Sony has a really solid package here with the Xperia Z1S. It has a large, rich HD display, specs that rival any other high-end Android device, a whopper of a camera and battery life that makes power an afterthought, which is a good thing.

Sony Xperia Z1S review

Moreover, it all comes in a smartphone that is waterproof to nearly six feet for up to 30 minutes, and a memory expansion slot that supports microSD cards up to 64GB.

Oh, and before we forget, it's also available on a network that we're growing to love: T-Mobile. In many places, as we've mentioned before, T-Mobile's LTE network is much faster than AT&T's or Verizon's.

Moreover, T-Mobile has more affordable plans and doesn't veil its perks and plans in completely misleading advertising or schemes. Moving on…

We liked

The big gorgeous display, excellent battery life and solid performance is what I loved about the Xperia Z1S. Of course, those things are pretty standard these days when it comes to high-end smartphones, but the Z1S also has style and a design that isn't just run-of-the-mill.

Sony Xperia Z1S review

Sony's UI isn't entirely subdued and offers apps, services and widgets that you may come to learn to like. And if not, they're easy to just push out of the way, unlike other manufacturer devices (*cough* Samsung).

And of course, I absolutely the fact that the device is entirely waterproof. There are few concessions, of course, like the doors around every port - a design I've never been a fan of - and the muffled speaker. The trade-off, though, is worth it.

We disliked

If there is any minor disappointment with the Xperia Z1S, perhaps it's with the camera. It's not a bad camera by any means, but our expectations were set a little higher because of its specs.

In my opinion, the cameras on the iPhone 5S, Nokia Lumia 1020 and LG G2 produce better results. With that said, the camera on the Z1S is not inadequate, and is better than average. For the specs, it's just not the best.

Another thing that I'm not a huge fan of is the doors and flaps that cover ports and slots. It's a matter of personal preference, and definitely necessary for the phone to be waterproof, but still rubs me the wrong way in terms of design.

Verdict

The Sony Xperia Z1S gives any other Android device a run for its money, and we like the fact that it's quite different from what Samsung, HTC and Motorola have to offer.

Sony Xperia Z1S review

We're finally reaching a point where most Android smartphones don't look like cookie-cutter devices being churned out by manufacturers in a race to God knows what. Design elements are diverging, and each manufacturer is putting its personal stamp on the Android space.

If you own any other Sony products, the Z1S's style will fit right in.

But it's not all looks with this smartphone. Its innards make it relatively future proof, it's got a decent and beefy camera all packaged with a battery that will help you rest easy throughout the day without a charger nearby.

The bottom line is it's powerful, has a great screen, a decent camera, memory card support up to 64GB and it's waterproof. Unless you're extremely picky, it doesn't really get much better than that.