Sony Xperia Z1S hands-on preview at CES 2014

January 10, 2014
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International CES is winding down, but that doesn’t mean that the hands-on videos are stopping. The latest device to be given the hands-on treatment by our Josh Vergara is the Sony Xperia Z1S.

Launched on Monday along the long rumored Xperia Z1 Compact, the Z1S is coming later this month to Sony’s traditional partner in the States, T-Mobile. For the most part, the device is an Xperia Z1 rebranded for T-Mobile, but there are a couple of notable changes, on the outside and the inside, as well as a few software additions.

On the outside, the obvious change is the replacement of the aluminum frame with a plastic one, which takes away from the phone’s premium feeling, but makes it a bit nicer to hold in hand. The plastic frame also makes the device a bit lighter than the international version, which was considered quite heavy by many reviewers. Other changes in appearance include the presence of the T-Mobile logo on the back and the relocation of the headphone jack, which now lacks the plastic flap that covers the jack on the Z1. Don’t worry though, the Z1S retains the IP58 certification of the international version, which means it’s waterproof and dust resistant.

Sony Xperia Z1S aa

The specifications of the Xperia Z1S remained mostly unchanged, with the exception of an upgrade in storage, which is now 32GB, instead of 16GB. Other specs include a Snapdragon 800 processor, two gigs of RAM, the same 5-inch TFT LCD display, and a 3,000 mAh battery. The Z1S’ forte is the 20.7MP camera, and Sony made it easier to use with the dual-détente camera button, that you can press halfway for focusing before shooting.

Another addition to the camera arsenal is the Background Defocusing option, which tries to simulate the out-of-focus effect known as bokeh, which is typically hard to achieve with a smartphone camera. Background Defocusing is currently an Xperia Z1S exclusive feature, though it will probably make it to the Z1 and other Xperias in the future.

The Xperia Z1S also packs the recently launched PlayStation App, a companion to your PS that gives you access to various social features.

The Sony Xperia Z1S will launch on T-Mobile on January 22.

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