Will the Xperia Z Return Sony to Smartphone Glory?

By January 22, 2013
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I make no bones about being a huge Sony phone fan. From their earliest phones before the Ericsson debacle, and numerous models after, I could most always be found with one in my pocket. The w810i labeled a Walkman phone, was incredibly small, had a memory card slot, and a whopping two megapixel camera that for the time, took awesome photos.

This year at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Sony unveiled the Xperia Z. From what I can tell, it is by far the most impressive phone Sony has ever launched. This Android powered behemoth boasts a 5 inch super-high-resolution 1920 x 1080 16 million color display that’s powered by a mobile version of Sony’s legendary Bravia engine. The Xperia Z sports a 13 megapixel camera that Sony says will take pictures just as good in low light as it does on a sunny day. The phone also has the first HDR enabled video camera that promises exceptional videos in all lighting conditions. It also has a 2 megapixel front-facing HD camera.

Processing speed doesn’t look to be a problem either. Sony chose Qualcomm’s S4 Snapdragon chipset and gives you 2GB of ram for added speed. The phone supports HD Voice, which is supposed to allow for much clearer, less background filled calls, and also has a proprietary battery management system that promises to allow for longer usage times. We’ll see.

One of the most unique features about this phone is that it is both water resistant and dust resistant. When I say water resistant, I mean it can actually be submerged in a few feet of water for up to 30 minutes. Now that’s cool! The Xperia Z has 16GB of internal memory, and a microSD slot that allows for up to 32 more. This alone should be a huge plus for the discriminating phone aficionado.

Sony has also re-designed their user interface or Android overlay as I like to call it. This is important because many Android purists such as myself believe that Sony’s UI on all their previous Android phones has severely decreased processing speeds.

Will the Xperia Z qualify for Superphone status? There are no guarantees, but in mind this phone is a great start, and if nothing else it certainly might be considered redemption for many past failures. Sony has always had the know-how to produce a top tiered smartphone, and it’s about time their reputation once lives up to the hype. Look for it to be released in the coming months, at which time I’ll update you as to whether or not I think it’s a phone you need to own.

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Thomas Leath

Thomas Leath

For more than 20 years he's been involved in multiple startups as both an advisor and investor, in industries ranging from small business startups to large scale technology. He's owned a successful homebuilding company, cigar shop, bought and sold destination real estate in the Caribbean, and has been a motion picture producer. He's a self proclaimed Gadget Geek, occasional Blogger, Fly Fisherman, Scuba Diver, and Art Collector. He's @ThomasLeath on Twitter.