August 15, 2013 6:20pm
Sony’s Xperia Z is a bit late to market, but brings a slightly larger and more attractive version of the company’s Xperia ZL flagship.
Its claim to fame is a waterproof shell that is a perfect companion for someone looking to take it to a cottage or the sea.
Other than the aesthetic changes — the device is notably taller and more slippery than its stouter, grippier companion — the internals are unchanged.
You have a 5-inch 1080p display, a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot, a 13MP Exmor RS camera, a 2330mAh battery, and Android 4.1.2 pre-loaded.
Unfortunately for us, and for you, the device does not come with Android 4.2.2, which the ZL was recently updated to. This means that you’re going to be two software versions behind the latest and, performance-wise, notably behind the ZL. Android 4.2 brought a lot of added features to the Sony device, so we’re hoping it is updated soon.
As Bell points out in its marketing campaign, the claim to fame is the waterproof nature of the chassis, but there are some caveats to note. Users must ensure that all ports, including the headphone jack and charging port, are closed securely with a built-in flap.
I tested this claim and found the device to work as advertised. Submerging the Xperia Z in water resulted in continued use and no issues with performance or the display. As this is the first high-end smartphone in Canada that can boast such claims, it’s worth considering for that reason alone.
The Xperia Z is a gorgeous smartphone – Sony’s best to-date. The all-glass design is something that any user would be proud to hold, but one must be careful not to drop it. Other than aesthetics, there is no real reason to choose the Xperia Z over the ZL, which is cheaper, smaller and available across more carriers. If waterproof is your thing, then go for it; if not, the ZL, with its IR blaster and camera shutter button, is actually a comparable smartphone.
The Sony Xperia Z is available for $149.95 on a 2-year term from Bell, or $649.95 outright. It comes in black, white and purple.