It’s quite remarkable that we’re at a space in mobile technology where full HD 1080p, i.e. 1920 x 1080 resolutions have made it to this small a screen. Of course, that’s merely the tip of the iceberg and mobile phone specifications have only been getting higher and higher along with their price tags. But here’s where Sony decided to up the ante in one swoop and hit the smartphone market square in the jaw with the Xperia Z.

The Sony Xperia Z is just the phone that could very well make the rest of the manufacturers take a serious look at the drawing board and scrutinise, plan and plot very carefully what their next move should be. What Sony has managed to achieve is the perfect balance of high-end mobile specifications provided at a price that seems a little too good to be true but is true all the same.

What the Xperia brings to the table is a rugged mobile handset with specifications that are currently at the peak of the mobile list. We’re looking at a phone equipped with a quad-core 1.5GHz processor from Qualcomm, 2GB RAM, 16GB of on-board storage and support for more via 64GB microSD cards, stretching it to 80GB. There is of course the quite brilliant 1080p Reality Display touting a 441ppi pixel density that’s married to Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 to further enhance visual appeal.

The Xperia Z even boasts of a 13 megapixel camera powered by CyberShot tech and Sony’s new Exmor RS sensor that’s designed to offer users better low light imaging. Throw in the fact that the handset can take a serious pounding thanks to the durable, shatterproof tempered glass furnishing the display and the rear panel as well as the polycarbonate panels all around – the Xperia Z comes off as quite hardcore. It doesn’t end there, the Xperia Z is also IP57 certified to be immersed in water up to 1 metre for about 30 minutes and can also take a serious dousing in the dirt or sand and come out unscathed. For the Indian consumer, this is Godsent.

Now available for Rs 42,000!

A device to very seriously contend with

This powerhouse handset isn’t just shouting proud from the hardware department. Sony has tried to ensure that consumers also get a slightly customised experience from the features and apps segment as well. Apps like Sony LIV TV and Sony Music allow for unlimited access to streaming and downloadable content on the device with a simple one time registration that involves no cash whatsoever. There's a lot more, of course.

We estimated a price tag of easily over Rs 43,000 considering the specifications on paper. It was only natural taking into account the fact that devices that came earlier, bragging of similar specifications, were priced much higher. And yet, somehow, Sony has managed to offer quite an array of features and services well below our expected price. With the price tag of just… wait for it … Rs. 38,990 (MRP), that’s quite a feat!

So, what we’ve got here now, is a bonafide challenge. Sony has thrown down the gauntlet and is calling rivals out. Establishing its Xperia Z as a high-end device at the best possible price, Sony has put itself in the spotlight as the handset to beat in this range. There’s plenty it offers under the hood, in terms of features, value added services and specifications, and it flaunts it all at a price that rivals might find hard to compete with. The closest competitor the Xperia Z has is the HTC Butterfly, which also recently made it out, but at a price of Rs 45,990 (MRP). Without any “weather-proofing”, it's not altogether as appealing, even if it functions as well as expected. 

The gloves are off and the playing field has just had a rework. Will the competition be able to oust the Xperia Z from its pole position? It’s not just a matter of price anymore; it’s a matter of overall value now. The bigger question is whether or not the competition will bring into the game something more unique that outshines all that the Xperia Z did, and more so, will they do it at a better price?

It’s going to be an exciting couple of months.

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