Sony Xperia Z1S an Exclusive to T-Mobile USA

Sony Mobile and T-Mobile are once again partnering to bring out a flagship device. Following up on the Xperia Z that we took a dip with last summer is now the upgraded Xperia Z1s, which itself is a revised version of the Xperia Z1.

Like its siblings, the Xperia Z1s can be completely submerged in freshwater up to 4.9 feet for 30 minutes, making it waterproof (as per IP58 rating). An improvement over the Xperia Z is its physical camera key, which will allow users to control the shutter to shoot photos and videos underwater. The screen is also improved with wet finger tracking technology to ensure the phone works perfectly when either the screen or your fingers are wet.

The Xperia Z1s features are the same as a 5-inch Full HD TRILUMINOS display from the Z1. Also under the hood is the same 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 SoC and 2 GB of RAM. Special for T-Mobile is 32 GB of built-in storage, and those who want more can always make use of the MicroSD card slot.

Strangely, but to no better or worse effect, the waterproof headphone jack has been moved from the side to closer to the center on the Z1s.

The same 20.7 MP BIONZ sensor in the Z1 is also in the Z1s, which uses Sony's G Lens (F2.0). What's new is an exclusive Xperia Camera App called background defocus (Cybershot users may be familiar with this) which uses fancy software tricks to create a bokeh effect. The software isn't perfect and it's not a substitute for the real thing, but the results are impressive when you consider it's from a phone.

Sony's also integrated parts of its entertainment ecosystem with the PlayStation App, which allows direct access to various PlayStation Network features and information such as profiles, trophies, messages, notifications and game invitations, as well as news and blogs from the official PlayStation website. The app is also a companion app to the PS4, allowing for a Second Screen feature in supported games, the use of the Xperia Z1s as a remote control to the PS4, and the ability to watch friends' PS4 game play. Gamers can even connect to a DUALSHOCK3 wireless controller to play PlayStation Mobile games.

Key features for Xperia Z1s:

  • Waterproof, rated IP55/58
  • Sony G Lens, 1/2.3" 20.7 MP Exmor RSTM for mobile image sensor and BIONZ for mobile image processing engine
  • Preloaded Xperia camera apps including: Info-eye, Timeshift burst, AR effect, Social live, and Background defocus
  • 5-inch Full HD TRILUMINOS Display for mobile with X-Reality for mobile picture engine
  • PlayStation App - Connect to your PS4TM system and PSN friends, use your smartphone as a second screen and manage your game downloads
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 3000 mAh battery, 4G LTE

Beginning January 13, T-Mobile customers can purchase Xperia Z1s online at T-Mobile for $0 down with 24 equal monthly device payments of $22 with the Simple Choice Plan. As a special pre-sale promotion, Sony Mobile is providing customers with a $100 VISA gift card with purchase of a Sony Xperia Z1s and a Sony PlayStation4 for a limited time from Jan. 13 – 21. Additionally, every Xperia Z1s comes with six movies to download from Video Unlimited including Sony Pictures' Captain Phillips on the day of its digital release, 10 preselected PlayStation Mobile games, and a 60-day free trial of Music Unlimited.

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Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Jgriff
    Well of course its gonna have some nice specs...but my question is what are the dimensions and how much does it weigh? Thats just as important if not a little more than the specs themselves. What good is a nice phone if it feels like a cinder block like the original xperia z.
  • wtfxxxgp
    Believe it or not, you can ALSO make AND RECEIVE calls with your new under-water PS4 Remote control! I actually miss the days when a phone was just a phone - sometimes. I know it's cool to have a gadget that is all things to all (wo)men but it also means that there are many things that could go wrong.
  • kryojenix
    Can't wait for the Xperia Z Ultra 2 or Ultra S!Hopefully it will have - 1) physical camera shutter button with 2-stage press, 2) LED flash for camera, 3) 2nd speaker on top edge for stereo playback (massive omission considering the fantastic 6.4" fullHD screen and the decent stereo separation such speakers would've had), 4) narrower top+bottom bezel around same-size screen without sacrificing battery life, 5) lots of little improvements including to sony's widgets - weather widget doesn't location update, doesn't show much unless you tap - what?!
  • Avus
    @wtfxxxgp with the BS you said, what kind of cell phone are you using??
    btw, there are still many basic phones provided by all carriers... no one force you to use anything complicated (to you)
  • Murissokah
    I'm a long term Sony customer, but this lineup is getting out of hand. First the Z, now Z1, now Z1S... how many flagship products do they expect us to buy in a single generation? Glad I skipped these ones.
  • Harald Hansen
    @Murissokah Is there something compelling you to buy every new flagship product that a manufacturer releases? I mean, I upgrade my phone once every couple of years (or when it breaks beyond reasonable repair costs). Yes, yes... I know some -must- have the latest. I guess I just don't understand that though.