Apple makes a phone in different colors and the world goes crazy. Sony’s smartphone, meanwhile, lets you take 21 megapixel photos underwater and you probably haven’t heard about it.

Sony has been serious about making a dent in the crowded phone business since it bought out its joint venture with Ericsson and launched a line of pretty, high-end Android devices.

Its latest outing, the Xperia Z1, which rates a 7.8 out of 10 on The Verge, has some mind-blowing features. For one thing, it’s waterproof. And this is no rugged, rubbery, hard hat of a phone. It’s glass and aluminum and possibly too elegant to hold (the phone’s attractive shape reportedly makes it difficult to grip).

The camera is also a wowzer. Sony has managed to squeeze the same 20.7 megapixel sensor it uses in its point and shoot camera line into the tiny smartphone.

Nokia also makes a phone with a huge camera sensor, the Lumia 1020, but it runs the less popular Windows Phone operating system.

So what does a phone maker have to do to get a little attention in a market dominated by the iPhone? Samsung has found the answer: Everything. The only brand to really compete for a big chunk of the market, Samsung’s Galaxy line has increasingly huge screens, processors and cameras, and so many features like eye-tracking that it would be impossible to list them here.

This blogger is excited about the Xperia Z1’s innovative features, even if the world is still more interested in the gold iPhone. To each his or her own.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig