BERLIN: JAPANESE HARDWARE MAKER Sony unveiled its latest flagship smartphone at IFA on Wednesday, the Sony Xperia Z1.
As the sequel to the Sony Xperia Z, which is the firm's best-selling smartphone to date, the Sony Xperia Z1 features the same 5in full HD 1080p display as its predecessor, but has a faster quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and Google's Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system, with an update to Android 4.3 likely to be rolled out shortly after release.
The handset's standout feature, however, is its Exmor RS 20.7MP rear-facing camera. Although previously rumoured, the Sony Xperia Z1 is not capable of shooting Ultra HD 4K video like the new Acer Liquid S2.
However, Sony will launch the Xperia Z1 with two snap-on lenses, the QX10 and the QX100, which work with any Android smartphone or iPhone, supporting the device width of 54mm-75mm with a thickness of up to 13mm. These two optional external lenses can either be mounted on the phone or work on their own to capture images, with the photos stored on a microSD card inside the lens itself.
Working via NFC technology, the lenses turn the Xperia Z1 into a device that resembles a full size camera. The QX10 is the smaller of the two lenses, with an EXMOR R 18.2MP sensor and 10x optical zoom, and the 20.2MP QX100 has built-in optical Steadyshot stabilisation for reducing camera shake and blur. Both lenses can also record video in MP4 format at 1440x1080 resolution and 30fps.
Besides its camera features, the Sony Xperia Z1 also has 16GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card, NFC, 4G LTE support and a 3,000mAh battery.
Like the Xperia Z, the Xperia Z1 can dunked in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 metre, Sony claims.
Sony has yet to announce availability, but said the Xperia Z1 will be available in the UK sometime in September in black, white or purple, along with the QX10 and the QX100 lenses.
EE, Three and Vodafone have been quick to announce that they will sell the Sony Xperia Z1, and Phones 4U said that it will be available from £42 a month. µ