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Sony Xperia ZR Review: First Look

What happens when you blend two of Sony’s latest handsets and throw the result in a swimming pool? You get the newly announced Sony Xperia ZR – Sony’s new Android smartphone, aiming to offer a balance of high-performance, design and waterproofing thrown in for good measure.

The Xperia ZR looks more Xperia Z than Xperia SP with a greater emphasis on the company’s most recent OmniBalance design direction. The hallmarks are all there with the same rubberised port covers we saw on the Xperia Z, the aluminium power/lock key halfway down the right hand side of the device and the welcome inclusion of the Xperia SP’s hardware shutter button.

As the Xperia ZR’s launch video showcases, it’s a phone built to the same exacting IP55 and IP 58 standards of water and dust resistance as the Xperia Z. The result? A new Sony phone capable of Full HD video and still photography underwater.

Waterproofing party piece aside, the Sony Xperia ZR also features a wealth of promising pieces that fit together to serve it up as what could well be a competent high-end device.

There’s a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, just as with the flagship Xperia Z, not to mention the same Adreno 320 GPU too. Such hardware paired to the phone’s 4.55-inch 720p HD Reality Display should ensure that Sony’s Android user experience is smoother than we’ve ever seen it before (as lag has been known to crop up, even on the mighty Sony Xperia Z).

The camera which so heavily features in the Xperia ZR’s marketing is the same 13-megapixel unit as that of the Xperia Z’s with Sony’s Exmore RS sensor technology and to round the whole package off, there’s NFC and 4G, so it’s a truly connected device.

Being a spiritual successor to last year’s Sony Xperia Go, the waterproof Xperia ZR comes in black, white, teal and pink and should arrive in the coming months, despite Sony keeping schtum on an official arrival time.




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