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Apr 20, 2015

Sony Xperia Z4 to Sell Only in Japan, Another Flagship for the Global Market Coming in May

In an unexpected move today, Sony pulled the veil off the Xperia Z4 flagship we have been seeing leak online for the past few months.

We weren't anticipating the phone to be making a debut today, but here it is, boasting a look very similar to the previous Xperia Z3 handset. Which is to say Sony hasn't really toyed with the overall design schematics of the new phone. Naturally, you’re going to see a bunch of subtle improvements, but nothing too out of the ordinary really. The phone has been made a tad lighter and skinnier and there’s the Snapdragon 810 under the hood to juice things up, but apart from it, that’s about it. Anyway, it was pretty puzzling that Sony decided to launch the Xperia Z4 without making a big fuss about it, after all we’re talking about a flagship device.

Sony Xperia Z4 is exclusive to Japan
Well, a new piece of information sheds light on why Sony chose to make a quiet rollout. According to the Russian Hi-Tech.Mail.Ru website, the Sony Xperia Z4 will be marketed only in Japan and won’t be made available on the international market, in this exact configuration. So what about the rest of the world? Will we be left out? Well, it appears that Sony is prepping a different flagship device for the global market with an official announcement date likely scheduled for around May. We’re not sure what these differences are going to be all about, but in all possibility the international Xperia Z4 model might not be all that different from the Japanese version.

On the other hand, Sony could be looking to make some hardcore modifications. Not so long ago we told you that information concerning Sony’s next-gen flagship, the Xperia Z5, had already leaked out into the world. So could there be a connection between Sony’s next international flagship and the Xperia Z5? It could be. Yet, the earlier report said the Xperia Z5 would take advantage of Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 820 platform, which should be out towards the end of the year.

But given that Sony is poised to roll out a global version for its latest flagship in May, the two pieces of info don’t seem to be adding up. So we’ll just have to wait and see what else surfaces about Sony’s international flagship. We’ll update you when it happens.

Sony Xperia Z4
Image credits to Sony Mobile

Sony Xperia Z4 vs. Huawei P8 (Specs Shootout)

Spring seems to be a good season to launch flagship devices, and lots of phone makers are doing it. To make a point, last week we saw Huawei unveil its P8 handset during a press event, and this week, quite unexpectedly, Sony has pulled the veil off the Xperia Z4.

But the Japanese tech giant didn't do it with bells and whistles and contented itself with rolling out its latest flagship device via a press release where we’re given the hard, cold facts. No fancy media event involved. If you’re a bit confused by the flagship avalanche and you’re wondering which smartphone model might be worth your buck, we’re here to offer you a detailed comparison between the two new top-tier devices.

The Huawei P8 arrives with a metal unibody similar to what you’ve seen with the iPhone 6 and HTC One M9. But Huawei ditched the subtle curvature in order to offer a device that’s rectangular in shape, which actually makes holding it in your hand a bit awkward. Unlike other phone makers (Samsung immediately comes to mind), Huawei hasn't ventured in any new territory while its design schematics are concerned, and that might be a good thing for those who love the way the company does things. The phone comes with a relatively thin body of 7.5 mm / 0.25 inches (although the Sony phone beats it) and a weight of 144 g / 0.31 lbs.

As for the new Sony Xperia Z4, the phone is extremely similar to its predecessor, the Z3. It comes with a metal frame and a glass body that hides the fairly large battery. However, compared to the previous model, the Xperia Z4 is a tad slimmer, coming at 6.9 mm / 0.27 inches, and a bit lighter at 144 g / 0.31 lbs (its predecessor tipped the scales at 152 g / 0.33 lbs).

Huawei is a very well-known proponent of FHD displays on smartphones, so the P8 arrives with a 5.2-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The company claims that, this way, the battery life won’t be subjected to too much strain.

Meanwhile, Sony’s new Xperia Z4 utilizes the same display standard. The phones are identical in size, meaning the Xperia Z4 also comes with a 5.2-inch display with FHD res. However, if we’re to listen to the rumor mill, Sony will also push out a QHD version, as the market’s standard dictates today.

Well, the Huawei P8 brings something quite interesting in the photo department. The camera sensor inside the new flagship works with four types of sub-pixels including Red, Green, Blue and White. This setup should make the snapper mode efficient in low-lighting environments. The 13MP main shooter benefits from optical image stabilization and can rotate up to 1.6° which is double than what the iPhone 6 Plus camera can do. The selfie-centric camera is of a 8MP variety. The image processor inside the shooter will apparently be able to bestow DSLR quality to the images, but such statements are yet to be verified.

As for the Sony Xperia Z4, the main camera is a bit more impressive, being of a 20.7MP capacity with 4K video capabilities, exactly as the one on the Z3. Up in front we find a 5.1MP camera for video calls and selfies.

