Sony Xperia ZR: A Neat Experience

Sony Xperia ZR

Sony Xperia ZR

The speedy Xperia ZR delivers the same image quailty as the Xperia Z, at a lower price, discovers Conchita Fernandes.

After the success of the Xperia Z, it was predictable that Sony would launch a phone with similiar features in a lower price range. After all, aren’t most Android phones doing this? So by ousting the glass cover on the back and featuring a 4.5-inch display, Sony came up with the Xperia ZR.

A Few Improvements
In many ways, Sony has kept up with the sleek interface and the features similar to their Cyber-shot cameras. Packed in a new shell, the matte looking cover of the Xperia ZR may not appeal to many but I found that I had a better grip on the phone. It conceals fingerprints and scratch marks.

One feature that I particularly enjoyed was the Superior Auto mode which decides the nature of the scene and sets the exposure, brightness, contrast and clicks the picture. But sometimes the camera did get confused with the scene and took a few extra seconds to finalise on the mode. The battery life isn’t as bad as the Xperia Z and I managed to squeeze in seven hours of shooting and Instagramming. On the other hand, in a rather surprising twist, the Xeperia ZR is more water resistant than the Xperia Z but only in 1.5m in water for 30 minutes.

On the other hand, since the ZR has the same sensor as the Xperia Z, the image quality is largely the same. The colours in the photograph are quite vibrant and generally performs well under most light conditions.

Minor Drawbacks
But the most surprising thing took place when I used the phone for the first time. I was going about shooting and after a while the screen went blank and a small box appeared. It stated that the device was too hot and I would be able to resume once it has cooled down a bit. Bizarrely, this only happened on the first day of usage.

All in all, there is not much to complain about in the Xperia ZR. But if you want to improve shooting under low-light conditions, then the Nokia Lumia 925 at a slightly higher price, is a better choice. Nevertheless, the ZR is a steal solely for its water resistance which is unique in the price range that it is available for.

The ZR produces good colours in its images, which is not too saturated. It even performs quite decently under low light conditions. Photograph/ Conchita Fernandes

The ZR produces good colours in its images, which is not too saturated. It even performs quite decently under low light conditions. Photograph/ Conchita Fernandes


At A Glance
13MP with autofocus, LED Flash, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 1080p video, 4.5-inch HD screen of 1280 x 720 pixels, 1.5GHz quad core processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB storage (expandable to 32GB), Rs. 30,990.

What We Like
Improved water resistance, great video and colour, sleek interface.

What We Dislike
Front camera, 1MP images shot during video recording.

Why Buy It?
If you want the experience of the Xperia Z with a better battery life and a smaller, easy to hold size and as long as you do not mind a smaller display.


Final Ratings
Camera Features
Good 13MP sensor, fast burst mode at 15fps, HDR in video.

Image Quality
Vibrant colours, too much noise reduction, oversharpening.

Video Quality
Decent in low light conditions, good audio recording.

Good grip, water resistant, photographer friendly interface.

Speed and Responsiveness
Speedy interface, prompt touch focus.


Tags: Sony, October 2013, Cellphone reviews, Xperia ZR