The Sony Xperia ZR comes from the Xpeia mini Z family. It’s a “reduced” version of the Xpeia Z. With a 4.5-inch HD display, 13MP camera and Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, this phone is anything but average.
Compared to Sony’s premium models, the Xperia ZR had to stay somewhere in the middle. However, that does not mean that it is bad. On the contrary, this is a mid-high-end phone, which is reflected in its price.
In addition, this model offers standard Sony water resistance, which only contributes to the great appearance that this phone leaves. This is especially important as the Xperia ZR competes with rivals such as the HTC Mini One, Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S3.
Sony Xperia ZR design
The phone fully corresponds to the original Xperia Z model, so we can say that both phones want to be in the premium segment, mainly due to the very thin body of only 10.5 mm. Ok, this is not the best result, but in practice it is very pleasant.
The Xperia Z is only 7.9mm thick, but this phone is therefore more expensive. The lower price also affects the choice of material, so the Xperia ZR is made of plastic, which is a magnet for fingerprints.
However, since this is a phone from the famous Sony, it is clear that the layer is very high quality and therefore the phone is comfortable to hold.
The micro USB and audio port are covered with plastic covers to prevent water from reaching the inside of the phone. Since the lids are made of plastic, not rubber, this can be a bit problematic when opening them.
The outer keys are on the right. Here are all the power, volume, and camera keys. They are quite nicely positioned (except for the one for the sound because it is at the bottom of the phone and not too practical). The keys are a little harder and not too pleasant to the touch. For example, the camera button is very small, so it will take time to get used to it. It is the same with the SIM slot, which you can damage if you open it often.
Sony Xperia ZR screen
If there was a compromise in terms of design, there is none here. The screen is in 720 × 1280 pixels resolution, which gives a very good 323 pixels per inch, which is slightly worse than the competitor HTC Mini One, which has 341 pixels per inch.
The image quality is very good, as are the colors. Still, the viewing angles are pretty disappointing. Fortunately, the Xperia ZR has a Mobile BRAVIA Engine, so the display of multimedia content makes a very good impression.
The 4.5-inch screen looks pretty good. Ok, it is clear that for a 5-inch standard it may be small, but in this particular case the screen diagonal reflects its compactness. I don’t think you’ll lose quality in 0.5 inches, but you’ll gain in convenience.
Sony Xperia ZR software
The Sony Xperia ZR runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean version, which is a bit disappointing as version 4.3 is widespread. Sony’s interface is still good and easy to use. At the same time, it looks very nice, and it is full of animations that can be very interesting.
Sony Xperia ZR specification and performance
The Xperia ZR runs a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor at 1.5 GHz. This powerful processor combined with good Adreno 320 graphics and 2 GB of RAM gives great results. The Xperia ZR is definitely a gaming phone, so if you don’t have the money for something better, the ZR can be a great choice. The phone works very well.
There is no boring hacking here, so users don’t have to waste time waiting for a slow phone to do something. When it comes to memory, Sony has decided to install 8GB, which is fine, but not great when we know that only 4.6 GB is available. However, there is a microSD slot so the memory can be increased to a maximum of 32GB.
The 2300mAh battery should be enough for almost two days of use, but in reality it is something different. Official data says that the battery is enough for 13 hours of talk time over the 3G network and for 21 days in stand-by mode, but in practice you will have the phone available for a day and a half.
Sony Xperia ZR camera
The camera on this phone is light and comfortable to use. There are also many shooting options, including Super Auto mode, which automatically adjusts the camera according to the circumstances in which you want to take photos. The application is very good and activates quickly, while just taking a photo takes minimal.
The camera has 13MP. but the image quality is still mediocre. It often happens that the images are darker than they should be. An additional problem is the zoom. When you zoom in, you can get poor quality photos, but still quite decent for a phone.
Despite the LED flash, indoor images are getting worse than expected. The biggest problem is shooting video, which is in full HD resolution, but which suffers from a lack of exposure, so there is little left of Full HD video in the end.
Sony Xperia ZR Conclusion
The Sony Xperia ZR has many trade-offs. However, despite that, the phone offers decent performance and provides a pleasant use experience. The main complaints are plastic, average battery and camera and bad viewing angles of the screen.
Between the pros and cons, the Sony Xperia ZR still seems to have a lot to offer. First of all, there is a relatively large screen with an image that is not perfect, but also far from bad.
Don’t forget the powerful quad-core processor! When all is said and done, it is clear that the Sony Xperia ZR is a decent phone, but its high price will drive many potential buyers away from it. So the alternative could be the Nexus 4 or the HTC One mini.