The Google I/O 2013 event brought us the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition in mid May, then, two weeks later, the HTC One Google Edition was officially announced. While the Nexus 5 and the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean were the big absents of the Google I/O conference, the Mountain View-based giant probably wanted to sweeten our wait with two flagship devices that provide a Nexus-like user experience.
It looks though that the search engine giant will not stop here, as it will team-up with Sony in order to develop a Google Edition of the highly-appreciated Xperia Z flagship smartphone. A Sony insider who wanted to remain anonymous has confirmed for us that the two companies will soon launch an Xperia Z Google Edition. Even though he couldn't confirm the exact release date of the Sony Xperia Z Google Edition, he said that the smartphone will be announced sometime in July.
As you probably know Sony has initiated an Android Open Source Project for the Xperia Z, thus installing stock Android on the Sony flagship is currently possible. But the AOSP for Sony Xperia Z might give a lot of headaches for the regular users, so the Japan-based phone maker thought that launching a smartphone that comes pre-loaded with stock Android would be warmly welcomed by the customers.
Moreover, the Sony Xperia Z models running AOSP aren't receiving the latest Android firmware updates like the members of the Nexus family and with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Editions.
The Sony Xperia Z Google Edition will most likely come pre-loaded with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, unless Google changes its mind and launches Android 4.3 Jelly Bean by the time the handset is officially announced. Of course, the Xperia Z Google Edition will be part of the the same update schedule that includes the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, HTC One Google Edition, and the members of the Nexus tribe.
Since the Sony Xperia Z Google Edition will share the same strategy with Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition and HTC One Google Edition, the smartphone will be sold only through Google Play Store and it will be available exclusively for the US market. The handset will most likely be compatible with the LTE networks of AT&T and T-Mobile courtesy of the 4G chip integrated on the Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset that underpins the terminal.
The Sony Xperia Z Google Edition will be developed on the same hardware platform of the original Xperia Z. The Sony Xperia Z Google Edition will boast the same 5-inch TFT display with a resolution of 1,080 x 1,920 pixels covered by a shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass. It will also come with IP57 cretification - dust and water resistant, being water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes.
Sony Xperia Z is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset with four Krait cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and Adreno 320 GPU. The smartphone also comes with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage expandable using a microSD card of up to 64 GB.
The connectivity features of the Sony Xperia Z are worthy of a modern smartphone and they include HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.8 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, NFC chip, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 2.0, NFC chip, and IR blaster. Since the infrared port has been disabled for both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Edition, we aren't expecting the Xperia Z Google Edition to sport this feature. Anyway, the infrared support can be restored with a simple mod.
Just like the original Sony Xperia Z, the Google Edition will sport a 13 megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama, and full HD video recording capabilities, and probably Photo Sphere.
As I was mentioning above, the Sony Xperia Z Google Edition will be available for purchase in Play Store, and the water and dust proof smartphone will probably receive a price tag of $599.
Are you excited about a Sony Xperia Z Google Edition? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.