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Sony Xperia Z4 chassis leak reveals thinner, more streamline design

Pictures of the Sony Xperia Z4 have leaked online, or at least pictures of supposed Xperia Z4 parts.

Sony is known for keeping to an aggressive 6-month cycle when it comes to its Xperia Z flagship series, and so many people have been wondering when the Xperia Z4 might show up. Sony said the smartphone wouldn’t debut at Mobile World Congress, and it more recently revealed that we should expect to see the Z4 sometime before September. While we wait for more details, an alleged leak of the Z4 s chassis has surfaced online.

The new images seem to reveal that Sony has maintained its Omnibalance language, but the company has moved a few things around still.

The microUSB port has been moved to the bottom and is now capless, for instance.

The Xperia Z4 will apparently also have only one port flap, which might contain the microSD and nano-SIM slots, though rumours have suggested Sony will drop support for microSD in the Xperia Z4.

Other changes include: very streamlined sides with minimal port flaps, the microphone being located on the bottom next to the USB port, and the absence of magnetic charging pins, among other things. The Xperia Blog1 noted that these chassis pictures came from the same source that leaked the alleged front panel pictures of the Xperia Z4 last autumn, indicating this latest batch of images might be legit.

The overall opinion of these photos, if they are indeed not fake, is that the Xperia Z4 will most likely have a 5.2-inch display and that its thickness has been reduced by 1mm.

Let us know in the comments what you think.

READ: Sony Xperia Z4 release date, rumours and everything you need to know2

References

  1. ^ The Xperia Blog (www.xperiablog.net)
  2. ^ Sony Xperia Z4 release date, rumours and everything you need to know (www.pocket-lint.com)

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air 2: What’s the difference?

Sony announced the Xperia Z4 Tablet at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, delivering what the Japanese company claims is the world’s slimmest and lightest 10-inch tablet.

It lands in a market with some stiff competition, from the HTC-designed Nexus 9 to the sleek and slender Samsung Tab S 10.1 and then you have the popular Apple iPad Air 2. So how does Sony’s new model compare?

Apple iPad Air 2 is smaller but Sony Xperia Z4 is lighter and waterproof

The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet measures 254 x 167 x 6.1mm,while the Apple iPad Air 2 is 240 x 169.5 x 6.1mm, so Apple’s model has a slightly smaller footprint overall.

The Xperia Z4 Tablet hits the scales at 389g for the Wi-Fi only model and 393g for the Wi-Fi and LTE option, both of which are lighter than the iPad Air 2’s 437g and 444g respective weights.

The Xperia Z4 Tablet and the iPad Air 2 both feature beautiful designs and they both opt for lovely rounded edges. An aluminium frame is present on both, but the iPad Air 2 brings the aluminium finish all the way around the rear, while Sony opts for a tactile matte finish on the back.

The iPad Air 2 also has Touch ID so you get fingerprint scanning on Apple’s model while Sony doesn’t have any kind of features like that.

The Xperia Z4 Tablet is IP65 and IP68 water and dust proof, whereas the iPad Air 2 won’t appreciate being dropped in the bath one little bit, but the colour finishes are a little more premium-looking on the iPad Air 2. Apple’s tablet comes in silver, gold and space grey options compared to the black and white offering from Sony.

Lastly when it comes to design, the Apple iPad Air 2’s speakers are next to the Lightning connector port, while the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet opts for front-facing stereo speakers that sit on the edge of the display’s bezel. Sony has introduced 3D Surround Sound technology, along with Clear Audio+ sound improvement software but Apple’s option also delivers decent sound.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet has a larger and sharper display

The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet has a 10.1-inch display that offers a resolution of 2560 x 1600, while the Apple iPad Air 2 offers a 9.7-inch display with a 2048 x 1536 resolution.

If you boil that down to pixel density, the Xperia Z4 Tablet has a 299ppi compared to the iPad Air 2’s 264ppi.

In theory, this means the Xperia Z4 Tablet has a sharper and crisper display than the iPad Air 2 and Sony also claims it is the brightest 2K display of its competition.

We thought the iPad Air 2 had a great display when we reviewed it, and the anti-glare coating helps limits reflections, but we were also impressed with the Xperia Z4 Tablet during our time with it at MWC 2015.

