Sony Xperia Z release date 28 February confirmed as pre-orders open

Three has opened up pre-orders for the Sony Xperia Z on Friday and in the process has confirmed the UK availability of Sony Mobile’s latest and greatest handset.

Previously it had been said that the phone would land anywhere between the middle of February and March, but Three in the UK has now put a firm date on it.

The information from Three reads: "The Sony Xperia Z will be available from 28 February for £34 a month...", with pre-orders opening from Friday 1 February. You can find the pre-order page here.

There is an incentive too: the first 1,000 pre-ordering the phone from the network will receive a pair of Sony MDR-1R Prestige headphones, worth £299.

In terms of pricing, the network will be selling the Android handset for £499 on pay-as-you-go; Clove previously said it would be £528 SIM free.

The Sony Xperia Z has been well received since the launch at CES 2013 where we had the chance to have a good play with the new Android handset. Sony looks to have thrown everything into the 5-inch device, from NFC to waterproofing, in a bid to win market share back from the likes of Samsung.

READ: Sony Xperia Z pictures and hands-on

Most retailers and networks have opened registration pages to sign-up for more information on the availability of the Sony Xperia Z, it looks like Three is the first to go firm with a date.

We’ll update as and when we learn more.

UPDATE Sony has announced that anyone who pre-orders the Xperia Z will get a pair of the Sony MDR-R1 headphones for free.

Launched at the tail end of last year, the MDR-R1 cans retail for £299, so that's a top bargain to entice people to sign up prior to the phone's launch date.

The price of the phone SIM free from Sony Mobile directly is confirmed as £529.