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Christmas Gift Guide

Sony ups its smartphone game

Unlocking the ZL

Weather when you want it

A lovely screen

A sole headphone port

Buttons in a line

A back that's plastic

USB on the left

Peek under the flap

A capable camera app

Meet the big-screened Xperia ZL. For the unsubsidized price of $760, this unlocked handset offers quite a bit, including a massive 5-inch full-HD screen and an excellent imaging system.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
You unlock the Xperia ZL by flicking your finger upward. Swiping the camera and music icons to the center of the screen also works and jumps directly to their associated apps.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Onboard the Sony Xperia ZL is a handy weather widget.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
With a big 5-inch full-HD screen (1,920x1,080 pixels), watching video and viewing photos on the Sony Xperia ZL is very enjoyable.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The top edge of the Sony Xperia ZL holds a lone 3.5mm headphone jack.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The Sony Xperia ZL's right side houses all the phone's physical controls, including volume, power, and a dedicated camera key.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Unlike the more premium Xperia Z, the Sony Xperia ZL has a plastic back. Also here are the 13MP main camera and LED flash.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The left side of the Sony Xperia ZL houses a Micro-USB port for charging and transferring files.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Underneath a flap located on the Xperia ZL's back are slots for microSD and SIM cards.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The Sony Xperia ZL's camera app features plenty of shooting modes and extra features.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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