Xperia XL

Sony's other 5-incher heads stateside with T-Mobile + AT&T LTE bands and new red color

Good news for American Sony fans with a few hundred dollars to blow on an unlocked smartphone. The Xperia ZL -- the more compact cousin of the Xperia Z -- is landing in the U.S., where it'll be available unlocked from the manufacturer's online store. Like its international counterpart, the ZL packs a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, a 13MP Exmor RS rear camera and a 5-inch 1080p HD Reality Display screen. The main differences include the unique notification light down below, as well as the smaller chassis size and lack of waterproofing.

Of particular interest is the extra color variant that's cropped up -- a red option with a black front -- and the American ZL's support for LTE Bands 1, 2, 4, 5 and 17 alongside the standard pentaband HSPA. If our calculations are correct, that means it should work on both T-Mobile and AT&T's LTE networks -- T-Mo's in the process of lighting up Band 4, while AT&T has LTE deployed on Band 17. In theory that means you'll have an unlocked handset that can run quite happily on either carrier's 4G LTE -- a unique proposition for the U.S. market. However U.S. carriers being as they are, we'll have to wait until devices begin shipping before we can confirm that everything's working in the real world.

There are no details available on pricing just yet, but previous unlocked Sony handsets haven't come cheap. In any case, there's a sign-up page on the Sony Store where customers can register their interest.

Anyone in the U.S. tempted by the prospect of such an unlocked, LTE-capable Sony phone? Shout out in the comments!

More: Hands-on with the Sony Xperia ZL

Source: Sony Store; via: XperiaBlog


Reader comments

Unlocked Sony Xperia ZL headed to the U.S. with LTE and new color option


Oh goodie I get a discount on the Sony Store. Hopefully it applies to this. This actually looks better than the Z especially since the headphone jack isn't covered by a flap.

It's thru something called Corporate Perks, lots of big companies are members and give discounts to Sony, Lenovo, a few others. Sony stuff is about 10% off. Doesn't look like phones are included though.

if the bootloader is unlocked, I am all over this phone. I love the look, and the hardware specs are nice. Would love to get a hands on.

Wow! Tmobile's unlocked options suddenly got much more exciting. It's no longer just the Nexus 4 or nothing else. I do not require Tmo's wifi calling and prefer quicker manufacturer updates over waiting for the carriers. Sony looks to be upping their game recently.

Although I do wish they will offer the Xperia Z as well. A waterproof phone would be a nice luxury.

I love the looks of this phone, The red/black combo is fantastic. I would love to try a Sony phone. Their Ui looks like it would be fun to toy around with.

so.... you are pretty much telling me that this is the second straight flagship device (HTC ONE) in the last 2 weeks from a major manuf. not to come to Verizon?


Yep VZ sucks for new handsets but had 4G video streaming nonstop from Napa to Santa Barbara on hywy 101 for 6 hours. Love that unlimited data and great network, now just to come up with $600 to buy a new phone :( (Bottom Line Telecommunications) has the ZL C6506 listed & appears to be a good deal. Has anyone dealt with them before? I'm personally looking into getting the Z or ZL to use on AT&T with LTE, they have the C6506 to be "Ordered as Needed from Manufacturer", just not the C6606 yet.

BRA5187 1270-4315 XPERIA ZL LTE C6506 WHITE 5IN HD QC 16GB MSD 13MP NFC $574.01
BRA5186 1270-6441 XPERIA ZL LTE C6506 BLACK 5IN HD QC 16GB MSD 13MP NFC $574.01
BRA5188 1273-2352 XPERIA ZL LTE C6506 RED 5IN HD QC 16GB MSD 13MP NFC $574.01

I had no interest in the Z but I love the form factor of the ZL (plus that camera button and notification light) so I've been waiting to see what the unlocked options from Sony would be. This is excellent news that they will be selling it direct unlocked in the US market (as well as through other suppliers I'm sure). Usually I don't go for "colored" phones but that red/black option looks pretty sweet, especially since they did the color on the side "panels" vs just making it the back cover.

I just ordered an unlocked 32MB HTC One mainly for the camera (I'm really intrigued by Zoes) but I know that I'll only be able to get Tmo HSPA+ in cities where they've rolled out 1900 (I live in Chicago so most of the time that won't be an issue, but when I travel I'll have to pop in my Straight Talk AT&T SIM from my Galaxy Camera). I wish HTC would get on board with including 1700/2100 AWS HSPA+ on their phones, maybe this move by Sony (along with LG and Samsung with the Nexus lines) will help in the future.

Anyway excited to see what the pricing options for the ZL are, if it's under $600 I'm definitely picking one of these up, I've always wanted a Sony phone but they've never stayed "current" enough from announcement to delivery. I doubt I'll have any interest in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy IV (even if it does have eye tracking :) ) so if Sony can get this phone out in March (April at the absolute latest) I'm in.

The Xperia Z and ZL impressed me, but now with phones coming out with the snapdragon 600 the S4 pro is kinda old tech. Still a great chip but I will be holding off for a device with the 600 (It will either be HTC one or GS 4 until the next Nexus phone or x phone)