Sony on Wednesday announced Xperia Z1, world's first smartphone with a 20.7 megapixels (MP) camera, at IFA, a trade show, in Berlin. The company said that the device has the "world's leading camera in a smartphone", implying that it can shoot better images than what Nokia's Lumia 1020, which has a 41MP camera, can manage.
"The Xperia Z1 is the absolute embodiment of that one Sony ethos," said Sony CEO Kaz Hirai. "We designed Z1 to deliver Sony's compact camera performance in a smartphone."
While the camera is the highlight of Z1, it is a high-end and powerful device. The phone has a 5-inch TFT screen with FullHD (1080x1920 pixels) resolution. It is powered by Qualcomm's S800chip, which is theoretically the world's fastest mobile processor. The quad-core S800 in Z1 runs at 2.2GHz and uses an Adreno 330 chip for graphics-related processing. The device has 2GB RAM, an aluminum and glass body, 16GB internal storage and support for a microSD card.
Like other recent Xperia devices, Z1 uses a waterproof and dustproof design. It will run Android 4.2.2.
Sony said that Z1 would be available in markets across the world in the coming weeks. In India the device is expected to be launched within this month. For now Sony has not revealed the country-specific prices.
Highlighting the camera performance of Z1, Sony said "independent testing has confirmed that Xperia Z1 provides the best overall image quality of all leading smartphones". The camera in Z1 features 1/2.3-inch image sensor, a dedicated chip for image processing and a lens with F 2.0 aperture.
'Lenses' that attach to a smartphone
A smartphone with high-resolution camera was not the only highlight of Sony's event in Berlin. The company also announced two 'lenses' that can be attached to almost any Android device or iPhone to convert the phones into powerful cameras.
While Sony is calling QX10 and QX100 lenses, they are tiny full-fledged cameras that have their own image sensors, memory card slot, battery and microphone. QX10 has a 2/3-inch, 18MP image sensor while QX100 has a 1-inch, 20MP image sensor. QX10 offers 10X optical zoom while QX100 can zoom up to 3.6X. However, QX100 also features a lens with F1.8 aperture, which should help users click far better images in low light.
The QX10 and QX100 will have to be controlled by an Android device or iPhone through Wi-Fi or NFC, if it is available. Once the 'lenses' have been paired with a smartphone, the screen of the phone turns into a viewfinder.
QX10 has been priced at $250 and QX100 will cost $499. The country-specific price of the two has not been yet revealed by Sony. Both QX10 and QX100 are expected to launch in India along with Xperia Z1.