Handheld Devices

Emergency rice drying not needed -- Sony says new phones, smartwatch are waterproof

Sony's no stranger to waterproof tech: Its last smartphone and tablet weren't afraid of getting dunked in the tub--making them perfect for the accident-prone or Aquaman.

Not content with just one waterproof phone in the U.S., the company announced Tuesday that its other two liquid-friendly Android phones--the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra--would also be making their way stateside. The phones have been available internationally for a few months now, but having a few more choices when picking out a smartphone has never been a bad thing.

The Ultra comes with a monstrous 6.4-inch HD display, a quad-core processor, and an 8-megapixel camera. This phablet-sized phone ships with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but will likely be updated to a more recent version of the OS sometime after its release.

The Z1 has a more reasonably sized 5-inch HD display, but makes up for the difference in size with a 20.7-megapixel camera. The phone will also ship with a quad-core processor and Android 4.2, putting it on par with most of the other Android phones we've seen pushed out lately.

Both phones are waterproof and dust-proof, meaning you can rub them in a puddle of mud and have them come away from the encounter unscathed.

SmartWatch 2

If you prefer your water-proof gizmos on your wrist instead of your pocket, Sony also announced that its SmartWatch 2 would be making its way stateside a little later this year. The watch features NFC and works with "an ever-growing catalog of downloadable apps" from the Google Play Store.

The Xperia Z Ultra and Xperia Z1 will retail for $680 and $670 (off-contract), respectively, while the SmartWatch 2 will set you back a cool $200. No carriers have been announced for either of the two smartphones, but it's likely we'll see one of them make their way to T-Mobile or AT&T (judging by the supported bands).

Sony's made a strong push for water-resilient devices over the past year, and you just have to wonder how long it'll be before the other big device makers join the party.


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