Sony Xperia Z1 Preview

The Sony Xperia Z1 is a powerful, waterproof Android smartphone with an impressive camera system. It boasts a 20.7-megapixel CMOS image sensor mated to an f/2.0 aperture and is capable of recording Full HD 1080p videos, which should look great on the phones 5.0-inch Full HD touchscreen display. Other nice camera features include burst mode, HDR (High Dynamic Range), multiple flash options, image stabilization, picture effects, touch focus, smile shutter, Super Sweet Panorama, and Time-shift Burst.

To take all these videos and high resolution still images, you're going to need all the camera's 16GB of internal storage, plus up to 64GB more on microSD cards. The Z1 also features a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, and 4G LTE capabilities. As a Sony / Google collaboration, there a loads of Google apps and Sony provides ways to connect with their PlayStation systems and the Sony Entertainment Network.

Finally, rounding out the features, the Z1 boasts all sorts of ways to connect to the web and/or other electronic devices. Wi-Fi is a must, but this smartphone can become its own Wi-Fi Hotspot. The Z1 is also Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and DNLA certified to help it become a full fledged media streamer.

Sony Xperia Z1 Features
  • Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) upgradeable to 4.4.2 (KitKat)
  • Waterproof & Dust-resistant
  • 5.0-inch Full HD TRILUMINOS Display
    • 1920x1080
    • 441 ppi
  • X-Reality
  • 2.2 GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage (plus up to 64GB external microSD storage)
  • 4G LTE, 3G, 2G
  • Primary Rear Camera
    • 20.7-megapixel
    • f/2.0
    • 8x Digital Zoom
    • Full HD 1080p Video Recording
    • Autofocus
    • AR Effect
    • Background Defocus
    • Burst Mode
    • HDR for still photos and movies
    • Flash / Pulsed LED Flash / Photo Light
    • Geotagging
    • Info-eye App
    • Image Stabilizer
    • Object tracking
    • Picture Effect
    • Quick Launch
    • Red-eye Reduction
    • Scene Recognition
    • Self-time
    • Sent to Web
    • Smile Shutter
    • Social Live
    • Superior Auto Sweep Panorama
    • Timeshift burst
    • Touch Capture
    • Touch Focus
    • White Balance
  • 2MP front facing camera with 1080p HD Video Recording
  • Google Apps
    • Chrome
    • Play
    • Search
    • Voice
    • Maps
    • 3D Games
    • Wallet
  • PlayMemories app
  • PlayStation app
  • PlayStation Certified Radio (FM radio with RDS)
  • Reader Mode
  • SensMe Slideshow
  • Sony Entertainment Network TV
  • YouTube
  • 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • USB 2.0 & Micro USB
  • Wi-Fi + Wi-Fi Hotspot Technology
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • DNLA Certified

The Sony Xperia Z1 is available -- in black, purple or white -- without a contract for $549.99.

UPDATE JAN. 2014: For an additional $50, Sony has released the Xperia Z1S. It is, in terms of performance features and hardware specifications, identical to the Z1, but adds an additional 16GB of internal storage, bringing the total internal storage to 32GB.

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.