Hands-on with the Xperia Z tablet, Xperia SP and Xperia L smartphones

Hands-on with the Xperia Z tablet, Xperia SP and Xperia L smartphones

Summary: ZDNet spent a little bit of time hands-on with Sony's new Xperia Z tablet and its Xperia SP and L smartphones - all of which are due for release during Q2 2013.

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TOPICS: Tablets, Smartphones
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  • Since the beginning of the year Sony has already announced and released its range-topping Xperia Z smartphone, as well as introducing new members of the Xperia range that will slot in below that when they are released sometime in Q2.

    Similarly, the hardware maker has also managed to deliver one of the world's slimmest 10-inch tablets, which shares a name and several features with its smartphone counterpart.

    The LTE-capable device has a 10.1-inch 1900 x 1200 (WUXGA) pixels HD display that makes use of Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine 2. Like its smartphone sibling, the Xperia Z is also water and dust resistant.

    Other key hardware specs of the tablet include a quad-core S4 Pro processor with 1.5GHz asynchronous CPUs and 2GB of RAM.

  • The Z is one of the thinnest tablets on the market – measuring just 6.99mm thick. It's also on the light side too, weighing just 495 grams.

    The Xperia Z tablet is pictured above (on the right) next to the Xperia Z smartphone, which is slightly thicker at 7.99mm.

    Also like the smartphone Z, the Xperia Z tablet uses the same flappy covers for things such as the SIM slot and microSD cover in order to preserve the water and dust resistance of the unit.

  • On the rear of the slimline tablet there is an 8-megapixel camera with Sony's Exmor R CMOS sensor, accompanied by a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling or stills.

    Software wise, the Xperia Z tablet uses a largely stock build of Android Jelly Bean (4.1) which will be upgradeable to Android 4.2 after launch, Sony said.

    Despite being mostly standard Android, Sony has also included some of its own personalised tweaks, such as inclusion of the Walkman music player and its customised Movies and Album applications. It also comes pre-loaded with Sony's new social life app.

    Sony has not confirmed what the Xperia Z tablet will cost or when exactly it will be released, but it is currently pencilled in for release in Q2 2013, meaning it should be here soon.

Topics: Tablets, Smartphones

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Interesting to see how Sony's strategy pans out....

    It's been a bold 18 months for Sony; the mother of all reboots; flooding the market with new handsets to try and regain traction from Samsung, and gain a foothold in the market. I hope it pans out for them, I really do; android needs urgently for the dominance of Samsung to faulter. No I'm not a Samsung hater; I have a Samsung TV and laptop. But I do see the dangers of the dominance. I also have a bit of a soft spot historically for Sony; my first cassette Walkman... My first CD player...mini disk player, and yes I had a PS2.

    I also had a Walkman phone. And that is where we left them; the king of the feature phones. Whether you preferred a camera that could make calls or a phone that was your Walkman, they had you covered.then phones got smart.

    I had that smartphone - the xperia X1. Apple were going 3G with the iPhone, android was launching and the smartphone era was beginning. Sony were a huge name in portable electronics so were sure to position themselves at the top. The phone itself was absolutely excellent.... One of my favourites. There where two problems - the price; even iPhones were cheaper, and the OS; windows mobile.

    Now before you windows phones fans jump on it. I didn't say windows phone, I said windows mobile. As in ultra portable windows.. And that's what it was, a PDA OS. Not a smartphone one.

    As a result the phone and it's successor failed to gain any market share. Sony tried again to enter the smartphone area through android, using the tried and tested East Asian buisness model of entering the market at the budget price point, develop a market base and grow from there. The problem was that the smartphone industry is still heavily attached to status; they learned that you have to have the big hitter at the top to add credibility to the brand.

    That leads us to now... Preset day Sony, haemorrhaging money, in trouble. What they have done is a huge gamble; they copied Samsung's tactic; a smartphone at every price point, and they stepped up the model revisions to keep their devices in the "latest releases". They've also found a new niche; the "indestructible" smartphone. This could add up to becoming a significant android player in the next couple of years. But it is a risk; market turation is risky.

    There is also consumer perception. Samsung have done a very good job of positioning themselves next to apple; a top phone comes from Samsung or apple... Phones are hugely status related...that's an image Sony have to find a piece of to pull this off.
    MarknWill
  • Anybody remembering the P800?

    My first smartphone was the SE P800. Sony Ericsson actually had the right idea with this phone, but were probably ahead of it's time. They then lost it.

    http://www.phonearena.com/news/PhoneArenas-Retro-Rewind-Sony-Ericsson-P800_id11441
    Riaanh