Sony has announced its first flagship smartphone in its Xperia line, the Xperia XZ, as well as its latest smaller handset, the Xperia X Compact phone. Both models, which were unveiled at the IFA 2016 conference in Berlin on Sept. 1, include improved cameras and other upgrades.
The Xperia XZ (pictured) is a water-resistant phone that features a 5.2-inch full HD 1080p TRILUMINOS touch-screen display with a curved Corning Gorilla Glass cover, a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and 3GB of memory. Users also have a choice of a single SIM model with 32GB of eMMC storage or a dual SIM model that provides 64GB of storage. Both models include a microSD card slot that accepts memory cards of up to 256GB for expanded storage.
The Xperia XZ also includes a 23-megapixel rear-facing main camera with triple image sensing technology, predictive auto-focusing capabilities, 5x zoom and 4K video capture, a 13-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.0 lens, and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor for device and user security.
The flagship 4G LTE handset is a GSM phone that also includes a 2,900mAh battery, quick-charging capabilities, a USB Type-C port and WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, Google Cast and near-field communications (NFC) connectivity.
The smartphone meets IP68 standards for water, dust, dirt, temperature and vibration resistance and runs the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. The device includes stereo speakers and front-facing surround sound, and is 5.74 inches long, 2.83 inches wide and 0.31 inches thick, while weighing 5.67 ounces. It also includes PS4 Remote Play capabilities for gaming fans. It will be available in Forest Blue, Mineral Black or Platinum colors when it launches around the world in October. Pricing has not yet been announced.
The Xperia X Compact Smartphone
Sony's other new handset, the Xperia X Compact, features a 4.6- inch HD (720p resolution) TRILUMINOS curved touch-screen display with a Corning Gorilla Glass cover, a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor, 3GB of memory, 32GB of onboard eMMC storage and a microSD slot that accepts memory cards of up to 256GB for expanded storage.
The Xperia X Compact, which also includes a 23-megapixel rear-facing main camera with triple image sensing technology, predictive auto-focusing capabilities and 5x zoom, features full HD 1080p video capabilities, as well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.0 lens.
In addition, the Xperia X Compact phone includes a 2,700mAh battery, quick-charging capabilities, PS4 Remote Play capabilities for gaming fans, a USB Type-C port, and WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, Google Cast and NFC connectivity.
The smartphone is a 4G LTE handset that works on GSM networks and runs the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. The phone, which also includes a fingerprint sensor for device and user security, is 5.07 inches long, 2.55 inches wide and 0.37 inches thick, while weighing 4.76 ounces. It will be available in Mist Blue, Universe Black or White colors when it launches around the world in September. Pricing has not yet been announced.
The two new handsets come from Sony after rumors circulated in May that the company has been looking at streamlining its Xperia Z, Xperia C and Xperia M smartphone product lines to offer fewer models. Sony has been having a tough time in the global smartphone wars for the last several years, as it has watched its worldwide market share fall from 2 to 3 percent just a few years ago to less than 1 percent in 2016, according to the latest figures from analyst group Strategy Analytics.
"They used to have a much larger share," analyst Linda Sui told eWEEK in a Sept. 2 interview. "Now Sony has lost ground to Huawei and other Chinese companies."
Sony and other older, established handset makers such as LG and BlackBerry continue to be pressured on all sides by intense competition from Samsung, Apple, Huawei, ZTE and other smartphone makers around the world.
Presently, Sony lists 13 smartphone models on its Xperia website, including series Z, X, M and C smartphones. With fewer product line designations, Sony could focus on one promotional and sales campaign, rather than spreading itself thin in the market against huge competitors like Samsung and Apple, which lead the global smartphone sales wars.