Xperia XZ1 picks up iF Gold Design Award – vindicates use of bezels

by XB on 12th March 2018

in Xperia XZ series

The prestigious iF Design Awards were recently announced for 2018, and it was great to see three of Sony Mobile’s handsets pick up awards. The Xperia XZ1 picked up top honours, winning an iF Gold Design Award – the only smartphone out of all manufacturers to pick up the accolade. Two other handsets also won a normal iF Design Award including the Xperia XZ1 Compact and Xperia XZ Premium.

The award wins are testament to Sony’s design philosophy in smartphones, with the Xperia XZ1 series being the culmination of its OmniBalance and Loop Surface design. See, who cares about bezels? You didn’t see one of those ‘samey’ bezel-less phones pick up the Gold award. Sony was onto a winner, trimming the bezels even further could have created some truly stunning devices. It’s a shame that we’ll no longer see premium flagships use this design in the future.

iF Gold Statement on Xperia XZ1

“Congratulations to Sony for the puristic Xperia design, which stands out among the crowded mobile market. Masterful manufacturing combined with thoughtful detailing and a holistic approach to materials and colors. This phone sits very nicely in the hand.

“In the body, extruded metal provides for a seamless configuration from front to back. The structure balances beauty and functionality with a slim profile and better rigidity than any other Xperia device. With colors that bring out metallic accents against a matt texture, the XZ1 cuts a refined figure and looks great in any setting.”

  • Manuel Picos Otero

    the xperia “despite” the frames were always beautiful and very elegant.

  • Soyokaze

    However, frames are functional – to place larger speaker, to place larger image sensor, to balance the weight, etc…

  • KzX

    And they now changed the design. :'(

  • Unfortunately, people this days buy phones based on reviews and not awards…

  • Jake

    While I can’t wait for an end to the omni-balance, the xz1 is probably where I will stop for now. I don’t see value in any of the new stuff.
    I loved the flat back and straight lines. I can’t stand the current infinite bezels design of the current crop of phones. Give me straight lines and sharp edges any day.

  • vild trapper

    I realy love this design my xzpremium is perfect to hold 1 or 2 hands!

  • DBS

    I wouldn’t say it vindicates the bezels. But it surely vindicates those who weren’t whinny American tech bloggers who kept complaining about the design. ’cause no one actually had a problem with Xperia designs apart from them.

    One thing’ s for sure, those XZ2 abortions aren’t winning any design awards. Hopefully this will be a wake up call to Sony and the XZ3 reverts back to the proper omnibalance design with a side-mounted fps.

  • Tann

    Just a testament that all the new trendy design….are actually crap.
    Notches, curved screens, edged screens, entirely bezel less phones,…
    All the unpractical nonsens for the modern hipster.

  • Moisés

    Omnibalance ended with Z5.
    According to Sony.

  • hansip

    I do own xz1 now, and it’s truly a svelte device with pretty incredible battery life for its size. I do hope they trim the side bezel though but that’s it. Shame they dump loop surface in xz2 :(

  • H. Daniel Cruz

    Well, I agree with iF Gold statement, and my next phone will be a XZ Premium (currently I have Z5), I think that a new XZ Premium with less bezels (like XZ2, I’ll give it that), a Pixel2-like camera and a glass-based FS would have been the perfect phone.

  • kurakuradisco
  • Eshrak Kader

    haters of the design can go f**k yourselves …..
    its just an excuse for getting mainstream s*m*u*g phones…… Xperia will always be unique and uncontested…. Congratulations to Sony….
    also thnx to XperiaBlog for conveying the news….

  • stpr

    The blue XZ2 is easily the most classy phone I have ever held in hands (together with the Premium, but I like the blue color better personally). The rather big bezels top and bottom can’t change this impression (couldn’t care less about side bezels).

  • Aldi Wan Kenobi

    I think the design, since the launch of Xperia Z, has always been elegant. I’m glad to hear prestigious award giving bodies do take notice.

    Congratulations Sony Mobile!

    Now I just wish this translate to better sales! :)

  • AllanKafka

    Whoa, I wonder how it is to receive a prize for a beautiful previous-generation design when you have just made a major departure from that design language – mainly for the worse, of course.
    BTW, I totally agree with the prize. Sad that Sony abandoned this language instead of just adapting its proportions to market trends.

  • Jake

    That is my current phone but the design language is still the same in the xz1. The omni-balance was used to refer to the HUGE speaker camera portion above the screen being the same size as the lower portion below the screen. But that could just be me.

  • a.mubher

    I don’t know why most of the critics (and people online) were highly critisizing Sony design language since last year. Most reviews were calling the phones bulky, boring and out of date. But the boxy design is a classic one in my opinion, it always works. Also all the “Dah bezels!!!” hate commcomm didn’t help either.

    Well. Sony did lessen to the criticism, and most reviews online seems to praise the new design. I think it will feel good if I ever got my hands on XZ2. But I can’t deny how much I prefer the boxy and sharp design.

  • a.mubher

    I think most of us, who don’t think highly of XZ2 design right now, will feel better if we actually hold it in our hands. I’m certain if feel premium on the hand. But the old design was very unique and different than the other brands. That is why the fans are upset.

  • Naime Shirou

    Congratulations SONY!!!
    Just ignore complain people. They just nobody and troll.
    SONY THE BEST!!!!!

  • synz izynz

    Only can upvote. But Sony doesn’t care actually. Other competitors who remove headphone jack. Their target, to make phone more slim.
    Buy Sony remove it, to add more thickness.

  • Niels d. G.

    The problem is there aren’t a lot of Sony fans in the world, compared to, say, Samsung fans. Sony had to do something to catch the attention of the masses more.

  • Tann

    Yup, but even the nonXperia users checking it out over on yt complain about….of course what else, but the lack of headphone jack. Its just a dealbraker for many, too many.
    They just should have not done that. Period.

  • Tann

    Thickness is there for the ergonomics, and IMO its surely best ergonomicaly designed phone for your hand to hold now. Sans the too low fp scanner mess.

  • azzido

    we’ll see how they catched the “masses” soon :>

  • azzido

    Agree + horizontal view, you have some space to hold the phone and not by the screen.

  • Prasad Daki

    Does anyone know when is XA2 going to launch in India? Any info would be helpful…

  • Richard Brutski

    I was about to say the same thing. They won’t ever win again with their new phones.

  • Francis Troy Fabrigas

    Lol of course. Reviews are telling how is it to own the phone in real life.
    Awards are only for excellent achievements of a certain subject, not that it will be helpful in your life.

    In reality, you will be like “Hey, look at my phone! It has an amazing camera, super loud stereo speakers, blah blah blah…” and people will be stunned and get jealous.
    But try to tell them “Hey dude, my new phone just won an award!”
    And prepare to be ignored.

  • Francis Troy Fabrigas

    I am one of those who wished for Sony to stick with OmniBalance design but be more modern with small bezels.
    But the problem is that I’m just one in a million consumers, each of which have very different wants and needs.
    Those who wanted a redesign and ditch the OmniBalance altogether has probably outnumbered those who wanted to stay true to it with a more modern look. Sony, as a manufacturer, has to follow the majority, hence the radical change in aesthetical philosophy.
    Sony will only bring it back if and only if a lot of people, especially the majority, are asking for it.

  • MikeU

    I agree with you. Some people who post here on this forum will find a new brand because they dislike new design and the loss of the headphone jack. However, I find the new design appealing, and people (especially the youth) with adjust and find alternate means to listen to their music from these new Sony Xperia phones.

  • MikeU

    Unfortunately, this old design was not commercially viable. Busine$$ is busine$$ at the end of the day.

  • MikeU

    Azzido, my advice to you is to look elsewhere for those features. In fact, people should be buying products based on the features they want, not brand loyalty.

