​Sony reveals its new Xperia Z4 smartphone

Sony has updated its flagship Xperia Z4 but don't expect too many changes on the Z3 besides a better front camera and an updated processor.

The Sony Xperia Z4. Image: Sony

Sony has announced a new flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z4 - but the handset doesn't stray much from the specs of its predecessor.

The Xperia Z4, which should be hitting the shelves this summer, offers a few refinements compared to last year's Xperia Z3, including a more powerful front-facing camera for better selfies, the latest Snapdragon processor, and a slightly slimmer and lighter body.

However, it looks like when it came to specs, Sony largely thought the Z3 was good enough.

The new handset will ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop and includes Qualcomm's latest 64-bit octacore Snapdragon 810 processor with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, and microSD support up to 128GB. Besides the updated processor, those specs are the same as the Z3.

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While Sony has retained the same basic design as the Z3 for its successor, the Z4 is about a millimetre thinner than the Z3: it's 6.9mm thick, 72mm wide, and 146mm long. Weighing 144g, the Z4 is also a tad lighter than the Z3's 152g.

For the Z4 Sony has kept the 20.7-megapixel main camera from the Z3 but bumped up the front camera from 2.2 megapixels to five megapixels - seemingly the minimum even for mid-range devices such as its recently released Xperia M4. Nothing's changed on the screen front between the Z3 and Z4: they both carry a 5.2-inch display, with resolution at 1920 x 1080 pixels. Like the Z3, the Z4 has a 25mm wide-angle lens.

One difference between the two devices is the Z4's slightly smaller battery, which has a capacity of 2930 mAh instead of 3000 mAh on the Z3. Like other Sony devices, the Z4 is water and dustproof.

So far, Sony has only announced the device will be released in Japan, alongside new covers with a display window and a desktop holder accessory. It's not known when the device will reach international markets, and there has been no pricing confirmed yet.

The Z4 smartphone follows Sony's release of its companion Z4 tablet earlier this year.

Despite only minor changes, Sony's new smartphone will offer an alternative to HTC's One M9 and Samsung's new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

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