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Sony will bring the Xperia ZL to Canada this quarter, differs slightly from the international Xperia Z (video)

After Sony’s press conference at CES, we had a chance to play with both of the company’s new Android models. Yes, there are new upcoming 5-inch 1080p devices being released, though Canadians will only see one of them (officially). Where the Xperia Z is tall and thin, with a classy, glossy backing reminiscent of nothing the company has previously done (and reminding us of a Panasonic fridge door in the process), the Xperia ZL is slightly stouter — shorter and thicker, specifically –with a textured backing that is not quite as fetching.

But the Xperia ZL does have a few advantages over its Xperia Z cousin; it has a tiny bezel, leaving the screen to dominate the device’s front. Really, the Xperia ZL feels a lot smaller than its 5-inch lineage would betray. It’s also incredibly light, and feels fantastic in the hand. Internally, the Xperia ZL comes with an IR blaster — changing channels and such with a universal remote app — but its exterior loses the IP55 and IP57 dust- and water resistance that graces the international Xperia Z.

It’s also interesting that the ZL places its 2MP front-facing camera, which also boasts an Exmor R sensor, at the bottom of the display. In real world testing it proved awkward to have to look at the “wrong” end of the screen to communicate, but we’re sure it will normalize quickly enough.

Otherwise, the Sony Xperia ZL has the same internal specifications as the Xperia Z: a 5-inch 1080p display with Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine 2, a 1.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage with expandable memory, a 13MP Exmor RS rear sensor and a 2MP front shooter, a 2370mAh non-removeable battery, all supporting Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s customized skin. Of course, the Xperia ZL will be LTE-compatible and come with NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

The phone may not have the “balanced” quality of its Xperia Z counterpart, but the Xperia ZL, even at a relatively hefty 151g, feels very solid and compact in the hand, especially for a device of its size. The display makes up an incredible 75% of its front, something few other manufacturers can boast. But the device also has a dedicated shutter button, a chiseled aluminum power button, and a fantastic camera experience with an instant shutter and Sony’s “Superior Auto” mode, which it borrowed from its top-range Cybershot and NEX cameras. This allows the advanced sensor to adjust to surrounding conditions — macro or low-light, for example — and make the necessary changes accordingly. The shutter was firm but responsive, like most of Sony’s recently smartphones, though the sheer size of the Xperia ZL may be non-condusive to one-handed operation.

Sony has announced that it will bring the Xperia ZL to Canada in Q1 2013, likely before the end of March. It is not talking carrier availability or pricing, but we were assured that the phone would have a wide berth, so we’re assuming more than one carrier. The Xperia T was Sony’s more varied rollout to date; this phone may come only four months after the company’s previous flagship. Considering it was only a year ago, here at CES 2012, that Sony announced the Xperia S and Xperia ion, the company has come a long, long way in a short 52 weeks.

Via: Newswire

  • kennypowers

    or you can forget this junk and get a bb10 phone

    • Candyman

      BB10? I may as well buy a Symbian phone.

    • IceScream

      … And that’s how you kill a phone!
      Release the international and then make “local” editions full of bloatware with the sloooowest updates…at the same price as the “international model” that will have more support, longer life and higher re-selling value.

      I will vote about this phone with my wallet:
      I pass.

      If Sony (The king of square phones) doesn’t get it what consumers want soon, Nokia will figure out that Windows Was not such a good idea and will start churning Android phones and become the king of Square-colored Android phones and leave Sony in a square tomb.

    • 2see

      RIP Android :)

  • COBwiggy

    I cannot wait for this phone to come out, looks incredible

  • Gutted

    absolutely gutted that Rogers isn’t getting the Z outright… :(

  • sunvv

    I’m with wind mobile, so a bit concerned if and when wind would carry this phone.

  • screamer

    Why only the cheap version? Hm because we not gonna buy this junk anyways! Wait for the galaxy s4!!! R.I.p. apple

    • some guy

      Likely because the Z seems to be missing 1900 HSPA frequency.
      Without all the NA network frequencies, the handset won’t perform properly, whereas the ZL does have all necessary frequencies.

  • TK

    i like Z better, the classy, glossy backing looks really nice

    • squirrel_masher

      I thought the back was nicer on Z, but what’s the first thing you do to a high end phone?… you add a case – there goes the aesthetics.

  • mmathieum

    i like water resistant high-end smartphone

    • amc

      @mmathieum: yes, weather-resistant is my choice too.
      unfortunately it is not ZL, i need Z :(

  • squirrel_masher

    About time Sony used its Cybershot skills to bring extras to the stock camera like Burst mode. Hope those extras will come to the Xperia S/T/Ion when the Jelly Bean upgrade installs.
    Also impressed with Sony doing something useful with NFC, and realizing that the Canadian market likes to get phones before the US!

