Cape Town - Sony on Monday announced the launch of a compact smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The company launched the Xperia Z1 Compact which features similar performance of its bigger brother in a smaller package at the Las Vegas show which runs until Friday.
The Z1 Compact has a display measuring 10.9cm diagonally, smaller than the 12.7cm of the Z1, but still larger than the recently released iPhone 5s.
Samsung and HTC also have smaller versions of their premium devices, but critically, the manufactures usually equip the smartphones with compromises like a lower end processor to reduce costs.
Sony, though, has taken a different route with the Z1 Compact, giving it a 2.2GHz quad core processor mated to 2GB of RAM. The device also has a 20 megapixel camera that features its burst photography mode.
The hero feature of the Z1 Compact though, is its water resistance.
Over the holiday season, the advantage of a waterproof smartphone was clearly demonstrated to News24 as a group of young people cavorted around the pool.
Most ensured that their smartphones were safely stowed away from the water during festivities. One young man entertained his friends shooting video underwater on his Xperia Z1.
The Compact has similar water proofing technology to the Z1 in keeping with Sony strategy of aiming to take on the giants like Samsung and Apple.
"In the mobile phone industry, we see two things: Value and volume. As Sony the whole idea is we want to be one of the top manufacturers in the world in the coming few years," Mansoor Ahmed, Sony Mobile product marketing manager for Middle East and Africa, told News24.
The Z1 Compact also features NFC, set to become a standard payment method and being embraced by the top selling manufactures.
Sony evangelist Ahmed said that smartphones featuring next-generation technology like LTE (Long Term Evolution) had created the demand for the operators to roll out services.
"In 2001 - 2002, it was all about 'WAP is going to change the world' and then 3G came in and that's when things changed.
"Now you'll see you have services that demand bandwidth, that demand services, and operators are rolling out LTE. They could have stuck with 3G; they didn't have to roll out LTE, but they are doing it," he insisted.
Pricing for the Xperia Z1 Compact is unclear, but Sony confirmed to News24 that the device will be launched in SA in February this year.