Sony Shows Xperia Z1 Underwater Smartphone

Sony has launched the Xperia Z1 smartphone at IFA in Berlin – a phone which has the ability to take photos underwater.

The phone has a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, running Android 4.2.2, and powering a five-inch “triluminous” Full HD screen. It also has a highly impressive 20.7MP camera with a 27mm wide-angle and F2.0 aperture.

It’s a shiny black number, weighing 170g, which might look a bit old-hat beside devices like the HTC One, but a big plus is that Sony has resisted the temptation to heavily skin the Android operating system, leaving it familiar to use for Android veterans.

The big draw at the IFA event was apparently its ability to work underwater, something which has been a feature of Sony’s recent Xperia devices. Whilst slightly more gimmicky, it also has “Info-Eye”, an augmented reality application which will apparently tell you what you are eating or name the Eiffel tower.

Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirari called the Z1 “the embodiment of that one Sony ethos”.

Clip on lenses

Sony had another strange trick up its sleeve – the QX10 and QX100 clip-on Smart Lens cameras. Both attach to a smartphone, and are operated from its screen.

The Smart Lens devices are cameras, but missing the controls and the display – which they borrow from the phone they are hitching a ride on. They connect to the phone by Wi-Fi.

The QX100 costs £400 and is based on an existing Sony camera, the DSC RX100 II. The QX10 costs about £200 and is based on the CyberShot WX 200.

See below for a hands-on look at the Z1, supplied by Phones4u:

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Peter Judge

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

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