Sony’s flagship 4G Xperia Z hits stores in March

Sony’s first swing at a 4G LTE phone is coming to Australia, with the 5 inch Full HD smartphone boasting some premium tech, and hitting telcos within the next few weeks.

Launched this week in Australia and capable of jumping onto a 4G LTE network or a 3G one if you prefer, Sony’s Xperia Z is the first in a new generation of Android handsets from the manufacturer.

Previewed at CES, the Xperia Z brings with it a host of features and aims to get a jump on everyone, potentially outdoing the competition before any new smartphones are released.

Equipped with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, we don’t expect this to be a slouch, and since it’s partnered with 2GB RAM, Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean should fly here. Storage will be set to 16GB in the Australian incarnation of this phone, though there’s a microSD card should you ever need more.

Time to get up, close, and personal with Sony's 440 ppi screen.

A first for Sony, there’s a 5 inch display here encased behind scratch-resistant glass, and it looks to be the first Full HD smartphone screen released in Australia, detailing a massive 440 pixels per inch, 100ppi over what Apple’s Retina-grade screens offer.

That's an upside-down "y"... a very sharp "y" at that.

Connections include 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and lots of support for NFC, with Sony also working on around 50 devices supporting the Near-Field Communication wireless standard.

Then there’s the camera, which is set to 13 megapixels and offers HDR video, 16x digital zoom (not optical, sadly), face detection, and a look – from what we saw today – close to that of the Sony’s compact range of cameras. A 2.2 megapixel front facing camera is also there, capable of pulling on 1080p Full HD video too.

And then there are the little things, like water resistance, a new battery “stamina” mode, some screen mirroring, that 4G connection which should support Optus and Telstra (and Vodafone when the network starts up), and a 2330mAh battery.

Playing with it this week, it still looks just as good as when we saw it earlier in the year, and spec-wise, the Xperia Z is certainly shaping up to be a handset that may very well have the chops to take on the competition, though it’s still early yet.

Pricing has yet to be announced, though we’re expecting it on all the major networks in mid-March in three colours: black, white, and purple.