Mobile World Congress is an extremely busy event filled with hundreds of reporters. They range from the big-boys all the way down to dedicated bloggers and tech reporters who run round the event covering every angle of the yearly mobile madness.
This year, I must confess, I wasn’t that prepared. Everything slotted into place at the very last moment, and you’ve no doubt already read about my connectivity issues. I went out without the roaming enabled on my Three SIM and, on my other handset, I had the choice of an Orange package giving me just 30MB per day.
Worse still, I had no recording or photography equipment ready. Luckily, the nice people at UR Mobile sent us a Sony Xperia Z to use as our mobile recording studio.
We’re not quite CNN or the BBC, we know that, so instead of a camera crew, sound man and producer we’ve got a mobile phone. The atmosphere within the halls was noisy and cramped, and the noise cancellation on the Xperia Z did rather well considering the background chatter.
As an example, here’s the video we took of the Xperia Tablet Z. Just as a reminder, this was recorded totally on the Xperia Z and, although there’s a couple of moments where the auto-focus had to adjust to the glossy black screen, this is an example of the footage we put out..
When me, Mark and Dan met up we compared our equipment (and believe me, that’s not as rude as it sounds) and found that quite a few Sony devices had crept into our arsenal of mobile recording devices…
Yes, there’s eight phones there. The Xperia Z was also a great editing suite. Whilst running from the stands to the press centre we could edit together two videos using the handset and then upload it straight over the WiFi to YouTube.
Now all that is great, but using this for a week has given me chance to form a more informed opinion of this device. The bigger brother – the Xperia Tablet Z – is an utterly stunning bit of kit. Lightweight, yet strong, it has a fantastic design and – like this Xperia Z – it is built to withstand the rough and tumble of daily life. Carrying kit around Barcelona in the rain, on the metro and at the bottom of a bag, the Xperia Z impressed me greatly. The camera is stunning and the new “one button” idea actually works very well indeed.
Now, I know that there’s been a rather epic review of the Xperia Z already, so I’ll give you some up-close shots and reasons why I like the device. Firstly, the build quality. It’s solid but light. Secondly, the fact that it’s waterproof. This year at MWC there were so many companies coming out with solutions for water damage. Here, the Xperia Z already has that. You can stick it in water for up to 30 minutes and, better still, those flaps actually make it better. It gives it a more simplistic, more stylised appearance.
Up top, that’s the 3.5mm audio port. Top left, the charging point. Below that, the microSD port and, to the right, the microSIM port.
The back, even the back, it’s a polished black shade and … well, don’t worry about that NFC sticker, it’s meant to peel off. I just had to leave it there as this was a review unit.
NFC? NFC you say? Yes, yes indeed. This handset let me get into the Mobile World Congress without needing additional paperwork. I just popped it onto their sensors and bingo, I was in. The NFC technology also allows file transfer and you can even pay for stuff too.
Those two contact points, by the way, are for the charging dock. You get one of those free if you buy before March 13th.
Sony told me that people press the power button the most, so they made it big, bold and easy to find. The handset is a minimalistic black slab, but this button sits proudly on the side and, I’ve got to say, I’m glad it does. Oh, and the same can be said for the Xperia Tablet Z which carries the same styling.
Overall, I was hugely impressed with the Sony Xperia Z. It’s a handset I’ve been lucky enough to spend a week with and I’d like (if I’m honest) to spend a lot longer with it. If you buy one, I applaud you.
Link – UR Mobile