My Top 10 XZs XPERIAnce (Part 2)
Life has a funny way of telling its own
When I started on my new Sony XPERIAnce journey, I took it on with much trepidation (my much-confessed fear of moving away from iOS) and anticipation of what's to come. I always say, God has an immaculate sense of humour and things will happen as it happens.
Let's just call it Life XPERIAnce.
And that is perhaps the exhilarating part of stepping into the unknown zone and embracing the life moments that occur. It has been, well, an interesting two months. Like many others, my mobile phone has become the indispensable and quintessential tool for communication and perhaps even more importantly, capturing life moments with the advanced camera technology infused with any given mobile phones these days.
I unapologetically declared in my Xperia Journey Begins post that the camera is of utmost importance and my end-user XPERIAnce. After several Android vs iOS debates, it was a unanimous agreement that the preferred interface is based on individual requirement, character, preference and most importantly, end-user experience.
After many years of defending the greatness of the iPhone camera, it is clear from Part 1 of My Top 10 XZs XPERIAnce post that the Sony Xperia XZs camera has won me over. The overall end-user XPERIAnce has been a pleasant surprise too for the self-proclaimed Android idiot.
So hear hear.
Here is Part 2 of My Top 10 XZs XPERIANce.
No. 6 - Of Xperia Companion and Google-Everything
One of my biggest fear switching from iOS to Android was the compatibility to my other life-dependant Apple devices called the Macbook Pro and iMac.
I was informed prior to my big switch from iPhone to Sony Xperia that the apps may not be supported. I was okay about the 'no apps' support part as it has long been established that my core use of the phone did not involve the use of many apps. I was content as long as on first use, it was trouble free transfer of contacts and whatever else necessary to get the phone going.
Setting Up A New Sony Xperia
One discovered this cool app called Xperia Transfer Mobile which is pre-installed in the phone that made transitioning from iPhone (or other Android or Windows phone) to Sony Xperia pretty seamless with step-by-step instruction on the 'How-To'.
It was a pleasant surprise when I was setting up my new Xperia that changing interface/phone has become so easy. If my old man memory did not serve me wrongly, I think this app does pop up on start-up of my new Xperia XZs phone.
So thumbs up to the Sony Mobile team for making this lazy Android-idiot's life so easy.
It is Google-Everything....
I wonder why it is still called 'Android'. Doesn't an Android phone seems more like a Google phone? Everything is is linked to Google - sign-in with Google account, auto back-up with google account, auto-photo transfer to google photos, email set-up with Gmail.... it is literally Google-Everything!
After my initial set-up of my Xperia XZs phone, I did not give much thoughts to backing up my phone and file transfers. By then, it was clear that if all else fails, the phone had already "Google-everything" so I did not have much to worry about.
On this note, the Android mountain-tortoise have to say that this is definitely one advantage of Android over iPhone - the ease of backing up the phone via Google. I have to admit I disabled my iCloud transfers because it made the computers very laggy while it was transferring AND! With the number of photos I had in the phone, it did not take very long before iCloud issued me a warning that I was out of space. Meh!
And no, I wasn't diligent enough to manually upload photos from my iPhone to Google Photos or Google Drive to back it up.
So I have to admit I was secretly enjoying this brainless advantage of 'Google-everything'. The best part of all, with Blogger and YouTube under the Google umbrella, I can easily upload images and videos without transferring the files from my phone... everywhere.
This was a privilege I never knew of when I was an iPhone user.
|The ease of adding images taken with my Xperia XZs phone to my blog.|
|Because the images and videos are auto backed-up to Google Photos, I can also easily upload a footage taken with my Xperia XZs to YouTube.|
... And Along Comes Xperia Companion
Despite the useful convenience of Google-Everything, there are times when I still need to work with the images and/or videos from my computer.
And that was when I discovered Xperia Companion.
Many moons ago when I first tried an Android phone which left me with a bitter after-taste, I had to download Android File Transfer on my Mac. I thought perhaps it was the same deal with my Xperia. So I mindlessly plugged my XZs to my Macbook and the phone screen popped up the several options - charge this device, supply power, transfer files or use device as MIDI.
