U.S. consumers who've been pining away for Sony's best smartphone may not have to pine much longer. More than four months after it first arrived in Europe and Asia, the Xperia Z is finally coming the U.S. on T-Mobile's network, the carrier announced today. However, T-Mobile stopped short of disclosing pricing or an exact ship date beyond saying that the device will be available "in the coming weeks."
Our favorite smartphone of CES 2013, the 5-inch Xperia Z sports a gorgeous 1080p screen, 13-MP camera with HDR for both video and stills, a 1.5-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, a microSD expansion card and 4G LTE connectivity. However, the Xperia Z's most interesting feature is a snazzy, waterproof chassis that allows it to sit under 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes without incurring any damage.
We had a chance to go hands-on with the Sony Xperia Z back in January and were impressed with its ability to not only survive being dunked in a tank, but also keep functioning while submerged. During our demo time, we paired the phone with a Bluetooth speaker, started playing music, dropped it into a fish bowl and marveled as it continued streaming tunes without missing a beat. Once we pulled the Xperia Z out of the fish bowl, we used its touch screen through the water droplets. We were also impressed with the phone's Mobile Bravia Engine, which enhances photos and images to make them really pop on the screen.
Sony's Xperia Z felt like a groundbreaking device at the beginning of the year, but since then, both the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 have launched with 1080p screens, high-end cameras and a host of proprietary software features that Sony doesn't offer. Whether the Xperia Z succeeds in the U.S. will really depend on how much consumers want a waterproof handset.
As of today, users can sign up at tmobile.com to be notified when the Xperia Z becomes available.