Like its predecessor, the Xperia Z, the Xperia Z1 is waterproof, this time with a hefty IP58 rating – meaning, according to the IP rating chart, that the device "is suitable for continuous immersion in water." (The 8 refers to the waterproofing; the first digit, the 5, refers to its dust-resistant abilities. A 5 score means that "ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.")
Sony is clearly aiming at the high end of the market here: The Xperia Z1 gets the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a big battery, 4G LTE connectivity, and a 5-inch HD display. But Sony is focusing most of its marketing might on the 20-plus megapixel camera and its wide angle 27mm f/2.0 G lens. It's almost National Geographic-worthy, that shooter.
But how does this waterproof little wonder feel? Well, CNET's Andrew Hoyle got his hands on one of the Z1 handsets, and he says it very much resembles the original Xperia Z.
"There are differences, though," he writes. "Chief among them is the aluminum band that now wraps around the edge. It's milled from a single piece of metal that Sony reckons makes it stronger. It certainly makes it more comfortable to hold. The previous model had a bit of a sharp edge to it, but the rounded metal on the Z1 feels much nicer, not to mention more luxurious."
Look for the device to launch this month.