Snapdragon Blog

Sony Xperia Z and ZL Join the 5-inch 1080p Smartphone Fray

Jan 9, 2013

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Large-screen phones that look a lot like tablets are all the rage.  They're enormous, but they can serve as handheld HDTVs, portable offices, or gaming consoles.

Consider the impressive two phones with five-inch screens that Sony launched at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. The Xperia Z and Xperia ZL target multimedia enthusiasts at both the high and middle tiers – and, of course, they're powered by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors.

The Xperia Z joins the Droid DNA by HTC, ZTE Grand S, and Oppo Finder 5 in sporting a full 1080p display. It's also dust and water resistant. According to Sony, the Z can stay submerged for up to 30 minutes.

The Xperia ZL differs slightly from the Z. It's smaller, not as rugged, and will be available only in select markets. But it sports the same 1080p screen and 13 Megapixel camera as the Z.

Both the Xperia Z and ZL couldn't support all these power features without the processing might of a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro. The 1.5G hz processor —  the same one that powers the Droid DNA by HTC — is packed with quad CPU cores and an Adreno 320 graphics processor.  That makes the phones lightning fast.

Other noteworthy features in the Xperia phones include built in NFC and WiFi Direct.  They will also be equipped with a power-saving setting called Battery Stamina Mode. In this mode, the phone automatically detects when the screen is off, then turns off the stream of data the phone usually pulls down.  However, it's customizable, so you can choose to make exceptions for apps such as Gmail or Facebook.  Sony claims its Battery Stamina Mode will extend standby time up to 400%.

The Sony Xperia Z and ZL will be available worldwide by Q1 2013. No word yet on pricing and carrier information.

More CES Coverage:

> Inside the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Theater

> Abby Cadabby and AllJoyn make a splash at CES

> ZTE Grand S makes high definition incredibly thin

> A New Horsepower War Heats Up

> CES Keynote Highlights

> The new Adreno 330 GPU

> A Twitterview with Raj Talluri - What’s the latest and greatest from Snapdragon processors?

> A Twitterview with Rob Chandhok - the future of mobile user experiences

> Tango and YUZA Use Facial Processing APIs for New App Features

> Vidyo Puts Quad-Core to Good Use

Francisco Cheng

Director, Technical Marketing

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Brett Sears is a practicing physical therapist, who specializes in treating back and neck pain. He is the Physical Therapy Expert at Verywell.com, and writes about how new technology can help people move and feel better. The views expressed are the author’s own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Qualcomm. 

I see it every day and everywhere: People tenaciously tapping away at smartphones, laptops, and tablets. There they are, slouched on the comfy couch at the coffee shop or standing in line at the bank, noses down in their devices. It’s our universal posture. 

It’s also a posture that’s causing our health to suffer. Looking down at our devices increases stress on our spines and the small, spongy discs between vertebrae. In fact, research indicates that the further you bend your neck, the greater the torque on your spine; a forward angle of 60 degrees — that is, looking straight down at a phone held at chest level — makes a 12-pound head feel like it weighs 60 pounds. This heavy-head phenomenon can cause pain due to pinched nerves or herniated discs.

As a physical therapist, I treat people with these aches and pains every day. Thankfully, unlike many nondescript backaches, we know what’s causing our “text neck,” which means we’re better equipped to fix it. So, what do we do now? Throw away the technology? Of course not. We just need to be more aware of our interactions with it. 

That awareness starts with learning proper posture. Years ago, the great physical therapist and spine guru Robin McKenzie was asked about the three most important treatment techniques he could offer a patient. His response: "Posture correction, posture correction, and posture correction." Proper posture involves maintaining the natural anatomical position of your spine —  ears over shoulders, shoulders over your hips, and a slight forward curve in the neck and lower back. 

Positive change in your positioning while tweeting or emailing means keeping your eyes and head above your shoulders. Sometimes simple fixes can do a lot of good, too; for instance, adding a lumbar support roll to your chair can brace your spine, and using a small stand can elevate your laptop to eye level. (Important caveat here: If you’re experiencing persistent spinal pain or discomfort, see your doctor or a physical therapist. Don't let small aches and pains turn into big problems.) 

Ironically, technology itself can also help make us more aware of — even eliminate — our slouches and slumps. Wearable devices can train you to sit and stand with correct posture. The Lumo Lift, for example, is a small magnetic chip that attaches to a shirt or bra strap and vibrates whenever you slouch. The TruPosture smart shirt has five sensors placed along your spine, which signal haptic feedback whenever your posture is less than ideal.

We also need to realize that our desks, chairs, and makeshift mobile “workstations” aren’t doing our backs any favors, either. As physical therapists like to say, “motion is lotion.” So, recent controversies notwithstanding, a sit-to-stand workstation, such as the Varidesk height-adjustable standing desk, may be your best bet to stave off laptop-induced “tech” neck. Sit a little, stand a bit, and recline some. Similarly, the Gesture Chair by Steelcase includes a flexible back and articulating arms that move with you, providing support for your spine as you recline and for your elbows and shoulders as you hold up mobile devices.

All of these efforts boil down to the same idea: We’ll fend off pain if we manage to keep our screens at eye level. Eventually, changes in the devices themselves will make that easier to do. The newest wave of wearable, head-mounted displays (HMDs), similar to Glyph, put screens right in front of our faces, saving us from craning and bending forward. Unfortunately, HMDs have yet to infiltrate our daily lives (sorry, Google Glass). Until eyeglasses — or perhaps contact lenses one day — become screens, we’ll need to put a little effort into making certain our gadgets don’t become pains in the neck.

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