Sony took a Microsoft approach at this years Mobile World Congress, focusing on the mid-range for their Smartphone announcement, which is a shame as I was excited to see a potential Xperia Z4 Smartphone. Whilst we didn’t get an Xperia Z4 Phone, we did get a Tablet, as well a rather decent midrange offering, the M4 Aqua.
When Sony do something and put their mind to it, dang do it they do it right, this is Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet. In a word, the Xperia Z4 Tablet is easily the most exciting Tablet running Android 5.0 Lollipop we’ve seen, from it’s beautiful 10 inch 2K Display, to the powerful SnapDragon 810 Octa-Core Processor, this is the Tablet Android has been waiting that does replace the iPad.
The Z4 Tablet has a massive 2.0GHz (that’s Laptop clock-speed) 64-bit SnapDragon 810 Octa-Core processor, as we mentioned, backed up by 3GB RAM. Whilst 2K/UHD is honestly a stupid idea in our opinion on Smartphones, on Tablets of this size it just makes sense, with a very decent 299PPI.
As is the affair with Sony, the Xperia Z4 Tablet is indeed waterproof with full IP68 certification, if the picture didn’t give that away, meaning both dust and water resistance comes out of the box. Can see the use of dust, less water resistance for a Tablet, but good to have, does mean you’ll have to use those exciting doors however.
Like all Sony devices, the Xperia Z4 Tablet comes with great Camera, an 8MP Camera at the back and a 5.1MP Wide Angle Camera for the front. But, easily the most impressive thing about this device on the spec sheet is the insane 17 hours of Battery Life claim when consuming content, ousting Apple’s 10 hour mark easily, plus you’ve Sony’s well renowned Stamina Mode to add to that!
Everyone loves a good easter egg in any announcement, and I think we’ve found the one and only best feature of the Xperia Z4 Tablet, which pits it right there with Microsoft’s Surface line in terms of productivity.
One of the most not talked about features of Android, is how it interacts with keyboard and mouse, as you can see in the picture above, everything docks in almost like Chrome OS, except you’ve the power of that insane Octa-Core processor, in a tablet that can do all that.
If you hadn’t guessed, we really like this Tablet, and with good reason, the Xperia Z4 Tablet will launch in June of this year, it’s gonna be a long wait, but my will it be worth it.
Up next unfortunately is not a Z4, although based on the June timestamp for the Tablet we’d expect to see a Sony Z4 Flagship in June finally abandoning that 6 month barrier, but that’s now what we’re here to talk about, it’s this, the M4 Aqua.
Like with most M devices Sony announces they tend to announce a better Aqua version soon after and this is no exception. Whilst the M4 was nice, the M4 Aqua takes it that little step further with a more traditional Sony design and footprint, all in a very sizeable price tag.
Whilst the M4 Aqua looks set to range around Sony’s E line, it does have some aces up it’s sleeve, kicking off with a 5 inch 720pHD display and a very Xperia Z line styled design, which we’re really loving. Another thing we’re loving is, despite the fact it is IP65/IP68 water-proof, the microUSB port is not covered by a rubberised door so charging this thing won’t be in a word, annoying. The doors do make a comeback however with the SIM and microSD slots.
Whilst the M4 Aqua will probably be mistaken for a Z3 and rightfully so, the feel in the hand is all new. The M4 Aqua is plastic built all around whether in Crimson, Black or White, but despite the plastic and much thinner profile, the M4 Aqua definitely stands up to its own.
It can definitely hold it’s own too, powering the M4 Aqua is a powerful 64-bit Qualcomm SnapDragon 615 Processor backed up by, a very decent for mid-ranger, 2GB of RAM. The device also has a decent 13MP Camera and 5MP front facer as well with all of Sonys party tricks included, and not forgetting Sony’s dual front speakers. The phone should last quite a whilst too, based on how power efficient the 615 Processor is with a 2400mAh batter.
The M4 Aqua also gives us a taste of Sony’s skin under Lollipop which Sony have done really well with. Sections such as the Notification tray completely take the stock Lollipop approach, whereas areas like the App Drawer and Sony apps, is where Sony kept it their own.
Availability of the M4 Aqua remains as “in the Spring”, but we can’t wait to check out Sony’s true mid-range phone with actually very decent specifications.
So there you have it, Sony’s MWC may not feature a brand new flagship to win them all, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint in every other area. The M4 Aqua, a mid-range phone done correctly, and the incredible Z4 Tablet, both of which we can’t wait to check out upon there unfortunate quite a while release time.