ (as the light from above shoneth down upon us a chorus of angels could be heard). I simply logged in with my google account and boom!, finally! full access to all 15 Calendars that I use or subscribe to in order to maintain some semblance of organization and scheduling to the bedlam that is life. Additionally I have fully functioning email and the mobile version of Chrome is Sony’s choice for the Default Android browser, so basically woohoo, all my bookmarks are right there!

And life gets more productive , I can’t say easier, as ‘Do more’ is kinda like a mantra to me.

So right now, today, as I write this… totally recommend the Xperia Z and Android.. Is it perfect? nothing is nor will ever be, but it’s pretty awesome! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the phone, especially if you are a fellow Xperia Z owner, and on the Android OS and how Sony implements it.