Mobile World Congress 2015 is now well underway with the latest and greatest mobile devices being showcased all week. On the second day of MWC 2015 the Japanese entertainment giant Sony took the centre stage with its next generation of devices. Although Sony didn't reveal the Xperia Z4 its expected new flagship smartphone that has been in the rumour mill for a while, it did present us with a new high end tablet - the Xperia Z4 Tablet and a new mid range smartphone - the Xperia M4 Aqua. We can only speculate as to why the Xperia Z4 smartphone announcement was delayed but we would think interested parties shouldn't have to wait much longer.
Xperia Z4 Tablet
The Xperia Z4 Tablet is a new high-end slate and a direct successor of the Xperia Z2 Tablet. Presented with a 10.1" IPS display capable of 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution, this equates to 300ppi density, which is bang on the sweet spot - it's generally said that any higher than 300ppi and the average human eye is unable to detect the difference. Like Sony's other high end offerings the Xperia Z4 Tablet comes with Sony's Triluminos technology and X-Reality Mobile engine for improved visuals.
Internally Sony has opted to go with Qualcomm's latest chipset the Snapdragon 810 which we expect to see popping up on a lot more devices this year. The Snapdragon 810 has an octa-core 64bit processor enabling it to take full advantage of the 64bit features in Android 5.0 Lollipop, the processor comprises of four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four Cortex-A57 cores running at 2.0GHz. Qualcomm's Adreno 430 handles the graphics and the device comes with 3GB RAM, 32GB of internal memory storage and a MicroSD card slot in case you need more space.
For the budding photographers out there the Xperia Z4 Tablet uses a rear mounted 8MP Sony ExmorRS sensor paired with a 5MP wide angle front camera, the camera specifications are a little disappointing considering Sony routinely packs a 20MP camera into it's smaller smartphone line. On the positive side this likely contributes to the impressive form factor, the Xperia Z4 Tablet is a strikingly slim 6.1mm, this actually makes it the world's current slimmest 10" tablet taking the crown away from Apples iPad Air 2.
The Xperia Z4 Tablet is IP68 certified for water and dust resistance, a feature that has become Sony's moniker. Powered by a 6000mAh battery which Sony claims will last 17 hours of video playback. Stereo speakers, digital noise cancelling, Hi-Res audio playback, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS with GLONASS support and a new cap-less Micro-USB design complete the feature list. The Xperia Z4 Tablet will be available in two options - Wi-Fi only and a 4G LTE version, a worldwide release is expected sometime in June this year and pricing should be announced in the near future.
Xperia M4 Aqua
This newest smartphone is billed by Sony as a high-end mid-range device without any compromises, weighing in with a 5.2" IPS display with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. The overall design appears to be more akin to the Xperia Z3 than the previous Aqua model - the Xperia M2 Aqua. The display is protected with tempered glass and housed within a sleek metal frame with toughened corners to help protect it from accidental drops. A camera shutter button is also included on this model which is a welcome addition to any mobile device.
Like the Xperia Z4 Tablet the M4 Aqua is IP68 certified against water and dust, which means you can safely submerge the device up to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes. Both also sport the new cap-less Micro-USB port, these two devices are the first with this new feature, allowing the device to retain water and dust resistance without having to utilise a fiddly USB cover, which as we've seen in the past is prone to breaking off or warping and losing the all important water tight fit.
Internally Sony have chosen Qualcomm's new mid-range Snapdragon 615 chipset powered by octa-core Cortex-A53's and which is also 64bit compliant. Paired with an Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB RAM, up to 16GB of internal storage is available and this can thankfully be expanded via a MicroSD card slot. Further features include a 13MP rear and 5MP front camera, 4G LTE connectivity and a 2400mAh battery that Sony claim will last two days of full use.
The Xperia M4 Aqua is expected to be available this April and will come in four different colourways; white, black, coral and silver and two internal storage options; 8GB and 16GB. Information available so far points to a starting price of just a mere $299, this makes the Xperia M4 Aqua one of the most powerful and feature packed smartphones in the mid range market today.
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