Hands-on: Sony Xperia ZL [VIDEO]


Announced last night at Sony’s press event, the Sony Xperia ZL is the manufacturer’s second Android device announced, a slightly low-end version of the Xperia Z. We got a quick hands on of the device for you guys, showing off all its aesthetics: wonderfully small bezel, matte battery cover, and landscape mode front facing 2MP camera. This one is definitely a looker — check it out.

All-in-all, the device felt solid, but we couldn’t hep notice the materials felt noticeably “cheaper” than its larger sibling with a lighter, more plasticy feel. Still, the device is able to match the Z pound-for-pound spec-wise (that’s all that really matters, right?) and there are some who will find the ZL’s slimmer bezels more becoming. Although carrier availability wasn’t specifically mentioned, we can see this being offered on a carrier for a few bills less than the Z, though nothing has been confirmed. The ZL comes in both black and white flavors, with the black having a more textured bumpy feel (similar to the battery cover on the Galaxy Nexus). What do you guys think, between the Z and ZL, which would you opt for?

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Would have to go with the waterproof/dustproof one over the slim one.

    Just in case.

  2. Dada Life blasting in the background.

  3. I’m a sucker for slim bezels, but the Z looks “classier” with the glass back, I guess. Whatever.

    1. Also a lot more fragile. Everything’s a trade-off I guess :/

  4. Pro Tip: Use manual focus during hands-on videos

  5. Chris, do I want to ask what “jean stains” are?

  6. So the ZL is slightly lower end than the Z? That kind of sucks… Really like the minimal bezel. But Im a snob and can’t see myself going for the lesser of the two given the option.

    1. My understanding is it’s an identical phone in a different box?

    2. It pretty much only lacks the water-proof/dust-proof rating.

    3. only real difference is the water and dust proof other than all specs are the same…battery slightly smaller..i woil…like you i like the smaller bezel and would much have a smaller decive tgat has the same screen than have the water amd dust resistance also prefer the plastic rubbery back over glass

    4. The zl isn’t the lesser of the two. The way I see it, the only thing the z has over the zl is the waterproof casing. Whereas the zl has a smaller footprint with the same size screen AND a better battery…I’m going for the zl if it comes to my carrier.

  7. I’m not really getting the strategy here. They’re releasing virtually the same phone in different cases, possibly at different price points? Seriously considering the Z, the ZL doesn’t look as good – but I guess Samsung prove that people are prepared to buy nice hardware in horrible casing, so if it saves a few quid and improves sales… I’d have called them the ZX and ZY or something – less confusing?

    1. Well, Sony knows they’re going to have to shop this around to multiple carriers and differentiation in hardware makes this easier.

      It’s a smart move cuz it means T-Mobile wont have any problem with offering the ZL because it’s different from the Z on AT&T.

      1. Thanks. I never think about carrier differentiation. In the UK we can just take for granted that pretty much every phone will be available from pretty much everyone.

  8. The Z is tri-band and the ZL will be penta band UMTS HSPA+. They also seem to support different LTE networks. That is a major difference between devices.

  9. Please tell your camera guy to practice focusing. We don’t care if he blurs you Chris, but the phones are a different story……

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