Sony Xperia Z1, Z Ultra and Smartwatch 2 arrive to the U.S.

by: Andrew GrushOctober 15, 2013

sony xperia z1 review aa display viewing angles

Sony might not be upping its game in the United States anytime soon, but that’s not stopping the Japanese giant from continuing with its regular strategy of releasing many of its mobile devices directly for sales in the states through its website and via select retail partners.

With that in mind, today Sony announced that the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra and Sony SmartWatch 2 are now available in United States.

Sony Xperia Z1

The Sony Xperia Z1 picks up where the original Xperia Z left off, delivering a beautiful smartphone experience that also happens to be water and dust resistant. This time around, Sony is also focusing quite a bit on the device’s image-taking capabilities, bringing a high-end 20.7MP camera to the party.

Other specs include a 2.2Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD, a 2MP front cam, NFC, and a 3000 mAh battery. There’s also a 5-inch 1080p TFT display with 441ppi, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box.

The Xperia Z1 is a heck of a handset and can be yours for $699.99 – without LTE. If you are holding out for an LTE-compatible variant, odds are you’ll want to turn your attention to the rumored T-Mobile version of the handset.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Arriving on the heels of the Galaxy Note 3, the Xperia Z Ultra arguably bests its large-screened rival in some ways by offering a massive 6.4-inch 1080p LCD display, a water/dust resistant design and the ability to use pencils and pens as an alternative to a typical stylus.

The Z Ultra is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM, 8MP rear cam, 2MP front cam, 16GB storage, microSD, NFC, and a 3050 mAh battery. The handset runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra will set you back $649.99 for the 3G variant, or $679.99 for the LTE model.

Sony SmartWatch 2

The Gear competitor might not have all the shiny extras or as big of a display, but the SmartWatch 2 does feature a water resistant design, NFC technology, a much better battery life and is compatible with any Android 4.0+ device.

The Sony SmartWatch 2 has a more modest 180MHz processor and low-rez 220 x 176 pixel 1.6-inch TFT LCD, but it really isn’t a bad device if you are looking for more of a typical watch that just happens to also receive all sorts of notifications from your mobile device.

If Sony’s smartwatch 2 sounds like something you’d be interested in, it can be yours for $199.99.

Wrap Up

Sony mobile devices might not be well-known in the United States, but for those that prefer buying their devices outright and unlocked – you can’t go wrong with Sony. Not only is the build quality exceptional on Sony’s handsets, but you also have the advantage of rocking a handset that will stand out from a crowded sea of iPhones and Galaxy devices.

What do you think, interested in picking up one of Sony’s latest flagship handsets or even their new smartwatch? Conversely, does the fact Sony ignores most of the U.S. carriers hold you back from considering their handsets?

  • Exbalicur

    “…but you also have the advantage of rocking a handset that will stand out from a crowded sea of iPhones and Galaxy devices.”


    • plastic please

      sure can with that plastic screen protector HA HA

      • Mark Mann


  • Tylerstravis

    Damn you T-Mo! I was ready to go out and get the LTE version at lunch today! I guess it will get to compete against the Nexus 5.

    • Andrew Grush

      I have the advantage(?) of not living in an LTE market for any major carrier… so LTE never factors into my decisions. That said, I don’t blame those who do live in such markets. Hopefully the T-Mo version comes sooner than later. That said, the Nexus 5 is also looking pretty awesome – so I’d say you’ll end up being good either way. :)

      • Tylerstravis

        Getting ready to jump from big red…

        • Andrew Grush

          Smart move. I’m a former Verizon subscriber. They have good coverage — but phones, customer service and pricing – not so much.

          • Tylerstravis

            I was with Voicestream/T-Mobile for 10 years and jumped ship for coverage… just moved into a new city and Verizon doesn’t even have that anymore. I would have imported a phone, but by company pays my phone bill so I want to wrap in that jump price :)

  • gordonyz

    A bit too late for the LTE Z Ultra. I got 3G version 2 months ago. Now I’m not going to buy the LTE one

  • Bullydogger

    Any word on CDMA version for Verizon??

    • Jacob Dammons

      sony doesn’t do CDMA.

  • sonydroppedIT

    i had high hopes but sony failed in screen, battery life, performance, camera, and especially the horrendous plastic screen protector YUCK!

    • Brendon Brown

      Please don’t put biased comments on this site, judged by your name ,”sonydroppedIT” its obvious you aren’t exactly a fan of Sony.

      • Leonardo Rojas

        Such an opinion should only be dismissed as trolling -.-

    • Tangent Lin

      Better use a plastic screen protector or using a plastic phone with a plastic screen protector on it? I never see my Sony screen crack before.

    • Anzilleo Kristello Mozihim
  • Leonardo Rojas

    I’m waiting for the Z Ultra, but here in Peru the slowness and the almost ghostly presence of Sony smartphones is so sad… The Note 3 is already here in one carrier, coming to the other in a week. The Z1… “no arriving date confirmed”. Carriers representatives know nothing about its availability, there are no promoters, no ads, not even approximate dates.

    At least the Sony Mobile Peru FB acc is “promoting” the Z1, that means it’ll be available some day soon, maybe by January, when the Galaxy S5 is official -.- But no word of the Ultra.And the Z never arrived, only ZL.

    No wonder why Samsung sells so much better in any market. But, I’m and will be waiting, maybe until the S5… Stupid Sony.

    Now that the PS4 is in pre-sale and is an interesting buy, can’t they offer a pack price saying “A PS4 bundle: A PS4 + An Xperia Z1 for $$$” Just as an alternative, for all possible countries. Wouldn’t that count for marketing and get the device more known without investing for it exclusively?

    … Anyway, I hope it doesn’t end up like BB, or so small as HTC.!/photo.php?fbid=10151694804676430

  • Hello

    The fact Sony ignores most of the U.S. carriers is the reason I buy their products, just like Google’s unlocked Nexus devices. I avoid getting locked-in to any of the damn carriers…

  • Rebecca Helina

    That’s great news, I’ve been waiting for the Z1 and the smartwatch too. I want to upgrade my current phone nad I’m getting tired of Apple and Samsung. I haven’t tried Sony yet but I think it’s a great device. Anyway, I change my gadgets quite often, they usually don’t last longer than 8 months so it’s worth to give it a try. As I spend so much money on technology I’ve been adding my products on a new site,, a web app that is helping me to manage better my investments. Z1 is on my list.

  • roger’d

    As of now the Z Ultra is my prime candidate for my next phone (coming from a Note 2). Does anybody know if not having a flash becomes an issue? I occasionally find the “Torch” feature of my phone’s LED flash to be quite handy. I wonder if the massive screen on the Z Ultra can be used as a half decent flash light when needed? Also, how are the screen viewing angles on the Ultra? I read a review on NewEgg that it’s not the brightest display and the viewing angle could be better – can anyone confrm? Like I said, aside from lacking an LED flash I think it sounds like a great device to switch to.