The evidence of an upcoming T-Mobile 4G LTE-friendly version of the Sony Xperia Z has been growing in recent weeks, but consumers that don't feel like waiting one second longer for Sony's new flagship can now snag one direct from the manufacturer. Sony is now selling an unlocked version of the Xperia Z in its official online shop for $629.99. The handset is available in black, purple or white and is estimated to begin shipping on May 7. Both Amazon and Newegg are also selling the same Xperia Z unit for $599.99 to $629.99.
The Xperia Z that Sony is currently offering is just like the one that the company introduced us to earlier this year, meaning it packs a 5-inch 1080p display, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 13-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front cameras as well as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. However, interested customers should note that this particular version of the Xperia Z (XZC6602) lacks 4G LTE support, offering only HSPA+ connectivity that will play nicely with AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S.
Sony has been stepping up its efforts to sell unlocked smartphones in the U.S. over the past year, and the launch of the Xperia Z in the online Sony Store is the latest part of that effort. While buying full-price smartphones directly from the manufacturers is something that few U.S. wireless customers do, it's good to see Sony continuing to make its unlocked models available to anyone in the States that does prefer to go that route.
It's also worth noting that Sony has dropped the price of the 4G LTE-enabled Xperia ZL in its online store. After originally going on sale in March for $759.99, the Xperia ZL is now available for $629.99. The red model is the only version that's currently in stock, though, with the black unit expected to ship on May 14 and orders of the white version slated to begin going out on May 20.