Features & Controls

You'll find a 5-inch touchscreen with the Sony Xperia Z1S that includes a full 1920x1080 HD display (16:9 aspect ratio) with 441 pixels per inch (ppi). Because the full length of the Z1S is about 5.74 inches, the screen doesn't stretch from edge to edge. There are no buttons along the edges on the front of the camera outside of the area of the screen.

This smartphone includes a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. You can just see the lens in the lower left corner of this photo, just below the "Sony" label. In the upper right corner of this photo is a charging light that's built into the front of the smartphone body.

The Xperia Z1S runs the Android 4.3 operating system, although Sony has placed its own user interface over the Android OS.

Back view.jpg
The back of the Xperia Z1S doesn't really have any features, other than the lens and LED light, which are shown in the upper right corner of this photograph. Just to the right of the Xperia logo in this photograph, you can see a faint square-shaped logo, which is an NFC logo. The back of the smartphone is black and is covered with reflective glass.

And although Sony doesn't really advertise this fact through labeling anywhere on the smartphone body, the Xperia Z1S is waterproof to about 4 feet of water depth for up to 30 minutes. The ability to survive water damage is a feature that more smartphones should have.

The smartphone measures 5.74 inches by 2.91 inches, and it's 0.34 inches thick. This device may not fit in some pockets because of its large size, although Sony did manage to keep the Xperia Z1S extremely thin.
Lens view.jpg
A close-up of the Xperia Z1S's lens for the primary camera is pictured here.

The Xperia Z1S includes what is a larger-than-average-sized image sensor for a smartphone camera, measuring 1/2.3 inches. This model's image sensor is similar in size to what you'd find in a point-n-shoot digital camera.

right top buttons.jpg
The Sony Xperia Z1S power button is located on the right side of the smartphone (as you're holding and using the unit's touchscreen). It's the small silver button shown here, and you'll use this button to turn on the smartphone as well as end sleep mode. You have to hold it down for almost a second until the Z1S vibrates slightly or the screen turns on.

Pictured to the right of the power button is the volume/zoom switch. When working in smartphone mode, the opposite ends of this button control the volume. When working in camera mode you'll use the opposite ends of this button to control the Xperia Z1S's digital zoom setting.

The panel to the left of the power button in this photo contains micro SIM card slot. The cover is attached to the smartphone via a flexible hinged cover.

bottom right buttons.jpg
One handy button that Sony chose to include with the Xperia Z1S that you won't find on many smartphones is a dedicated camera shutter button on the right side panel. You can use this button or the on-screen shutter button to record photos.

This button is well placed because when you're holding the smartphone with a horizontal alignment, the shutter button is in a location that's similar to what you'd find on an actual digital camera, where it's easily accessible with your right index finger.

In this photo you also can see a hole in the case where you can attach a wrist strap.

left buttons.jpg
Along the left side of the smartphone's body (as you're holding it and looking at the screen) are a few different ports. At the upper portion of the smartphone (shown here on the right) is the USB port, protected by a flexible hinged cover. These covers must snap into place when you're done using the ports to maintain the device's waterproof capability.

Next to the USB port is the microSD memory card port, again protected by a flexible hinged cover. On the far left of this photo is the charging dock connector.

microSD card slot.jpg
The Xperia Z1S can accept microSD memory cards in sizes up to 64GB. No card is included.

Top view.jpg
On the top panel of the Xperia Z1S you'll find a headset jack, directly in the middle of the panel.

Bottom view.jpg
The bottom panel of this device has a speaker grill that stretches almost 2 inches across. In the far right corner of this photograph you can see the second hole for attaching a strap to the device.

cords view.jpg
Sony included an AC adapter and a USB cable with the Xperia Z1S's kit.

Home GIF.gif

The Xperia Z1S makes use of the Android Jelly Bean 4.3 operating system with a Sony interface over the top.

