Sony Xperia ZL Android phone (preview)
The Xperia ZL lacks the Z's water and dust-resistant capabilities but squeezes a 5in display into a smaller frame
- 5in full HD screen
- Compact design
- Built-in IR port
- Won't get official Aussie release
- Not waterproof like Xperia Z
The Sony Xperia ZL lacks the Xperia Z's water and dust-resistant capabilities but manages to squeeze the same 5in display into a smaller frame. It also includes an IR port to act as a universal remote.
Sony appears to be pouring all of its energy into the upcoming Xperia Z but the Xperia ZL is a very similar device that was quietly announced at the same time. It lacks the Z's water and dust-resistant capabilities but manages to squeeze the same 5in display into a smaller frame.
The Xperia ZL is a very similar device to the Xperia Z when it comes to specifications, so the main difference is the design. The ZL is slightly thicker than the Z, but it has a much smaller footprint overall. In fact, Sony has managed to squeeze that large 5in display into a phone that's shorter and narrower than Samsung's Galaxy S III. For those who are concerned about the "bigger is better" trend in the smartphone world, that's going to come as welcome news.
The Xperia ZL manages to achieve this more compact frame thanks to one of the thinnest bezels on the market. It's not exactly edge-to-edge but the screen takes up almost the whole front of the phone. Unfortunately, the Xperia XL is not waterproof like the Z but it does have two other features that the Z doesn't. There's a physical camera button on the right side and also an IR (infra-red) port built-in, so you can use the phone as a universal remote control. Unlike the Xperia Z, the Xperia ZL doesn't have a glass back.
The Sony Xperia ZL shares many other features with the Z. It has the same 5in screen, a full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080, the same 13-megapixel camera with Exmor RS sensor and the same powerful internals. There's a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, along with the option to add a microSD card slot for extra storage.
Sony will initially launch the Xperia ZL with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) but the company has promised it will be upgraded to the latest 4.2 version "shortly after launch". A software feature called "Battery Stamina mode" is also borrowed from the Xperia Z. It applications from running when the screen is locked, therefore saving power and apparently improving standby time "by at least four times". Interestingly, the ZL has a slightly larger battery than the Z: 2370mAh compared with 2330mAh.
Sony has produced multiple variants of the Xperia ZL. The C6503 model variant is compatible with Australia's 1800MHz 4G network band, while the C6506 is not 4G compatible Down Under but will work on 3G networks.
Unfortunately, Sony says it has "no plans to release the ZL in Australia at the moment". That could change in the near future, but its likely the only option for Aussies will be to purchase the phone online as a grey import device.
A promotional video of the Sony Xperia ZL can be seen below.
Are you disappointed Sony has no plans to release the Xperia ZL in Australia or do you prefer the Xperia Z? Should us Aussies get more of a choice? Let us know in the comments below!
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 2 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 3 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 4 Ford Focus ST (2015) review: Absolutely mental styling, engine, handling
- 5 LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
Deals on Good Gear Guide
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Sony's Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact go on sale next week at Australia's largest telcos
- Samsung’s Milk Music goes premium for $4 a month
- Microsoft makes serious smartphone play with Lumia 950 range
- Hands on: Microsoft's Surface Book is a stunner as both a tablet and a laptop
- Microsoft to live-stream Tuesday's Surface Pro 4, Lumia event
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- FTDigital ManagerNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW