Try as it might, Sony’s name is largely out of the mobile conversation. Blame Samsung, or HTC, or the iPhone. But there’s no denying the Japanese company has quickly fallen behind as others confidently stride forward. The Xperia Z might be a return to form—we certainly loved what we saw at CES earlier this year.

Jumping into the superphone trend, Sony’s Xperia Z is a powerhouse 5-inch Full HD handset engineered into a fantastically designed body. It might not translate 100 percent in video or pictures, but the white model looks supreme. And we expected nothing less, especially when the competition—the HTC One being a prime example—is so strong.

There’s a very pronounced power/sleep/wake button that sits on the side, and just below that is the volume rocker. For right-handed folks, it’s very convenient placement seeing as the phone is so tall, meaning you won’t have to reach way up every time you want to use your device. The phablet form factor is pretty much standard now, and this is inline with anything else of similar size.

Full specs include a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, Android 4.1, 16GB of storage (microSD expandable up to 32GB), 2GB of RAM, 4G LTE support, 2,330 mAh battery and a 13-megapixel camera.

It feels substantial without being too heavy, and the quality and design definitely shine. But this is only an unboxing, and we haven’t even come close to putting the Xperia Z through its paces. Will this push Sony back into the mobile conversation going forward? That remains to be seen.

Sony Xperia Z Gallery: