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Video: Hands-on With the Sony Xperia ZL [CES 2013]

xperia zl

Last night during their CES press event, Sony announced two new phones, the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL. Both are extremely high-end phones, sporting 5″ 1080p displays and quad-core processors, however, they differ slightly in form factor. 

I spent a couple of minutes with the Xperia ZL, the slightly smaller of the two, but came away more impressed because of that lesser bulk. The frame and body are small enough that the entire front of the phone is almost all display – gorgeous 443ppi display. It flies thanks to the Snapdragon S4 Pro and 2GB RAM. The custom UI that Sony has been tweaking over the years is actually pretty fluid and fine-tuned. And the camera at 13MP with an Exmor RS sensor is insanely good.

Both the Z and ZL will launch in Q1 of this year. The Z will launch globally and the ZL will only hit select markets.

For the first time in years, I will admit that I’m impressed by a Sony phone. Check out video of the device below.


  • Sanjay Negi

    Really awesome phone, Good job done by Sony.


  • ulnek

    not a single report from ces mentions anything about batteries. why do manufacturers like building high end phones that can’t possibly be used fully given the battery they put in it?

  • On screen buttons and NO chin, lust at 1st sight.

  • saint_stephen

    I would definitely consider dropping my GNEX for this one as well. Sony’s UI doesn’t try to force you to use their Walkman software versus Google Play Market and Google Music, right?

  • Trevor

    If it really launched in Q1, and it came to Verizon, I’d definitely consider this phone. I used to be a huge fan back when they were Sony Ericsson (k790a and X10a, loved those phones).

  • S2556

    ZL is going to canada instead of the because of the frequencies i believe so I wouldnt be suprised to see the ZL go to the states as well

  • kurt hinds

    The zl is coming to Canada and I’m quite pleased!

  • so that WAS a front-facing camera in the lower right…. weird…

    I wonder how well that will work in the real world.

  • Austin Baker

    I had a few Sony Ericssons back in the day like the W600 and the 710a and loved them. They were only GSM though. Then when I went to work for VZW I couldnt get them. I do wish VZW decides to carry this phone. I would be into it

    • Trevor


  • Radgatt

    Verizon needs to give Sony one more chance to be on their network with this phone. That way Sony can have a real chance to succeed. If this is on Verizon it will have a chance to really succeed in the states.

  • guest123

    Mite pick this up as a secondary phone couple of questions. Does the UI have the same multitask window as the s3 and the optimus, and does is this built with the svdo chip for talk n surf over 3 g

  • Looks nice, but I’d only want stock android so if it’s unlockable on Verizon… maybe

  • Charlie

    The chances of this coming to Verizon are slim. First off, the only Sony Android phone that Verizon has carried was the Xperia Play, which didn’t do to well. Also, the Z has a GSM radio, so this is likely AT&T bound.

  • Addman

    Would like to know which carriers its headed to

  • John Jenness

    Any word on carriers?

  • Cgmartin33

    An elegant, quad core, waterproof Android device with a 13MP shooter on the back and they named it after someone’s toothless hillbilly uncle “Zed”? 😉

  • mustbepbs

    Until Sony gets a normal naming scheme, I will be eternally confused about their products.

  • ToddAwesome

    You keep referencing the Z, show me the Z!

  • So effing sexy! Definitely will be replacing my Gnex when it’s comes out. Fortuntely my contract isn’t up until Aug so hopefully theyll have a waterproof ZL out by then!

    • jdomann

      um….waterproof ZL = Xperia Z. Their flagship, while ZL is for select markets only.

      • Manufacturers are always making adjustments to phones based on consumer demand. If demand is higher for the ZL than the Z (which it very well could be) I’d wager that we’ll be seeing a waterproof ZL at some point in the future.

        • jdomann

          But why bother when the Z is nearly identical to this phone, except it IS waterproof?

          • The ZL has a much smaller total footprint, same screen size, bigger battery, and a curved back.

          • jdomann

            What do you mean by footprint? If by that you mean physical size, Z is thinner. 40 mAh difference in battery size, which is negligible at best, and the curved back probably is nicer. But I doubt that those are good enough reasons in Sony’s mind to release a waterproof version of a phone that is their non-waterproof, cheaper version of their flagship.

          • Greyhame

            It has those things because it doesn’t have to accomodate the size addition being waterproof adds. jdomann is right.

  • FAL_Fan

    Phone looks great! I don’t understand the front camera placement so I am curious as to their reasoning…I’d like to see you guys get one and run it through it’s paces before I can formulate any more thoughts on it.

    • disqus_DoOK3DuXzS

      When you’re skyping or video chatting, try flipping your phone upsidedown. For some reason, a camera that is slightly lower than center is much more flattering that one that is slightly above. Maybe that’s what they were trying to achieve.

      • FAL_Fan

        Ya know, for me being involved in photography I should have thought about that…I just would never have thought that they would put the camera on the lower right side seeing as how most people are right handed and could potentially be holding the phone there…that’s right around where I hold mine while using Skype or taking self portraits.

      • Larizard

        really? I thought an angle a little above your nose is better because it accentuates your jaw line and doesn’t ’round’ out your face… hmm.. time to rethink those bathroom portraits. lol.

  • stupidllama

    as much as i hate sony, that phone looks reallllly nice. i think the only why i could handle a 5 inch phone would be a form factor like that.

  • Rick Lopez

    This may be the one I drop my GNEX for…maybe

    • jdomann

      Too bad ZL is for select markets only, while Z is worldwide.

      • michael arazan

        Probably maean GSM worldwide and select markets LTE, maybe

        • jdomann

          AFAIK it means they’re only selling it in select markets, while the Z will be available worldwide. If you want the ZL, it would probably be import-only in several places, including the U.S.

    • LiterofCola

      If this came to Verizon it would totally be my next phone