With Mobile World Congress on this week, we’ve seen a few things happen, with upgrades galore and a dose of water-resistance forgotten about, at least on the part of Samsung’s newly introduced S6, which was a surprise since the S5 was all about the ruggedisation and how it was made to take outside.
Sony, however, appears to be doing some upgrades of its own, and is embracing water resistance again for its new phones.
Fresh from the IP68 dust and water rating found on the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Compact Tablet, two new models are on the way that not only pack those ratings, but also include a waterproof microUSB port where there is no cap, with the whole unit easy to be submersed without needing to check if a port is in place over the port as is the case with current Sony phones, as well as Samsung’s own Galaxy S5.
That specialty port can be found in the Xperia M4 Aqua smartphone as well as a new tablet, the Xperia Z4 Tablet, both of which have dropped the magnetic proprietary ports commonly seen on Sony devices with a move to microUSB charging only.
It’s worth noting that while the microUSB charge port is now waterproof, you obviously should let the port dry before plugging it in.
The last thing you’d want to do is destroy a phone or tablet when you plug a wet one in, because while it’s waterproof and won’t die from a tussle with freshwater (if used in chlorine or saltwater, wash with freshwater when done), the principles of electricity and water are still present, and a convergence of the two will result in, well, something that isn’t good for you or the gadget.
That said, there’s more to either the M4 Aqua and the Z4 Tablet than just an updated microUSB port, with a difference in processing tech, some new screens, and obviously a different market.
For starters, the M4 Aqua appears to be focused on the middle of the market, grabbing a 5 inch high definition (1280×720) display, eight core 1.5GHz 64-bit Snapdragon processor, Android 5.0 Lollipop, and a combination of a 13 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front camera, not quite up to the strength of the 20/2 found on the Xperia Z3/Z3 Compact.
Sony is suggesting that this phone should have no problem with battery life, though, relying on a 2400mAh battery capable of delivering up to two days, while the phone itself will connect to networks using 4G LTE, and include either 8GB or 16GB of storage, with support for more via a microSD slot.
And yes, just like the Z3 and Z3 Compact from last year, the M4 Aqua will handle its own in water, a nod from the “aqua” in the name, as well as the IP68 certification it comes with, and that cap-less microUSB port.
Sony’s other major announcement this week is a new tablet that appears to take on the slew of devices out from both Apple and Samsung.