March 6, 2013

MWC 2013: Sony Xperia Tablet Z and Xperia ZL

Introduction

Even though Sony had no product announcement to make here at the MWC in Barcelona, its booth is drawing crowds. The already announced Xperia Z and ZL flagships are on display there, along with the international version of the Xperia Tablet Z.

The Xperia Z was the headliner at CES and is already available in some markets, even more to follow this Friday. Quite predictably though, the Xperia Z and the soon to be released Xperia ZL are still getting plenty of attention and people wait in line to play with them.

Sony booth
The real newsworthy piece of gear however is the Xperia Tablet Z. Both the Wi-Fi-only and LTE-enabled versions will become available before this quarter ends. Previously, the Xperia Tablet Z was announced only for Japan.
We spent some quality time at Sony's booth and managed to play with all of the gadgets. Since we already know everything there is about the Xperia Z, we'll be focusing on the Xperia Tablet Z and the Xperia ZL smartphone.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z

This is probably one of the highlights of the MWC 2013 even though the Sony Xperia Tablet Z was announced a few weeks ago.
The Xperia Tablet Z utilizes the same design as the Xperia Z flagship, inch by inch. It is a lot bigger, of course. The Tablet Z features a 10.1-inch LED-backlit 1920x1200 display and has the same IP57-certifications for water and dust resistance as the Xperia Z. We had some time to play with the screen and we came to believe it has better contrast and viewing angles than the Xperia Z display. Perhaps the LED-backlight gives the desire boost in the quality.
Sony advertises the Xperia Tablet Z as the slimmest slate so far with its 6.9mm thickness. While this is nice, what really stands out is the tablet's weight - just 495 grams. The Xperia Tablet Z feels so light in hands and yet so solid that it feels right from the first encounter. We were really impressed with the build quality in the same time, the light weight and ultra slim profile.
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Sony Xperia Tablet Z in black
The Xperia Tablet Z is powered by the same Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset as the Xperia Z, but comes with an 8.1MP rear camera with 1080p video recording with HDR available on both stills and videos. It also features a 2.2MP front snapper, also capable of 1080p video recording. The rest of the specs include 16GB internal storage expandable via a microSD card slot, 2GB of RAM and LTE connectivity (depending on the model).
Sony will be offering the Xperia Tablet Z in black and white colors. The paintjob is exactly the same as the Xperia Z smartphone. The back of the slate uses a matte plastic that looks rather fingerprint-resistant unlike the glass Xperia Z.
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Sony Xperia Tablet Z in white
We went back to the Sony booth to do a hands-on video with the Xperia Tablet Z. Check it out below.
The raw performance of the Xperia Tablet Z turned out to be quite similar to the Xperia Z's, with minor differences because of the higher display resolution.

AnTuTu

Higher is better
  • HTC One 22678
  • Sony Xperia Z 20794
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z 20241
  • LG Optimus G Pro 20056
  • Samsung Galaxy S III 15547
  • Oppo Find 5 15167
  • Huawei Ascend P2 13358
  • Google Nexus 10 12695
  • HTC Butterfly 12631

Quadrant

Higher is better
  • LG Optimus G Pro 12105
  • HTC One 11746
  • Sony Xperia Z 8075
  • HTC One X+ 7632
  • LG Optimus G 7439
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z 7369
  • Oppo Find 5 7111
  • HTC One X 5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II 5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III 5450
  • Meizu MX 4-core 5170
  • Huawei Ascend P2 4838
  • LG Optimus 4X HD 4814
  • Nexus 4 4567
  • Google Nexus 10 7385

Linpack

Higher is better
  • Asus Padfone 2 623
  • Sony Xperia Z 630
  • LG Optimus G 608
  • Oppo Find 5 593
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z 428
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II 214.3
  • Nexus 4 213.5
  • Meizu MX 4-core 189.1
  • HTC One X+ 177.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S III 175.5
  • Google Nexus 10 172.1
  • HTC One X 160.9
  • LG Optimus 4X HD 141.5
Sony will unleash the Xperia Tablet Z before this quarter ends.

Sony Xperia ZL

The Sony Xperia ZL has the same internals as the Xperia Z flagship. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset with a 1.5GHz quad-core Krait processor, Adreno 320 and 2GB of RAM.
We're dealing with the same 5" 1080p display, 13MP stills and connectivity package as the Xperia Z. The Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean version seems identical too, with the promised upgrade to 4.2 later this year.
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Sony Xperia ZL
Where the Xperia ZL falls short is dust and water resistance. Unlike the Xperia Z, the only protection the ZL gets is the shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass.
Having lost some, the Xperia ZL is quick to gain some: an infra-red port enables TV remote functionality and there's a hardware shutter key. The phone is a tad more compact too, even if a bit thicker and a few grams heavier. You can check out the head-to-head comparison below.
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Sony Xperia ZL next to the Xperia Z
Up front, the Xperia ZL looks just like the Xperia Z, but the back is completely different. It's made entirely of glossy plastic and has a rather ugly lid at the bottom that covers the SIM compartment and microSD slot. The camera lens placement is also different.
The Xperia ZL costs less than the Z and is expected to hit several markets any time now.
As far as the raw performance is concerned, it's quite similar to the Xperia Z's. You can check its benchmark scores here. The phone is really snappy with buttery-smooth UI transitions and minor loading times.
We went back to the Sony booth to do a hands-on video with the Xperia ZL. Check it out below.

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