Sony Xperia ZR review: Ready to dare

GSMArena team, 30 July 2013.

Retail package

The Sony Xperia ZR comes with the usual set of accessories for a smartphone - flagship or not. There's the essential USB cable and a wall-mount plug as well as a pair of headphones.

Sony Xperia ZR Sony Xperia ZR
The Sony Xperia ZR retail package and its contents

We haven't seen a microSD card supplied in a retail package for a long time and this one is no exception. The 8GB internal memory is what you will have to do out of the box, until you find time to get an expansion card yourself.

Design and construction

Looked from the front, the Xperia ZR is an instantly recognizable member of the Sony smartphone family and a slightly downsized clone of the Xperia Z. However, it lacks the cool looking glass panel at the back, which takes away much of the premium feel and look.

Still the plastic used in its place is of sufficiently high quality, so the Xperia ZR is still a looker. And the matte finish has a serious advantage over what the Xperia Z had - it's far less prone to fingerprints, so it doesn't require as much effort to look its best.

Sony Xperia ZR Sony Xperia ZR
The Xperia ZR may not be Xperia Z-pretty, but it's still a looker

The sides of the Sony Xperia ZR have a different glossy finish, adding a second color tone to the exterior. The effect is much more prominent on the two brighter-colored versions, pink and blue, but is also noticeable on the more classic white and black handsets.

The richer color palette is another thing the Xperia ZR has over the Xperia Z - the flagship does have a purple version, but we believe the ladies will prefer the pink of the more compact device.

The final perk of the Xperia ZR design is its removable back panel, which grants you access to its battery. Sure it adds a millimeter or two of thickness and takes away some of the high-end vibe, but we are sure many will find this an agreeable trade.