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Sony Xperia ZR dives down 1.5m for waterproof HD jollies

Sony's bringing out a new waterproof Xperia just in time for summer -- the Xperia ZR can survive up to half an hour in the wet stuff.

Sony's bringing out a new improved waterproof Xperia just in time for summer -- the Xperia ZR. The aquatic mobile can enjoy freshwater dunkings down to 1.5 metres, and its 13-megapixel camera will be perfect for recreating the best bit of Licence to Kill in your holiday pool.

Don't fret if you've just splashed out on an Xperia Z though -- the ZR doesn't have the Z's fabulous 5-inch 1080p screen. Whereas Sony is quick to boast about the Z's "Full 1080p HD Reality display", the ZR has to make do with merely an "HD Reality display".

The official spec sheet reveals it's a 4.55-inch 1,280x720-pixel screen, giving it a pixel density of 323 pixels per inch -- almost identical to the iPhone's retina resolution and significantly below the Xperia Z's 443ppi.

Here's a video from Sony showing off its nautical filming capabilities:

In every other respect it's a full-bore powerhouse, with a quad-core 1.5GHz processor and 2GB RAM, although it's running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which isn't quite the newest version. Sony doesn't mention Android in any of its press materials for the new phone (other than the spec sheet), just as Samsung didn't for the S4. The difference is Sony's ignoring its smart phone capabilities and selling the ZR as a high-end feature phone -- it takes great HD video underwater, and that's it.

The exact waterproofiness is IP55 and IP58, independent global standards that certify it as being able to survive for up to half an hour in fresh water, and that dust won't get in as long as all the ports are firmly shut. It doesn't say anything about salt water, however, which might limit its use at the beach.

IP58 is one up on the Xperia Z's IP57, certifying for immersion (holding it underwater for a while), rather than just submersion (a quick splash around).

Sony hasn't said how much the Xperia ZR will be, or when it will arrive in the UK, just that it will launch in "various global markets" some time before July.

For more on the Xperia Z, read our full Editors' Choice winning review, and our handy 25 tips for the Xperia Z.

Let me know what you think of the Xperia ZR down in the comments, or over on our Facebook page -- will you be taking it on your hollibobs? Or is the Xperia Z far superior?