Sony Xperia ZR vs Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z vs Sony Xperia ZR.jpg

When the Sony Xperia Z first came out one of it's main features that let it stand out from the crowd was it's IP57 water and dust resistant certification. This meant you could wash the Sony Xperia Z, have it fall into hot soup and still work fine. A lot of creative testing was done, from dipping and freezing it in chocolate to cooking it in the hotpot and in all cases the Sony Xperia Z came out working fine. The Sony Xperia ZR expands upon this feature by offering IP58 water and dust proof certification. How does it match up against the previous Sony Xperia Z? Read on and find out. Click here for the full tech spec comparison.

What's the same?

Checking through our tech spec comparison, the basic tech specs of the Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia ZR are essentially the same. This includes:

  • 1.5GHz Quad-core Krait Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064
  • 2GB RAM
  • Adreno 320 Graphics
  • 13.1MP rear camera (autofocus, LED flash)
  • LTE + NFC + Bluetooth 4.0 + Wifi a/b/g/n support
  • Android 4.1
  • Software features

Based on the similarites above, both the Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia ZR perform the same. Both take the same quality of pictures and video from the rear camera and have the same software features.

The Sony Xperia Z in action

What is different?

Stand up the Sony Xperia Z and the Sony Xperia ZR together and the differences become more obvious. While most of the inner components are the same, the Sony Xperia ZR is more compact and thicker than the Sony Xperia Z. The Xperia ZR is also lighter, has a more rounded back and has a dedicated camera button. The Xperia ZR also has a smaller 4.55-inch screen with a smaller 720 x 1280 pixel resolution compared to the Xperia Z's 5-inch full HD 1080 x 1920 pixel display. The Sony Xperia Z definitely looks nicer with it's all glass casing, but the Xperia ZR is no slouch either.

In terms of tech specs the Xperia ZR only has 8GB of internal storage compared to the Xperia Z's 16GB. This doesn't matter that much because both support microSD expansion. The Xperia ZR also has a lower-end VGA front camera compared to the Xperia Z's 2MP front camera. While the Xperia Z packs in a 2330 mAh battery compared to the Xperia ZR's 2300 mAh battery, the Xperia ZR's battery is removable.

Sony Xperia Z covers.jpg

The Sony Xperia ZR has more colours to choose from

As expected, the only other major difference is the IP57 certification of the Sony Xperia Z and the IP58 certification of the Sony Xperia ZR. The major difference here is depth of water and how long each smartphone can last in watery or dusty conditions. The Sony Xperia Z is rated at 1M and 30 minutes while the Sony Xperia ZR is rated at 1.5M and 30 minutes. While we agree that this seems almost similar, the main difference is that when under water the Xperia Z's touchscreen turns off (the display works but you won't be able to control it) but since the Xperia ZR has that dedicated camera button you can still take pictures or video with the Xperia ZR while it is underwater. This obviously means that while you can drop the Xperia Z into the pool or take a shower with it, it won't work underwater like the Xperia ZR.

One for the poolside/beach party and the other for snorkeling

The Sony Xperia ZR works underwater

Overall, the Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia ZR are sure signs of progress for tougher smartphones. While both perform the same, it is clear that while the Sony Xperia Z looks nicer, displays better video and can take a dip and survive it isn't the smartphone you should bring snorkeling or diving with you. The smartphone you should bring snorkeling with is the Sony Xperia ZR as it doubles as your underwater camera without a need for any bulky underwater casing. Bear in mind though that both smartphones are only water resistant or water proof if all of their ports and other openings have been closed up. Since the Sony Xperia ZR's price still hasn't been officially announced we can't make a definite comparison between the two in terms of price, however, due to the slightly lower tech specs, we'd say that the Sony Xperia ZR may be a bit more affordable in comparison.

Sony Xperia ZR Specs & Price >