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Sony Xperia ZR Unboxing: Quad-core, LTE, 13MP Camera, and Waterproof

It's the Sony Xperia ZR!
It’s the Sony Xperia ZR!

Say Hello to the Sony Xperia ZR!

The Sony Xperia ZR  is Sony’s new waterproof quad-core smartphone which was announced last May. Compared to the Sony Xperia Z, this one has a smaller display and less internal storage but it keeps the quad-core processor, 13MP camera, and LTE connectivity. To top it all off you can take photos and videos underwater, something that the Sony Xperia Z couldn’t do properly.

>>> SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia Z Full Review

Before we get to the unboxing, here’s a quick refresher of the specifications:

Sony Xperia ZR Spec Sheet

  • 1.5GHz Quad-core CPU, Snapdragon APQ8064 Chipset
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 4.55-inches TFT capacitive touchscreen
  • 720 x 1280 resolution, 323 pixels per inch, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
  • Shatterproof, scratch resistant glass
  • 13.1-megapixels rear-facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • Records video 1080p@30fps, HDR
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • WiFi a/b/g/n, WiFi Direct, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS/aGPS, NFC
  • HSDPA, 3G, LTE
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 2,300mAh Battery

Okay with that out of the way let’s jump right into the unboxing!

Packaging: Same, same

Our minions took a break so we have our cute cats from Bangkok (we got them from Thailand) helping out for this unboxing
Our minions took a break so we have our cute cats from Bangkok (we got them from Thailand) helping out for this unboxing

Sony used the same packaging that they used for the Sony Xperia Z with the Sony Xperia ZR. Makes sense since they’re all part of one line anyway. We have the white box with the product hero shot up front. At the back we have the specifications and a photo showing the different colors of the Sony Xperia Z. Apparently other than the white and black there’s also pink and blue. Coolness.

Other colors of the Sony Xperia ZR
Other colors of the Sony Xperia ZR

Unboxing was straightforward. We tore the plastic off, removed the tape from the sides, and pulled up the top lid. We were immediately greeted by the Sony Xperia ZR. At first glance we couldn’t help but compare it to the Sony Xperia Z and we definitely found this one a little more smaller and not as “premium” when it comes to the looks department. We’ll tackle that in detail during the hardware check later in this post.

Officially unboxed!
Officially unboxed!

We set the phone aside and checked out what other stuff was in the box. We found the usual: earphones, wall charger, USB to micro USB, manuals, and… the battery. We kinda missed this in the initial announcement. Apparently the Sony Xperia ZR is back to having removable batteries.

What's inside the box
What’s inside the box

Hardware Check

Now we get to the hardware. Like what we mentioned earlier, we couldn’t help but compare to Sony Xperia ZR to the Sony Xperia Z. There are two obvious differences between both devices. First is that the Sony Xperia ZR has a smaller display at 4.55-inches. The other one is that you no longer have the dual-glass set-up (Xperia Z had Gorilla glass front AND back). Instead of the glass on the back with the ZR we have a removable polycarbonate shell which covers the battery, micro SIM, and micro SD slots.

Go cats go!
Go cats go!
What the back looks like without the cover
What the back looks like without the cover

The sides though remained the same. We have the aluminum band with the chrome buttons including the big power lock button which we kinda liked with the Xperia Z.

The Sony Xperia ZR’s 4.55-inch display has a resolution of 1280 x 720, roughly 323 pixels per inch. This isn’t half-bad at all as we were very satisfied and happy with the quality when we turned the device on. Note that this also has Sony Mobile’s BRAVIA Engine 2 which is supposed to help in producing more vibrant colors.

Display ain't that bad either
Display ain’t that bad either

When it comes to hardware, the Sony Xperia ZR feels like a smaller brother to the Sony Xperia Z. We miss the “premiumness” that the dual-glass set-up brought into play but we understand why they let go of that so that they could bring the price down and at the same time reach waterproof levels.

Software Check

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

The Sony Xperia ZR runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.1 (hoping for the 4.2 update soon). We didn’t encounter any lags or delays in our first few hours with the device and that’s probably due to the combination of the 1.5GHz quad-core Krait Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064 processor, Adreno 320 graphics, and Project Butter of Google. We’ll know more though in the next few days so be sure to watch out for our full review.

Initial Verdict


Aggressively priced at Php22,990 (Widget City), the Sony Xperia ZR is sure to win the hearts of people who’ve been aching to do underwater selfies (lol) and videos. While it may sound just like another gimmicky handset, don’t forget that it has respectable internals and LTE connectivity making it flagship material.

Watch out for our full review soon.

PS: Minion Dave says hi folks.


Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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