We’ve seen the Google Edition Galaxy S 4 and HTC One get their own introductions but it appears that Sony may also be joining the party. AndroidGeeks was the first to really come forward and break the story with Android Central confirming what they said. The Google Edition Sony Xperia Z is reportedly due to be announced sometime in July.
As you may remember, Sony has already done some partnering with Google for the AOSP project for their phones and it is actually possible to run stock Android on an Xperia Z already. But the process wasn’t all that easy and unlike Google Edition phones, these AOSP phones don’t receive software updates at the same time as Nexii. The phone will reportedly launch with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean unless Google launches Android 4.3 before it’s launched. This also means that all of Sony’s software enhancements to the phone will be taken away. So you won’t get the mobile Bravia engine to help the display and you won’t get HDR video and all of those other little goodies that they threw in.
The Google Edition Xperia Z does, however, retain the same hardware from before. This means that you’ll still get a 5″ 1080p display, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD card slot, 13-megapixel camera, and the same IP57 dust and water resistance rating. Another thing to note is that the Sony Xperia Z does feature on-screen buttons already so you don’t have to worry about a weird button layout like on the HTC One or Galaxy S4. Since the S4 Pro chip has LTE built into it, the Xperia Z will most likely feature support for AT&T and T-Mobile’s LTE networks.
As it is a Google Edition phone, we can expect it to be sold exclusively through the Google Play Store at the full retail price. The story does seem to have a fair amount of credibility, if not least because Sony and Google worked so closely together with AOSP in the past. When the Google Edition Xperia Z comes out, are any of you guys going to jump on it?