In the hardware department, the Huawei P8 takes advantage of the company’s home-grown HiSilicone Kirin 930 chip with 2GHz octa-core CPU on the inside, fitted with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. A negative point here is that the flagship lacks a microSD slot for storage expansion. Just like the Samsung Galaxy S6, the P8 doesn't offer a user replaceable battery. However, if you prefer something more traditional in terms of silicone, the Xperia Z4 has a Snapdragon 810 processor running under its hood (like on the HTC One M9) fitted with the same 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

The good news is that, even if the rumor mill whispered at some point that the Xperia Z4 might be losing its microSD card slot in the vein of the Galaxy S6, this didn't prove to be the case. So luckily, those needing more storage will be able to increase it via microSD up to 128GB. We should also mention that Sony’s smartphone is IP67-certified for dust, and also IP5 and IP8-certified for water.

Operating system
Both flagships run Android 5.0 out of the box, but the Huawei P8 has the company’s EMUI 3.1 UI plastered on top, which brings along an interesting feature. It’s called Knuckle Gestures and allows users to double tap with their knuckles on the screen and take a screenshot. They can also crop it out with help from their knuckles. Albeit we’re not told in the press release, Sony is probably bundling its phone with its usual skin that is riddled with lots of extra applications and features. If this is a good thing or not, it’s up for users to decide.

The Huawei P8 runs on a 2,680 mAh battery, while the Sony Xperia Z4 is sustained by a tad larger 2,930 mAh battery, but neither has been rated by their respective manufacturer. So at this moment, we can’t tell you anything about how long the phones can survive on a single charge.

The Huawei P8 will be available in four colors including Mystic Champagne, Prestige Gold, Titanium Gray and Carbon Black. The 16GB model will go on sale in Europe around May for a price of €499 / $530. The 64GB variant will start selling for €599 / $635.

As for the Sony Xperia Z4, the company is offering it in Aqua Green, Black, Copper and White versions. The handset will go on sale later this summer in Japan only, and Sony kept mum about pricing specifications.

What will you choose, the Huawei P8 or Sony Xperia Z4
Image credits to Huawei/Sony Mobile

This is Why Microsoft Doesn’t Want to Kill Windows Phone

It’s a well-known fact that Windows Phone is well behind Android and iOS in terms of market share across the world, and it’s also no secret that several experts and analysts recommended Microsoft to simply give up on its mobile platform and concentrate on what it does best.

But there’s no doubt that Windows Phone is here to stay, and with Windows 10 Microsoft is getting even more serious about its mobile efforts, with the company trying to bring together all of its platforms. And as far as a former designer who worked for Windows Phone is concerned, Microsoft not only that doesn’t want to kill the smartphone OS, but it also needs it to continue its mobile push because, as he said in an AMA on Reddit, a small market share is better than nothing. Right now, Windows Phone has somewhere between 2.5 and 3.0 percentage points in market share, according to various research firms, but Microsoft needs to keep Windows Phone alive because they have to compete in the mobile OS market as well.

“Windows Phone is small, relatively speaking. But absolutely speaking it still sells a lot of units. And they can’t not have an OS. So it’d be nice if they had more market on mobile, but having zero just topples the whole strategy,” he said.

Windows Phone 8.1 devices will be upgradeable to Windows 10
When Windows 10 will become available later this year, Microsoft will allow all devices running Windows Phone 8.1 to install it at absolutely no charge, with the company saying that handsets with 512 MB of RAM would support the OS with some feature limitations. This is needed because of the obvious hardware restrictions created by the reduced amount of memory, but no matter the device, everyone should be able to experience the new operating system when it launches. According to AMD, Windows 10 is likely to debut in late July, with some sources saying that RTM is scheduled for June. At this point, it’s not yet clear if the phone version can launch together with the PC flavor or shortly after that.

Nokia Lumia 1020
Image credits to Nokia/Microsoft

Sony Xperia Z4 Officially Introduced with 5.2-Inch Display, Snapdragon 810 CPU

Japanese handset maker Sony Mobile has just announced its new flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z4. The phone does seem to look like the devices shown in the pictures leaked in the last couple of weeks, so there's no surprise here.

There aren't any surprises when it comes to specs either, but let's take it step by step. First of all, the Xperia Z4 doesn't come with a full-metal body, though it does feature a metal frame. Software-wise, Sony Xperia Z4 ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system out of the box. As expected, the smartphone is IP67 certified for dust, but the device is also IP5 and IP8 certified for water. According to Sony, the Xperia Z4 will be available in Aqua Green, Black, Copper and White. The smartphone should go on sale later this summer in Japan, after which it will be rolled out globally.

It will go on sale later this summer in Japan
When it comes to hardware, Sony's latest flagship smartphone has been confirmed to pack a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD card slot. Sony Xperia Z4 is only 6.9mm thin, which makes it even thinner than its Xperia Z3 predecessor. On the back, the smartphone boasts an impressive 20.7-megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, while in the front there's a secondary 5.1-megapixel camera for video calls and great selfies. It's also worth mentioning that the Xperia Z4 will be powered by a non-removable 2,930 mAh battery, which hasn't been rated by the manufacturer yet.

Along with Xperia Z4's announcement, Sony also unveiled a handful of accessories, which will be released on the market around the same timeframe as the smartphone. A waterpoof Cover Window, as well as desktop holder will be available for purchase later this summer too.

Sony Xperia Z4
Images credits to Sony Mobile

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