Sony is pushing the concept of its waterproof smartphone to new depths.
The company announced at CES today that its ultra-waterproof new smartphone, the Xperia Z1S, will be available in the U.S. starting January 22 through T-Mobile.
This is the follow-up to this summer’s Xperia Z1, which was water resistant if you dropped it in the sink, a glass of water, or, perhaps most commonly, the toilet.
While “water resistant” was generally the catchphrase for the Z1, the Z1S proudly touts itself as “waterproof.” You can submerge the new phone deeper into water (from 3 feet to 4.5 feet) for 30 minutes at a time without experiencing any water damage.
One of our complaints about the old Xperia was the hard-to-open port protectors. On this new model, the headphone jack is open and waterproof, so you don’t have to pry off any cover before listening to music, for example.
The other biggest improvement to the Xperia is its camera. Sony increased it from 13 to 20.7 megapixels, and has built a dedicated camera button on the outside of the phone so you can take pictures easier underwater. Sony has also built in a host of other camera features, like an Instagram-like background blur and augmented reality backgrounds.
Sony partnered with T-Mobile to launch this phone and users can purchase it for $US528, through 24 monthly payments of $US22.
Like the Z1, the Z1S has a 5 inch screen, but its shape is more rounded and sleek than its predecessor and has more built-in memory (32 GB). It also comes pre-loaded with Sony’s PlayStation app, plus, users will get a $100 VISA gift card if they pre-order between January 13 and 21 and also order a new Playstation 4.
Check out Sony’s demo vid: