Sony unveils Xperia Z1
Waterproof, 20.7MP camera, host of smart accessories
Sony Mobile Communications today introduced its latest premium handset, the Xperia Z1, a waterproof smartphone with a 20.7MP camera.
"Xperia Z1 represents a significant milestone for Sony in our continued efforts to deliver unforgettable experiences to our consumers," said Kunimasa Suzuki, president and CEO, Sony Mobile Communications.
"Not only by bringing the power of Sony to the smartphone and through close collaboration with our partners, but by setting a new standard in premium smartphones."
Xperia Z1 is the latest addition to Sony's premium Z series. The 5-inch display features Sony's BRAVIA TV technology and TRILUMINOS Display for mobile, a combination geared towards providing a wider palette of rich and natural colours. It also includes X-Reality for mobile, Sony's super-resolution technology, which is designed to analyse each image and optimise the quality to deliver sharper videos.
Xperia Z1 also integrates Sony's ClearAudio+ system, which works to automatically optimise audio without the need to adjust individual settings.
The handset's body incorporates Sony's OmniBalance design and the company has made efforts to deliver a slim frame. The unit is also waterproof and dust-resistant to International Protection standards IP55 and IP58 respectively. A solid one-piece aluminium frame with tempered glass on the front and back is intended to deliver a sleek aesthetic as well as durability and consistent viewing regardless of angle.
Inside the phone is built with power in mind. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with a 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU and 4G connectivity. Sony describes the 3000 mAh battery as "industry-leading". Battery STAMINA Mode automatically turns off functions to save power when users have no need of them and restarts them when required.
Xperia Z1's camera will no doubt prove a distinctive selling point. It features Sony's own "G Lens" with a 27mm wide angle and bright F2.0 aperture, custom made large 1/2.3-type CMOS image sensor Exmor RS for mobile with 20.7MP and a BIONZ for mobile image processing engine.
"The combination of these technologies delivers the same level of quality and performance as a conventional compact digital camera," Sony said in an emailed statement.
GALLERY: Sony Xperia Z1
"Indeed, independent testing has confirmed that Xperia Z1 provides the best overall image quality of all leading smartphones," the company added, referring to 23 August 2013 consumer research by Strategy Analytics.
"This means that Xperia Z1 captures beautiful, sharp and bright images even in lowlight conditions. High shutter speeds and 3x clear image zoom also prevents shots from being blurred while enabling them to be captured at distance."
Xperia Z1 also bundles a series of camera apps including the ability to post live to Facebook and get friends' comments directly on the handset; Info-eye, a visual search function that provides related information on landmarks and on items such as books by capturing them with the camera; Timeshift burst, which allows the camera to take 61 images in 2 seconds - a second before and after pressing the shutter - so users can scroll back and forth to find the perfect image; and the AR effect, which enables the overlay of a selection of customisable animations to create pictures using Sony's SmartAR augmented reality technology.
"This experience is supported by a robust ecosystem of established and up-and-coming developer partnerships who are working to create Xperia Camera Applications," Sony announced. "Many more apps will be available through the Sony Select recommendation store after launch."
The Z1 is supported by an ecosystem of companion products and accessories. All are underpinned by Sony's one-touch functions with NFC technology, which the company claims will number approximately 100 by the end of the year. Products include a Smart Imaging Stand that helps Xperia Z1 detect smiles without the need to hold the handset; a Smartphone Tripod; the SmartWatch 2, which can be used as a second screen for the Z1 and can trigger the camera shutter; and a splash-proof Smart Bluetooth Handset.