In the smartphone wars, Apple and Samsung reign supreme. Companies like Motorola, LG, HTC, and Nokia are struggling to stay above water. Then you have Sony. Despite its history, many customers don't even know that the Japanese company makes smartphones. Sony is hoping to change that, with its most serious mobile device yet, the Xperia Z.

2013's High-end

The Xperia Z sports a 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 display. That places it alongside the Droid DNA and Huawei Ascend D2 with an absurd 441 pixels per inch (PPI).

Powering the handset is Qualcomm's quad core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip. The device's rear camera takes 13 MP pictures, and shoots high dynamic range (HDR) video. Sony packed it all into a slim body, measuring a mere 7.9 mm thick.

Sony didn't announce any wireless carriers, but the Xperia Z supports LTE. The phone will launch with Android 4.1, but Sony says it will update to 4.2 soon after release.

Water-proof?

Sony is marketing the device's water resistance. No smartphone today is completely water-proof, but Sony says the Xperia Z provides the highest levels of water-proofing (IP55 and IP57) among high-end handsets.

Coming soon

The Xperia Z will launch globally within the next few months. As to the impact it will have on the smartphone market ... we'll just have to wait and see.

Product page: Sony Xperia Z smartphone