We knew it was coming and bang on cue, Sony has announced its new Android flagship smartphone, the 5in Xperia Z, at CES 2013 in Las Vegas.
Widely leaked in the run-up to its launch, the Xperia Z (formerly known as the Yuga) is one of several 5in 1080p smartphones hitting the market and around the same time, but also includes more unique features such as 1m water resistance, a microSD card slot and video high dynamic range (or HDR).
The more standard headline specs are as we already expected: that 5in full HD display with Mobile Bravia 2 engine, a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, LTE and NFC support and a 2,330mAh battery.
Despite up to 16GB of internal memory, the microSD card slot is good to see, and an ever-rarer sight these days. Scanning the Xperia Z's 7.9mm outer shell, though, you'll see it – along with all the other external ports including even the headphone jack – is covered by a plastic flap as part of its 1m water resistance, another unusual feature on your average Android flagship.
And while the 13-megapixel camera featuring an all-new Exmor RS camera sensor sounds pretty good on its own, it comes with a mobile first of a high dynamic range mode for video that captures and assesses multiple video shots at different exposures on the move and combine the best bits of each into the final shot. Sounds nifty.
Another interesting feature is a Battery Stamina mode, which Sony says can deliver four times the standby time by shutting off background apps and processes when the screen is switched off.
One of precious few downsides, from the looks of things, is that the Xperia Z will have only Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on board at launch. The company is promising an upgrade to 4.2 shortly after, but it's disappointing all the same.
Phones4U has already confirmed to us that it'll be stocking the Sony Xperia Z from March 1, while Pocket-lint is claiming Carphone Warehouse will get the jump on its rival by having Sony's new Android flagship in stock in mid-February. Further details have yet to be confirmed.