SONY has launched a new waterproof smartphone in Ireland.
The Xperia Z was unveiled in January at a consumer technology conference and sports a five-inch touchscreen.
The specs are said to be better than Apple's iPhone 5. Unusually for smartphones, which have a reputation for not being the most robust of devices, Sony claims the phone is water, dust and shatter-proof.
"Two layers of toughened glass protect its front and rear from damage, while a lightweight glass-fibre body keeps its innards well cradled. Rubber caps enclose the external connectors, protecting them from water and dust ingress," Sony said. The phone is available through the Carphone Warehouse on all networks.
The prevalence of high-spec Android phones like this one have hammered iPhone sales in recent months.
Earlier this year, it emerged that Apple had cut back on its iPhone orders from suppliers in Asia, and the perceived failure of that device to sustain the success of previous iPhones has helped contribute to Apple's share-price plunge, from a peak of over $700 in September to only $427 today. Its shares have lost nearly 20pc in the last year.
For Sony, meanwhile, the Xperia Z is a crucial part of rebuilding a company that has been hit by falling sales in its traditional strengths of TVs and other consumer goods.