Yesterday was the biggest showing from Sony that we've seen on the smartphone front in a long time. The Xperia Z and the Xperia ZL were announced and they make for some brilliant smartphones. With the inclusion of Full HD 1080p Displays, Quad-Core Snapdragon Pro and 2GB of RAM, these are without doubt, the best smartphones that Sony has ever made and with IP55 and IP57 dust and water resistance on the Z, they seem very well built as well. Those on the ground at CES have been singing their praises of the Xperia Z and the ZL for their stunning build quality.
What's interesting about Sony's new approach to things here at CES is just two phones have been announced and yet they provide a very similar experience, both come with 1080p displays and the same stunning Snpadragon S4 Pro processor. There was no "variant" of either the Xperia Z or the Xperia ZL destined for AT&T or American carriers like there was with the Xperia S and the Xperia ION. No plans for the device have been announced for the devices concerning North America, which is a real shame but, I would be really surprised if Sony were to bow out of the U.S. industry altogether.
Over in the U.K however, plans seem to be well in motion with one of the largest cell phone retailers, Phones4U, stating that the Xperia Z will be available starting March 1st and that the phone will be available on the Vodafone network. No word on whether or not the Xperia ZL will be available, nor on pricing but, we'd like to bet that the phone will either be free on contract or very close to it. Vodafone might not be happy to go all out with a date but they've told Engadget that they will definitely be carrying the device. AT&T should very well be carrying the device on their network but, we can't be sure and we're eagerly awaiting an announcement from them and other U.S. carriers as this is the only way ony are going to make a name for themselves in the U.S., by being readily available for all.
Traditionally, Sony has been readily available on all carriers in the U.K and when I took an upgrade last summer I was very tempted by a couple of Sony's offerings but when for the One X instead, which I am not considering selling for the Xperia Z. However, off-contract pricing in the U.K. is just as expensive - if not more - than it is in North America and I hope that Sony don't get too ahead of themselves with pricing. Speaking of pricing, it's said to run up around £528 for the SIM-Free unlocked model of the phone, that's pretty expensive but, I do have a birthday in March....
Check out the Press Release below:
PHONES 4U ANNOUNCES IT WILL RANGE THE NEW SONY XPERIAâ„¢ Z
PURCHASE IN STORE FROM 1st MARCH AND PRE-REGISTER ON PHONES 4U WEBSITE NOW
LONDON, TUESDAY 8TH JANUARY, 2013: Phones 4u is pleased to announce that Sony's new flagship handset - the Sony Xperiaâ„¢ Z - will be available in Phones 4u stores from 1st March 2013.
Boasting the world's sharpest, boldest and brightest display, the new Sony Xperiaâ„¢ Z has been created by the engineers behind Sony BRAVIA® TVs. The new, precision-engineered Full HD superphone displays content in stunning Full 1080p HD detail on the large 5'' display, which also claims the highest pixel density of any smartphone. The OptiContrastâ„¢ panel guarantees crystal clear images when in use, as well as a seamless black finish when switched off.
The handset features a 13 megapixel fast-capture camera which switches from sleep to snap in under a second, as well as a next-generation Sony EXMOR RS sensor that ensures the Sony Xperiaâ„¢ Z delivers stunning photos and videos in any light.