Oct 15 AT 4:17 PM Dima Aryeh 19 Comments

Unlocked Sony Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra now available in the US, SmartWatch 2 coming soon

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We don’t get many Sony smartphones here in the US, and when we do, they’re late to the market. Part of this can be attributed to weak demand, part of it to carriers, and part of it to Sony’s poor global strategy. However, it looks like Sony decided to take things into their own hands this time around and release their newest line of devices without a carrier’s help.

The Sony Xperia Z1 has a 5-inch full HD display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage with a microSD slot, a 20.7MP camera capable of HDR video, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and a 3,000 mAh battery. All this is in a IP55/IP58 waterproof and dust resistant body. It retails for $669.99 for the HSPA+ model in black, white, or purple and is available now at Sony’s online store.

The Xperia Z Ultra has a massive 6.4-inch full HD display, a Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage with a microSD slot, an 8MP camera, 4.2 Jelly Bean, and a 3,050 mAh battery. Likewise, the Z Ultra is also IP55/IP58 waterproof and dust resistant. The HSPA+ model retails for $649.99 and the LTE model retails for $679.99. Both are now available in black, white, or purple at Sony’s online store.

The Sony SmartWatch 2 is an intriguing product. It has a 1.6-inch 220×176 pixel transflective display, 3-4 day battery life, NFC, and a metal, water resistant body. It sounds comparable to the Galaxy Gear, but it has a few perks. It has over 80 apps optimized for it, with over two hundred more compatible from older SmartWatches, full compatibility with any smartphone running Android 4.0 or later, and costs a third less than the Galaxy Gear at $199.95. It isn’t out in the US yet, but it will be available on the Sony online store sometime soon.

If you’re interested in buying full price GSM phones for yourself, the Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra are good options, though very pricey ones. Not many people buy phones outright in the US, so it’s hard to see how they’ll be successful. But the SmartWatch 2 genuinely sounds like a great device, and it undercuts the Galaxy Gear in price significantly. Would you get a Sony SmartWatch 2?

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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