LG and Sony have both revealed their next flagship models, following hot on the heels of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9.
LG’s offering is the G4, which is visually striking with a neon-coloured interface and leather case. It’s also beefed up its specs, adding better front- and rear-facing cameras, more storage and a faster processor. Sony, meanwhile, has taken a different approach, launching the Xperia Z4 with minimum fanfare and only minor upgrades to the specs and little difference in terms of the visual design.
“We are living up to our promise of Innovation for a Better Life with a fashionable, premium smartphone,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We wanted to give consumers a truly human-centric device that combined the analog sensibilities with technologies that delivered real world performance. This is the most ambitious phone we’ve ever created.”
As well as the fashion-forward leather case, the LG G4 is also available with so-called ‘Ceramic’ cases, which are actually made of plastic, but have a futuristic angular texture. The 5.5-inch Quad HD display is also slightly curved – not to the extent of the LG G Flex 2, but it does add an elegant finish.
However, its not just about the looks. The camera has also been upgraded, with a 16MP rear shooter that sports a wide f/1.8 aperture lens. The laser-guided sight that was so popular on the LG G3, also remains on the G4 as an added plus. The G4 will also be the first device to officially use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor.
“LG and Qualcomm Technologies collaborated from the initial stage of the Snapdragon 808 introduction to expertly tune the technologies and make several of the LG G4’s unique features possible,” said Paul E. Jacobs, the executive chairman of Qualcomm International. “The resulting G4 smartphone is an ideal example of how the
best optimised technologies come together to meet consumers’ needs.”
As early online leaks suggested, the LG have confirmed the G4 has also gained a 3,000mAh battery, which they says is also 11 per cent faster than its previous model. Crucially, the battery is also removable, a feature Samsung abandoned for the Galaxy S6, much to fan’s consternation.
Sony’s new Xperia Z4 is 6.9-mm-thick, 144g metal-and-glass body is very much in line with the company’s prior design language, including its renowned water- and dust-resistance. It has a 5.2-inch 1080p LCD screen, which like its predecessor, the Z3, has been upgraded to QHD to preserve battery life. It also has the same 20.7-megapixel rear camera as the Xperia Z3.
The only real differences between the Z4 and the Z3 is that it runs Android 5.0 out of the box, is fractionally thinner, has a more powerful 2GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB RAM. It’s 2930mAh battery is actually slightly smaller than the Xperia Z3’s, but the logic behind this is that the new Snapdragon chipsets – despite being octa-core – are much more power-efficient than older chipsets, allowing for smaller batteries. The Z4 may also have a fingerprint scanner, but this hasn’t been officially announced.
The biggest difference thought is that, while the Xperia Z4 has been confirmed for a Japanese release, there has been no official word on a wider world roll out. Unusually, a Compact version of the Z4 hasn’t been announced at all either. When we spoke to a representative for Sony about this, they said the company was considering “the feasibility of other markets.”
Both manufacturers have taken radically different approaches to their fourth-generation phones and it remains to be seen how well either will fare against the Samsung Galaxy S6. Though it is only a minor upgrade, the Xperia Z4 can still go toe-to-toe with the Galaxy S6 in terms of specs, but it’s a wonder how it is going to distinguish itself on the market. The LG G4 has clearly carved out an identity for itself as the fashionable phone of choice, arguably stealing this spot from the HTC One range, with its only modest updated M9.
But is this enough? Let us know what you think of the LG G4 and Sony Xperia Z4 in the comments below!