If you're reading this somewhere in the GCC, you've probably got an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy or a BlackBerry. You have probably never given thought to getting a Sony smartphone, but now may be the time to consider the Xperia Z1.
Sony is getting serious about smartphones. While it has been making phones for years, the company only recently set its sights on becoming the world's number three smartphone manufacturer. To get to this level, it is pinning its hopes on the Xperia Z1, launched at the IFA in Berlin last week.
"The Z1 is the best of Sony in a smartphone," claimed chief executive Kazuo Hirai and it is a pretty fair statement. Drawing from its expertise in digital imaging, entertainment and content creation, the Japanese company has managed to pack numerous features into the Z1, which measures a pretty hefty five inches.
Unlike its competitors, Sony has managed to bypass many gimmicks to deliver a product that is durable and useful. It does everything a phone ought to and its host of other features are ones you will probably enjoy and make the most of. Building on its "One Touch" ethos, the Z1 works and connects with a range of Sony devices through NFC. Be it streaming a film straight on to the television or transferring a picture from a laptop, a simple touch is all that is required.
This feature is key to another Sony launch at IFA, the QX10 and QX!00 detachable lenses, which are also compatible with iPhones and other NFC-enabled Android smartphones.
Smartphone cameras have in recent years received particular attention from manufacturers.
Nokia unveiled a whopping 41-megapixel camera for its flagship phone, the Lumia 1020. Sony has mustered a 21-megapixel camera for the Z1, but the company has taken it a step further with the detachable lenses that feature optical zoom to provide compact camera quality pictures. The quality is so good, in fact, it will suffice as the only one to take on holiday. The phone's G-lens camera itself is packed with some great features, including info-eye, which analyses a picture of buildings or books and browses the internet to bring back the relevant information.
Overall it is a great Android smartphone. It may lack the coolness factor of its competitors, but if you want a useful phone, then this is it.