Sony Xperia ZL

The Good The Sony Xperia ZL is thin, with a big, bright screen, a zippy processor, great call quality, and a camera that takes excellent pictures.

The Bad The Xperia ZL is more expensive than competing unlocked handsets. The phone’s battery life is short and its camera is sluggish.

The Bottom Line The unlocked Sony Xperia ZL's camera captures excellent images and makes clear calls but has a price that's hard to swallow.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
7.3 Overall

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Sony Xperia ZL
Sony Xperia ZL
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Design
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Features
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Performance
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9

Review

Clear calls, stunning photos, but too pricey

A less sophisticated cousin of Sony's current flagship phone, the Xperia Z, the Xperia ZL has plenty to offer, including the same powerful components and impressive 13-megapixel imaging system. Priced at an exorbitant $759.99, though, this Android handset is no impulse buy. That said, as it's running Jelly Bean out of the box, boasting a big 5-inch screen, and supports 4G LTE, it's nicely appointed. If you're going to spend this much on a phone, however, there are other similarly impressive unlocked options, such as the HTC One Developer Edition.

Design
Sony certainly used its current design language in crafting the dark and thin black slab that is the Xperia ZL. The ZL's clean lines, sleek rectangular shape, and glossy edges would fit right in if set next to the company's HDTVs and home theater equipment.

If you're expecting a luxurious build quality equal to that of the Xperia Z, you won't find it in the ZL. Unlike the Z, the Xperia ZL doesn't have a water- and dust-resistant chassis. The phone also has a more mundane plastic back and not the premium glass material the Xperia Z sports. Still, the ZL's textured back cover is pleasing to the touch, repels fingerprints, and offers a sure grip.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Sony
  • Service Provider not specified
  • Diagonal Size 5 in
  • Weight 5.33 oz
  • Sensors Accelerometer, proximity sensor, magnetometer, gyro sensor
  • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
  • Additional Features DLNA Certified, Face Unlock, xLOUD technology, Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, PlayStation certified, Radio Data Service (RDS), Screen capture, SensMe technology, TTY compatible, battery STAMINA mode, intelligent typing (Gesture)
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