HWM (Singapore) - - Multi- test -

On pa­per, the Sony Xperia Z1 should be im­pres­sive – af­ter all, the smart­phone comes with a 20MP dig­i­tal com­pact cam­era-sized sen­sor, sim­i­lar in size to the one in the Sam­sung S4 Zoom and only smaller than the Nokia 1020. Un­for­tu­nately, the re­sults aren’t, thanks to ag­gres­sive im­age pro­cess­ing and soft glass.

Even at low ISO set­tings; there’s a no­tice­able amount of noise and im­age ar­ti­facts, the cam­era in­tro­duces check­ered pat­terns into dark ar­eas, even in pic­tures shot in good light. The Z1 can shoot at full-res­o­lu­tion only in Man­ual, if you shoot in Auto it down-sam­ples 20MP to 8MP, tamp­ing down the ap­pear­ance of noise and ar­ti­facts, but even then the Z1 has the worst ISO per­for­mance of the lot.

Aside from be­ing sharp in the center, there is no­tice­able soft­ness else­where in the lens. It’s also sus­cep­ti­ble to flare and chro­matic aber­ra­tion, the check­ered pat­tern is more preva­lent around a bright light source. The best thing about the Z1’s im­ages is the rich and nat­u­ral­look­ing col­ors.

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