  • drone

    What advantages does this have over the competition—say the upcoming Galaxy S4? Zilch.

  • Kersat

    I believe we can blame the provider for not wanting the water and dust resistance of the Experia Z. We live in a country bordered on three oceans with many lake and rivers and covered for 4 months of the year in snow. how many phone do canadian mobile customers replace in a year due to water damage? Just a thought to ponder.

    • babablacksheep

      Canadian carriers are greedy fat cats for not bringing more water resistant phones to Canada. Sony are also i****s for not making the Z an international phone. Instead, they made the ZL, which is a fatter, uglier, dumber version of the Z.

  • Blackberry Gangster

    I’m bored of android and iOS. Sorry guys. BB10 is ALMOST HERE!!

  • Simon

    The back looks like s**t compared to the Z but my bigger concern is that Sony takes forever to release the latest OS updates if at all. That alone is reason enough not to buy..

  • everythingsablur

    Boo! Canadians want dust and water resistance too!!!

  • Henaway

    Glossy finishes are quickly and easily scratched. And in no time look like crap. Heck, the metal back of my two year old (and hardly used after the first 4 months) iPod Touch was a mess within about 3 months. I’d rather have a matte or textured finish there. But removing the dust and water resistance? Inexcusable. Boo on the non-removable battery. Yay on expandable memory. Yay for dedicated shutter button and camera improvements. Overall, I think it could be a very good phone. Only misses a couple of check boxes on my mobile wish list.

  • Richard

    Did he just seriously blab on for 30 seconds about a power button? Lol

  • G

    Won’t be buying it…and I was really hoping for good things from Sony. Why did they even make the ZL, there should only be one. Learn from the success of Samsung and Apple.

    Oh, and only buy NEXUS devices!

    • eDDIe

      Samsung makes loads of other phones appart for the S3.
      Even apple might come out with a cheaper version of the iphone.

  • what?

    asdf jkl

  • ily

    Long Live the King – NEXUS 4

    • babablacksheep

      Hahaha, the same Nexus 4 that’s more fragile than a paper bag? The same one that gets cracked glass without even dropping it? The same one who’s glass cracks just from temperature changes?

      Keep dreaming Google sheep. Baaaaaaaa

    • Ricky Bobby

      You are confused. Sheep is a term reserved for Apple users. It’s like calling South and central Americans “Americans”.

    • some guy

      *ahem*
      As part of Apple’s legal team, babablacksheep you are here and now ordered to cease and desist in regards to using the term “sheep” when describing anyone other than an Apple fanatics as that term is owned, trademarked, and copyrighted by Apple Incorporated.
      Failure to comply will result in permanent ban from iTunes, revoking of privileges to pray at the Apple store, and a lifetime ban from The Cult of Mac.

      Thank you for your obedience.
      Apple Lawyer #5792-34B

  • Blas

    If this comes with the same impact resistant Dragontail Glass, then I can see myself living without dust and water resistance.

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    This is Sony’s way to tell you Canada,
    Suc.k.a.a.a.a.a’s, give me your top dollar and I will give you crap and you can’t do anything about it cause you all are my slaves and you will buy me because you are robots that I control with my remote control app

  • Mr T

    Experia T owner here. If my T is any indication of where Sony is going with their phones, then that’s great news for this new ie. . 5″ might be a tad too large though, says the guy with giant hands.

  • hurric

    WHY OR WHY is Canada getting its uglier fatter brother of Xperia Z?! don’t want… Z looks great though! want!

    • GlassBackBadIdea

      Because, read my post below. You will get your answer.

      P.S. (WHY OR WHY) = WHY

  • AWSguy

    Is it me or is sony and Huawei competing on the ugliest phone that can be made.

  • BreathLess

    If we were getting the water resistant z model here in Canada it would have been the first Sony phone I want since my last in 2008

  • Dilkatron

    I getting this phone. Kinda glad it’s not the Z. After seeing so many cracked I phones over the years.

  • Dinko

    No Z, no buy. Looking at the side-by-side Z/ZL comparisons, I much prefer the Z. If the absence of proper CDN bands on the Z is the reason for not bringing this to Canada, then too bad, so sad but not interested in the ZL design. Simple as that. Plenty of other choices.

    • kai

      the Z will be coming to Canada

  • T1MB1T

    SOOOO on WIND!!! yes WIND will be the only carrier with this! Tony said it before Johnn s**t himself.. so its got to be true!!!

  • Mark

    The Xperia Z looks better

  • DC

    Z could be an iPhone killer. ZL will definitely be the iPhone victim.

  • stylinred

    I’d like to see a VAIO phone made with the top notch materials like the Vaio Duo 11 maybe even make it Windows 8 to go along with the moniker

    Always enjoyed Sonys designs when they give it their all, them and Nokia

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