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Preview: Sony Xperia Z

Preview: Sony Xperia Z

The Sony Xperia Z is the company's flagship smartphone for 2013

The Sony Xperia Z is the company's flagship smartphone for 2013. It has a 5in full HD 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera and a water and dust-resistant finish.

The Sony Xperia Z has a full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080. Full HD screens are set to become the norm in 2013, and while Sony isn't the first to use this technology, the Xperia Z will be one of the first to land on Australian shores.

The Xperia Z is just 7.9mm thick, only 0.3mm thicker than Apple's iPhone 5. While the 5in screen makes it 3mm taller than the 4.8in-sized Samsung Galaxy S III, it's only 0.3mm wider. Sony says the Xperia Z's "rounded edges and smooth reflective surfaces on all sides" will make it comfortable to hold and use.

The Sony Xperia Z is also dust and water resistant, rated at IP55 and IP57 standards. The water resistant capabilities mean all ports are covered with flaps. Sony promises the Xperia X can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes without any issues. A more pressing issue could be durability — the Xperia Z has a full pane of glass on both the front and the back.

Sony will launch the Xperia Z with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) but the company has promised it will be upgraded to the latest 4.2 version "shortly after launch". Perhaps the most interesting software addition, though, is what Sony calls "Battery Stamina mode". The feature prevents applications from running when the screen is locked, therefore saving power of the 2330mAh battery and apparently improving standby time "by at least four times".

Sony says you can individually select apps to bypass this feature if you wish, so there's an element of personalisation. The screen is still likely to drain the battery fast when in use though, as Sony quotes just five and a half hours of video playback.

The Xperia Z has a 13-megapixel camera with an Exmor RS sensor, which Sony claims is the world's first smartphone image sensor with HDR (High Dynamic Range) video. The phone is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, has 2GB of RAM and comes with 16GB of internal memory. There's also a microSD card slot for extra storage.

The Xperia Z is 4G capable for Australia, so it's compatible with the 1800MHz 4G networks used down under by Telstra and Optus.

The Sony Xperia Z will launch in Australia in March 2013 on Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Telstra has already published a "register your interest" Web page for the Xperia Z, but no pricing has been announced.

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Tags Sony Xperia ZsonyCES 2013

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