There was a collective sigh of disappointment recently when the Japan-only Xperia Z4 was announced. While this response was understandable, considering the device's very familiar look and components, there are also a few clues to indicate that this was not the Z4 you were looking for. The ''real'' Xperia Z4 will arrive in the near future, possibly by the end of May, and it may be a very different beast indeed.
For starters, the Xperia Z4 we saw announced – in Japanese, for Japan – was quite obviously intended exclusively for the Japanese market. If it had anything to do with the global launch then Sony US and Sony Global would have been on the bandwagon. The fact that they weren't gives us a very clear indication that it is not the same device we'll see in Europe and North America.
The ''real'' Xperia Z4
The ''real'' Xperia Z4 is rumored to not only pack a QHD display, but also some more impressive internals and possibly even a refresh of the Omnibalance design language that we've all grown so accustomed to. The question then remains: why would Sony put out a phone – anywhere – under the Z4 name if it's not ''really'' the Z4? Good question.
We've already seen Sony do some weird things with naming conventions, like the Z1 Compact that was succeeded by the Z3 Compact and the Xperia Z4 Tablet that arrived months before the Xperia Z4 itself. So it's entirely plausible that Sony has planned to release one Z4 for its home market in Japan with very different considerations than we'll see in the global version.
''May device'' and ''November device''
Right now, the rumors continue that there will be another Xperia Z4 launch in late May of a beefed up Z4 – what we can only assume is the global version. This means we might have a very different – and much better – Sony Xperia Z4 for the rest of the world in the very near future. The November-onwards device mentioned in the Sony Pictures emails hack may well be the Xperia Z5 (which means we might even see it at IFA 2015). This would make sense in light of the Japanese-only Xperia Z4 we've seen so far.
Regardless of which device will top Sony's list at the end of the year, it's safe to say that the Xperia Z4 announced for Japan is not the basis for the Xperia Z4 the rest of the world will see. We expect that global announcement to arrive in the coming weeks, and while we're not holding our breaths for a game-changer the likes of the Galaxy S6 Edge, we are keeping our fingers crossed that Sony chose a different route to that rather disastrously chosen by HTC recently with the ho-hum One M9. While we all love new internals, we still tend to judge a book by its cover.
What do you think of the likelihood of a global Xperia Z4 by the end of May? Is Sony on the right track for putting out the Z5 this year?