Cool call­ing

The National - News - Luxury - - THE STYLE LIST -

Smart­phones look set to get a lot smarter this year. Sony’s new Xpe­ria Z, launched at the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show in Las Ve­gas last month, is be­ing hailed as the first of its kind: the su­per­phone. This is the de­vice that could se­ri­ously chal­lenge the iPhone’s supremacy in the mar­ket. Slim, ele­gant, yet solid and durable, en­cased in tem­pered glass and shat­ter­proof film, its head­line-grab­bing fea­ture is its re­sis­tance to water. It will work when im­mersed in up to a me­tre for 30 min­utes – ap­par­ently emerg­ing un­dam­aged, ac­cord­ing to Sony – and has a spe­cial “wet fin­ger track­ing tech­nol­ogy” that lets the screen recog­nise in­put if it’s wet. You can even wash it un­der the tap if it gets dirty. But there’s more to the Xpe­ria Z than tex­ting in the bath. This is a se­ri­ously im­pres­sive con­sol­i­da­tion of Sony’s pedi­gree in mu­sic, film and pho­tog­ra­phy. With a 5-inch 1080p HD dis­play, it’s the largest-screen mo­bile on the mar­ket. Util­is­ing Bravia tech­nol­ogy, its screen res­o­lu­tion has a ra­zor-sharp clar­ity – 443 pix­els per inch (ppi), com­pared to the iPhone’s 326 ppi. That’s the same as a 55-inch TV. It also sup­ports near-field com­mu­ni­ca­tion (NFC), the smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers’ new ob­ses­sion. This al­lows you to ef­fort­lessly trans­fer mu­sic, pho­tos and videos, or pay for goods, by just wav­ing the phone at an NFC touch­point, such as a TV. Other no­table specs in­clude an app named the Walk­man (a salute to its her­itage) which pro­vides ac­cess to a li­brary of 18 mil­lion songs and more than 100,000 films and TV shows. It also has a 13-megapixel Fast Cap­ture cam­era.

This won’t all take its toll on the bat­tery ei­ther. Of­fer­ing around four times longer life, it shuts down its en­ergy-drain­ing apps when the screen is off, then starts them up again when the screen is back on. A price and on-sale date are ex­pected in the coming weeks.

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