Sony Xperia ZL Android phone (preview)

The Xperia ZL lacks the Z's water and dust-resistant capabilities but squeezes a 5in display into a smaller frame

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews (3)
  • Buy Now 3
Sony Xperia ZL
  • Sony Xperia ZL
  • Sony Xperia ZL
  • Sony Xperia ZL
  • Expert Rating

    Not yet rated
  • User Rating

    4.50 / 5 (of 3 Reviews)


  • 5in full HD screen
  • Compact design
  • Built-in IR port


  • Won't get official Aussie release
  • Not waterproof like Xperia Z

Bottom Line

The Sony Xperia ZL lacks the Xperia Z's water and dust-resistant capabilities but manages to squeeze the same 5in display into a smaller frame. It also includes an IR port to act as a universal remote.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)
  • Buy now (Selling at 3 stores)

See all prices

Sony appears to be pouring all of its energy into the upcoming Xperia Z but the Xperia ZL is a very similar device that was quietly announced at the same time. It lacks the Z's water and dust-resistant capabilities but manages to squeeze the same 5in display into a smaller frame.

The Xperia ZL is a very similar device to the Xperia Z when it comes to specifications, so the main difference is the design. The ZL is slightly thicker than the Z, but it has a much smaller footprint overall. In fact, Sony has managed to squeeze that large 5in display into a phone that's shorter and narrower than Samsung's Galaxy S III. For those who are concerned about the "bigger is better" trend in the smartphone world, that's going to come as welcome news.

The Xperia ZL manages to achieve this more compact frame thanks to one of the thinnest bezels on the market. It's not exactly edge-to-edge but the screen takes up almost the whole front of the phone. Unfortunately, the Xperia XL is not waterproof like the Z but it does have two other features that the Z doesn't. There's a physical camera button on the right side and also an IR (infra-red) port built-in, so you can use the phone as a universal remote control. Unlike the Xperia Z, the Xperia ZL doesn't have a glass back.

The Xperia ZL is slightly thicker than the Z, but it has a much smaller footprint overall.
The Xperia ZL is slightly thicker than the Z, but it has a much smaller footprint overall.

The Sony Xperia ZL shares many other features with the Z. It has the same 5in screen, a full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080, the same 13-megapixel camera with Exmor RS sensor and the same powerful internals. There's a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, along with the option to add a microSD card slot for extra storage.

Sony will initially launch the Xperia ZL with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) but the company has promised it will be upgraded to the latest 4.2 version "shortly after launch". A software feature called "Battery Stamina mode" is also borrowed from the Xperia Z. It applications from running when the screen is locked, therefore saving power and apparently improving standby time "by at least four times". Interestingly, the ZL has a slightly larger battery than the Z: 2370mAh compared with 2330mAh.

The Xperia ZL has 5in screen full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080.
The Xperia ZL has 5in screen full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080.

Sony has produced multiple variants of the Xperia ZL. The C6503 model variant is compatible with Australia's 1800MHz 4G network band, while the C6506 is not 4G compatible Down Under but will work on 3G networks.

Unfortunately, Sony says it has "no plans to release the ZL in Australia at the moment". That could change in the near future, but its likely the only option for Aussies will be to purchase the phone online as a grey import device.

The Xperia ZL has a 13-megapixel camera with Exmor RS image sensor.
The Xperia ZL has a 13-megapixel camera with Exmor RS image sensor.

A promotional video of the Sony Xperia ZL can be seen below.

Are you disappointed Sony has no plans to release the Xperia ZL in Australia or do you prefer the Xperia Z? Should us Aussies get more of a choice? Let us know in the comments below!

Related articles

Sony to unveil Xperia Z next week
Sony Xperia Z preview
Sony reveals more Xperia Z details
Sony Xperia Z vs. Apple iPhone 5: Head-to-head

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.



I prefer the ZL over the Z, it is smaller in size, has the bigger battery and has infra red. Don't get glass phones I think it's stupid.

Dennis Hicks


iprefer the size, battery size and infra red of the ZL but as someone into watersports, the waterproofing and dust proofing of the Z makes it for me!

The Stav


Firstly Sony has said they are only a Windows phone 8, so I was happy to go with Jelly Bean but only on the ZL and now that may not come to Australia.
I'm so disappointed & frustrated. If I buy a ZL on-line and it's 3G only that will be ok, but grey only?

Ben Martinuzzi


Yep, Sony would do well in a ZL release here - for those who like a physical camera button and ports/plugs that don't need opening; oh.. and the fact that its shorter and narrower. People just need to stop juggling their phones while in the toilet or on the water.... nice differentiating factor to the competition currently; but not a feature you want to be using really!? Bring on the Ausie spec ZL though Sony!

John Marks


I was absolutely shattered to hear that this phone wasn't being released here. I know I'm not the only one too, so If you want this phone, you've got to let Sony Mobile know! Write to them!

The Stav


Forget my previous comment (3). It makes no sense.
While I own 2 Windows phones at the moment and am satisfied with the hardware, the quality apps & the funtionality of the 'live tile' user interface. I have after reading the reviews on all the leading Android high end phones, that the xperia ZL is the item which will more than satisfy my needs for the next couple of years.
I hope Sony has the wisdom to one, produce enough of them and two decide to bring them into Australia.
The Z looks like a quality item, but continuous fingerprint removal, no dedicated camera button, no infrared port & physically larger and non-ergonomic. Hmmm



I'd like to see the ZL released in Australia. I would buy one.

Rajat Tyagi


Thanks for such a fine article.
Great Work..!!
Any ways users for extra information regarding this article may also view:



Mobicity has the 4G compatible version for sale $699



Xperia zl would b worth of it's just go for it it wil satisfy ur techical hunger.
I can assure u that u wil b never b ashameed of it......



No, It doesn't. So BBP could ensure not to feed us readers with wrong information " Mobicity has the 4G compatible version for sale $699 " next time you post a comment? I have been looking for 4G version of ZL for weeks now and only found only 1 on Ebay so far. I would definitely buy this phone because of it's compact size and the list of features it has. So listen Sony! we want Xperia ZL 4G down under.



For me it is Xperia 'Z' !!!



I'm quite disheartened to hear that Sony are no longer planning on releasing the ZL model in Australia.
Shame on you Sony, as i would definitely would have purchased one, now i might be forced to buy from overseas.



It's available in Australia, just look it up in shopbot

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.




awesome display & features
Low audio volume - but quality wise has the best audio
• • •

Bought this phone on the 12th. Quick review on usage so far:
1) Display - simply stunning, the best I have seen so far. true the viewing angles are a bit off but not bad at all. in fact I realized I never watch my phone in an angle other than head on- but checked it out only since it was mentioned in reviews. The colors simply are the best I have seen and contrast is quite good too. I have used a galaxy note and an iPhone 4 and was a bit worried after reading a few reviews but now I am very satisfied. In fact had a video shoot out for a 720p video (oblivion trailer) with a note2- and the winner was clearly the ZL. The difference in screen size is almost insignificant. I will write in detail about the display later as there is so much more to talk.
2) Battery (stamina mode)- 100% charge at 6am - normal day- 25mins of calls, 40mins watched videos, 30-40mins of browsing(WiFi and 3G), 30-40mins of messaging and mail, 20-25mins Google play, 20mins gaming(asphalt7), 20-30mins misc. = ended the day with about 46% charge at 11:30pm. (I don't think I will be using my phone for 3hrs every day - this is only in the beginning :-) need to use my nexus 7 as well from time to time so that it doesn't feel left out) - big plus to stamina mode
3) Performance - normal operation- with a quad core processor u wud expect lag free but I did feel slight lag from simply scrolling the home screen- this can be attributed to custom ui and frankly I have seen this on almost all android handsets except the nexus devices which don't have any lag even on dual core processors. In fact the lag vanished on my old note when I rooted and loaded a custom ROM on it. This lag is insignificant and 90% of people won't be able to notice it- only maybe the ones who have used an iPhone - which funnily shows some lag when it is rooted.
4) Performance - games - simply a beauty - zero lag and excellent load times - faster than note and iphone4 - tested asphalt7. Also remember this phone is displaying 1080p so it is amazing that it manages to run significantly faster. It is also slightly faster than note 2 - though not by much.
5) Camera - quite good. The best in outdoor shots and pretty good at indoor shots. Colors are quite good and realistic- I am not a fan of camera on a phone but I like the camera on my old iPhone 4 and now this.
6) Audio - I felt it was a bit low on volume at first but after using it for last 4 days it does not seem inadequate at all - the volume is slightly lower than my note but the audio is much clearer and very pleasant to hear. The stock earphones are quite good too.
Overall very satisfied with the phone - and as a plus the design feels quite good too - IMHO best smart phone have had the joy of owning but this is purely personal preference. I chose this over the Z as this is easier to hold with a curved back.




Look so hot
To sicke
• • •

I love what is the Sony did




Look so hot
To siker
• • •

I love what the is Sony did

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?