Print 33 comment(s) - last by MZperX.. on Mar 29 at 11:37 AM

New phone is low end of the 1080p pack, but still offers some nice features

Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) is finally offering the Xperia ZL for pre-order in the U.S. market.  The bulkier clone of the sleeker Xperia Z, the Sony handset still offers most of the 1080p-related goodies in its Android competitors' stables.  And Sony is kindly pricing it with and without HSPA+, so if you're on T-Mobile USA (HSPA+ only, currently), you can get the smartphone for cheaper.

In terms of competition, the Xperia ZL (and its slimmer twin) go up against Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:005930Galaxy S IV and HTC Corp.'s (TPE:2498HTC One -- both of which are 1080p handsets.  The Sony device also competes with the Apple, Inc. (AAPLiPhone 5, which while trailing the competition in many hardware metrics remains competitive on merits of its strong brand, strong app selection, long battery life, and the preference of some buyers for smaller screens.

Here's how the device stacks up spec-wise versus the competition (click either image to enlarge):
                Smartphones wide
Spec comparison

Notice that overall the Xperia ZL offers a pretty nice spec package, and is well priced, but it suffers from a poor body design, slower processor, and lower built-in storage.

The biggest problem is perhaps the Xperia ZL's lack of any major selling features.

Sony is bragging about the Bravia engine, which uses GPU acceleration to offer real-time color correction, improved imaging, and other perks.  But the results, according to early reviews, are less than impressive.  Also onboard is the STAMINA battery technology, which is supposed to detect when the phone is not in use and turn off stuff.  But according to early reviews battery life on the Sony smartphone remains less than great.

And then there's the question of visibility.  Online orders are great, but without strong marketing a phone is unlikely to succeed in the U.S. Samsung and Apple are already marketing juggernauts, while HTC is getting more aggressive in terms of marketing.

Thus don't expect the Xperia ZL -- currently on pre-order -- to make much of a commotion in the U.S., but it's still an interesting option for buyers willing to think outside the box.

Source: Sony

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RE: Why again?
By LordSojar on 3/27/2013 4:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
I said mid-high. Sony's pricing off contract is of course absurd, as is every other manufacturer's. Welcome to US designed pricing. Subsidies! Herp derp

RE: Why again?
By Mitch101 on 3/27/2013 5:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
Thats kind of the problem I have with the Galaxy S4 its rumored to be expensive even with a contract.

To me these are designer or exclusive phones not for the general consumer.

RE: Why again?
By Milliamp on 3/27/2013 7:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
In the US, because of the contract pricing structure even 8 year olds and people who are unemployed are walking around with the latest Samsung or iPhone.

RE: Why again?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/27/2013 8:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
Thats kind of the problem I have with the Galaxy S4 its rumored to be expensive even with a contract.

Yeah well so far half the 'rumors' about the GS4 have turned out to be BS, so we'll just have to see.

Obviously it represents a significant investment on Samsung's part to bring such state of the art to the market, so depends on what you feel is too "expensive" for it.

RE: Why again?
By Mitch101 on 3/27/2013 8:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
In a way Im glad Samsung is pushing out such a device like the S4. If you got the cash to shell out why not a top end phone that's overkill and there is probably enough people out who can afford it to justify the price.

So the two rumors I heard is there will be 4 models of the S4 for varying budgets. The second one I heard is the initial model in the US will be a quad core not an octo.

Unfortunately Im cheap and my max for a phone is $200 with a contract so Ill be more mainstream.

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