With CES 2013 fading into the background, one device still piques our interest, the Sony Xperia Z and with that, we couldn’t turn down the chance to get some more hands-on time with the handset as it approaches its official arrival in the market. The Full HD, waterproof, HDR capable handset was on hand in central London for us to trial and shoot, take a look:

With its newest flagship device Sony's designers have had a splash of inspiration and come up with something ideal for British climes – a phone that can cope with both rain showers and flooding. A feature normally found on rugged (read: chunky) phones, the Xperia Z is water resistant to an impressive extent. In our demo was saw it dunked in a fishbowl of water, though it's claimed to cope with three feet of the wet stuff for up to 30 minutes.

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Not that you'd know it from the svelte 7.9mm-slim design, an array called OmniBalance that carefully stretches the size of the display almost to the edges of the product. It recalls the Samsung Galaxy S III, though looks decidedly 'Sony'. 

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We were able to compare the Xperia Z to an older Sony smartphone also with a 5” screen, and the newer iteration is far more compact. It's exactly that kind of design that is allowing phablet-sized devices like the Xperia Z back into the market, of course, but this is no novelty. It feels solid in the hand, with a pleasing weight that screams high-end.

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In theory the display isn't the greatest we're likely to see in 2013 simply because it's not using AMOLED, but the Full HD resolution, rich colours and contrast on offer here more than suffice. There's certainly no obvious pixel grid, with both photos and video looking fabulously detailed. However, what really makes the Xperia Z standout is its processing speed. It's stuffed with a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor that's so fast it breathes new life into the less-than-exciting, though clean Android 4.1 OS. Page turns are speedy in the extreme and re-orientation immediate when turning the phone.

This is an exciting effort from Sony that's sure to get better when it's upgraded to Android 4.2 shortly, though it's definitely about style rather than productivity.

The Xperia Z will be available in black, white and purple when it goes on sale in March (or the end of February is is rumoured).  Check out our Sony Xperia Z prices  to find out which networks will be selling it.