Sony's dives in with smaller, more waterproof Xperia ZR
By David Szondy
May 13, 2013
In the unpleasantness stakes, dropping your smartphone in a bucket or water is right up there with bread landing butter-side down – only much more expensive. Sony has unveiled its Xperia ZR that, if it lives up to expectations, will mean you’ll not only be able to drop it in the pond, but take high-definition videos while doing so.
The Xperia ZR follows on from the Xperia Z, and boasts a slightly smaller display (4.6-inches to the Z's 5-inches) that features improved contrast and anti-glare properties. The Xperia ZR is IP55 and IP58 compliant, making it both dust and water resistant, with Sony claiming it can withstand being submerged in 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) of fresh water for up to 30 minutes. It also has a dedicated camera key that allows you to take pictures or video underwater or if the screen is locked.
The Xerpia ZR’s 13-megapixel camera has a 16x digital zoom and takes high definition images and videos using Sony’s “Exmor RS for mobile” image sensor with HDR (High Dynamic Range), which takes images at different exposure levels and then it combines them into one optimized image. There’s also noise reduction and a burst mode that takes 15 images at a time.
Measuring 10.5 mm thick and weighing 138 grams (4.8 oz), the Xperia ZR runs on Android 4.1 and is powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon chipset (APQ8064 + MDM9215M) with Adreno 320 graphics. The 4.6-inch HD Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and uses the OptiContrast panel, which reduces reflections and creates a seamlessly black surface when the phone is turned off.
The phone comes with 8 GB of internal storage – 4.6 GB of which is user accessible – and a micro SD memory card slot, while a STAMINA mode improves battery standby time by shutting down apps when the screen is off and starting them up again when the screen is switched back on. There's also a one-touch function that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to pair the phone to other NFC-enabled devices, such as speakers, headphones and televisions, by simply touching the phone to the device.
The Xperia ZR will be available worldwide in coming months. Pricing is yet to be announced.
The video below introduces the Xperia ZR.