Sony launched their new smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z, at an informal and intimate event in Durban last week. A few media gathered at Moyo, uShaka Pier to learn more about this new device and experience it first-hand. The Xperia Z was described as being the best of Sony in a smartphone, and judging by the look, functionality and robustness of the phone it seems to be living up to this ideal.
In addition to having an impressive list of features and technical specifications, there are a few key aspects of the Xperia Z that stood out for me during the presentation, especially given the fact that I have spent time with other smartphones currently available on the market.
Firstly, to say I was gobsmacked by the fact that the phone was dropped, stood on, and submerged in icy water during the demonstration and still worked (and looked great) after all of that left me speechless. The tempered glass and anti-shatter film on the front and back of the phone did it’s job remarkably well. This durability will surely come in handy given that one’s phone has become such an integral part of one’s life and goes everywhere you go. It was evident that this functionality was a key design aspect for the Sony team and is core to the Sony Xperia Z experience.
Design, design and more design has gone into the Sony Xperia Z from what we were told, but you’ll witness it for yourself just by interacting with it. The appearance of the Sony Xperia Z is based on an OmniBalance design, which in essence means rounded edges and smooth reflective surfaces. Now to Sony’s credit they are taking a holistic approach across their product range and you’ll notice similar aesthetic styling in the rest of their product range too.
This alignment goes further than just physical alignment across projects, the user interface is also being standardized to create consistent user experiences for consumers between products. It’s a solid step in the right direction from this industry giant and something I’m sure will resonate with consumers as the consistency in design will help many deal with the added complexity created through the connected lifestyle that is rapidly taking over our lives.
The second thing that caught my attention was the vibrant colours of the display, both in picture and video. The 5 inch screen is a full high definition 1080 x 1920p display that is powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2. To demonstrate the display we were shown just how lightning fast the 13MP Fast Capture camera with Exmor RS really is. Over 400 photos were taken while we chatted about this feature. The Sony Xperia Z effortlessly captured these photos and made light work of adjusting for lighting conditions dynamically as the phone was waved around the room of media. Having experienced the challenge of trying to get decent photos using various phones, I was impressed to see how effortless the Sony Xperia Z makes it to take great shots.
The promise of extended battery life through the STAMINA mode which is built into the operating system is very exciting for me. It works by automatically turning off apps when the screen is off and then starting them up again once the screen comes back on. You can configure this to your liking so your key apps are never interrupted. Trials by Sony have shown an increase in battery life of up to four times which is very encouraging for phone dependent people like me.
Another thing that caught my eye was that the Sony Xperia Z is a PlayStation Certified phone and as such will offer gamers a fluid mobile gaming experience. We also got to witness the NFC capability of the Xperia Z with the quick one-touch pairing to a speaker. Without a fuss the speaker was wirelessly connected and playing the song from the Xperia Z. You can look forward to seeing a full range of NFC-enabled Sony devices from speakers and headphones to TVs to use with the Xperia Z.
The Sony Xperia Z will launch towards the end of March in South Africa. The price point has yet to be announced but it will be in line with high end smartphones currently on the market.
Key features for Xperia Z
- 5” 1080 x 1920p full HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
- 13MP Fast Capture camera with Exmor RS for mobile, HDR video
- Dust and water resistant (IP55 & IP57) with a durable glass display
- 1.5 GHz asynchronous quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB RAM
- Battery STAMINA mode improves standby time by at least 4 times
- 4G LTE connectivity
You can read more about the key features at the official website.
Thanks to Mansoor Ahmed, Sony Mobile Communications Product Marketing Manager Middle East and Africa, and Aleksandar Ristic, Marketing Manager South Africa, for taking the time to visit us in Durban and show us the Sony Xperia Z.