Sony is finally bringing its waterproof flagship smartphone to the US and it will be arriving with a new name. The Sony Xperia Z1S will soon be available on T-Mobile's catalog but we're first giving it the hands-on treatment here at CES 2014.
The Xperia Z1S is pretty much the Xperia Z1 that we saw at IFA last year. The features are the same but are still worth repeating. Aside from your usual top of the line smartphone specs, which includes a 2.2 Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of internal storage, Sony has loaded its latest smartphone with features that an entertainment and multimedia company like Sony would know about.
Leveraging its experience in digital cameras, Sony has endowed the Xperia Z1S with a 20.7 megapixel camera. But megapixel numbers alone don't make a good photo. There is also the BIONZ image processing engine inside, the very same feature found in the company's DSLR line. Sony also threw in a few apps that take advantage of the smartphone's powerful camera, such as Info-eye for looking up information about real-world objects by simply taking a photo, Timeshift burst that takes 61 images a second before and after pressing the shutter, Background defocus for adjusting background blur, and more.
Sony is also bringing gaming to the Xperia Z1S, both directly and indirectly. The PlayStation App turns the smartphone into an extension of the newly released PlayStation 4 console while PlayStation Mobile gives users access to Sony's rich catalog of mobile games. There's even compatibility with the Dualshock 3 controller for a more comfortable mobile gaming session. The 5-inch 1920x1080 TRILUMINOS display makes it perfect for gaming and videos. And you might be using the Xperia Z1S as a multimedia device a lot, since Sony is offering 6 full movies for free from its Video Unlimited service, as well as a 60-day free trial of Music Unlimited.
But if such a premium device has you anxious about protection, then Sony has got you covered, at least to some extent. The Xperia Z1S boasts of a rather high IP58 rating, and that's without any protective case. This practically means that the smartphone will keep on working underwater up to a depth of 4.9 feet for 30 minutes at most.
Just like it's predecessor, the Sony Xperia Z, the Xperia Z1S will be available exclusively from T-Mobile. It will go on an on online pre-sale starting January 13 for 24 equal payments of $22 and no down payment. It will then be available starting January 22 on all T-Mobile stores across the country.