Answer Calls in the Shower With Sony's Flagship Android Phone
You don't have to worry about Sony's newest flagship smartphone getting wet in a rainstorm. Called the Xperia Z, the Android handset is both dust and water resistant — IP55 and IP57, specifically — and can survive the rain or even an accidental swim in your local pool.
In addition to its durable design — the phone used tempered glass on its front and back as well as an anti-shatter film — the Xperia Z is also packing a punch under the hood. The 5-inch smartphone has a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 1080p display, and a 13-megapixel camera.
Sony isn't quite ready to announce carriers for the handset but, when it does launch in the next few months, the phone will run on 4G LTE networks.
With a large screen and LTE, one of the biggest concerns with the Xperia Z is likely to be power. To help combat the drain caused by battery-hogging LTE, Sony has built a Battery Stamina mode into the phone that automatically shuts down battery-draining apps whenever the screen on the devices is off, powering them back on when you start to use the phone again.
What that means is that, overnight, while you're phone is sitting on the night stand not being used, notifications from apps like Facebook and Twitter will be powered off, saving you the battery drain of the app looking for updates throughout the night and sending you push notifications.
The feature allows you to select specific apps to stay on even when the screen is not. So, if you want to receive Twitter notifications all the time, you can select to receive those messages without allowing all the apps on your phone to run.
NFC capabilities in the handset allow Xperia owners to quickly pair the phone with everything from speakers to your television. Sony showed us a demo in which a representative started playing a song on the phone through its built-in speakers, and then tapped the Xperia Z on a speaker to have the music start playing there instead. Tapping the speaker again moved the tunes from the external speaker back to the built-in speakers in the phone.
NFC can also come in handy with your TV. Tapping the handset on the remote control for one of Sony's new televisions will let you view the content from your smartphone on your television screen. So you can play Angry Birds or watch Netflix on your TV with a single tap.
The Xperia Z will be released in Q1 of this year, and will come running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which will be updated to 4.2 shortly after launch. A smaller version of the phone, the Xperia ZL, will also be released in Q1. While not water-resistant, the ZL sports many of the same features as the Xperia Z.
January 08, 2013