Last year Sony kept finding itself behind the curve with Android phones. The new Xperia Z and ZL are the company's attempt to break that trend. These two phones basically check off every box a spec-hungry geek could want and then some.
It's hard to say which of these phones is the flagship since their similarities vastly outweigh their differences. Both have 5-inch 1920x1080 (aka 1080p) screens built on the Mobile Bravia Engine 2. Both have 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processors and 2GB or RAM. Both have 16GB of built-in storage with micro SD card slots so you can expand at will. Both run Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) with Sony's more scaled-back Experience Flow UI. And both have 13MP cameras that use Sony's new Exmor RS image sensor, which is not only built for low-light, but it's the first chip that can shoot 1080p HDR video. All drool-worthy specs.
Both also have NFC and will work with various Wi-Fi direct devices (they couldn't say it's Miracast yet because certification is pending, but that's what it is). That means you'll be able to push video and music to Wi-Fi enabled TVs, stereos, etc. They also both have a very slick feature called Battery Stamina Mode. Essentially, when your screen is off, it turns off the stream of data your phone pulls down. But say you still wanted to get data email, or Google Voice notifications, or Facebook. You can white-list those apps so data still comes through for them. It's a really clever solution which Sony claims will extend standby time up to 400 percent. Both are currently slated to come with a pair of Sony earbuds that feature improved drivers, but various carriers may elect to go a cheaper route.