Sony announces waterproof Xperia ZR smartphone

By Nir Kenner on May 13, 2013, 4:30 PM

Sony has just announced the Xperia ZR, an Android-powered device featuring a rich 4.6-inch "OptiContrast OLED" screen with Bravia technology to reduce glare even in the brightest sunglight. It also packs a 13 megapixel camera, 2GB RAM and a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz CPU from Qualcomm. What's interesting about the ZR, however, is that it's both waterproof and dust-resistant (IP55 /IP58 certifications) and allows you to shoot full HD videos underwater, up to 5 feet deep, for up to 30 minutes.

Calum MacDougall, Director of Xperia Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications, talked up the Xperia ZR's underwater capabilities in a press release announcing the device this morning:

“The Xperia ZR pushes the boundaries on where and how consumers can use the full potential of their smartphone. By combining Sony’s leading camera technology with the highest level of water-resistance, you will never miss another moment. Bringing together the best of Sony’s leading technology, media apps and easy one-touch connectivity with a large range of NFC-enabled accessories, the ZR delivers the unique smartphone experience that people can expect from Sony.”

The ZR could be considered a smaller, thicker version of the company’s flagship Xperia Z, which is also dust resistant and water resistant up to three feet. But it’s far from bulky -- at least the kind you expect from rugged and waterproof electronics. In fact, at 5.2 x 2.6 x 0.4 inches it more closely resembles Sony's lower-end, non-waterproof Xperia SP, and it's not that much bigger than an iPhone 5.

Besides its waterproof chops, other features include HSPA+ and 4G LTE connectivity, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, a dedicated camera key, VGA front-facing camera, 8GB of internal memory, and MicroSD card support.

In terms of software you can expect the ZR to ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and a bunch of apps from Sony like Walkman, Album, and Movies. There’s also a new face recognition feature to tag people in your albums and support for the same battery stamina mode that debuted on the Xperia Z, which helps preserve battery by shutting down battery-draining apps when the screen is off and starting them up when it’s back on.

The Xperia ZR is slated to reach consumers in various markets around the world starting this quarter.




User Comments: 15

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veLa veLa said:

Looks pretty interesting.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Apple may be on the chopping block the next time I upgrade my phone. Any mobile device that holds up underwater is a winner in my book.

Jamibi said:

Honestly would not recommend any Sony device after the service I'm getting with my Xperia Z. Sent it off for repairs on the 18th March, still not even got an ETA on when it's back. It's got so stupid that I've even made a song about Sony and sent it to them and the repair centre.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0laGCgzyQJc

Just a heads up!

Guest said:

How can something be "waterproof" but only "dust resistant"?

Scshadow said:

I'd love to just toss my phone randomly into a cup of water and pretend to ignore the semi-concerned look on the faces of people around me.

RzmmDX said:

I have never gotten the point of waterproofing phones.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I have never gotten the point of waterproofing phones.

Me neither, until one summer day I had my phone next to a pool on a towel and the one and only breeze that day lifted the towel and the phone into the pool. It was an HTC Evo 4G, and it happened two years ago and the phone is still working today. So I guess that's evidence of both needing and not needing waterproofing, depending on how you look at it.

How can something be "waterproof" but only "dust resistant"?

There's probably some silly guideline in how they're measured. For example, it's only waterproof up to 5 feet or whatever, then all bets are off. Perhaps there's no distinction for dust proofing so they have to say resistant.

CorvusCorax said:

I have never gotten the point of waterproofing phones.

As an irrigation professional who spends his days kneeling over muddy puddles, I definitely get the point of waterproofing phones...

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I do think it's pretty common for people somehow end up with water damaged phones. Some people just have that 1 second brain fart where they drop something and just happen to be near water and have a phone.

Sunny87 said:

I do think it's pretty common for people somehow end up with water damaged phones. Some people just have that 1 second brain fart where they drop something and just happen to be near water and have a phone.

Or like me have a one second brain fart whereby I jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed and with phone in pocket, mid dive you can only imagine the look on my face once I'd realised!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I have never gotten the point of waterproofing phones.

As an irrigation professional who spends his days kneeling over muddy puddles, I definitely get the point of waterproofing phones...

Yeah, waterproof phones would definitely be handy for plumbers & others in the building trade.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Honestly would not recommend any Sony device after the service I'm getting with my Xperia Z. Sent it off for repairs on the 18th March, still not even got an ETA on when it's back. It's got so stupid that I've even made a song about Sony and sent it to them and the repair centre.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0laGCgzyQJc

Just a heads up!

Funny but the auto-tune is simply painful to listen to xD

Guest said:

"How can something be "waterproof" but only "dust resistant"?"

there are two things electrical device must be protected from: against solid particle and liquid ingress, and these two are different problem, that's why the IP rating certification use two digits. The first digit determines level protection against solid particle, the second digit determines level protection against liquid ingress..

Guest said:

"I have never gotten the point of waterproofing phones."

you will got the point until you accidentally get your phone damaged by water

1 person liked this | Jamibi said:

Honestly would not recommend any Sony device after the service I'm getting with my Xperia Z. Sent it off for repairs on the 18th March, still not even got an ETA on when it's back. It's got so stupid that I've even made a song about Sony and sent it to them and the repair centre.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0laGCgzyQJc

Just a heads up!

Funny but the auto-tune is simply painful to listen to xD

Haha, yeah we actually (believe it or not) went out of our way to make it intentionally really quite crap. Just for added humour. Sony actually replied to me, they thought it was hilarious and most of the customer service office apparently has heard it. hah.

Worth it!

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