We know what you’re thinking: “It’s only been a couple of months since Sony unveiled the Xperia Z3 – why are you rambling on about its successor already?”
Well, chances are we’ll see the Xperia Z4 a lot sooner than you might think, because Sony has kicked off a six monthly cycle for its top-of-the-range smartphones. That means the Z4 could be on sale as early as February 2015, and rumours, speculation and leaks concerning the phone are already beginning to circulate. We’ve rounded them all up on this page, and there will be further updates as more emerge.
Rumours are strongly tipping Sony to go all out with the Xperia Z4’s screen: according to PhoneArena, it will come sporting a 5.4in (or possibly 5.5in) display with a QHD 2560 x 1440 resolution and the same Triluminos wide colour gamut technology as previous Xperia Z phones. There are already several phones with a QHD screen (there’s the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, LG G3 and Google Nexus 6, to name a few), so this doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.
Processing power and battery life
Initial rumours suggested the Z4 might be getting the long-awaited Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, but now it appears the slighty-less-powerful-but-still-pretty-beefy Snapdragon 805 is getting the nod. The 805 is used in the likes of the Google Nexus 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4, so we’d expect the Sony Z4’s performance to be in the same ballpark as these two (very powerful) handsets.
It’s also tipped for 4GB of RAM, which some might think a tad unnecessary for a current smartphone (mainly because of the increase to cost it could entail). The phone will run Android 5.0 Lollipop, which has a 64-bit kernel supporting 4GB, so it does make some sense. As for storage, one report suggests 32GB will be the standard capacity.
Reportedly, the battery will have a 3420mAh capacity. If that’s true, you can expect the Z4 to offer similar endurance to the impressively long-lasting Z3. We’ll take that.
Build and design
Sony’s Xperia range has always offered a strong, unified design language and leaked shots of the Z4 suggest it won’t be rocking the boat – this is a phone that looks a lot like the Xperia handsets already out there. That means we can expect superb build quality, plenty of metal and glass, and high levels of protection against dust and water.
Small changes are expected, however: rounder corners, and thinner bezels at the top and bottom of the screen.
The word on the street (i.e. the internet) is that the Sony Xperia Z4 will come with a 20.7MP camera. And while that’s the same number of megapixels as the current Z3’s (excellent) camera, it seems that Sony isn’t resting on its photographic laurels. The Z4 may sport the company’s newly announced IMX230 Exmor RS sensor, which offers speedy 192-point autofocus and real-time HDR, as well as two extra lens elements for sucking in more light, which would be a worthy upgrade.
The front camera is tipped for improvement too: it may be a 4.8MP snapper with a wide-angle lens (and therefore better for selfies).
And the Sony Xperia Z4 Ultra?
A more phabletty riff on the Z4 may well be launched alongside it. According to PhoneArena, it’ll come with the same chipset and RAM but a larger 5.9in screen and a slightly lower resolution camera (16MP, with dual LED flash), as well as an incredibly thin 5.7mm frame.
The Xperia Z3 was unveiled in early September of this year and, if we go by Sony’s previous six-month gap between flagship launches, that points to the Z4 getting its public reveal in March 2015. However, PhoneArena reports that it’ll be getting its public outing even earlier: January in fact, at the CES expo in Las Vegas. And the Z4 Ultra will apparently be right alongside it.
CES isn’t often used as a launchpad for phones (Mobile World Congress in February might have seemed like a more obvious platform), but it remains the world’s biggest consumer tech show, so why wouldn’t Sony make the most of it?
As for an on-sale date, we don’t know – but it would make sense for it to come no more than a few weeks after the initial unveiling.