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.