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Sony Xperia Z gets reviewed

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The Sony Xperia Z is yet to be released, but some publications have already managed to produce a review of the Android flagship. Engadget describes the phone as one that represents a rebirth for Sony, with a new design language that eclipses all Xperias that have come before.

The new phone is as powerful as you’d expect from a flagship phone in 2013, boasting a 5-inch 1080p display under Bravia Mobile Engine 2 branding. The display isn’t quite as nice as that on the HTC One, with a certain lack of colour accuracy, but still exceeds anything else we’ve seen from Sony to date.

Besides the display, we’ve also got a strong set of internal components. These begin with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, which offers a quad-core CPU running at 1.5 GHz in addition to the now-standard 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage augmented via that now-rare micro SD. While the One comes with a faster Snapdragon 600 SoC, last year’s S4 Pro is still powerful.

Sony has also made imaging a priority with the Xperia Z. But where HTC chose to go for fewer but larger pixels, shipping with a 4 megapixel sensor capable of excellent low-light performance, Sony has gone in the other direction. The Xperia Z comes with a 13 megapixel Exmor RS sensor, which is right at the top of the megapixel race and can also support HDR video.

Finally, the Xperia Z is encased in a shell that boasts both water and dust resistance (the IPX5/7 and IP5X standards). These are standard features in Sony’s native Japan, but don’t normally make the jump to western handsets, and certainly not flagship phones. These features are nice because they obviate the need for Sony Xperia Z cases, particularly in concert with the phone’s overall durable facade.

Overall, the phone appears to be a solid start for Sony in 2013 but also one that is in danger of being overtaken by the many phones expected to launch soon after the Mobile World Congress at the end of the month. The HTC One has already shown strong initial results, and looks to be a better buy thanks to its more recent hardware.

Against the Nexus 4, the current value titan, it’s also hard to recommend the Xperia Z – while the Sony phone’s microSD storage option and water / dust resistance make it a technically better phone, the Nexus 4 is nearly £300 cheaper and includes the same basic hardware.

Are you planning to pick up the Xperia Z? Let us know in the comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Facebook Page.

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