Sony Xperia ZR offers underwater photos and video, impressive Android specs

Sony has announced another Android smartphone, the Sony Xperia ZR, which boosts the waterproofing of the Xperia Z, allowing you to capture photos and video in up to 1.5m of fresh water thanks to IP55 and IP58 compliance.

The Sony Xperia ZR follows the lead of the Xperia Z, which offered water resistance, but offers a smaller display size at 4.55-inches and 1280 x 720 pixels, so while not as sharp as Sony's flagship, should still look good.

There's a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset clocked at 1.5GHz powering the ZR, backed by 2GB of RAM. There's 8GB of internal memory and you can expand this via microSD up to 32GB.

It's a 4G LTE handset, as well as offering all the connectivity you'd expect from a modern handset, including the likes of NFC and DLNA compatibility for all your entertainment needs.

It lands running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with the usual Sony customisation layered over the top. As we've seen with the Xperia Z and the Xperia SP that we've reviewed, that means you get a lot of bundled apps for Sony services, but we like the stamina mode that gives you granular control of battery usage when you're running out of power.

Sony Mobile's pitch for the Sony Xperia ZR, however, is the camera. There's a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS sensor along with a dedicated camera button. You'll be able to shoot photos and video underwater, with plenty of options on offer.

READ: Sony Xperia Z review

"The Xperia ZR pushes the boundaries on where and how consumers can use the full potential of their smartphone. By combining Sony's leading camera technology with the highest level of water-resistance, you will never miss another moment," said Calum MacDougall, director of Xperia marketing at Sony Mobile Communications.

Sony has also been kind enough to throw together a promo video for the new Xperia ZR. Snapping underwater photos at those late-night pool parties just got easier.

The Sony Xperia ZR will be available in Q3 2013; no word on pricing as yet.