Sony Xperia ZR Preview

The Sony Xperia ZR is an Android smartphone that can be purchased without a two-year contract. It features a peppy quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, but is running the slightly older "Jelly Bean" OS and internal storage is limited to 8G unless you add additional storage (up to 32GB) via microSD.

The ZR's display is pretty big -- at 4.5-inches -- but resolution is limited to 1280 x 720, which matches perfectly with the camera's ability to only record 720p HD video. Why is this? Sony opted for a 13.1-megapixel CCD image sensor rather than a faster/pricier CMOS version. Despite its video limitations, the ZR boats auto focus, face detection / recognition, pulsed LED flash, geotagging, HDR (high dynamic range) for stills and video, and Super Sweep Panorama. There's even a few new and/or enhanced features, such as Smile Shutter (automatically snaps a photo after detecting a smile) and Target Focus (which adds autofocus precision even when your subject is on the go). To share your still image and video masterpieces, you can use Sony's PlayMemories apps OR simply use built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, or Bluetooth 4.0 to connect with the web and/or external devices.

As a Sony and a Google product, the Xperia ZR includes a full suite of Google Apps as well compatibility to the PlayStation and Sony Entertainment Networks.

Sony Xperia ZR Features
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 1.5GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage (plus up to 32GB external via microSD)
  • 4.5-inch TFT Touchscreen
    • 1280 x 720 pixels
    • 323ppi
  • 4G LTE, 3G, 2G
  • Primary (Rear) Camera
    • 13.1-megapixel CCD image sensor
    • 16x Digital Zoom
    • Auto Focus
    • Face Detection
    • Face Recognition
    • Flash / Pulsed LED Flash / Photo Light
    • Geotagging
    • 720p HD Video Recording
    • HDR for photos and video
    • Image Stabilizer
    • Object Tracking
    • Picture Effects
    • Quick Launch
    • Red-eye Reduction
    • Scene Recognition
    • Self-timer
    • Sent to Web
    • Smile Shutter
    • Superior Auto Sweep Panorama
    • Touch Capture
    • Touch Focus
    • White Balance
  • VGA Front Camera
  • Google Apps
    • Chrome
    • Play
    • Search
    • Voice
    • Mobile Maps with Street View and Latitude
    • NeoReader Barcode Scanner
    • WebKit Browser
    • 3D Games
    • Media Browser
    • Motion Gaming
  • PlayMemories
  • Radio (FM with RDS)
  • Sony Entertainment Network
  • PlayStation Certified
  • YouTube
  • 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • USB 2.0 & MicroUSB
  • Wi-Fi & Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC

The Sony Xperia ZR -- available in black, blue, pink, or white -- costs $499.99 with no contract.

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.