By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 07, 2013 10:40 AM EDT
High-end smartphones from heavyweight manufacturers running on stock Android seemed like a crazy fantasy up until recently. Not anymore.
Samsung broke the ice with the stock Android version of its Galaxy S4 flagship announced back at the Google I/O 2013 conference. HTC also jumped on board and promised to unleash a Google Edition of its current flagship, the stylish HTC One, and now it seems the Sony Xperia Z is next on the list to get a pure vanilla taste.
According to a new report from Android Geeks, a "Sony insider" confirmed that Google and Sony are working to develop a Google Edition of the popular Sony Xperia Z flagship smartphone that will boast a pure vanilla Android experience.
The tipster, who spilled the beans under condition of anonymity, could not confirm an exact release date for the Sony Xperia Z Google Edition, but he did say the companies will make an announcement sometime in July. If this proves to be true, a Sony Xperia Z Google Edition could hit the market soon afterwards.
Sony already rolled out an Android Open Source program for its Xperia Z flagship, which means that installing stock Android on the handset is already possible. Regular, less tech-savvy users, however, might not be able to handle the AOSP for the Xperia Z smartphone. Also, while stock Android smartphones get the latest Android firmware updates, the Xperia Z models running AOSP are currently not enjoying the same treatment. A handset that comes pre-loaded with pure vanilla Android firmware would make everything a lot easier.
Google has yet to announce the rumored Android 4.3 Jelly Bean version, which likely means the Sony Xperia Z Google Edition will debut with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on board. More importantly, the Xperia Z Google Edition will be welcomed in the elitist club along with the HTC One Google Edition, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition and the Nexus clan to enjoy the best update schedule.
Aside from the pure Android experience, the Sony Xperia Z Google Edition will boast the same specs and features as the original flagship. For those unfamiliar with the handset, the Xperia Z sports a 5-inch TFT display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, IP57 certification that makes it dust- and water-resistant, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor clocked at 1.5GHz, Adreno 320 graphics and 2GB of RAM. The smartphone also has 16GB of internal storage, as well as a micro SD card slot for additional memory of up to 64GB.
Other features include a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, LED flash, face detection, Geo-tagging, image stabilization, touch focus, HDR, panorama and full HD recording. In terms of connectivity, the Sony Xperia Z includes HSDPA, HSUPA, LTE, Cat 3, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB 2.0 and IR blaster.
The Sony Xperia Z Google Edition would likely retail only through the Google Play Store and only for the U.S. market. Keep in mind, however, that this is just a rumor for now, so take things with a pinch of salt until it's officially out.
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