Several new Sony Xperia devices have been added this week hot on the heels of the rumoured release of the Sony Xperia Z5 line-up coming this fall, coming shortly after the recent release of the Xperia Z4 in Japan and just last week the Xperia Z3+, which despite the confusing naming scheme is simply the international version of the Xperia Z4. Sony has in the past maintained a six month release schedule so these rumours aren't completely unfounded, however there is no official word and not every model receives a new iteration when the line-up is refreshed so for now take it with a pinch of salt. Looking back to the present all the latest Xperia handsets are now supported, we take a quick look at Sony's newest generation smartphone and tablet flagships today.
Sony Xperia Z3+
As briefly mentioned the Xperia Z3+ is the international version of the Xperia Z4, Sony's newest flagship model. The original Xperia Z launched in February 2013. Since then we've seen Sony refresh models in the spring and again in the fall, in order to try and counter the competitions latest handsets. Unfortunately aside from the jump from the Xperia Z to the Xperia Z1, which greatly improved the camera among other things, each further refresh has only provided minor performance and feature upgrades. It's been a while since Sony has launched an inspiring new flagship, does the Xperia Z3+ break the mould? Short answer is no, not this time. Some will quote "if it's not broken then don't fix it", which is a fair point but hopefully the Xperia Z5 will bring a fresh design to the table.
Naturally we do get a fair few improvements in this latest flagship. In regards to the hardware the biggest improvement is the newer Snapdragon 810 SoC and faster Cat.6 LTE support. The 2MP front camera seen on previous incarnations has finally been replaced with a 5.1MP snapper, this change has been long overdue but even 5.1MP is nothing to shout about these days. The battery capacity has dropped down to 2930mAh from 3100mAh, in return you get a slimmer 6.9mm profile and reduced weight. The newer SoC is likely to offset this capacity drop, so while you're battery probably won't last any longer it also shouldn't last any less. Unfortunately the screen is still the same 5.2" IPS, 1080 x 1920 pixels found on the Xperia Z2, now three generations old, in comparison most competitors have already moved on to 1400p displays for their smartphone flagships.
Other specifications remain much the same as found on the Xperia Z3, such as; 3GB RAM, IP68 certified dust and water resistance, 20.7MP rear camera, Bluetooth 4.1 with apt-X, GPS, GLONASS and Beidou navigation systems and Qualcomm Quick charge certification. Unlike rival flagships there's still no sight of a wireless charging option, additionally the Xperia Z3+ is only available with 32GB internal storage, whereas on previous incarnations there was a choice between 16GB or 32GB. However, a new feature first for a Sony flagship is the addition of a dual SIM card model, which has proved to be a hugely popular feature in the Asian markets. The suggested retail price is 700 Euros and the Xperia Z3+ will run Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box.
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Whilst the Xperia Z3+ smartphone is more of a minor performance update the Xperia Z4 Tablet has received new styling as well as some nice specification improvements. The Xperia Tablet line is not refreshed as often as the smartphone one, the last full sized tablet came in the form of the Xperia Z2 Tablet over a year ago, keeping in line with the newest generations Z4 moniker the Z3 Tablet has been skipped, although there is a smaller Z3 Compact Tablet available. As such the improvements are much more evident with the larger release gap. The Z4 tablets 10.1" display has been upgraded to a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution, up to 299ppi from 224ppi. The tablet is now also just 6.1mm thick, matching the Apple iPad Air 2. The devices now weighs just 393g, a full 10% less than its Apple rival and predecessor, making it the lightest 10.1" tablet currently available.
The Xperia Z4 tablet retains the IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, in fact it's the only mainstream tablet to do so. It also retains the 6000mAh capacity battery, despite the tablet having far more pixels to power, which could be cause for concern. Similar to the Xperia Z3+ we also get the newer Snapdragon 810 SoC and support for the faster LTE Cat.6. An 8.1MP rear and 5.1MP front camera is included along with the standard accoutrement of features such as 3GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, GLONASS, MicroSD card slot and NFC. When it comes to the design the speakers have been moved upwards so there's less chance of your fingers covering them, the bezels have also been reduced contributing to a more overall slim look. The MicroUSB flaps have been replaced with capless variations, not the first Sony device to do so but welcome nonetheless.
All things considered the Xperia Z4 Tablet is a worthy refresh, the much improved display coupled with the impressively slim form factor and low weight all without sacrificing performance or features is a winner, even before you consider they've managed to pack in Sony's trademark water and dust resistance. As per usual there is both a Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + LTE variation of the Z4 tablet and both models run on Android 5.0 Lollipop with Sony's custom UI. Pricing begins at 579 Euros for the Wi-Fi model, placing it firmly in the high-end market. The Xperia Z4 Tablet is now available in retail stores around the world.
Profiles and Combinations Update
- Last week we added 162 new devices to our database.
- The current number of Premium profile combinations in our database is 239,163.
- The current number of Enterprise profile combinations in our database is 292,493.
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