It’s only been a little over a year and a half since we were introduced to Sony’s Xperia Z line of smartphones, and already we are on the 4th generation of the device. About every 6 months, Sony brings out a new Xperia Z model, each time having more features and power than the last. The latest iteration of the Xperia Z, the Xperia Z3, has been one of the most popular headlining smartphones of the season. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Sony’s track record for smartphone releases has been a little overwhelming, especially compared to competition. Rumors and leaks of Sony’s Xperia Z4 are already surfacing.
Technology has always been a fast-paced industry, and the mobile branch is no exception to the rule. Each year we are showcased with bigger, better, and occasionally more innovative smartphones. Most manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, LG and Apple will only release one major flagship (per line) each year. Not Sony, though. Sony makes fast technology move along even faster with these 6 month releases, and for some people, this really takes away the experience of feeling like they have the biggest and baddest phone on the market - at least for a little while.
I can see how some people might feel torn when it comes to purchasing a Sony Xperia Z phone knowing this information. You can either buy an Xperia Z now and relish the moment where you’ve got one of the best phones in the business, OR, if you can wait 6 months, you can purchase the same Xperia Z phone at a cheaper price and while you might not have the most powerful smartphone on the market, you’ve still got something pretty nice and you didn’t have to pay as much for it.
Neither option sound that bad in reality, but sometimes it’s a nice feeling knowing that you have one of the best smartphones on the market for a little while. It can be hard to feel that confident in your purchase when you know something better is coming from the same manufacturer in just 6 months’ time - and from the same line, too! This isn’t like the Samsung Galaxy S line vs. the Samsung Galaxy Note, which essentially serve two different purposes - this is the same line competing with itself.
On the other hand, a 6-month refresh isn’t really that bad, either. Maybe you’re not going to have the best of the best from your manufacturer for an entire year before a new model rolls out, but it’s not like your phone suddenly turns to dust once a new phone comes out. Your phone will still be a really nice phone for at least a year or two, and the 6-month refresh (at least on the Xperia Z phones) doesn’t seem to be so detrimental that you suddenly need to look at your old Xperia Z phone with utter disgust every time you need to use it. Just some updated specs, but generally nothing too innovative. With Android’s software seemingly improving older phones for the most part, specs are staying relevant for longer - it’s not like the olden days of Android where you had to be super careful with updating software.
I’m going to have to say that Sony’s 6-month refresh strategy must be doing them some good. I didn’t hear too much about the Xperia Z, heard a little more about the Z1, heard a bit more about the Z2, and I’m suddenly hearing a whole lot about the Z3 line. Maybe it’s due to better availability, but I also think that Sony must be getting something right despite these faster-than-average hardware updates. Until it stops working for them, they should probably stick to it - I would really like to see Sony succeed, because they’re making some quality phones lately.
Images via CNet