The new Sony Xperia ZL looks rather similar to the previous model–Sony Xperia Z. On the front side of the phone, we’ve got a stunning 5 inch screen with full 1080p HD quality. There’s no hard buttons on the phone at all which some people may like but to be honest I don’t quite like it. It definitely needs some getting used to. The bezels on this phone are very little and down at the bottom of the screen, there’s a nice notification light–it’s different from most phones. This design is almost the same as the new Sony Tablet Z; the on/off power button is located on the right side of the phone along with a volume rocker button and a camera button. On the back we have the camera positioned at the top with speaker beside it and the flash under the camera. Down at the bottom we have a little flap opening for your micro SIM and micro SD card; the battery is not replaceable. The back of the phone is made of plastic that has some sort of a texture to it for easy grip. This phone also comes in three different colors – black, red and white.

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Before I proceed with my thoughts and experiences, I want to thank Sony for loaning me the device. The experience of this phone is based on the one week that I’ve spent using this phone. The UI of this phone is similar to Stock Android–to unlock your phone, all  you have to do is swipe up and from there you will have the option to choose your actions.

What I like about this device is the clean and fluid UI, having said that there’s a minor lagging every now and then. The apps load very fast and there’s no problem playing games as well. Moving on to the camera, for some reason it doesn’t launch right away when you tap on it, you have to wait at least 3-4 seconds. Even though the camera lacks in details and sharpness, it makes up for it in the effects department–there are many effects that you can choose, such as ‘Sketch’, ‘Partial Color’ and ‘Harris Shutters’. When the phone is used for an hour or more, it gets extremely hot–I have to put the phone down and let it cool for a bit before I can start using it again.

During the day.
In a well-lit room.

Battery performance is better than most phones if you’re not a gamer and are only using it for texting and calling, the battery can last up to 48 hours. There’s also a battery saving mode that you can use to prolong your battery life which is another great feature on this phone. The call quality is pretty decent, however the speaker on the phone is sub-par as it gets fuzzy and static-y if you turn the volume all the way up. Now on to the screen–unfortunately, it’s another disappointment; it’s true that the color is impressive and vivid on still images and some games, but when watching a video or even YouTube HD videos, the display gets pixelated at times. With the Bravia technology, I would have expected a lot more from the display.


While the Sony Xperia ZL is a step-up from the Sony Xperia Z, unfortunately, it falls short on a couple things–such as camera quality and audio quality. Other than that, everything is good; don’t get me wrong I did enjoy this phone  very much. It has a lot of cool features that other phones don’t have. The phone has a sleek design, awesome built quality, good 1080p display and is one of the best phones that Sony has ever produced. To be honest, I think the $675 price tag is a little steep for this model, having said that if you’re eligible for an upgrade you can get it for a cheaper price.  The Sony Xperia ZL is available now online for $675 and it’s also available on Rogers Network.

Posted by:Vincent Ko

Vincent Ko is a fashion photographer, stylist and creative consultant based in Toronto. He specializes in editorial photography and portraiture. His love for design, architecture, food and coffee is constantly share amongst his viewers with the sole intention to inspire others through his lens.