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Sony announces Xperia ZR smartphone with Q2 release date

Sony Xperia ZR will be budget version of flagship Xperia Z

Sony Xperia ZR

Sony has announced its Xperia ZR smartphone which will get a release date in the second quarter of the year.

The Xperia ZR shares many specifications with the Xperia Z but is a slightly smaller version of Sony's flagship device. The main difference is a 4.6in Reality display with an HD resolution instead of a 5in Full HD screen. See also: Group test: What's the best smartphone?

Like the Xperia Z, the Xperia ZR is waterproof and dust-resistant, in fact, even more so when it comes to water. The phone can be submerged in 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes. However, it has a plastic rear cover instead of glass.

Calum MacDougall, director of Xperia marketing at Sony, said: "The Xperia ZR pushes the boundaries on where and how consumers can use the full potential of their smartphone. By combining Sony’s leading camera technology with the highest level of water-resistance, you will never miss another moment."

Sony has fitted the Xperia ZR with the same 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and 13Mp rear camera with Exmor RS sensor as the Xperia Z. The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean smartphone is also fitted with 4G LTE support and NFC.

Downgrades compared to the Xperia Z include 8GB of internal storage, although there is still a microSD card slot, and a front facing VGA camera.

Sony said the Xperia ZR will come with the larget ever range of NFC-enabled accessories including headphones, speakers and TVs.

There's no word on UK pricing or a specific release date so we'll keep you informed as soon as we hear.

Update: Sony has confirmed with Clove that the Xperia ZR won't be coming to the UK.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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