Sony has announced the forthcoming availability of two versions of the Sony Xperia ZL on its US online store, one with AT&T and international LTE support and one version with HSPA+ only. Both versions are expected to ship on April 8th with pre-orders available now.
While both smartphones are identical in terms of features, pricing for either version is only separated by $40, with the HSPA+ version being listed for $719.99 and the LTE version being listed for $759.99. Of course the advantage to either is that both are being sold unlocked, but the miniscule price difference ensures that the majority of sales volume will consist of the unlocked LTE-capable version.
AT&T is also expected to launch its own branded version of the Xperia ZL, according to the latest FCC filings that indicate that the device has received the requisite approval for sale in the US. Below, the complete specifications for the ZL, which redacts the weather sealing of the Xperia Z, but is otherwise identical and also improves on the hardware design of the Z by including a hardware camera shutter button.
Key features for Xperia ZL
- 5″ 1920×1080 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 Infrared-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)
While Sony has yet to announce official plans for the Xperia Z in the US, its long been expected that the ZL variant is meant to be sold in its place as the weather-resistant Z model was expected to be too expensive for US carriers to subsidize owing to Sony’s current less than favorable market position in smartphones compared to HTC and Samsung, which still have some sway with US carriers owing to their relationships with AT&T and Verizon respectively.
While AT&T has typically been more receptive to subsidizing Sony Android smartphones in recent years, the variety of smartphones from the manufacturer subsidized by the carrier has shrunk in recent years as Sony has decided to move upmarket with its Android lineup, in an effort to shore up revenue and profits from the typically loss making mobile division, which has meant that AT&T has carried less devices from Sony as a result.