Same rear camera, but Sony Xperia Z4 has a better front snapper

The Sony Xperia Z4 pulls it out of the bag when it comes to the cameras, offering an 8.1-megapixel rear camera and a 5.1-megapixel front camera, compared to the Apple iPad Air 2’s 8-megapixel rear snapper and 1.2-megapixel front shooter.

Both the iPad Air 2 and the Xperia Z4 Tablet support 1080p HD video recording and both companies offer their own software features, but Sony delivers a few more in this area compared to Apple.

With the Xperia Z4 Tablet, you get the same suite of camera apps as the company’s flagship Xperia Z3 smartphone on both the front and rear cameras including Superior Auto, AR Fun and Timeshift Video, among plenty of others. The iPad Air 2 on the other hand, offers Burst Mode, excellent Slo-Mo video and features such as Timer Mode.

More app storage on the iPad Air 2 but more movie time on the Xperia Z4 Tablet

Both the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet and the Apple iPad Air 2 come with 64-bit processors under their hoods. The Xperia Z4 Tablet has a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset and Adreno 430 graphics, while Apple’s iPad Air 2 has the company’s latest A8X chip, and both will be speedy devices.

In terms of storage, the Xperia Z4 Tablet only has 32GB of internal memory in comparison to the iPad Air 2’s 16GB, 64GB and 128GB options.

The storage on the Sony is expandable via microSD up to 128GB however, while the iPad Air 2 isn’t, but microSD will only help when it comes to videos and photos for example, rather than apps.

In terms of battery, the Xperia Z4 Tablet has a 6000mAh capacity, compared to the iPad Air 2’s 27.3 watt-hour capacity. Sony promises up to 17 hours of video playback, while Apple offers up to just 10 hours so you can watch a couple more films on the Xperia Z4 Tablet.

Android or iOS

The software is where Sony and Apple head in very different directions. The iPad Air 2 runs on iOS 8, while the Xperia Z4 Tablet has Android 5.0 Lollipop on board.

Ultimately, it depends on which interface you’re either used to or which you prefer.

If you have an iPhone, you’ll probably opt for the iPad Air 2 because not only is it familiar, but everything will sync seamlessly across your devices. The same goes if you have an Android phone – the Xperia Z4 Tablet is likely to be the better option.

Both come with their own strengths but the Xperia Z4 Tablet users will automatically become Xperia Lounge Gold members, which offers you exclusive content and the Z4 Tablet also comes with the company’s Remote Play function, which allows you to play your PlayStation 4 remotely.

The iPad Air 2 has Siri as well as things like AirDrop and AirPlay, which are both handy if you have other Apple products, and there are more iPad specific apps than Android tablet apps.

Conclusion

The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet and the Apple iPad Air 2 are two lovely-looking devices, but it is the Sony that wins if you ignore design and look at the specs on their own.

The Xperia Z4 Tablet is lighter, waterproof, offers a larger and crisper display, plus it is said to last almost twice as long when it comes to video playback. There is a better front-facing camera and there is storage expansion via microSD to store all youyr content.

Additionally, PlayStation 4 owners also get the benefit of being able to play their console games remotely and the Xperia Z4 is likely to be significantly cheaper, even compared to the 16GB iPad Air 2.

The iPad Air 2 on the other hand has a smaller footprint, a more premium design, touch ID and if you opt for the highest storage option, you could download more apps than you would be able to on the Sony. The biggest storage capacity comes at a price though and at 559 for the Wi-Fi only model, it’s likely to cost around 200 more than Sony’s offering. Then you have the expansive app ecosystem that’s often half a step ahead of Android.

The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is probably as close to an iPad as you’ll get in the Android world, so you’re likely to be happy no matter which you choose.

At the end of the day, the specs don’t mean all that much if you prefer the design of over the other.

Why Sony Stock Is Up More Than 35% In 2015

Sony (NYSE: SNE1 2) is in the midst of a comeback effort that could change the company’s identity. Its comeback strategy has faltered and shifted in key ways, but the stock has been on an absolute tear the last six months, with its share price increasing just under 45% in that span.

