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This review is from: Sony Xperia ZR C5502 Mint 3G Quad-Core 1.5GHz 8GB Unlocked Water-Proof Cell Phone
Pros: This Phone is amazing, I'm not even sure where to start. The screen is 323ppi and 720p Hd, This means that pretty much everything looks great on the phone's screen.
The Battery life is also pretty awesome, I can usually get 50 hours of uptime with 4:30 hours of screen on time, and i have yet to see very many Android phones top that.
The phone is water resistant, but I don't see myself ever testing that. I see it more as a safeguard in case of a horrible accident, rather than a feature.
The Xperia UI is pretty great, it maintains the same basic design themes as stock Android, and mostly just adds a few features and animations. (some useful some not) In my opinion this is the way it should be, I have no problem with OEMs adding their own skin over Android, however I feel that Companies like HTC and to a lesser extent Samsung are trying to reinvent the wheel with their android skins, and ultimately damage Android as a whole when they can't maintain their skins over continuous updates.
There are some Sony apps that I don't find particularly useful and there are some that I do, overall it isn't a crippling amount of bloatware and a good deal of it can even be removed without rooting (fancy that!)
This phone uses the Snapdragon S4 Pro Cpu and Adreno 320 GPU. While the S4 Pro is a bit long in the tooth, I have not found anything that even remotely taxes this venerable cpu. The Adreno 320, while also last years GPU was actually carried over by Qualcomm for this years Snapdragon 600 chipset. The long and the short of this is that the Gpu is still top of the line, and the Cpu while not top of the line anymore is still extremely powerful compared to the kind of load most programs might put on it.
This phone has a user replaceable battery and a Micro SD slot. If you look around at the Android forums, these features have become incredibly illusive when it comes to Android, and the people are clamoring for them. More and More OEM's are making sealed off batteries and non expandable memory, which means that when a battery goes bad after heavy usage you have to send the phone in for repair, and when your storage gets filled there is no way to expand it. Well these are not things one needs to worry about with this phone, which for me is peace of mind.
Cons: Unfortunately due to this phones limited release across the globe it is unlikely you will see much in terms of AOSP support, I believe there is a port of CM10 out but I wouldn't expect much beyond that.
For some reason Apps cannot be moved to the SD card natively, several people on XDA have been able to use 3rd party apps to finish the job, but with only 8Gb of internal memory and almost half of that taken up by default, it was a shortsighted move by Sony's engineers to remove this feature.
Because the Screen uses a slightly outdated Technology (TFT LCD) as opposed to super LCD, IPS LCD, or Super AMOLED, the viewing angles aren't that great. I don't really care because I don't look at the screen from an angle, but it is something that some people care about and is worth noting. I personally would rather have the price lower and use and older screen technology than higher, and better viewing angles or better color saturation, this is however a mark of this midrange phone.
Other Thoughts: I moved to this phone after nearly throwing my HTC OneX at a brick wall, Spec wise this is only a minor upgrade from the HOX but feature wise and Optimization wise it feels like this phone is light years ahead. Also Mugen has released a 4600MAH battery and a 2500MAH battery for this phone so you can always get more juice if you need it.
I have a lot of good things to say about this phone, but you don't have to take my word for it. Compare this phone to the GS4 mini or the HTC One Mini, and you'll see that with the Xperia ZR you get better specs, better battery life, and more features, for slightly more than the GS4 mini, and a lot less than the HTC One Mini.
If you want a more scientific breakdown of the battery life, check out the GSM arena battery tests, they are very objective and cover a wide variety of phones, including all of the Xperia ZR's main rivals.