What's good

  • Dust resistant and water resistant up to 1.5 meters
  • Underwater camera and video use
  • Good color and image quality on display

What's bad

  • Poor viewing angles
  • Low light photos still noisy despite flash

Following the success of the Xperia Z, Sony released the Xperia ZR, a smaller yet featured packed version of the flagship phone. At 4.5", the Xperia ZR display is only 0.5" smaller than the Z and offers a slightly reduced resolution of 720p. Despite the lower resolution, most reviewers are pleased with the overall image quality and color of the display in normal straight-on viewing position. Viewing angles, unfortunately, are not its strong point. Phone Arena says, "As soon as you start tilting the phone to one side, things get very washed out."

While the Xperia Z might be water resistant, the ZR is actually IP55 and IP58 compliant, which means that it can be fully submerged in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes so long as users remember to use the protective covers for the exposed areas. In order to take advantage of its water resistant capabilities, Sony added a dedicated camera key on the right hand side for underwater pictures and video. Reviewers had a hard time actually finding the key due to its size but were overall impressed with the quality of underwater shots thanks to the phones 13 megapixel camera. Above the water, the camera provided decent quality images in outdoor conditions, though low light conditions had some noise.

Performance-wise, the ZR scored fairly well in various benchmark tests due to its 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, though well behind devices like the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC One. Although the processor does not boast the fastest chipset, there was no noticeable lag when opening or using apps or browsing the web. After a running the phone through several tests GSMArena states, "The smartphone…has more than enough oomph to handle day to day tasks smoothly."

In general, experts agree that the Xperia ZR offers users an excellent overall experience. Android Authority praises the phone saying, "It might not be cutting edge, but it gets close enough that you might not even be able to tell the difference."

Operating system
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
13+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...

Android Authority

If you want a powerful experience without getting too crazy, the Xperia ZR is your bang for buck phone.

- Joshua Vergara, Android Authority

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Sony released the Xperia ZR on July 5, 2013.

Sony Xperia ZR prices will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. Sony's suggested retail price is $499.99. You can compare Xperia ZR prices from around the web here on The Informr.

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sony Xperia ZR user manual here.

Sony backs up the Xperia ZR with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Xperia ZR has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Screen Size

The Sony Xperia ZR's screen size is 4.55 inches with x pixels resolution.

1.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm APQ8064 + MDM9215M Quad Core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

13+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with VGA (640 x 480) resolution.

8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2300 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 21.7 days standby time, 780 minutes, 680 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Xperia ZR Specs

Release date July 5, 2013
Regions available USA
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
SIM card Micro-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm APQ8064 + MDM9215M Quad Core 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 8 GB
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.76 W/kg
Body: 1.25 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Headset, Manual, Standard Battery, USB Power Adapter
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2300 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 510 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 680 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 780 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 21.7 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White, Pink, Mint
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.1 x 6.7 x 1.1 cm (5.2 x 2.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 138 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design Yes
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density 323 pixels
Size 4.55 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
DLNA Support Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
PictBridge No
Main Camera
13+ megapixels
Dual lens
16x digital
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR, Scene mode, Exposure value, Metering
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
VGA (640 x 480)
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, AMR-WB, AMR, WAV, M4A, OGG, AMR-NB
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4, XviD, AVI
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Google chrome, NeoReader, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony C5502, C5503

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Where to buy Sony Xperia ZR
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Critic Reviews

Android Authority

It might not be on the cutting edge but it gets close enough

from Android Authority

And so, there you have it. I have to admit, I wasn’t quite expecting much when I first got the ZR, but that could be due to the multitudes of mid to low range offerings Samsung and LG consistently put out. For Sony to get into that game, I thought it would be more of the same. But this wasn’t the case...


And so, there you have it. I have to admit, I wasn’t quite expecting much when I first got the ZR, but that could be due to the multitudes of mid to low range offerings Samsung and LG consistently put out. For Sony to get into that game, I thought it would be more of the same. But this wasn’t the case.

Even if the build and feel might leave a little to be desired, everything underneath is purely viable and deserves ample attention. The tried and true Snapdragon S4 Pro continues to flaunt its abilities, and features like expandable memory and 720p resolution for a smaller display help make the Xperia ZR an easily recommended device. 

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