When Sony announced the flagship Xperia Z in February of 2013, Canadians were left out in the cold as initially the phone was not set for release in the Great White North. Fast forward several months and with the resounding success of the Xperia ZL Sony rolled out the welcome mat and launched the Xperia Z in all its glory.
The Waterproof Wonder
Unlike iOS 7 waterproof feature, the Xperia Z is actually waterproof and billed as the worlds first waterproof smartphone, the Xperia Z does not disappoint. A Qualcomm quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait processor, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 320 GPU and expandable micro-SD slot are all wrapped up in a beautiful waterproof glass enclosure. The 5" 1080p Bravia II display, 13MP camera and other internals are unchanged from the Xperia ZL. Gone is the plastic matte black rear cover and flimsy microSD/SIM port covers which were replaced with stylish rubber edges and an IP57 certification, making this phone dust and water resistant up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.
The key feature of this phone is it's IP 57 certification for water resistance. Whether you're at the beach for summer vacation, a restaurant and your
drunk clumsy dinner companion spills their drink or your 3-year-old wants to see what happens if they put your phone in the toilet, the Xperia Z will be there with no need to quickly source a bag of rice. Water resistance is set for a depth of 1 meter or 30 minutes, more than enough time to pull it out of a glass of water or a puddle.
More of the Same?
Most of the specs and camera images can be found in our previous review of the Xperia ZL, as they all remain unchanged. The only negative about the "Z" camera is the deletion of a dedicated shutter button. While this was probably done in the name of waterproofness, it was a great feature to not only take photographs, but instantly access the camera even if the device was off.
The Xperia Z ships with Android 4.1.2, however the ZL was recently given the 4.2.2 update with no date given for the flagship Z. Hopefully Sony will address this update quickly as the soon to be release Z1 will be shipping with 4.2.2 and 4.4 (Codename Kitkat) will be not too far in the distant future. Sony has provided quick updates as of late, another great reason to buy a Sony as their commitment to the update process has so far proven solid.
The phone is very well made, slim and easy to pocket. The front and back glass surfaces make it a little slippery to handle, but the rubber enhanced sides keep that in check and add a certain durability and feel. While the Xperia Z is dust proof, it is certainly not resistant to dust, with the large glass surfaces a seeming magnet for dust. Of course, while the on-screen dust is easily rectified, it can keep the phone looking dirty.
MEGATechie Z Waterproof or MEGATechie ZL Shutterbug?
Which should you choose? If you're likely to find yourself in a situation where your phone could come into contact with water, then the Xperia Z is a solid choice. If you're more photography-minded and not so clutzy, the Xperia ZL might fit the bill with its dedicated shutter button. You can't go wrong with either one with the class leading Xperia Z one of the best smartphones currently available.
In Canada, the Sony Xperia Z is available now on a 2-year contract for $149.95 or $649.95 unlocked from most carriers and is available in black, white and purple. If you're from the US, you can scope out some prices for it right here.