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Sony Xperia ZL phone now up for preorders

The phone is now available for pre-order through Sony with an expected availability date of April 8.

Sony Xperia Z and ZL
The Sony Xperia ZL (right) and the Xperia Z made their debut at Sony's CES 2013 press conference.
Kent German/CNET

Smartphone buyers eyeing Sony's Xperia ZL can now pre-order the phone directly through Sony's online store.

The ZL is available in two flavors and at two prices, both versions unlocked and carrier-free.

The C6506 model sells for $759.99 and offers 4G LTE connectivity. The C6502 model goes for $719.99 and is compatible with the HSPA+ networks used by AT&T and T-Mobile. Both models are available in black, white, and red.

The phone is pre-selling online only through the Sony Store for now but should soon pop up at other select online retailers, Sony said today. Sony's order site shows an estimated ship date of April 8.

Sporting Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Xperia ZL offers a Full HD Reality Display 5-inch screen. The Reality Display taps into technology from Sony's Bravia TVs to make the picture brigher and sharper. The phone's Mobile Bravia Engine 2 automatically optimizes the picture based on the image being displayed.

Powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, the ZL comes with 2 gigabytes of memory and 16GB of internal storage. Users can up the capacity to 32GB with a microSD card. Near field communication is built in to allow the ZL to talk to other NFC-enabled devices, including the latest Sony speakers, headphones, and Bravia TVs.

A 2-megapixel camera is found in the front, while a 13-MP camera is in the back. The rear camera uses Sony's Exmor RS mobile technology to deliver high-quality photos and can shoot high-definition 1080p video. Sony has also included HDR (High Dynamic Range) video to improve images and videos shot against a strong backlight.

Finally, a Stamina mode enhances battery time by closing certain apps when the screen is off and resuming them when the screen comes back to life.

Sony demoed the Xperia ZL and its slightly larger cousin, the Xperia Z, at CES in January. The company also is prepping the smaller Xperia SP and L phones for debut sometime next quarter.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET