After many years of playing second fiddle to better marketed and often better equipped smartphones from OEMs such as Apple, Samsung or HTC, Sony is finally looking ready to turn the page and up the ante.

Sony Xperia Z11 Sony Xperia Z1 priced and up for European pre orders, also available unlocked in US

But making the brand new Xperia Z1 a beast, with one of the crispest displays around, the absolute best mobile processor in the world and an insane 20 MP camera slapped on its back, is not enough. What Sony needs to do in addition to all that is roll the thing out swiftly after its formal intro. Preferably before Samsung can commercially launch its Galaxy Note III.

By the looks of it and fortunately for Sony fans, Europe will indeed be taken by storm by the Z1 in mere weeks, though America seems to be for some reason on standby. A number of seven local branches of Sony’s web store have already put the 5-incher up for pre-orders, with pricing ranging from the equivalent of $850 to close to $950.

Though none of these clearly mention a shipping date for the Z1, all signs point to the launch happening by the end of September. Ze Germans are the luckiest of the bunch, being asked to cough up $856 (€649), followed by folks living in France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, all of which will have to pay $922 (€699).

Sony’s UK store lists the Xperia Z1 at about $935 (£599), while finally the Swedish subsidiary has it up for grabs for $903 (5,995 kr).

Sony Xperia Z1 2 Sony Xperia Z1 priced and up for European pre orders, also available unlocked in US

Naturally, you can get better deals if you choose to do business with third-party retailers, like Great Britain’s Clove, which has Sony’s “next big thing” available for $880 (£564), with first stock set to arrive on September 10.

An even better idea for British blokes looking to save in the short run would be signing a two-year contracts, which brings Xperia Z1’s upfront price to £29.99 on EE and Orange (with £41 plans) and £9.99 on T-Mobile (with pricier £62 monthly payments).

Finally, though no US network has vowed to carry the Full HD, S800-powered handheld as of yet, if you can afford to pay the piper for an unlocked flavor, Negri Electronics is where you’ll find solace. The retailer sells the Z1 in black only, for a whopping $729.50, with September 20 as an ETA.

Sources: Phone Arena, GSM Arena, Pocket-Lint