In the latest round of high-end smartphone wars, Sony was first to fire with its waterproof, powerful, and stylish Xperia Z. Boasting a beautiful 1080p display, a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and the ability to take a bath with you, it has sold well, and marks a comeback for Sony. It’s a great smartphone, but just like every other device on the market, there are always problems to deal with.
We’ve been hanging out in forums, stopping owners in the street, and gathering data on the most common Xperia Z problems. The aim is to bring you some handy advice on potential solutions for the issues you may be encountering. Here’s what we found.
Problem: Wi-Fi dropping or won’t connect
A lot of Xperia Z owners have been complaining about a weak Wi-Fi signal. Some people have had trouble connecting to specific routers, but most people are finding that the signal drops frequently. In some cases the problem is exacerbated when Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on at the same time. There’s also a possibility that the power-saving Stamina Mode is having an impact because it stops automatic syncing and cuts connections when you turn the display off.
You can use the free app Wifi Analyzer to check your signal strength.
- Make sure that Bluetooth is turned off.
- Turn the Stamina Mode off. It should be off by default, but you can check in Settings > Power management > STAMINA mode.
- Restart the router and the phone.
- Double check that you have the right details and password.
- Ensure that you have the latest firmware. For your Xperia Z this should come as an OTA update, but for your router you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s website or with your ISP.
- Try changing the channel on your router and make sure that DHCP is on.
- Turn MAC filter off on your router and/or add your phone’s MAC address.
- Try Sony’s PC Companion. Install on your PC and go to Support Zone > Start > Phone Software Update > Start. If you already have the latest version choose Repair phone and follow the instructions.
Problem: Sudden death
Various reports came in about a sudden death bug with the Xperia Z which was quickly dubbed the “sleep of death.” It sounds cool, but definitely isn’t if it happens to you. The problem is that the handset goes to sleep and won’t wake up no matter how hard you shake it, even with a power button and volume up hard reset. It will generally come back to life again at some point, but may repeat the routine.
- Sony released a software update with a fix in it which you should get OTA automatically.
Problem: LED for notifications not working
You should see a notification LED light up at the top right above your display when a new email or message is received by your Xperia Z, but a lot of people have been complaining that the LED on their device never lights up. There are a couple of potential reasons for this. It could be related to a backup problem, or it could be Stamina Mode.
- Try turning Stamina Mode off. It should be off by default, but you can check in Settings > Power management > STAMINA mode.
- If you backed up when you first got the phone that could apparently be the root of the problem. You’ll lose your data with this method, but several people found it worked for them. Go to Settings > Backup & reset and make sure Back up my data is off and then tap Factory data reset. When the phone restarts don’t restore from back up, or it might happen again, make sure you install everything manually instead.
A lot of people have complained about their Xperia Z handsets getting warm during use. This is becoming a standard complaint for all new smartphones. As manufacturers pack more powerful hardware into ever smaller form factors it is somewhat inevitable that these smartphones will get warm when you use them. The longer you use it and the more intensive your activity, the warmer it will get.
- Give it a break every once in a while so it can cool down.
- Remove the case if you use one.
- Don’t dunk it in cold water! If it really is too hot then there’s a danger the glass will crack.
Problem: Poor battery life
This is another common complaint with every smartphone on the market. With the Xperia Z it is complicated by the Stamina Mode, and a possible bug relating to the remaining battery life being displayed incorrectly. You should start by going to Settings > Battery and reviewing what is eating your power, if there’s an obvious culprit (a specific app) then you can tackle it.
- Check out our guide on how to maximize battery life on your Android phone and the more general how to make your smartphone battery last longer for tips on extending the battery life.
- Turn Stamina Mode on in Settings > Power management > STAMINA mode, but be aware that some people have encountered issues with it and it will change various settings on your phone in order to extend the battery.
(We highly recommend you try out Stamina mode to boost your battery life.)
Problem: MicroSD card not working correctly
Some people have had trouble accessing content on the MicroSD card in their Xperia Z. In extreme cases people report problems with the handset reading the card at all and get messages like “memory has been removed unexpectedly” which lead to errors and card corruption. The problems aren’t consistently with one type of card. There’s no agreement on the cause. Some people have suggested the card is too thin and so it may be losing connection, others seem to think it’s the class that matters and speed is a factor. There are a couple of things you can try.
- Try a different MicroSD card, ideally from a different manufacturer than the card you’re having a problem with.
- Format the card on the phone itself.
If you find that your micro SD card is completely unreadable after this happens, and it can’t be recognized by your computer either, then try SD Formatter to see if you can get it back. This issue is apparently being investigated by Sony, so there’s a chance that it will release an update with some kind of fix.
Problem: Music pausing or stuttering
Some people have reported an issue with their music stuttering and pausing during playback regardless of the app they are using to listen to it. There are a couple of potential issues here. If you’re using Bluetooth to stream the music to headphones or a speaker then it could be down to the Wi-Fi clash. It could also be the MicroSD card, if that’s where your music is stored.
- Turn Wi-Fi off when you are using Bluetooth and see if it makes a difference.
- Try moving your music on to the internal memory or change your MicroSD card. It’s possible that the MicroSD card is the problem.
Problem: Keeps rebooting
Some people have experienced random reboots, or, worse, a loop of rebooting that doesn’t allow them into the phone at all.
- Hold down the power button and volume up for ten seconds until it vibrates three times.
- Make sure the phone is fully charged.
- Try repairing your Xperia Z using Sony’s PC Companion. Install on your PC and go to Support Zone > Start > Phone Software Update > Start and if you already have the latest version choose Repair phone and follow the instructions.
That’s it for our Sony Xperia Z problems and solutions, but if you have a fix or another issue that isn’t covered here then please share it and post a comment.