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Sony announces the Xperia Z1 smartphone, ready for release in late September

The IFA tech show has started in Berlin, and one of the first companies to hold a press conference is Sony, where among several cameras, the Vaio Fit laptop, and an unusual music video recorder, it has revealed the Xperia Z1 smartphone. We’re relatively familiar with the phone already, thanks to numerous leaks, but it’s good to see it finally official.

Introduced by Sony’s CEO Kaz Hirai, the Xperia Z1 has a 5-inch, 1080p Triluminos touchscreen and the slim, waterproof chassis is made from aluminum and glass. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.2GHz, and will have the latest Android 4.3 operating system.

Hirai spent time talking about the Xperia Z1’s impressive camera features. It has a 20.7-megapixel camera, equipped with Sony’s G Lens and Exmor RS 1/2.3-inch sensor, and a zero loss 3x digital zoom. Various applications have been built into the software, such as Social Live for streaming video content directly to Facebook, and Info-Eye, which promises to provide information on whatever is pictured. Sony has also added a burst mode called Timeshift, which snaps 61 images in just two seconds, plus AR Effect, where you can add CGI-style effects to your pictures.

Sony has also released an open software development kit for its new camera software, and is working with developers to create new apps for the future. Sony also showed off its Smart Lenses, which were leaked in detail before, and demonstrated how they would fit onto a special bracket on the phone. The two lenses are compatible with most smartphones, according to Hirai, but whether it’s Android-only wasn’t clear.

Sony’s Xperia Z1 will connect to 4G LTE networks, has 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage space, and a microSD card slot ready to add a further 64GB of space. The water and dust resistant shell conforms with IP55 and IP58 standards, and the phone will be sold in black, white, and purple color schemes.

Thankfully, we’re not going to have to wait long for the Xperia Z1 to go on sale, as it’s set to hit shops later this month, although the exact date, locations, and the price are all unknown at this stage.

Updated on 09/04/2013 by Andy: UK networks have been quick to respond to the Xperia Z1’s announcement, as both Vodafone and EE have tweeted they’ll be stocking the phone. EE has a great deal for anyone wanting to pre-order the device, as it’ll be giving a free Sony SmartWatch 2 away with each in-store order. The phone costs £30 ($46) on a £41 ($64) per month, two-year 4G LTE contract.

Article originally published on 09/04/2013

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