Sony shows off 'tough' Xperia Z

2013-03-12 12:31
The Sony Xperia Z is water resistant. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Sony Xperia Z is water resistant. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Sony has demonstrated the durability of its flagship Xperia Z smartphone as the manufacturer moved to steal the thunder of the anticipated launch of Samsung's latest Galaxy.

The Xperia Z sports a massive 12.7cm high definition display and Sony has re-employed its successful Bravia engine to enhance the graphics on the device.

But one of the key differentiators was the water resistance and durability, Sony representatives said.

"People do use the device anywhere and everywhere, and we want to make a phone that is not just beautiful and slim, that you can put in your pocket, but something that can withstand all this stuff," Mansoor Ahmed, Sony Mobile product marketing manager for Middle East and Africa, told News24 after dropping the device in water.

In a presentation give to journalists, Sony said that the company was focused on design that was both aesthetically pleasing and durable.


"That is the whole aspect of design. When we designed this phone from the bottom up, we made sure we do that with tempered glass; the frame is made with carbon polynite - like carbon fibre - it allows us to have a light but durable material," said Ahmed.

He demonstrated that durability by throwing the phone on a hard floor and could continue using it without any apparent negative effects on the device.

Sony insisted that the Bravia Engine 2 was not a gimmick because it delivered brighter colours and more natural skin tones than comparative displays.

A demonstration showed the device with the Bravia Engine delivering a richer colour display and shadows in bright images and videos were less dark.

Sony, though, is not prepared to compete of price and the company insisted that the technology would drive user adoption because of the experience rather than price.

"At Sony Mobile, we're not trying to differentiate ourselves on 'Oh look how cheap it is', or how many cool pixels we have, because the fact is tomorrow someone will always outdo me.

"Where do I differentiate myself; where can I make a place for myself in the consumer mindset? The only place I find myself doing that is by delivering a consistently good user experience," Ahmed said.

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He added that the "Opti Contrast" panel produced a crisper image which means that the screen is easily visible from all directions, and in harsh light.

"In simple English, when you walk out into the sun, you don't walk like this," he said, demonstrating the frustration of many smartphone users, by covering the screen with his hand.

Ahmed demonstrated the unlimited burst mode photography on the Xperia Z to which a journalist commented that it was not possible to write to the memory card that fast.

Sony evangelist Ahmed was unmoved, answering only: "Try it yourself."

The Xperia Z is set to go on sale in SA by early April, but Sony could not give an exact date as negotiations with the mobile operators are still ongoing.

It is expected to retail in the premium device price range of around R8 000.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

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