2015 alone has seen the stock increase more than 35.6%, which puts the company’s price at a three-year high. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has gained just 2.02% so far in 2015.

Yet, even with Sony’s impressive gains, shares are still down roughly 20% from five years ago.

In order to better understand Sony’s trajectory, let’s take a look at some of the factors that have propelled its recent turnaround.

Tailwinds in the Japanese economy
In the October-December quarter, the Japanese economy grew 2.2%. The gain was a fair bit lower than the average estimate of 3.7% growth anticipated in a Reuters poll, but the emergence from the recession spurred on by an April 2014 consumption tax was still a welcome sign.

While the broader future of the Japanese economy remains somewhat shaky, the country has seen some notable progress, and Sony and its stock appear to be benefiting from “Abenomics.3” The Bank of Japan and the country’s Government Pension Investment Fund are increasing investment of public funds in large cap stocks, and it’s had a visible impact on local markets.

The Tokyo Price Index has gained roughly 30% in the last year and roughly 8.5% year to date, and the Nikkei 225 has climbed to 15-year highs. Large Japanese companies like Sony and Toyota are also benefiting from the weak yen that has resulted from the Bank of Japan’s quantitative easing measures.

Sony delivered a winner of a quarterly report
Sony reported results for its third quarter ended Dec.

31, 2014 in early February, and the earnings release prompted shares to jump nearly 15%. The average analyst estimate called for $20.1 billion in revenue and $1.13 billion in operating profit, but actual results for the period came in well ahead of expectations with revenue of $21.8 billion and $1.52 billion in operating profit.

Outperformance from the company’s image sensors and PlayStation businesses helped propel the beat, while its financial services segment performed well, as per usual, and accounted for the biggest share of quarterly operating income. Mobile performance for the quarter was once again disappointing, but the segment was still profitable thanks to favorable yen exchange rates.

The strong third quarter results for Sony followed up another strong performance in the previous quarter, and prompted the company to lower its anticipated yearly losses from 230 million yen to 170 million yen.

Sony looks to be trimming fat and swapping out the weakest of its “pillars
In 2012, CEO Kazuo Hirai touted a “One Sony” strategy that would see its segments integrate more efficiently and place special emphasis on the three pillars of mobile, gaming, and digital imaging.

The company hasn’t made much progress on the mobile front, with its phones lagging far behind competitors like Apple and Samsung in terms of sales and brand strength. Now, Sony is de-emphasizing mobile and views its movie, music, gaming, and imaging businesses as the key components to future success.

This recently announced shift was accompanied by the news that Sony would spin-off its camera and music player businesses into a wholly owned subsidiary, and that the company was considering the sale of its television and mobile phone businesses.

2014 already saw the company spin-off its television business, sell its PC division, and announce the lay-off of some 5,000 employees.

As Sony focuses on growing its image sensor, gaming, and entertainment businesses, it expects that it will be able to increase its operating profit from 20 billion yen for the fiscal year wrapped March 31 of this year to 500 billion yen in 2018. The company’s PlayStation 4 gaming system has great momentum, and has shipped roughly 20 million units, whereas its competitor Microsoft has shipped roughly 12 million Xbox Ones.

Profitability for the company’s gaming division should increase as costs come down and the installed base grows.

On the film side, a recent deal with Disney to bring Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe may better enable Sony to strengthen its own Spider-Man franchise, since Sony and Marvel are considering bringing other Marvel Cinematic Universe characters to future Spider-Man films.

The company’s image sensor business has the potential to grow as it continues to supply technology for phones and tablets from company’s like Apple and Samsung.

With these elements working in its favor, Sony should be able to increase earnings, but problem divisions like mobile and televisions may continue to limit gains.

Wall Street hacks Apple’s gadgets! (Investors, prepare to profit.)
Apple forgot to show you something at its recent event, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn’t miss a beat: There’s a small company that’s powering Apple’s brand-new gadgets.

And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors.

To be one of them, just click here4!

References

  1. ^ SNE (caps.fool.com)
  2. ^ Add SNE to My Watchlist (my.fool.com)
  3. ^ “Abenomics. (www.businessinsider.com)
  4. ^ click here (www.fool.com)
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