LAS VEGAS—Considering how often, and to how many different places, we carry our smartphones, there's a good chance that one of them, one day, will end up in a toilet. Add in the hazards of kitchen sinks, puddles and fishbowls, and that smartphone is just asking for a soak.
Thankfully, Sony's new Xperia smartphone can survive repeated dunks.
We know, because we tried it.
The Xperia Z is a ruggedized phone that doesn't at all look ruggedized. The minimalist slab features a 5-inch, high-definition touch screen powered by a mini version of the Bravia chip found in Sony's TVs. A sheet of tempered glass covers the screen, while another sheet covers the phone's back, where a 13-megapixel camera resides (a 2-megapixel camera sits on the front). Both cameras use Sony's Exmor R sensors that collect more light for dim settings.
All the key specs are aboard — a four-core 1.5-GHz processor, 16 gigabytes of storage (expandable to 32) and Google's latest "Jelly Bean" Android operating system. [See also: What Makes a High-Quality Camera? ]
But the most impressive aspect of the Xperia Z is seeing all those specs and design features dunked in a bowl of water, as we did repeatedly when we first saw the phone at CES. The phone can keep the water out for at least 30 minutes, Sony says. And that appears to be the case.
Should this lovely new phone dive into the toilet bowl, it would not only survive the plunge, but also withstand a good rinsing off afterwards.
The Xperia Z will go on sale in the first quarter of the year. Sony has not announced a price or carriers for the Xperia Z, or for its sibling, the Xperia ZL, which has a similar design, but no water resistance.
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