  • AllanKafka

    I am not sure where Sony takes its numbers from. How did they do their market research this time? I have a feeling they have rushed this phone.

  • indianmeister

    Never complained about big bezels, it also makes me feel a little bit safer when dropping, I mean, been using Sony since x10, and never had a cracked display

  • vijay R.A

    And now everything becomes wow.. Xz1 is great..

  • Vijaykumar

    Combination of omnibalance and Loop surface is fantastic design. Too bad that too many people criticized it for being boxy and uncomfortable to hold.

  • Santos

    Sony fans are like 3% of the entire market

  • Me

    I hope Sony do not go for notch. Lol

  • Me

    Lol. I tell to my friend about the Xperia XZ1 and they like it. Then they say they love the Rectangular design lol.

  • SonyXZP_user

    It is just like this. Not a lot of people watch Anime series. They mostly prefer other things. Those who watch Anime appreciate it more than others do. The same as Sony devices. Both are loved by me.

  • Mohammed Alaskar

    these awards will not Grant Sony a market share neither people’s attention.

    sony is so behind in competition and I fear it would got worst with XZ2

  • Justin

    I wonder what their award acceptance speech would be like? “Sorry, you’re wrong.”

  • They are just following the trend, instead of thinking what makes customers happy with the product & satisfaction. I’m a Sony fan, in 2018 device list i will vote for Samsung S9, because they keep headphone jack, good looking & cool features similar to sony.

  • Ziggy

    Sounds to me that IF just wanted to punch Sony in the face and really rub it in that the old design from last year’s phones was excellent and the new one is horrible like it truly is.

  • Ziggy

    Xperia’s Z and XZ lines looked like professional phones. Really well built and looked great. They stood out from the grey mass of mobile phones in today’s market.

    The only problem is that the marketing budget is massive for Samsung so worse phones sell more because they overflood the market with advertising like Apple.

  • Ziggy

    I wonder what will the next flagship phones actually be in autumn. Is it XZ3 already or XZs. I was actually surprised that they jumped directly to XZ2 numbering instead of doing XZ1s. Five months of wait until the next unveil unless the XZ2 Premium comes during summer.

  • Eduardo Zzavala

    I do not belive the XZ2 wins any prize in design…

  • Lady_AMD

    Maybe Sony will release a anniversary edition…hopefully

  • Hisham

    İ totally agree with u sangeeth i’d like to see sony xz Pro or xz1 premium at ifa with the old design but some changes like selim bezels, oled screen, FP scanner side mounted, (if they want to pursue US market they can just make FP scanner on the back for US) 6GB Ram, 128 GB Rom, OIS camera , loud speakers, i can’t understand why sony don’t make sybershot camera, walkman sonunda. And i don’t know why sony ditch cool feature that i’d in my z5 premium which is record screen video and i miss it in my xz premium this is abslotely coooooool tip that none of other companies have…. İ’d really want to see curved screen design from sony….

  • Hisham

    İ agree with u , but sony must advertise their phones more & more like samsung and Apple.. İn my country (TURKEY) sony close their shops one by one in fact they leave the market slowley and this is for me and for too many disappointment and A big mistake coz in TURKEY you as Sony speak to 80million People and this market is a big market not a small one…

  • azzido

    With xz2 the brand loyalty they had for years “temporarily” ENDED. All in their hands for how long. Maybe forever if they will continue this “trend”?

    I was warrying them: stop constant reduction and downgrade of features and functions. Seems they didn’t listen. Let’s see where it led them and who was right.

  • azzido

    Agree with you completely buddy

  • azzido

    Itvwas already boring, but we hoped they will come with something new, still elegant and amazing.

    Instead they came with design crap, hated belly, fattest 2018 appeal that surprisingly dis not come with at least 6000mAh battery no matter the sieze and… It still has CAMERA HUMP.

    WTF is this we ask???

  • MrWalker1000

    how do we know this award is worth anything and whats the credibility behind the people who chose it.