Dragging the main home screen to the left brings up a screen containing the camera icon in the lower left corner. Tapping it will open the camera function.

You also can touch the camera icon in the apps window to open the camera function.

Shooting screen.jpg
There are plenty of icons on the camera shooting screen, making it easy to control the Xperia Z1S's camera. This screen depicts Auto shooting mode.

In the upper left corner is a set of three boxes which is the menu icon. The camera icon with the arrows along the top allows you to switch between the primary camera and the front facing secondary camera. And the flash icon on the top left controls the smartphone camera's LED flash.

Near the bottom of the screen on the left side is the mode button, through which you can pick from the Xperia Z1S's various shooting modes.

The button with the red dot controls the smartphone camera's video recording. To the right is the on-screen shutter button containing a black camera icon. In the lower right corner is a thumbnail image displaying the most recent photograph recorded. If you touch this image you can open the smartphone camera's Playback function.

At the far edge of the bottom of the screen are the Back, Home, and Minimize button, through which you can temporarily minimize the camera function to gain access to the smartphone's other features.

Shooting menu GIF.gif
The Xperia Z1S offers three different menus when you touch the menu icon. In Auto mode the options under the Camera menu are:

  • Self-Timer - 10 sec, 2 sec, Off
  • Smile Shutter - Big Smile, Average Smile, Small Smile, Off
  • Preview - Unlimited, 5 seconds, 3 seconds, Edit, Off
  • Burst with Long Press - High Speed, Standard, Off
  • Face Registration - On, Off
The Video menu options are:

  • Self-Timer - 10 sec, 2 sec, Off
  • Smile Shutter - Big Smile, Average Smile, Small Smile, Off
  • SteadyShot - On, Off
  • Microphone - On, Off
The Setup menu options are:

  • Quick Launch - Launch Only, Launch and Capture, Launch and Record Video, Off
  • Geotagging - On, Off
  • Touch Capture - On, Off
  • Use Volume Key As - Zoom, Volume, Shutter
  • Shutter Sound - On, Off
  • Data Storage - Internal Storage, SD Card

Shooting settings GIF.gif
You'll gain more options for controlling the smartphone camera's settings if you select Manual from the mode icon in the lower left corner.

In Manual mode you'll see two more icons in the upper right corner of the camera screen. The slider bar icon gives you access to the Sony Xperia Z1S's white balance and EV settings.

Touch the SCN icon in the far upper right corner to see the list of scene modes available with this smartphone camera, including:

  • Off
  • Soft Skin
  • Soft Snap
  • Anti-Motion Blur
  • Landscape
  • Backlight Correction HDR
  • Night Portrait
  • Night Scene
  • Hand-Held Twilight
  • High Sensitivity
  • Gourmet
  • Pet
  • Beach
  • Snow
  • Party
  • Sports
  • Document
  • Fireworks

Shooting modes.jpg
To gain access to the Xperia Z1S's shooting modes, just touch the mode button in the lower right corner. The available shooting modes are:

  • Superior Auto
  • Manual
  • Info-Eye - provides details about objects you're photographing
  • Social Live - automatically share video and still images with social networking sites
  • Timeshift Burst - automatically records images before and after you press the shutter button
  • AR Effect - add virtual effect objects to photos (Fairytale, Dive, Dinosaur, Celebration, Masquerade, Funky Disco, Butterfly)
  • Picture Effect - (discussed later)
  • Sweep Panorama
  • Background Defocus

Special effects.jpg

When you select Picture Effect from the mode functions, you'll be able to add special effects to your images, including:

  • Nostalgic
  • Miniature
  • Vivid
  • Filter
  • Fisheye
  • Sketch
  • Partial Color
  • Harris Shutter
  • Kaleidoscope

Camera menu GIF.gif
When shooting in Manual mode you'll have access to more menu options. While the options under the Setup menu remain the same in Manual mode as in Auto mode, the Camera menu under Manual mode will have more options, including:

