We’ve had out eyes on the Sony Xperia range for a while - not least since Sony’s Xperia T offered an amazing 13MP camera on board.
While Samsung have been increasing their ambitions via the Galaxy range, and Apple barely seem to feel a need to compete, Sony think they’ll have a market leader this year in the Sony Xperia Z.
And it’s hard not to disagree that this will be a serious contender.
Let’s say it first: the Sony Xperia Z is waterproof to 1m for 30 minutes (IP55 and IP57 certified).
That means if you drop the phone in the toilet, the bath, in a puddle, at the beach - the Xperia Z should be fine.
Considering that an estimated 1 in 10 smartphones are damaged in this way (our HTC Desire was!) it’s easy to see that immediate appeal.
But that’s not all - they’ve improved the camera sensor further, and can now provide HDR video recording.
Another really nice feature is an intelligent battery-saving mode - you can set up your power options so that when the phone is switched off, or goes to sleep, only those apps you designate will continue to run.
Sony have also kept with the microSD option, which is welcome.
Most of the hardware and development features say “this is a phone that wants to be taken seriously”.
And the Sony Xperia Z is causing something of a stir at electronics trade show CES 2013 because of this.
A run down of some of the main features:
- thin 7mm chassis (comparable to iPhone 5)
- massive 5″ screen
- 1080p display that is supposed to have the same pixel depth as a 55″ HDTV
- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad core CPU with 2GB of RAM.
- microSD card slot to supplement 16GB of onboard storage.
- 13-megapixel Exmor RS sensor
- HDR video recording
- Battery saving mode
Pricing and release
The Sony Xperia Z is being targeted for a March/April release, and will probably cost around £440 SIM free.
This is especially welcome, as it puts it around £100 cheaper than the iPhone 5, despite having some very attractive features.