Ahead of Sony CEO Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai’s 8:30am PST keynote tomorrow morning, Sony has chosen to pre-announce their first flagship smartphone for 2014, the Xperia Z1S. A follow-up to the waterproof Z we saw at CES last year, the Xperia Z1S promises to be the next big thing from Sony.
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A few key features that Sony is highlighting on the device include the Xperia Z1S being the first waterproof flagship phone Sony is shipping in the U.S. Another big feature Sony is highlighting is the camera—the Z1S sports highest megapixel camera ever paired with an Xperia smartphone, at 20.7 megapixels, and even includes a high-end Sony G lens for the highest quality pictures Sony can offer on a smartphone.
One feature that’s really exciting is that unlike the previous generation of their waterproof smartphones, the ports no longer require you to cover them up with little rubber tabs anymore. So things like the headphone port are now actually waterproof themselves, which means if you accidentally drop it in the pool with headphones plugged in, you’ll have to worry more about your ear buds than your phone! And with a dedicated camera shutter button on the side of the phone, taking pictures once you’re underwater is no big deal.
With the recent release of their next-generation PlayStation 4 video game console, it should come as little surprise that this will be the first smartphone to come pre-loaded with the PlayStation App which promises an enhanced gaming experience for PS4 owners.
Otherwise, the Z1S includes plenty of other features you might expect from a flagship Android-based smartphone, including 32GB of built-in memory and a MicroSD slot to expand storage by up to an additional 64GB. With Bluetooth 4.0 you’ll have no problems connecting to all of the latest devices being launched at CES this year, including the hundreds of new smartwatches, fitness trackers, and even a few Bluetooth necklaces that have been spotted on the show floor.
There’s NFC connectivity, all the Sony entertainment apps you’d expect, and some cool apps to help you take great photos we’ll show off when we get a review unit later this week.
At launch, the Z1S will only be available on T-Mobile, with pre-sale starting next week and appearing in-store starting on January 22nd. With a phone this big (literally and figuratively!) I wouldn’t expect it will be too long until you find the device available on your preferred carrier.