  • Resolution - 20MP 4:3, 8MP 4:3, 8MP 16:9, 3MP 4:3, 2MP 16:9
  • Self-Timer - 10 sec, 2 sec, Off
  • Smile Shutter - Big Smile, Average Smile, Small Smile, Off
  • Focus Mode - Single Autofocus, Multi Autofocus, Face Detection, Touch Focus, Object Tracking
  • ISO - Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800
  • Metering - Center, Average, Spot
  • Image Stabilizer - On, Off
  • Preview - Unlimited, 5 seconds, 3 seconds, Edit, Off
  • Face Registration - On, Off

  • You can shoot video in Manual mode by touching the blue camera icon near the lower left corner of the Manual mode screen. When this icon changes to a blue filmstrip icon, you can begin shooting movies.

    The Video menu will become available once the blue filmstrip icon is visible. The options under the Video menu also change in Manual mode to offer more options, including:

    • Video Resolution - Full HD 1920x1080, HD 1280x720, MMS
    • Self-Timer - 10 sec, 2 sec, Off
    • Smile Shutter - Big Smile, Average Smile, Small Smile, Off
    • Focus Mode - Single Autofocus, Face Detection, Object Tracking
    • HDR Video - On, Off
    • Metering - Center, Average, Spot
    • SteadyShot - On, Off
    • Microphone - On, Off

    Movie recording GIF.gif

    When recording videos you'll just touch the red record button to start the recording. You'll then see the amount of time the video has been recording in the upper left corner. Touch the red record button again -- which now contains a red square icon -- to stop the recording. You can record still images while recording video by touching the camera button.

    Panorama effect.jpg
    Shooting in Panorama mode is extremely easy with the Sony Xperia Z1S. After you've selected Panorama mode from the mode button, you'll see the explanation on the screen of how to record a panoramic image. Panoramic photos are recorded at a 4912x1080 resolution.

    Playback album GIF.gif
    When working in Playback mode with the
    Xperia Z1S, you'll find quite a few different options for viewing and organizing your stored images and videos. You can sort by the date the photos were shot, the location in which they were shot, the faces visible in images, and others. You also can create albums where you can store images by your own sorting criteria.

    Playback details GIF.gif
    With a single image on the Playback screen you can access data about the image. Touch the three dots to open the Playback menu, which includes:

    • Throw
    • SensMe Slideshow
    • Slideshow
    • Use As - Contact Picture, Lock Screen Wallpaper, Wallpaper
    • Rotate
    • Details
    • Edit Geotag
    • Edit Name Tags
    Touch Details to see information about how the image was shot, such as date shot, file size, resolution, and flash setting.

    Playback effects GIF.gif
    You will have access to some basic editing functions with the images you've shot with the Sony Xperia Z1S. With a single image displayed on the screen, touch the rectangle and pencil icon near the bottom of the screen to open the edit function. The four primary editing category icons are displayed across the bottom of the screen. Just touch each icon to access its command options. The editing category icons from left to right are:

    • Color - None, Punch, Vintage, B/W, Bleach, Instant, Latte, Blue, Litho, X Process
    • Frame - 12 options
    • Crop - Straighten, Crop, Rotate, Mirror
    • Effect - Tiny Planet, Autocolor, Exposure, Vignette, Contrast, Shadows, Vibrance, Sharpness, Curves, Hue, Saturation, BW Filter

    Playback magnify GIF.gif
    Within the Xperia Z1S Playback feature you can magnify a still image by simply dragging your fingers across the touchscreen in a reverse pinching mode. To reduce the magnification drag your fingers across the touchscreen in a closed pinching mode.

    Playback menu GIF.gif
    You can share the images stored on the smartphone unit by touching the Share icon, which looks like a chevron with a small triangle. You then can access social networking sites like Facebook or Google+ through this Share menu.

    Sony Z1s with DVD 2.jpg
    The Sony Xperia Z1S compared in size to a DVD.

    Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.