I selected 'Transfer Files' and bing! Xperia Companion popped up on computer! Sony Xperia has an inbuilt software which allows user to install on their Mac for easy back-up and transfer of files.
|The in-built Sony Xperia Companion (very aptly-named) which allows users to install the software on their desktop device.|
I was impressed.
Very very impressed.
The Sony XPERIAnce is getting better with time.
AND! The minute I discovered Xperia Companion, I shamelessly stretched my paw out to take Uncle Nic's Xperia XZs. NOW I can easily "steal" the photos and videos he took of Frodo and me during our WETnesday #LABtest.
Like all phones, the Xperia needs to be unlocked before file transfer. So no, I could not just plug-in Uncle Nic's phone and transfer the files. He had to unlock the phone first.
No. 7 - Liang-Teh For You, Sony Xperia?
As mentioned in my Xperia Journey Begins post, the rapid overheating issue of Sony mobile devices - apparently - is old news. I have spoken to a few Sony users - past and present - and one of the biggest gripe that everyone has is the overheating issue.
One user told me. She used to have a Sony phone (I cannot remember the model) when she was in Australia. She literally had to bring out the fans in her room to cool the phone down as it got "sooooo hot". I burst out laughing visualising this poor girl in her dorm room armed with fans to cool down her phone.
I was also pre-warned of the apparent overheating issue on the day I received my brand new Xperia XZs. And as previously mentioned, the worst XPERIAnce was the phone overheating within 5 minutes of use on a very hot afternoon. Using the camera app does bring the phone temperature up quite rapidly and even on a not-so-hot day outdoors, I could feel the phone temperature rising while I was #LABtesting the camera.
Worst case scenario - The phone will warn you that it is overheating and will shut down the app. OR one is unable to even use the app if the phone is already overheated caused by leaving it out in the sun.
This ongoing overheating issue with Sony Xperia phones does affect an end-user's experience even if it has undeniably amazing camera and features. Google "Sony Xperia Phone Overheating" and the returns are plenty. And of course, if your usage on certain apps (in my case, the camera) is heavy and prolonged, overheating will certainly occur more often than not.
There is no way around this overheating issue other than some conscious human effort to manage the problem. I have been getting better at managing it and apart from that one-time severe overheating, the phone has been behaving.
TIPS: How To Minimize Overheating problem Outdoors:
- Refrain from leaving the phone out even in what seems to be shady area. Our lovely tropical weather "bakes" the phone. So overheating can occur even before use.
- When 'hiding' the phone in the bag, ensure that the phone is not getting direct contact with the sun especially if the bag is left open (speaking from personal experience). In other words, as much as possible, try to keep the phone away or minimize contact from/with direct sun or heat.
- When driving, one may need to consider position the phone holder right in front of the air conditioning vent and avoid direct sunlight hitting the phone especially on a very hot day - which is almost everyday in Singapore.
- Minimize apps running in the background. I have gotten really good in closing all apps before going on my trigger-happy spree.
- If the phone overheats within 5 minutes of use, it indicates the weather is way too hot so might be a better idea for humans and pets to go back indoors to hibernate.
- When all else fails, just splash the phone down with water since it is water resistant anyway.
Liang teh, anyone?
Further to my above write-up about this overheating issue, I am happy to release this official statement from Sony Mobile Singapore:
How can you be sure the phone will not get too hot when recording in Super slow motion?
Thanks to the world’s first memory stacked sensor, Super slow motion recording does not create additional heat - it consumes less power than regular video recording, such as in Full HD or 4K.
We have also focused on efficient heat management throughout the device, including the integration of a graphite sheet which lies in-between the LCD display and the battery, to enable redistribution of heat away from the camera module. In addition, the Snapdragon 820 processor ensures the device performs efficiently, which also reduces the formation of heat.
Another fantastic test conducted by 'Phone Battles' on YouTube. It is called "4K HEAT TEST! Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs XZs vs XZ vs Z5P vs Z5 vs M5 vs Z3+ vs Z3v".
Point to note though, the heat test was conducted indoors.
