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Sony Announces its Next Android Flagship – Xperia Z4

Sony’s Japanese website has officially but quietly announced its new flagship model smartphone, the Android-running Xperia Z4.

The Z4 reveal took place in Sony’s home country with no word of international release dates or prices but showed off a handset that follows a very similar design form to the previous generation Z3 – even down to a comparable 5.2-inch touchscreen display. The new model does however manage to shave off a fraction of a millimetre in depth with the Xperia Z4 coming in at a trim 6.9mm and a weight of 144kg.

The innards show some incremental improvements over the last iteration with the new Xperia running Android 5.0 Lollipop from the start and 3GB of RAM. Despite a backwards step in clock speed to 2.0GHz from 2.5GHz in the Z3, the processor is upped from a quad-core to a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 inside the new Z4.

Yes, this is the same chipset that was previously removed from use in the Samsung Galaxy S6 because of overheating against the all metal case but expectedly won’t be an issue in the Sony Xperia Z4’s which is sealed in plastic with metal framing only around the edge.

The same rear camera tech as last season’s model is back too with the Xperia Z4 packing a 20.7-megapixel main shooter and front shooter features image-stabilising and wide-angle lens to fit all your mates in a really sharp selfie. The water-resistance feature from previous Xperia Z models returns as well, offering protection up to 4.92 feet for up to 30 minutes. This feature is a trump card Sony’s z range holds over most other manufacturer’s flagship models which offer little or no protection to a common cause of early death for a smartphone.

Having launched the Sony Xperia Z3 in September 2014, not really that long ago, the Xperia Z4 announcement came a bit out of the blue – especially considering Sony’s focus on the mid-range market back at the Mobile World Congress in March, and also the rumours of Sony’s exit from the smartphone market altogether.

Also See: MWC 2015: Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

Our question is, is seven months really long enough to cover much new ground with another flagship release? There’s quite a bit of notable repetition between Z3 and Z4 here. A great sounding phone nonetheless, and we see the appeal to newcomers to the Xperia brand but there’s not a great deal on offer to those looking to upgrade. We’ll just have to find out when it’s released, whenever that may be.

Despite our not being able to read Japanese we suggest a look at the announcement on the Sony.jp website where there are some pictures of an interesting windowed case and what appears to be a charging dock with stand.

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