One of the features of the Xperia Z that Sony talked up during the device's announcement earlier this year is its toughness, touting the phone's anti-shatter film as well as its resistance to both dust and water. This morning Sony took things a step further, though, announcing a new Xperia Z variant that can withstand being submerged in water up to 1.5 meters deep.
Dubbed the Xperia ZR, Sony's new Android-powered smartphone features IP55 and IP58 ratings that allow it to survive in 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) of fresh water for up to 30 minutes. Sony also notes that the Xperia ZR features a dedicated camera key on its side, allowing users to snap some photos and record video while taking their Xperia ZR for a swim. In addition to its water submersion capabilities, the Xperia ZR is also resistant to both dust and scratches.
The remainder of the Xperia ZR's spec list contains many of the features of a mid- to high-end Android smartphone. There's a 4.6-inch 1280x720 display and VGA camera on its face, as well as a 13-megapixel shooter on its backside. Buried inside the ZR's water resistant frame is a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB storage, microSD slot, support for HSPA+ and LTE connectivity and a 2,300mAh battery that's powering the whole show. The Xperia ZR comes preloaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and will be offered in black, white, green and pink variants.
While the Xperia ZR offers a design similar to its Xperia Z and ZL siblings, it also packs in a slightly smaller screen than its 5-inch brethren. However, it also offers higher-end specs than the similarly-sized Xperia SP, meaning that the ZR could make a good fit for someone that wants the Xperia Z/ZL experience in a smaller package. Or for folks that just like to swim. Either way, look for the Xperia ZR to begin diving into the pools, tubs and other water sources of consumers "in various global markets" starting in Q2 2013.