Sony India is all set to launch its latest and greatest smartphones, the Z5 Plus (or Premium) — reportedly the world’s first smartphone with a 4K or UHD display and the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, which will come with a 4.6-inch display.
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It will be the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium that will be of most interest, not least because of its price. The phone is expected to cost upwards of Rs 75,000 – a sort of record for the Indian market. Of course, part of the reason for the high price is the sudden decline in the value of the rupee against the dollar.
Still, even iPhones are priced below Rs 70,000 at launch in India.
According to our sources, Sony seems to have gone all out on the Z5 Plus model and spared no expense. The phone is, not surprisingly, targeted at the well heeled.
One of the ways in which the phone excels is with its 4K display. Reports that the phone will come with a UHD display have been met with incredulity, because that is exactly four times the highest resolution that you can get on any Sony Xperia phone at present.
Unlike competitors like LG and Samsung, Sony has still not moved to Quad-HD displays for its flagships, while competitors moved from full-HD to Quad-HD between 1 to 1.5 years ago.
A full-HD display has 2 mln pixels or dots on it, while a quad-HD display has 4 mln and a 4K (or UHD) display has 8 mln.
4K displays are currently found only on TVs and computer monitors, they cost Rs 40,000 or more at present. Squeezing in that many pixels onto the 5.5-inch screen would result in a pixel density of over 800 dots per inch.
In comparison, the iPhone 6 Plus has a pixel density of 400 per inch while the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus has a resolution of 520 pixels per inch.
In other words, a 4K pixel density is truly unprecedented for a phone.
Of course, it is possible that the rumors of a UHD display are false and that the phone may actually come with only a 5.5-inch QHD display.
Other reported specifications of the Z5 Plus (or Premium) include a Snapdragon 820 processor. The Snapdragon 820 is among the most powerful smartphone processors in the world right now, though it is under threat from Exynos 7420, LG NUCLUN 2 and Huawei Kirin 950. (The SD 820 scores about 1500 in Geekbench single core tests, while the Kirin 950 has been reported to score about 1950. A score of 2,000 implies enough power to run a laptop with.)
The second great advance will be in the area of camera technology. All three smartphones will come with 23 MP cameras with F1.8 aperture and 1/2.2 inch sensors.
The camera will have a unique ‘multi-focus’ feature that lets users keep a larger area in focus compared to traditional cameras. Nokia had tried something similar with its E7.
The cameras on the Xperia Z5 will have “super-fast 0.1 second hybrid 192 pazovani “PDAF” autofocus. Another clue was dropped by Xperia Britain, which tweeted “Get ready for a smartphone with greater focus. All will become clear on 02.09.2015” indicating that the phone is likely going to be launched across the world on the day it is going to be unveiled in India.
It has also been reported that all three phones — the Z3, the Z3 Compact and the Z3 Plus — will be waterproof, though their design will show some departures from what we’ve seen in the past in Xperia models (see leaked pictures from Twitter user Vizileaks below).
There are some other leaks that seem to point to a different kind of design as well.
There is also some confusion about which models will launch in India, with some international reports saying that the Z5 Premium or Plus model will be exclusive to the US market.
However, according to our sources in India, Sony will definitely launch the Z5 Plus in India. In fact, since the Z5 (without the Plus) comes with a 5.2-inch full-HD display, there would be little point in launching the model in India where it only weeks ago introduced the similarly speced Z3 Plus.
In fact, it is more than likely that Sony may launch only two models in India – the 4.6-inch ‘Compact’ version and the 5.5-inch ‘Plus’ version, much like HTC did with its M9 series. The Taiwanese brand launched the M9 Plus — which had a 5.5-inch quad-HD display — while not launching the M9, which came with a 5-inch full-HD display, in India.