Sony Xperia ZL goes on pre-order for US customers, off-contract: $720 for HSPA, $760 for LTE

Remember the Xperia ZL? While it lingered in the shadow of the waterproof Xperia Z back at CES, the phone does still exist and has now gone on pre-order at Sony's own webstore. With the same 5-inch 1080p display, 13-megapixel camera and Snapdragon S4 Pro of the omnibalanced Z model, the Xperia ZL packs it into a smaller footprint and adds the courtesy of a physical camera button. Sony's NFC skills remain onboard and that lead camera is capable of HDR video capture, alongside recent improvements to the Xperia range's automatic shooting mode. While its own retail site is currently down (and there's no concrete date for when you'll get your hands on the phone), Sony says that it will be available from other online stores soon, pricing the Xperia ZL, contract- and carrier-less, at a hefty $720 on HSPA, or $760 for the 4G variant. That pricier option includes LTE Bands 2, 4 5, and 17, which means it should connect with AT&T's 4G network -- with or without any carrier branding.

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The Xperia™ ZL, the World's Most Compact Smartphone with a 5" Display, Comes to the US

--5" Full HD Reality Display with the highest* phone-to-screen ratio, powered by Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 2

--13MP camera with Exmor RS™ for Mobile image sensor for HDR photos and videos

--Easy One-touch connections to wirelessly share music, photos, and videos across other NFC-enabled devices

--Sony's media applications deliver rich user experiences and instant access to entertainment services

ATLANTA, March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Mobile Communications (USA), Inc. ("Sony Mobile") brings the Xperia™ ZL to the US, offering consumers the best of Sony in a premium smartphone. The Xperia ZL is now available online for pre-sale at Sony Store and will soon be available through other select online retailers.

The Xperia ZL has all of the specifications expected from a premium smartphone and offers even more with best of Sony experiences. It combines a razor sharp 5" full HD (1920x1080p) Reality Display with an elegant and compact design. Intelligent camera features make taking high quality images easier than ever, and One-touch connections via NFC (Near field communication) allow the Xperia ZL to communicate with a wide range of NFC-enabled devices with a single tap.

Compact design
With Sony's expertise in design and craftsmanship, the Xperia ZL comes with subtly rounded edges, a curvature that fits naturally into the palm of your hand, and a compact layout that optimizes the iconic phone design.
The power button also has high functionality, as the average user is likely to touch it an estimated 76 times per day, and exemplifies the premium build and craftsmanship that has gone into the Xperia ZL.

Intelligent Sony Technology

Xperia ZL's Reality Display, powered by Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 2, brings Sony's long-standing TV expertise to the smartphone and delivers an immersive viewing experience with optimized colors, contrast, and clarity. Most smartphones available today have screen ratios of between 60 and 68 percent. Xperia ZL has been precision engineered for an exceptional viewing experience while maintaining a compact design, allowing the brilliant display-representing 75 percent of the overall footprint*-to take the spotlight.

Xperia ZL also shares capabilities with Sony digital cameras and features Exmor RS for mobile, the world's first image sensor with HDR** (High Dynamic Range) video for smartphones. HDR technology enhances clear images against strong backlight, enabling users to capture razor sharp pictures and videos, no matter the conditions.

Sony's One-touch functions enable consumers to easily share music, photos, and videos from their smartphone to an array of NFC-enabled Sony devices including speakers, headphones, and TVs. With the latest NFC-capable BRAVIA TV, simply touch the Xperia ZL to the TV remote control to instantly enjoy your photos or view the content of your phone's screen on a large TV screen. With an NFC-enabled headset or speaker, listen to the songs on your Xperia ZL with just a tap.

Xperia ZL also includes Battery STAMINA Mode that significantly improves the battery standby time by automatically shutting down battery-draining apps whenever the screen is off and starting them up again when the screen is back on.

Discover, enjoy and share entertainment with Sony's media applications

Sony media applications offer a consistent entertainment experience across a range of Sony devices. The "WALKMAN", Album, and Movies apps enable discovery of online and offline content through a single access point. Each application provides new ways to enjoy and share that content. The "WALKMAN" application provides access to all of your downloaded music, a library of 18 million songs to explore from Music Unlimited***, and Facebook social integration. The Movies application gives consumers access to over 100,000 movies and TV series from Video Unlimited***, while the Album application enables easy access to Facebook friends' photos-you can even browse photos by location.

Key features for Xperia ZL

5" 1080 x 1920p full HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 2
13MP Fast Capture camera with Exmor RS for mobile, HDR video (1080p), Superior Auto and Noise Reduction to effortlessly capture razor sharp pictures and videos in any conditions
Battery STAMINA for improved standby time
NFC-enabled and Infra-red capable
1.5 GHz asynchronous quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB RAM
MSRP $759.99 (unlocked, Model C6506) and $719.99 (unlocked, Model C6502)
Available colors: Black, White, Red
Compatible network bands:
Model C6502 HSPA+: 1,2,4,5,8 and EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
Model C6506 LTE: 2,4,5,17 & HSPA+: 1,2,4,5,8 and EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
Xperia ZL will launch on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)