Xperia ZR- Twin brother of the Nexus 4, but way better
By Abhishek Balaji | 2 May 2014
The Xperia ZR is certainly not a new entrant to the mobile market. You could certainly look at it as a stripped down model of the Xperia Z. Let’s look at this device in detail.
The one thing surprising about this device is how close its internals resemble the Nexus 4. It is the exact same hardware, with Sony making a few improvements to the camera, display and storage.
When you look at the spec sheet, you’re gonna wonder why people would buy this over a Nexus 4 and this review is gonna do exactly the opposite. I’m gonna tell you why you should buy this device over the Nexus 4.
Everything good about the Nexus 4 is also a shortcoming. It is simply not a consumer device. It may have been the bestselling phone for a while, but it’s still a developer phone. The Xperia ZR, you could say, is a much better, polished Nexus 4.
It has a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor clocked at 1.5GHz coupled with a 2GB RAM and 8GB internal memory, with expandable memory up to 64GB which the Nexus 4 doesn’t have. The display is slightly smaller than the Nexus 4, coming at 4.6” instead of the 4.7” in the Nexus 4. The Nexus 4 itself is a wide device compared to the others. The ZR, is more pocketable and easier on the palms when using one handed. It also has wireless charging which is on par with Nexus 4.
The camera is where the Xperia ZR really stands out. Sony went out of its way to makes sure that it retained the excellent camera as in the Xperia Z. It has a 13MP shooter with Exmor RS™. It has some amazing shooting modes that makes you wish you had it in every phone.
The problem with the Nexus 4 is that for every little thing that makes a lot of difference, you need to install an app. The Xperia ZR solves that problem. Sony added a few nifty apps that replace the google apps. Don’t worry, google apps are still there. The Music player is something that I love. Walkman, is better than poweramp music player and way better than Google Play Music.
The Sony Music app gives you free streaming and download of theoretically millions of songs, but its hard to find many of them. So you’ll be left wondering what to do. The Music Discovery on the app is pretty poor, so don’t expect to discover new songs on it anytime soon.
The device itself runs Android 4.2.2; Sony has started rolling out the 4.3 updates, so I’m waiting for that.
So, here’s something unique about the phone. Its waterproof and dust proof. There are some certifications that assure you of this. One of my friends didn’t believe this when I told her. A dunk in a fountain reassured her. People would love doing this with your phone. So expect more of ‘wet’ phones. Coming to how this is done, the back cover has a rubber seal around the battery and the slots there which prevents water from getting inside. Unfortunately, the camera is not protected and I found my camera getting fogged often after a dunk. There are port flaps for the charging port and the headphone jack, which have