So there you go! I think this video can safely dispel fears about the Sony Xperia XZs and Premium overheating issues. After watching this video, it has certainly upped my itch to test the Sony Xperia Premium. 😩
Oh Sony Mobile Singapore!
How you've spoilt me with the XZs. 😩😩😩
No. 8 - Hello. It's Me.
We live in a world dominated by selfie, wefie, theyfie, usfie, themfie, mefie... whatever-fie.
One of the first things I learnt from a beeming Miss J from Sony Mobile Singapore as she demonstrated the Xperia XZs selfie-mode to me - the front camera's resolution is 13MP (4:3). At that point, I was using the iPhone 6s (5MP front camera) which, let's face it, iPhone has never been known for its selfie mode. Anywoof, I do not induge much in selfies so it never really bothered me.
HOWEVER, when Miss J further demonstrated the cool function of taking selfies 'handsfree' using gesture recognition (see video below)... Oh my bark! I flashed my signature PR smile for the camera.
|Sony Xperia XZs boasts of 13 megapixels front camera and has gesture recognition (or smiles) too! Sorry guys, the algorithm does not include dog's paw or smile. Tried and tested.|
And because of how fab and fun the Sony Xperia XZs, I decided to put together this short 30 seconds 'How-To' video.... enjoy!
Taking Selfies with Sony Xperia XZs
No. 9 - Of Battery Life, Dual SIM Card, External MicroSD Storage and The Sony XPERIAnce
This section should be No. 10 but I insisted I had to save the best for last. So please excuse me if this is a little incoherent in its order.
Sooo.... one of the first questions I was asked when I first leaked out the news that I would be testing out the Sony Xperia XZs, "Does the phone have dual sim card and external storage?"
Again, these are not the 'extras' I look for in a mobile phone and unless mummy decides to get me a 'Flapper line', I do not have much use for dual SIM card. We, the furry kind of 4 legs, are pretty much grounded and as much as I dream of jet-setting, I don't think it will ever happen in this lifetime.
However, I do appreciate having the option of external storage for a phone. You see, after many moons using the iPhone, I forgot external storage for mobile phones is even remotely possible. And with many thanks to my two years stint with Sony Action Cam, I - Flapper Choo - actually do have a spare MicroSD card available! Woof!
As you can see from the Xperia Companion image above, my internal storage is swiftly clocking up its mileage from all our #LAB-test videos and photos. So indeed, being able to have extra storage is always good.
Sony Xperia XZs.
Dual SIM CARD - check!
External MicroSD storage - check!
Then comes that thing about battery life.
So far, I have no complains about the battery life. I'm content. On most days, I only need to charge before I go to bed with 40%-50% battery life remaining. With that said, I do have to point out I do not cook telephone porridge (hog on the phone) nor do I spend a lot of time messaging.
Using the phone camera does sap up the phone battery rapidly. In my latest #LAB-test, I started out with just about 50% of battery life. After around 50 minutes of intermittent use of the camera, the phone signalled low battery - 15% of battery life remaining.
In general, like most phones, heavy usage of apps (i.e. games, videos etc.) does eat up the battery life quickly and can overheat the phone too - depending on environmental conditions at point of use.
The Overall Sony XPERIAnce
|The Sony XPERIAnce comes from a point of creation and discovery, an exhilarating journey of testing out what the capability of the Xperia XZs camera.|
From the initial set-up to daily usage to its awesome water resistant feature to its amazing camera, the Xperia XZs has surprised me on many levels. The Sony XPERIAnce as an end-user has been pleasant and #LAB-testing the camera has been and still is exhilarating. When Miss J first introduced the Xperia XZs to me and told me all about the fantastic camera, I was not convinced. At all.
Apart from being bias towards the iPhone's camera (then), personal experiences with Android phones left me short-changed. By far, the iPhone proved reliable and trustworthy in taking photos of dogs in action. It was my no-fail doggie phone camera.
Kudos to Miss J's confidence in the Xperia XZs camera and still decided to let me, Flapper Choo, test the phone out despite my early barks of skepticism. As much as I started out bias against the Android interface, I do take my job seriously and spent A LOT of time getting to know the phone especially the camera to give a fair and unbiased review.