  • MrWalker1000

    laughed my ass off at at “designer of fiat multipla got a new job” lmfao. I think if i want a phone with this design I would rather just buy HTCu11 which pioneered this design and does it much better than sony.

    i would like sony to be sony.

  • MrWalker1000

    yeah whats good from a deisng standpoint might not be good for sale to the masses. The sheep have no idea what they’re buying.

  • MrWalker1000

    it annoys me how everyone wants thin bezels but also a good selfie camera and stereo front speakers. you can’t have everything.

  • finally find my same taste guy… i wish the same bro.

  • Hisham

    Tam u bro … Yes i’ve notice that we’ve the same taste…Hope sony Will make sony xz pro as we wish…

  • MrWalker1000

    dumb for sony to remove headphone jack before samsung.

    all sony had to do was keep the same design but improve it by making it bezeless.

  • MrWalker1000

    depends is this design award even worth anything? who are the people making the decisions should we care about their opinions.

    all sony had to do was reduce bezels on their omnibalance design to create some truly stunning looking phone. instead we have some cheap htc11 knock off.

  • MrWalker1000

    wouldn’t buying a sony make you hipster since its not part of the mainstream

  • MrWalker1000

    people were complaining that the design hadn’t changed. all sony had to do was put 18:9 and bezeless while retaining their design language of the past to make for a bezeless omnibalance look which would go really well imo.

  • MrWalker1000

    how do we know this prize is credible?

  • Tann

    a person who follows the latest trends and fashions, especially those regarded as being outside the cultural mainstream.”

    Its a wide range definition.
    XZ1 didnt follow design or fashion trends, but was well inside cultural mainstream of using a smartphone.
    Outside the cultural mainstream would be buying whatever is new and different, just to stand out, even if it is a nonsens like the screen notch, I guess.
    I consider hipsters as people that want to stand out of culturally traditional in any way, but following the same trends, thus being virtually nothing outstanding actually.

  • MrWalker1000

    how do we know the people and the price has any credibility?

  • MrWalker1000

    imagine if it had 3000mah or higher instead of that small ass battery. bad decision or maybe they are saving it for the ifa flagship.

  • MrWalker1000

    many people also dont like the rectangular design it’s very split opinion.

    with that said its possible a review could incoporate the fact that it won an award if the reviewer thinks the phone looks nice to begin with.

    with that said the xz1 is all around pretty decent phone. but with so much heated competition sony could always be doing better.

  • MrWalker1000

    isnt the xz1 really nice in the hand cuz of the loop surface.

  • MrWalker1000

    that sad really. the rest of the phone is overall decent but still no efforts are made to really get ahead of the competition.

    maybe they are waiting till ifa.

  • XZ1 , XZs, XZ ?.. i think these device are omni balanced…

  • hansip

    Well it is realized in the new xz2 though. But i don’t think it’s a bad decision throughout, it’s slim, and coupled with 835+UfS storage+Oreo it’s enough for a full day battery. Sure bigger battery might be better, but in its current state, it’s quite good still, even when compared to the original XZ, the xz1 is better.

  • MrWalker1000

    yes, despite its small battery size it has fantastic battery life. So now imagine how impressed everyone would have been with the battery life had they implemented a bigger battery life.

    they are either saving up to introduce their best phone yet at ifa 2018 or sony is stupid.

  • MrWalker1000

    for me when I think of a hipster I think of someone who buys nokia lumia. Since its using a windows OS and its really outside the mainstream.

    but somehow hipster has made it into the mainstream so i know what you mean. Apple has always been for hipsters in some form because its like a lifestyle to them.

    whats your current phone btw? Im thinking of buying the Xz1 at a discount instead of this nonsense.

    SOny is either stupid or is waiting to release the next big thing at IFa 2018 and i really can’t tell which one it is.

  • Tann

    My X Performance is staying with me for a year or two more I guess.
    Quite satisfied with the product after a year use.

  • Paul

    Some have complained that the corners are uncomfortably sharp.

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