There have been a lot of words being said about the upcoming device from Sony Stable, named Xperia ZR. Sony has been adding a lot of devices to their Xperia series recently and accepts the fact, like other brands, even they like to stick to their designs and make scaled up and down copies of their devices. This device however is one device that is catching the attention of many these days. Sony is claiming big with this phone and we were very sure if Sony is betting big on it, then it is something special.
The device is being advertised by saying “experience filming underwater in full HD”. Well this surely tells you that this is another waterproof device made by Sony and what it has got over the Xperia Z is that not only it will survive underwater, it can be used for photography and videography underwater using the dedicated camera key. The camera would serve up very well not only for under water photography but also for usual photography jobs. I remember the first device I used with a camera key was a Sony Ericsson. We went browsing the Sony website and various other websites who were claiming they know what the upcoming ZR is and have served what we could learn here.
The phone looks pretty from the photographs we found on the Sony website. I look at the photos and it somewhat reminds me of the Xperia ion. The phone has got a unibody design and has got a back curved sideways to make the grip easy. The phone would be easy to hold in hand as it has got just a 4.55 inch display. This is the right size of display to put on a phone. Anything above 4.6 – 4.7 inches makes device hard to use with one hand.
The phone has got a black front with the option of four colors for the rest of the phone. The colors on offer are white, black, mint and pink. When looking from front, the colour of back panel shows around the black display and that looks nice. The front is neat and it holds the power, volume and camera key on the right spine of the phone. The camera key is close to the edge and would be convenient to use when held in landscape mode.
The Xperia ZR has got a lot of power under that pretty design. The performing hardware is exactly the same as the Xperia Z. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064 chipset also seen on the elder sibling and the Google nexus 4. The processor is Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait and the graphic processing jobs are handled by Adreno 320 GPU. It has got 2GB of RAM which would be plenty to handle any job you throw at it. There are devices powerful than this available in the market but do you really need the number of cores that much and clock speed that high. The hardware would stay fresh till the time they decide to put cooling fans in a phone and fit something even more powerful.
This hardware combo has already been used on Xperia Z and Google Nexus 4 and the performance was way above satisfactory. Judging from that, the Xperia ZR won’t be any slouch either.
We don’t have this section when we write “first look” or “hands on review” for gadgets but we had to add this one for this device. This phone is meant to deal with any conditions you throw at it and would still survive. So unless you do something really crazy for a living, this phone won’t break a sweat living with you.
The device has got IP55 rating thus it is waterproof to low pressure jets from all directions and also IP58 which means it can survive for 30minutes under 1.5m of freshwater. So now you can click photos of your friends in the pool without being scared of them splashing the water on your phone.
The phone is also dustproof and has got dust-resistant rating of IP5X. So this adds another point in the durability of the device. The Sony website says about this phone “It is anything but fragile” and reading more about the phone, we were forced to agree. Do you drop your phones or iPods a lot and then end up ruining your display? Well there are a lot of such people who end up having weird coloured spots on their displays because they dropped it. I bet you can’t end up with something like that if you have got this phone. The glass on the screen is toughened to make it considerably stronger and it comes with an anti-shatter film on front. So unless you take it as a challenge to crack the screen, it won’t die.
Sony has always put great cameras in their devices and as they are betting on the photography and videography of this device, it won’t be any exception. The camera is 13.1 MP, 4128×3096 pixels and has got features like Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, sweep panorama. The camera can capture 9 megapixel burst shots at 10 fps.
The camera has got a Sony special Exmor RS image sensor which improves the low light photography and also helps with the colour replication in normal photography. The camera has also got the HDR mode which will help with photos when captured against the light. To do so, it captures multiple photos of the subject under different exposures and then layers them to get the best out of them.
The display on this device is a 4.55-inch, 720p LCD with an OptiContrast panel. They have put the touchscreen sensors on the display itself and removed the space in between to reduce the thickness and the reflections under bright light. Sony also claims that doing so would increase the responsiveness of the screen.
A display with almost similar tech spec has been seen on and on and this one claims to make things even better and boasts of Mobile Bravia Engine 2. The mobile Bravia engine 2 claims to enhance the contrast by processing the dark parts of an image or video, make colors look deeper and true to original, reduce the noise from low resolution videos and increase the sharpness of content without adding noise.
The device as far as we can see looks very promising. It packs in all the desirable features in a package and serves them to you. We haven’t got any word about the pricing but expect it to be somewhere between Rs. 30 and 34K. If this device catches up well like the Xperia Z, we might see other manufacturers jump into making water and dust proof devices and the competition will surely bring the prices down. For now, we are waiting to have the device for a proper review.
Abhishek is a writer for 91mobiles.com and he blogs about various smartphones and here he share about the upcoming Sony Xperia ZR and its specifications.