Does Sony’s all new Xperia Z handset mark a resurgence for the company?

Xperia Z - Colour range

With the announcement of the Xperia Z handset, I think we’re finally seeing a grown up Sony. I haven’t seen the handset yet but from what I’ve discerned — and if it builds on the previously well received existing range — it’s looking very promising.

I’m delighted to see the full weight of Sony’s capabilities being integrated into these devices. I’m heartened by the constant mentions of “Bravia” (screen) and “Exmor” (imaging). For a long time it’s been rather frustrating watching the old style Sony Ericsson almost get there.

I’m content with the following description from the press release:

Xperia Z’s razor sharp Reality Display, powered by Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 2, brings Sony’s long-standing TV expertise to the smartphone and delivers an immersive viewing experience with super brightness and clarity

I don’t feel I need to prepare myself to be disappointed. I think that’s probably the biggest change I’ve witnessed with the new Sony. There’s no need to suspend disbelief. We all know what they can do on televisions and we are all (I hope) comfortable that they can bring that level of quality to these smaller devices.

A number of MIR readers absolutely swear by the previous generation of Xperia devices, with one reader I know recently describing Sony as delivering the best Android experience bar none. The readers I know carrying Sony phones put them way ahead of their Samsung competitors.

I’ve yet to spend any length of time with one of Sony’s latest Android handsets however I certainly trust the judgement of the MIR readers.

The feature offering is really beginning to look pretty compelling. Super screen, brilliant camera, decent content (“Video Unlimited”) and smart innovations like “one touch” and a battery saving mode.

I’m not sure I could bring myself to do this to the Xperia Z regularly:

xperia-z-durability-water-resistance-1240x824-87a352114f26128dffe9e44b5a6d4cd8

However this photo does serve to highlight the handset’s rather advanced water (and dust) resistance.

Bring it on.

It’s looking good, Sony.

Here’s the full release…

Introducing Xperia™ Z –the best of Sony in a premium smartphone

Full HD 5” Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 for super brightness and claritySony’s media applications deliver rich user experiences and instant access to entertainment servicesEasy and fast One-touch functions to wirelessly share music, photos and videos across devicesNew stand-out Sony design with water and dust resistance

January 7th 2013, Las Vegas, USA – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today introduces its new flagship Android smartphone, Xperia Z. With a 5” Full HD 1080p Reality Display, Snapdragon™ S4 Pro quad-core processor, 13 megapixel fast-capture camera and 4G LTE, Xperia Z has all the specifications expected from a premium smartphone. On top of this, it brings the best of Sony’s unique technology, content, design and connectivity to deliver rich user experiences. Xperia Z will launch globally in Q1 2013.

“With Xperia Z, we are bringing over half a century of innovation in TV, imaging, music, film and gaming to create a superphone experience that truly stands out,” said Kuni Suzuki, President and CEO, at Sony Mobile Communications. “With great specifications, Sony’smedia applications, One-touch functions and outstanding battery life, Xperia Z is well positioned for leadership in the smartphone market. By putting smartphones at the heart of our strategy, Sony is enabling people to create, enjoy and share content and experiences like never before.”

Intelligent Sony Technology

Xperia Z’s razor sharp Reality Display, powered by Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 2, brings Sony’s long-standing TV expertise to the smartphone and delivers an immersive viewing experience with super brightness and clarity. The smartphone shares capabilities with Sony digital cameras and features Exmor RS for mobile, the world’s first image sensor with HDR (High Dynamic Range) video for smartphones. HDR technology gives clear images against strong backlight, so users can capture razor sharp pictures and videos whatever the conditions.

Xperia Z also includes Battery STAMINA Mode that can improve the standby time by four times or more* by automatically shutting down battery-draining apps whenever the screen is off and starting them up again when the screen is back on.

Discover, enjoy and share entertainment with Sony’s media applications and One-touch functions

Sony media applications offer a consistent entertainment experience across a range of Sony devices. Pre-loaded on Xperia Z, the “WALKMAN”, Album and Movies apps, enable discovery of on-line and off-line content through a single access point with new ways to enjoy and share that content. The “WALKMAN” application provides access to all your downloaded music, a library of 18 million songs to explore from Music Unlimited and Facebook social integration. The Movies application gives consumers access to over 100,000 movies and TV series from Video Unlimited while the Album application enables easy access to Facebook friends’ photos as well as browsing photos by location.**

One-touch functions enable consumers to easily share music, photos and videos from their smartphone to an array of NFC-enabled Sony devices, including speakers, headphones and now TVs. With the new BRAVIA TV, also announced today, simply touch Xperia Z to the remote control of the TV to instantly enjoy your photos and videos on the big screen.

Two additions to Sony’s range of NFC-enabled headsets were also introduced today, the Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset SBH20 and the Wireless Headset DR-BTN200M. Touch Xperia Z to either headset and begin listening to tracks instantly.

Stand-out design and durability

Precision engineered with premium materials, Xperia Z introduces a unique OmniBalance design with subtly rounded edges and smooth reflective surfaces on all sides. Despite its slim 7.9mm body, Xperia Z is highly durable with tempered glass and anti-shatter film on the front and back, as well as the highest levels of dust and water resistance*** (IP55 and IP57) found in a premium smartphone.

In selected markets, a design variant of Xperia Z – Xperia ZL – will also be released in Q1 2013. Xperia ZL delivers the same immersive entertainment experiences as Xperia Z but in a smaller form factor.

Xperia Z and Xperia ZL will launch on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and will be upgraded to 4.2 shortly after launch for the latest Android user experience.

Key features for Xperia Z

5” 1080 x 1920p full HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 213MP Fast Capture camera with Exmor RS for mobile, HDR video, Superior Auto and Noise Reduction to effortlessly capture razor sharp pictures and videos in any conditionsDust and water resistant (IP55 & IP57) with a durable glass display1.5 GHz asynchronous quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB RAMBattery STAMINA mode improves standby time by at least 4 times

Xperia Z Group Black

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