If you thought Xperia Z
is amazing, but could make do without the waterproof part of it, Sony's got you covered, as it introduced the Xperia ZL
sibling, with an even more compact design. With its 5.18" x 2.74" x 0.38", it is shorter than the Z, and a soft-touch curved back nestles it comfortably in your palm grip.
The microSIM and microSD slots are situated under a large flap at the back bottom, and the phone is graced with a dedicated shutter key, unlike the glassy, watertight Z.
Specswise it is identical - a 5" Full HD screen with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, and the typical for the tech weak viewing angles, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, and a 13 MP rear cam with HDR video capabilities. The funky part here is not only the circular power/lock key on the right, but also the front-facing camera, which is situated in the lower right corner of the phone, where you are used to find one of the Android navigational keys, which here are on-screen.
Besides the shape and size, there is a slight difference in battery capacity between the two - the ZL has a sealed 2,370 mAh unit, which is a tad bigger than the one in the Z. The long-rumored IR blaster
is indeed here, with the accompanying app that allows you to use the phone as a remote control for a wide variety of TVs, home stereos and other assorted electronics around the house.
The Xperia ZL is promised to arrive for as soon as this quarter, which will make it the first brand name flagship for the year. There is a full suite of baseband radios for LTE and HSPA+ networks, but in what "select markets" and on which carriers the ZL will land is still to be announced, same as the price.