CES 2013: Sony Xperia Z hands-on preview

Sony unveiled its new flagship ‘precision engineered superphone’, the Xperia Z, at CES 2013 today. Rocking a Full HD 1080p five-inch screen and a quad-core processor, the Xperia Z is a great-looking phone that is chock-full with the usual impressive Sony features.

 

Sony Xperia Z hands-on preview

 

One of the Xperia Z highlights for us is the beautiful five-inch display, powered by Sony’s own Mobile Bravia Engine 2. The viewing experience is marvellous for a mini-screen, even when tilted at an outrageous angle. We checked out some demo movies and couldn’t see the individual pixels; the HD images were superbly sharp thanks to the Full HD 1080 x 1920 resolution, rivalling the most capable TVs. Colours bleed out of the screen, and we’d happily watch an entire movie on the go.

 

Sony Xperia Z hands-on preview

 

A built-in 13.1-megapixel camera can take ‘sharp and bright photos whatever the conditions’. Conditions certainly weren’t fantastic in the demo booth, with hot spotlights beaming down on us, but we still managed to capture some crisp and vibrant photos on auto mode. You get the usual full complement of features, including panorama mode and plenty of manual toggles to get the best possible pics. You get an LED flash for night shots, and another impressively sharp 2.2-megapixel lens on the front for video calls. Sadly there’s no physical camera button.

 

Sony Xperia Z hands-on preview

 

That sexy 7.9mm slender body is water and dust resistant, allowing you to ‘blog in the bathtub or download in a downpour’ (Sony’s words, not ours). That’s made possible as the ports, including the headphone port on top, are covered when not in use. The Micro SD card slot can be used to expand the 16GB of built-in space.

 

Sony Xperia Z hands-on preview

 

We immediately fell in love with the Xperia Z’s all-glossy body, which reminded us of LG’s Nexus 4 (minus the sparkly disco rear). This is slimmer than the Nexus 4 however, and most other mobiles we’ve played with lately. It’s quite light too, barely registering in our pocket. We also like the funky round power button, which stands out on the right side of the device. Sadly there are no glowing LEDs or other stand-out design elements (although you do get a notifications light), and not everyone will enjoy the rectangular build.

 

Sony Xperia Z hands-on preview

 

A 1.5GHz quad-core processor keeps things ticking over nicely, with no slowdown even when whizzing through the menus and opening apps like a madman. The Xperia Z’s quad-core CPU is ably backed up by a whopping 2GB of RAM. Built-in NFC is also included.

 

Sony Xperia Z hands-on preview

 

Sony also bigged up the one-touch functionality of the Xperia Z. Tap the Xperia Z to a Sony speaker, headphones or other audio product and the phone will automatically stream music, movie audio and more. You can also automatically and wirelessly communicate with a storage box to back up all of your photos and other precious files.

 

Sony Xperia Z hands-on preview

A selection of wireless one-touch Sony products

 

Sony also announced an Xperia ZL smartphone, which sports many of the same specs as the Xperia Z but a different design. This phone might not get a release in the UK, we're still waiting for confirmation from Sony.

 

Check out our full Sony Xperia Z review, coming soon!

Written by Mobile Choice
Mobile Choice

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