The Sony Xperia XZ3 is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most exciting Sony Mobile smartphones to come from the trusted brand in years. Its successor therefore, has some pretty big shoes to fill.
Here is everything we know so far about the Xperia XZ4 and XZ4 Compact, along with a little of what we would like to see for good measure.
Sony Xperia XZ4 release date and price
- Likely to be launched at MWC 2019
- Predicting 25 February 2019
Sony Mobile typically announces several smartphones every year. In the past, its portfolio has consisted of budget, mid-range, sub-flagship and flagship, all under the Xperia umbrella, though not quite as many are released these days.
The company does refresh its sub-flagship range, now called the Xperia XZ (previously Xperia Z), every six months however, which means the Xperia XZ4 is due to be announced at Mobile World Congress, which takes place at the end of February 2019.
In 2018, Sony announced the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact at the Barcelona show, followed by the XZ2 Premium a couple of months later. The XZ3 then appeared at IFA 2018 in Berlin, but no Compact model launched with it. There has been talk of an XZ4 Compact though so we're hoping the Compact model is returning in 2019.
There is currently nothing official, but we're expecting to see the Xperia XZ4 and XZ4 Compact announced on or around 25 February 2019. We'd expect the larger model to be priced around the same as the XZ3, so near the £699 mark.
Xperia XZ4 design
- IP65/68 expected
- Could be larger than XZ3
- Side-mounted fingerprint sensor again?
The Sony Xperia XZ3 shook up the Xperia range completely. It moved away from the OmniBalance design we had come to expect from Xperia devices, switching to a curved rear, slimmer edges and reduced bezels around the display.
We'd expect the Xperia XZ4 to continue down a similar design path, though we'd like to see at least the dual camera from the XZ2 Premium make its way onto this range. The fingerprint sensor on the XZ3 is a little low so a slight reposition of that would be welcomed, as would further reduced bezels around the display.
Based on some CAD renders from @OnLeaks and MySmartPrice, the Xperia XZ4 could move back to featuring a side fingerprint sensor though. The renders show the dedicated camera button in the same position it has been in on Xperia devices for some time, along with a power button, volume rocker and fingerprint sensor all on the right edge.
At the bottom, there is USB Type-C, no surprises there, while the rear has three camera lenses in the centre at the top and the front sees what appears to be slimmer bezels at the top and bottom of the display, like Samsung's S9 and S9+.
According to the CAD images, the Xperia XZ4 will measure 166.9 x 72.4 x 8.2mm, which is a pretty big increase from the 158 x 73 x 9.9mm dimensions of the XZ3. Bear in mind these CAD images are not official, though most of what they suggest is plausible, even if we aren't convinced about the fingerprint sensor, especially given the XZ4 is expected to be slimmer than the XZ3.
We'd be very surprised to see Sony move back to a side-mounted fingerprint sensor after it switched to rear for the Xperia XZ2 but it typically takes a while to jump on trends too - Quad HD for example, so we're not expecting an in-display sensor just yet either. You never know though.
Xperia XZ4 Compact design
- 3.5mm headphone jack might stay
- Shorter and fatter than XZ4
- Rumoured measurements: 139.9 x 66.5 x 9.3mm
The Sony Xperia XZ4 Compact has also appeared in some leaked renders, again created by @OnLeaks, this time published on CompareRaja. The images show a similar design to what we have seen from the Compact device in the past, with a shorter and fatter body than its larger sibling.
The XZ4 Compact appears to have a single camera lens on the rear, a side-mounted power button with integrated fingerprint sensor, large bezels at the top and bottom of the display like previous generations, a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB Type-C. It is reported to measure around 139.9 x 66.5 x 9.3mm.
Based on the leaked renders, it looks like Sony will stick to the tried and tested design for the Compact model.
Xperia XZ4 and XZ4 Compact displays
- OLED expected for XZ4
- 6.5-inch/5-inch rumoured
- Quad HD+ expected for XZ4
- HDR for XZ4
Just as we don't expect to see an in-display fingerprint sensor, it would also be surprising to see Sony opt for a notched display on the XZ4 too - like OnePlus 6T - and we certainly don't expect to see a slider phone - like the Honor Magic 2.
The Xperia XZ3 has an excellent display so we'd expect the XZ4 to carry this forward, though the CAD images suggest the display will increase to 6.5-inches, compared to the 6-inch screen found on the XZ3. It's also claimed it might not be curved like the XZ3, which would be a real shame.
We're expecting Sony to use OLED for the XZ4 panel, whatever size it is, and we'd expect at least a Quad HD+ resolution again. Sony was highly praised for the XZ3's display so we don't expect it to drop the ball in this area for the successor.
Mobile HDR will undoubtedly be on board the XZ4, along with Sony's X-Reality, Triluminos and HDR up-conversion technologies. We'd also expect a 18:9 ratio, or thereabouts. There have been some rumours of a 21:9 aspect ratio display though, with renders of the device and a screen protector supporting the claims.
Frequent leaker Ice Universe supports the 21:9 aspect ratio too, tweeting some details claiming the screen protector they have sees the XZ4's display measuring 152mm, similar to the iPhone XS Max. If true, the Xperia XZ4 will sport a particularly tall display compared to its competitors though it still has some bezels in the leaks, unlike what is expected for Samsung's S10.
The XZ4 Compact meanwhile, is rumoured to be coming with a 5-inch display. We wouldn't expect OLED or a Quad HD+ resolution for the smaller model to keep costs down. It also looks like it will feature a more standard 16:9 aspect ratio based on the leaked renders.
Sony Xperia XZ4 cameras
- Triple lens rear camera rumoured for XZ4
Based on the CAD leaks from MySmartPrice, the Sony Xperia XZ4 will come with three camera lenses on the rear, a trend the Huawei P20 Pro kick started when it launched in the first half of 2018.
The site didn't specify what the three lens system would feature on the XZ4 but we'd expect a main sensor, a telephoto sensor for zoom and a depth sensor for those popular bokeh effect images. We'd also expect the Motion Eye memory-stacked sensor to play a part somewhere, allowing for super slow-motion video at 1080p.
Sony has used AI within its smartphone camera system for years with features like predictive capture, so we'd expect to see those again on the XZ4, with a few improvements likely too.
The company has some serious competition in this field, with Huawei, Google and Samsung all knocking it out of the park in terms of camera results so it's an area Sony will hopefully focus on for the XZ4, given it's the area that let the XZ3 down slightly.
The XZ4 Compact meanwhile, is expected to come with a single rear camera.
Hardware and software
- Qualcomm Snapdragon platform expected
- At least 4GB RAM/64GB storage
- Android Pie
Sony has been one of Qualcomm's most loyal fans, so it is expected the Xperia XZ4 will feature the latest chipset from the company. This chipset is the Snapdragon 855, announced at Qualcomm's Summit in December 2018.
Alongside the latest Snapdragon platform, we'd expect the Xperia XZ4 to offer at least 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, as well a microSD support up to 512GB. We wouldn't be too surprised to see an increase in RAM and internal storage though.
The Xperia XZ3 features a 3330mAh battery capacity so we'd expect similar for the XZ4, though if the size increase MySmartPrice suggests is accurate, we could see an increase here too. Wireless charging will no doubt be supported though, along with fast charging.
In terms of software, the Xperia XZ4 will almost certainly launch on Android Pie with Sony's software over the top. We'd expect features like Side Sense, which launched on the Xperia XZ3 to be on board, along with a couple of new additions.
We will update this feature as new rumours appear regarding the Xperia XZ4 so keep checking back.