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

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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By Ben Woods on
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1 of 7 Ben Woods/ZDNet

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.

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2 of 7 Ben Woods/ZDNet

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.

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3 of 7 Ben Woods/ZDNet

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.

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4 of 7 Ben Woods/ZDNet

The two smartphones, the Xperia SP (left) and Xperia L both slot in below the Xperia Z smartphone in terms of the overall range, with the SP getting the best of the specs list out of these two.

While there are some hardware differences between the devices, both share a range of features including Android OS 41. (Jelly Bean), as well as Sony's signature Walkman, Movies and Album apps.

Both also offer (along with the Xperia Z tablet) NFC connectivity and Sony's STAMINA software for extending battery life.

 

 

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5 of 7 Ben Woods/ZDNet

Hardware-wise the Xperia SP is a little fatter and a little heavier than SP, measuring 9.98mm thick (versus 9.7mm on the Xperia L) and weighing in at 155 grams – 18 grams heavier than the L. Pictured above, the Xperia L is on top, the SP is in the middle and the Xperia Z smartphone is on the bottom.

However, alongside the extra depth and weight comes a superior processor (1.7Ghz Qualcomm MSM8960Pro rather than the 1GHz dual core found on the L), a larger, higher resolution display and LTE compatibility. 

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6 of 7 Ben Woods/ZDNet

The Xperia SP (but not the L) also has the transparant bar found on previous Sony handsets that changes colour according to what is being displayed on the screen, or can be set to be used as an alert for incoming calls or messages.

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7 of 7 Ben Woods/ZDNet

While the phones share much of the same user experience, the Sony SP also includes the company's new Social Life app. 

Pricing for the Xperia SP and L has not been specified, but both devices are expected to launch within Q2 2013.

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