Not every generation of phone is a revolution, and Sony’s latest model fits in that category, as Sony announces the Z4, a modest update to last year’s Xperia Z3.
That was until earlier, when Sony in Japan announced that a new phone would be coming, and it would be called the Z4.
For this phone, Sony has taken much of what we’ve previously seen in the Xperia range and given it a slight bump in hardware, and another slight bump in design, taking what was in the Z3 and refreshing it.
For starters, it’s a little thinner and a little lighter, with a drop of almost 10 grams down to 144g and a slight diet applied bringing the phone from 7.3mm thick to 6.9mm thin.
A new chip is also here, with Sony relying on the same hardware used to make the HTC One M9 tick, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit processor, with 3GB RAM and either 32 or 64GB storage. Just like previous phones, Sony isn’t letting go of the microSD upgradeable storage slot, and is keeping much of the same build, with metal and glass used for the materials, and with water resistance and dust-protection kept in this generation, too, with IP68 resistance to the elements.
The front camera gets a jump, too, going from 2 megapixels to 5, but the rear camera sticks with the same 20.7 megapixel shooter, though Sony may have included some new camera features to the software.
In fact, the feeling of “sameness” continues with much of the hardware here, with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, GPS, Near-Field Community (NFC), no infrared, and the same 5.2 inch LCD screen with Full hD 1920×1080 resolution.
Android 5.0 is one of the major changes, though that should be coming to other Sony phones in the near future.
As to what’s different, the answer — based on what we’re seeing — isn’t much, with a pretty similar look, very close hardware, and even a smaller battery, moving from 3100mAh on the Z3 to 2930mAh on the Z4.
This is one we’re not sure about, and will likely result in more of the same, but with a better camera up front and the likelihood that Sony drops its proprietary magnetic charger, replacing it with a waterproof microUSB port, as we saw on some of Sony’s other 2015 devices shown at Mobile World Congress.
Australian release seems likely, though, representatives for Sony in this country merely said that “Sony Mobile is considering the feasibility in other markets”.
In the past few years, we’ve seen pretty much every Sony flagship, so we’d keep our eyes open around May to see what pops up.