Sony has just began selling the unlocked variant of the Xperia Z to its customers in the United States of America. The device retails for $630 on the Sony Online Store and is available in three color options: black, white, and purple. As of now, the SIM unlocked version of the Xperia Z is compatible with AT&T’s HSPA+ network and is not compatible with LTE bands.
The Xperia Z is a very powerful Android device that runs on a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm CPU and 2GB of RAM. The device is powered by Android Jelly Bean and features NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Out of the box, the device includes 16GB of on-board storage, its Micro SD card slot can be used to add another 64GB of storage to the device. As far as the screen goes, the Xperia Z features 5-inches of 1080p screen real-estate with a pixel density of 441 pixels-per-inch.
This is the first time that American smartphone users have been able to officially purchase the Xperia Z without the need to import it. However, rumors have been swirling for quite sometime that the device will make an appearance on both AT&T and T-Mobile officially with respective LTE bands.
Showing its support for developers and love for stock Android, Sony has created an AOSP project for its latest flagship – the Xperia Z. The Xperia S started the trend of AOSP project from Sony, and the Z takes it a step further.
The AOSP project will be maintained by two senior developers at Sony, Johan Redestig and Bjorn Andersson. The AOSP project is Sony’s way to supporting the open source community, and allowing developers to run stock Android on their handset.
Below is a video of AOSP running on the Xperia Z -:
Currently, AOSP on the Xperia Z is still not good enough for day-to-day use because of the reliance on some binaries that Sony is not allowed to share. In its current form, Sony has managed to get SD-Card, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Notification LED and partial sensors to work under AOSP on the Xperia Z. While the radio and camera also work, they require some binaries that Sony cannot share with the general public.
The good news is that going forward Sony will work on replacing the binaries with their open-source drivers and make the NFC binaries available as well. If you are a developer, you can help Sony in making the Xperia Z supported by AOSP by contributing your own code. Head over to the AOSP for Xperia Z project on Github for the issues list, and to get yourself familiar with the code.
AOSP stands for Android Open Source Project, and is what the Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus and other Nexus devices from Google run when combined with a few proprietary binaries. AOSP always contains the latest version of Android, which in this case is Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The Xperia Z runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box.