After weeks of speculation, rumor and leaks, the T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z is finally official with T-Mobile announcing the Sony flagship earlier today. The device will be heading to the carrier’s 4G LTE network in the weeks ahead and those who are in the market for a new smartphone would be smart to educate themselves on the T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z before taking the plunge.
At CES 2013, Sony announced the Sony Xperia Z, a brand new Xperia flagship that the company hoped would challenge the likes of the iPhone 5, HTC One, and Samsung Galaxy S4. On paper, the device certainly does as the device sports all of the specifications of a modern flagship smartphone. The device of course has been available in several regions of the world since February though for whatever reason, Sony decided to wait several months before releasing it on a carrier in the United States.
In weeks past, there were a mountain of rumors that suggested that the Sony Xperia Z would be heading to T-Mobile at some point in the future. That notion was seemingly confirmed by remarks from Sony CEO Kaz Hirai at the D11 conference earlier this month as the CEO said that the flagship would arrive on a U.S. carrier soon.
While Hirai did not confirm the carrier, signs all pointed to T-Mobile and today, after a bizarre start, the T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z became official with both companies proclaiming that it will be heading to shelves to compete with the big names this summer.
The T-Mobile Xperia Z, while late, is an enticing smartphone and one that should be on the radar of those that are in the market for a new device. Here, we take a look at the five most important things that consumers need to know about the T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z.
T-Mobile Xperia Z Release Date Unknown
The T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z is finally official but for whatever reason, T-Mobile decided against releasing a specific release date for the device, instead opting to follow in the footsteps of the Verizon HTC One release with a vague summer release date of its own.
What this means is that the device will be out sometime before the end of August. We don’t expect T-Mobile and Sony to take that long though and a release sometime in June or July is more likely. T-Mobile says that it’s heading to its network in a “few weeks” so that appears to heavily point to a July release date.
— Sony Xperia US (@SonyXperiaUS) June 18, 2013
The reason for the mysterious release date is unclear though we imagine that it has something to do with the fact that Sony is still prepping an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update, an update that we think will be on board the Sony Xperia Z when it arrives on T-Mobile.
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Likely
Sony and T-Mobile announced the device today though they didn’t release much in terms of specific information about its specs. Of course, we already know many of the hardware features though the software is up in the air.
Right now, the Sony Xperia Z is on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean though that is expected to change in the near future. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is on the horizon, an update that was promised soon after launch, and an update that we think is probably dictating the T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z roll out.
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is likely going to be the operating system on T-Mobile’s version of the Xperia Z, that is, unless it decides to release the device in the next few days.
Price Will Be Competitive
One other feature that T-Mobile failed to disclose was the Sony Xperia Z’s pricing. And while it hasn’t announced any pricing, consumers should know that the price of the Xperia Z will be extremely competitive with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 5 and the HTC One.
What this means is that we’ll likely see a full price between $570 and $650 with T-Mobile customers required to put down between $99 and $150. Given that the device is older, we imagine that T-Mobile will start on the low-end of the pricing spectrum.
What this means is that consumers should know that while they won’t be facing any extremely discounts, there shouldn’t be any surprises when it comes to pricing either.
Small LTE Network
Sony and T-Mobile are surely going to be hyping up the fact that the Sony Xperia Z is an LTE-capable device. And while that might sound fantastic to consumers looking for fast data speeds, those who are interested should know that T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network is extremely small at the moment and is only available in a limited number of areas.
There are, however, signs that T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network is set to grow immensely in the near future, but as of right now, the carrier is still stuck with only a handful of markets around the nation.
Furthermore, smaller markets are likely going to have to wait, possibly into 2014, before T-Mobile introduces LTE. It’s a drawback and one that prospective Sony Xperia Z owners need to consider.
Helping matters is the fact that T-Mobile has a fantastic backup network in its HSPA+ 42 network. For some, that might be enough until LTE arrives. For others, it simply may not be.
Know That It’s Worth Consideration
Despite the lack of specs, release date, pricing and the small size of T-Mobile’s LTE network, the T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z is not a device that consumers should simply write off. In fact, it’s a device that is worthy of consideration, even amidst the iPhone 5’s, Galaxy S4’s, and HTC One’s of the world.
The Xperia Z features a gorgeous 5-inch 1080p display that is comparable to the displays of other big name devices on the market. It quad-core power processing power behind it as well.
It also has a 13MP camera capable of shooting beautiful photos and video, a near-vanilla user interface over Android that isn’t found on other Android flagships. and a gorgeous glass design that is both water and dust resistant.
All in all, this is a device that needs to be on the radar of smartphone shoppers in the U.S., despite it being late to the game.