Sony CEO Phil Molyneux demonstrates the new Xperia Z.

Sony Electronics just announced the much rumoured Xperia Z smartphone at a press conference on the Sony booth at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. The Xperia Z follows the latest trend towards larger and higher resolution screens on smartphones and comes with a 5-inch 1080 display.

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From an imaging point of view the 13MP camera with Exmor RS for mobile image processing and HDR video sounds very promising but the rest of the specsheet reads very well too. The device is powered by a Snapdragon™ S4 Pro quad-core processor and runs Android 4.1 (4.2 update on its way soon). NFC technology allows for wireless sharing of content with compatible devices including, speakers, headphones and TVs. The very high dust and water resitance (IP55 & IP57) is unusal for high-end smartphones.

We haven't had a chance yet to play with the Xperia Z, but on paper the new model definitely looks like one of the most exciting devices coming out of Sony's design studios for quite some time. We'll make sure to stop by the Sony booth in the next couple of days and report on our first impressions.