The Sony Xperia Z series of phones certainly have some decent specs and great cameras, but they have made relatively little headway in the US. The Xperia Z4 never got a launch in the country, and the Z5 has been out for a few months in Europe. Now, Sony has announced its launching the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact in the US on February 7.
Sony is launching them in the US as unlocked GSM phones. So that means that they’ll work on any GSM network such as AT&T.
The Xperia Z5 is the slightly higher specification model that will be retailing at $599. The Z5 Compact will be available at $499. The main difference between them is their displays and dimensions. The Compact model has a 4.6-inch HD (720p) display compared with the Z5’s 5.2-inch FHD (1080p) display. Note that neither of the US models will have fingerprint recognition.
Both the models will come with the Android 5.1 Lollipop. However, Sony has also announced it will be rolling out Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates for the Xperia range in February. Those upgrades will include the Z5 and Z5 Compact models. There will also be Xperia Z4, Z3 and Z2 Android 6 updates.
The Z5 phone is a Sony flagship that has some decent specs. It includes a Snapdragon 810 chipset with 1.5 GHz CPU. The phone has microSD storage up to 200 GB. In addition, it has 3 GB RAM and a 2,900 mAh battery.
However, the Xperia Z5’s camera is what really sets the handset apart from rivals. The Z5 boasts a 23-megapixel camera on the back. That can also record video at 2160p@30fps. It’s a high-end camera more than a match for Apple and Samsung phones.
Overall, Sony is some way behind Samsung and Apple in the US market. IDC ranked Sony 14th in the US mobile industry. Consequently, this recent announcement highlights that Sony is attempting to make up some lost ground in the country.
The industry analyst Patrick Moorhead stated, “A lot of Sony’s core technology is camera sensors, so it’s odd that a company really good at miniaturization and cameras would consider getting out of smartphones and not have a big presence there.”
Sony has made the announcement for the Z5 US launch just before MWC. Then some expect Sony to unveil the Xperia Z6 phone at the show. If that comes out in the United States a little sooner, Xperia phones could become more competitive in the US.