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By 5 September 2013 | Categories: news

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Sony Mobile Communications (SMC) has managed to strike our fancy thanks to its latest Xperia device lineup which includes the Xperia Z Ultra and Tablet Z (quick review). The company continues on the right path courtesy of its latest flagship, the Xperia Z1.

Like the Xperia Z (review), the Japanese company’s new phone boasts tempered glass at the front and back of the device and these are held in place by a one-piece aluminium frame. The Z1 is actually a bit thicker (8.5 mm vs 7.9 mm) and heavier (169 g vs 146 g) than the Xperia Z, but is still water- and dust proof (IP55 and IP58) like the rest of the devices in the new Xperia range.

Under the hood

Powering the smartphone is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor running at 2.2 GHz per core, which is currently the snappiest CPU on the mobile block, also doing duty in the Xperia Z Ultra and LG G2. This processor is supported by 2 GB of RAM, whilst the device sports 16 GB of internal storage which can be boosted by 64 GB via the microSD memory card slot.

Surprisingly its Android 4.2.2 handling the operating and not the newer Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) or the newly announced Android 4.4 (KitKat). Sony’s Xperia Z1 sports a 5" full HD (1080p; 441 ppi) Triluminos Display for mobile with the X-Reality for mobile picture engine, which will provide crisper, jagged-free images according to the firm.  

Optics

In terms of optics, Sony ups its camera game thanks to a 20.7 megapixel Exmor RS for mobile CMOS image sensor, which we would have called massive if not for the 41 MP sensor on the back of Nokia’s Lumia 1020.

According to Sony, this is the biggest sensor users can get on an Android smartphone, and delivers less noise, quick autofocus and blur-free images for video shooting thanks to BIONZ for mobile image processing engine. The camera also packs Sony’s G Lens offering 3x clear image zoom.

Also onboard is a big 3000 mAh battery, LTE (4G) connectivity for faster downloads, a 2 MP front-facing snapper for video calls and capturing selfies, Bluetooth 4.0, and Sony’s ClearAudio+ technology which the company says will automatically optimise the audio experience without the need to adjust individual settings.

Sony stated that the Xperia Z1 will launch globally from September 2013, and according to Mark Fenzel, SMC sales director for Middle East and Africa, local users can expect an October launch. No pricing info is available yet.

In related news, check out our choices for the top 5 midrange smartphones currently available, which includes Sony’s Xperia V (review) at number 3.

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