Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. We won’t blame you if you have a serious case of deja vu when you first lay your eyes upon the new Sony Xperia Z4, because it’s a dead ringer for its Xperia Z3 predecessor. If you think that HTC caught a lot of flak for its lazy (design wise) upgrade from the One M7 to One M8 to One M9, Sony won’t have it any easier this time around.
At first glance the Xperia Z4 looks like a dead ringer for its Xperia Z3 predecessor, but Sony has actually thinned the device out by 0.4mm and it now has a metal frame. Oh, and the micro USB is exposed this time around instead of being hidden beneath a moveable door (you still get IP65/68 water/dust resistance). But that’s about it when it comes to any noticeable design changes.
There are also some modest upgrades under the hood as well, as the Xperia Z4 gets upgraded from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor to the newer (and toastier) Snapdragon 810. You’ll also find 32GB of storage standard instead of 16GB, a 5.1MP front-facing “selfie” camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) instead of the old 2.2MP unit (the rear shooter retains its 20.1MP backside illuminated Exmor RS sensor), a bump from Bluetooth 4.0 to Bluetooth 4.1, LTE Cat. 9 instead of LTE Cat. 6 and a larger battery (3100 mAh versus 2930 mAh).
If you were hoping that Sony would opt for a higher resolution display this time around, you’ll be disappointed. The Xperia 4 still comes with a 5.2-inch 1080p Triluminos display.
The Xperia Z4 will come out of the box with Android 5.0 Lollipop installed and will be available in White, Black, Copper, and Green. The smartphone will initially be available only in Japan, but availability will likely soon open up to the rest of the world. Unfortunately for Sony — which is already facing significant pressure in the smartphone sector — it’s likely to face some pretty significant headwinds in the form of Samsung’s apparently unstoppable Galaxy S6 (and to a lesser extent, the Galaxy S6 Edge).