Las Vegas – Sony turned up at International CES with a new flagship smartphone that boasts the company’s fastest CPU, biggest screen, highest quality camera capabilities, and thinnest chassis to date.
The 4G LTE-equipped Xperia Z is also the company’s first phone with a “One Touch” tap-to-share feature enabled by nearfield communications (NFC). The feature delivers automatic Bluetooth pairing with other Bluetooth-and NFC-equipped Sony products, from headphones to HTiBs and tabletop speakers. Tapping subsequently enables the phone to stream its music via Bluetooth to one of the products without users having to go into the phone’s menu to select one of perhaps multiple Bluetooth products in the house.
The tap-to-share feature also works with select Bravia TVs to enable streaming of phone-stored pictures and video via Wi-Fi to the TVs when the phone is tapped against the TVs’ NFC-equipped TV remotes.
The 7.9mm-thick phone, which is the company’s first Android KellyBean 4.1 phone, will be available in global markets in the first quarter. U.S. availability, however, hasn’t been announced.
Sony Corp. president/CEO Kazuo Hirai contended the phone delivers “a true superphone experience,” thanks to a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM, 5-inch 1080p display, and a pixel density of 443 ppi, said by Sony Mobile market development manager Steve Peters to be the highest of any smartphone. The Huawei Ascend D2 announced on the same day as the Xperia Z also features 443 ppi display.
The CPUs in other Xperia phones max out at 1.5GHz dual-core.
The Xperia Z also features a Mobile Bravia 2 video engine to provide brighter, more vivid colors than the original Mobile Bravia video engine, and it brings 13-megapixel camera resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) camera capability to picture and video capture for the first time to a Sony phone, said Peters.
The phone is also water- and dust-resitant and can hold up for 30 minutes when submerged in 3 meters of waters.
The front 1.3-megapixel camera features 720p HD resolution.
A Battery Stamina Mode improves the standby time by four times or more by automatically shutting down battery-draining apps whenever the screen is off and starting them up again when the screen is back on, the company said.