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Sony has dropped what looks very much like a new flagship smartphone, in the form of the lavishly specc’d, 4G-capable Xperia Z1.

Tipping up yesterday’s at the IFA gadget trade show, the waterproof handset’s big selling point is a 20.7-megapixel snapper with a G Lens, which is by some distance the best on a Sony smartphone. Video taken with the camera can be streamed in real time directly to Facebook.

sony xperia z1

In keeping with Sony’s drive to hawk NFC-enabled accessories for its phones (CF: those cute-as-button tags for changing your phone’s profile), the Xperia Z1 has also been designed to work with two natty lenses.

Dubbed the QX10 and QX100 respectively, the hefty, external lenses snap on to the Xperia Z1 and add features such as 10x optical zoom, MP4 video recording at 1440x1080 resolution and 30fps, as well as more common-or-garden, but still-welcome, stuff like image stabilisation.

The phone is also home to a 2.2 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 5-inch Full HD TRILUMINOS Display that showcases the same screen tech as Sony TVs, 16GB of internal memory and microSD card support up to 64GB.

Perhaps surprisingly for a spanking new phone, Sony’s latest effort runs Android 4.2.2 out of the box. However, there’s an update to the newer 4.3 edition scheduled soon, so that probably shouldn’t put you off unduly.

As with the similarly just-unveiled Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Phones 4u was quick off the mark with launching pre-orders for Xperia Z1 ahead of its release later this month.

Available now from the site, pre-order customers who sign up for the handset on any 3G plan can choose from a free Sony SmartWatch 2 or a half-price Sony Tablet Z.

4G customers get those gifts too, but can also snare themselves a free wireless speaker worth £120.

Find out more about the Sony Xperia Z1: Sony Xperia Z1

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