Sony Xperia Z makes its debut at CES 2013 with 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core processorAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Sony held its big CES 2013 press event tonight, and as expected, the company took the wraps off of some new Android hardware. The new flagship handset is dubbed the Xperia Z, just as we'd learned from the recent leaks, and features a 5-inch 1080p Reality display on its face. That's not the only high-end spec that the Xperia Z touts, though, as Sony also packed a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD slot and 4G LTE connectivity inside its tempered glass body. There's a 13-megapixel camera on the Xperia Z's rear that Sony says can capture HDR video and also has "Superior Auto and Noise Reduction" to help capture better photos and videos. A 2.1-megapixel shooter can be found on the Xperia Z's face.
Moving on to the outer shell of the phone, the Xperia Z has what Sony is calling an "OmniBalance Design" that gives its new handset rounded edges and smooth, reflective surfaces all over. The Xperia Z is covered in tempered glass, but an anti-shatter film has been added to help toughen the Z up, and it's also IP55 and IP57 rated for dust and water resistance.
The Xperia Z will come to market with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean installed, but Sony promises that an upgrade to Android 4.2 will be provided "shortly after launch." Sony's also added a few of its own tweaks to the overlay found atop Android 4.1 on the Xperia Z, such as a Battery STAMINA Mode that shuts down any battery-sucking apps when the phone's screen is off and then starts them back up once the display is powered back on. Sony says that this feature can help to improve the Z's battery standby time by four times or more. The Xperia Z includes a 2,330mAh battery.
Sony also announced tonight that a design variant of the Xperia Z known as the Xperia ZL will be launched in select markets around the globe. The Xperia ZL features specs similar to those found on the Xpera Z, but features a smaller form factor than the Z. The Xperia ZL will also come to market with Android 4.1 and will be upgraded to 4.2 after launch. Shots of the Xperia ZL's front and rear can be found below.
Perhaps most important details of any smartphone launch relate to availability, and on that front, Sony is remaining somewhat tightlipped this evening. The company says that both the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL will be released in Q1 2013, which lasts from now through the end of March. There's no word yet on pricing or U.S.-specific availability. The past couple of Sony flagship handsets have launched on AT&T here in the U.S., so it's certainly possible that one of these models will hit the big blue carrier's shelves in the coming months, but we'll have to wait for official word from Sony and its carrier partner(s) before we know for sure. If you had the choice, which of these new Xperia models would you prefer to see land stateside?