After one and a half months of dabbling with the Xperia XZs, I have to raise my paws and doggishly admit, "I am loving my Sony (Xperia XZs) phone a lot. I am not struggling with it as much as I thought I would. And the phone camera is damn impressive. Better than my iPhone (6s). You HAVE TO check out the Super Slow Motion....."
No. 10 - It's All In That 0.18 Seconds
I had to save the best for last.
For one reason and one reason only why anyone and everyone should own the Xperia XZs (better still, the XZ Premium) is for this revolutionary, super awesome, MUST-HAVE what-I-call-the-Sony-RX-technology..... it is called Super Slow Motion.
So I admitted in my first article that I sold-out just for Super Slow Motion. You can read all my delirious yaps about Super Slow Motion here - The Xperia Journey Begins.
Please allow me to say it one more time.... I LOOOOVVVVVVEEEEE Super Slow Motion. It rocks!
Super Slow Motion Explained
It shoots at 960fps.
Human/Doggie Understandable Talk:
0.18 seconds footage extends to 6 seconds from point of capture
Super Slow Motion = 32 times slower.
How 0.18 Seconds Really Looks Like
No shit. Those were 0.18 seconds in my life and that is about all the time you have to capture THAT sweet spot perfect moment for super slow motion.
How That 0.18 Seconds Looks Like In Super Super Slow Motion (6 Seconds)
Unlike the RX100M4/M5 cameras where one has 2-3 seconds of footage to work with, the Xperia XZs only allows 0.18 seconds.... which is not even 1 second. This is when the famous Nike's slogan becomes the motto - JUST DO IT!
And if you happen to have a brother like mine *cough Frodo Choo* who has no sense of direction and has a faulty brake system, one may suffer some bangs (not yet bruises) to capture some of these Super Slow Motion shots.
If you have not seen this Hazar-DOH! video in part 1 of this Sony Xperia XZs review, here's a reminder of the crash while #LAB-testing.
So yes, be brave and conquer Super Slow Motion!
How-To Capture in 'Super Slow Motion (One-Shot)'
Super Slow-Motion (One-Shot) = Just that 0.18 seconds footage that extends to 6 seconds - as per our GIF footage above.
Using One Shot is for adrenaline junkies who love the thrill and challenge of being able to capture THAT 0.18 seconds. And when you can capture THAT moment! Ohh-la-la! That sense of achievement is undeniably boast-worthy and spectacular.
Buy insurance (just kidding).
The biggest problem with doing Super Slow Motion is the nerves. The tendency to press that red button too soon is common.
The best tip I can give is.... grit your teeth and press that button when your heart feels like it's going to fail you with all the action going on. That is when you will probably capture that sweet-spot 0.18 second moment.
There is no way to explain how Super Slow Motion works with works. Thanks to my good companion called Sony Action Cam, I am able to put together this 'How-To' video that will show you exactly when to press that red button.
How-To Capture in 'Super Slow Motion'
It is just called Super Slow Motion on the phone.
Super Slow Motion = Continuous video footage that takes allows one or more Super Slow Motion at desired timing(s) in one footage.
The above video tells the story of what Super Slow Motion is all about and how ridiculously fun it can be to create our own story.
I personally prefer using this mode over One-Shot. As it is a part of an entire footage, it is more forgiving even if one misses that sweet spot timing. It also gives the user a little bit more of mental preparation to capture THAT 0.18 seconds.
Then it takes approximate 1.9 seconds for the Super Slow Motion video to process (see video below). This means, ambitiously, taking two super slow mo shots of us (the dogs) in one take may be possible but three shots has proven quite impossible unless we are swimming or running in repetitive circles.
Anywoof, here's my detailed step-by-step How-To video that I've painstakingly put together which explains how Super Slow Motion works as well. Hope it helps!
And I say again.
For one reason and okay, two reasons only why Xperia XZs is a fabulous phone - THE CAMERA and SUPER SLOW MOTION technology.
This is my Sony XPERIAnce.