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Sony Xperia ZR

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 Sony Xperia ZR Available now
13th May 2013

One of Sony's success stories this year is the Sony Xperia Z, an impressive piece of kit with a lovely 5" HD display on the front. But the problem with it is that it is rather big.

If the sheer bulk of the Xperia Z puts you off, then the new Sony Xperia ZR might well be the solution that you're looking for. It replaces the 5" 1080p display with a more modest 4.6" 720p display which shaves 10% off the footprint of the phone and saves about 5% of the weight, while keeping all the other powerful features that make the Xperia Z such a desirable device.

But the Xperia ZR is more than just a more compact version of the Z.. it's also more rugged. The Z is highly water and dust resistant, but the ZR takes it one step further with IP58 certification which means that you can immerse it in up to 1.5 metres (almost 5 feet) or fresh water for up to 30 minutes.

So, what sort of applications might involve taking HD video or making phone calls under 1.5m of water? Photographing something in the bottom of a shallow swimming pool? Surviving a fall down a very deep puddle? Making a video call in the bath? Playing Angry Birds in the rain? Well.. yes, perhaps. You wouldn't want to try any of those things with an iPhone.

 Sony Xperia ZR

Inside the Xperia ZR is a quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM plus 8GB of onboard storage plus a microSD slot. Inside is a large 2300 mAh battery which is quoted as giving up to 13 hours talktime and 21 days standby time on 3G, or 45 hours of music playback and 8.5 hours of video viewing. In some markets an LTE 4G version will be available.

 Sony Xperia ZR On the back is a 13 megapixel camera with flash and 1080p HD video recording plus a secondary VGA resolution one on the front. The camera is enhanced with Sony's Exmor technology plus all the usual tricks you'd find in a Sony smartphone. There's a FM radio on top of all the usual multimedia features, and the Xperia ZR is NFC capable and supports HDMI output via an MHL cable.

This is an Android 4.1 smartphone with all the normal Android features plus the usual Sony enhancements. Unlike some other "mini" devices, the ZR really is almost the same as the Z under the hood and is a very high-end device in its own right. No guidance was given on price although we would expect the ZR to retail for about €500 SIM-free. Sony say that the ZR should be available during Q2 2013 although availability will vary by market.

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Sony Xperia ZR at a glance

Available:

Q2 2013

Network:

Various GSM + UMTS. LTE optional.

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSPA+ + WiFi

LTE Optional

Screen:

4.6" 720 x 1280 pixels

Camera:

13 megapixels (main)

0.3 megapixels (sub)

Size:

Medium/large smartphone

131 x 67 x 10.5mm / 138 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes (4.0)

Internal memory:

8GB

Memory card:

MicroSD

CPU:

1.5GHz quad-core

RAM:

2GB

Java:

Optional

GPS:

Yes (plus GLONASS)

OS:

Android 4.1

Battery life:

13 hours talk / 21 days standby (3G)

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