updated 10:45 pm EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Upgrade takes another shot at Android market
After achieving less-than-stellar sales with the Xperia Z, ZL and Z1, Sony has introduced the revamped Z1S as its latest attempt to establish a stronghold in the high-end Android market. The handset features a faster processor and an upgraded camera, while retaining the waterproof construction of its predecessors. We spent some time using the new phone at CES to see how it compares with the competition.
Despite the Z-series apparent cool reception in the market, we've been impressed with the features and build quality of Sony's Android phones. The company seems to agree that it has been doing some things well, and the Z1S retains the same overall design as the earlier models. We like the sleek looks, thin build and quality feel of the Z1S, while its waterproof construction is certainly a highlight.
The new 20.7-megapixel camera is paired with an f/2.0 lens, placing it in direct competition with other pixel-heavy phones like Nokia's Lumia 1020. We don't see a huge benefit to the megapixel count alone, and it is difficult to properly judge camera quality on the CES show floor, but we suspect that Sony has paired the sensor with a quality lens and image processor for a competitive photography experience.
The Z1S is promised to arrive on January 22, subsidized through a partnership with T-Mobile or as an unlocked device for $619.