Sony Xperia Z6 review
Will there be a Sony Xperia Z6?
At MWC 2016 in February, we expected to hear about the Sony Xperia Z6, but instead Sony introduced us to the new X range of handsets, which includes the Sony Xperia X, Xperia XA and Xperia X Performance.
When questioned about the no-show of the Xperia Z6, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Sony, Jun Makino, told uSwitch that Sony Mobile would not be releasing a Sony Xperia Z6. Attempting to clarify the situation, Techrader contacted Sony Mobile, who issued a statement saying that there were no plans to release the Xperia Z6 ‘at this stage’.
So, with Sony suggestively leaving the door open, it isn’t completely impossible that the Sony Xperia Z6 may be announced at IFA in September, but it does seem to be very unlikely.
Here we take a look at what the Sony Xperia Z6 may offer if it does make an appearance in 2016.
Display - No 4K
A 5.2” display will feature on the Xperia Z6 and Sony will likely take the most logical route when it comes to screen resolution. It will not feature a power-hungry over the top 4K display, like the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium did.
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Instead it will take a step up from the Full HD display, which will appear on the Sony Xperia X Performance this summer, and instead have a QHD display. This would bring the display in line with Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S7.
- Full HD - 1080 x 1920 pixels
- QHD - 1440 x 2560 pixels
- 4K Ultra HD - 2160 x 3840 pixels
Design - All metal
It is possible that Sony will move to an all-metal design, ditching the metal frame and glass back combination that we have seen on recent Sony phones. Either way, the phone will be IP68 certified for dust and water resistance and be available in black, white, lime gold and rose gold.
Processor - Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
There is almost no doubt that if the Sony Xperia Z6 makes an appearance this year that it will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, coupled with 4GB RAM. In fact, almost all new flagship devices this year, aside from the Apple iPhone 7, will feature this.
|Read the Apple iPhone 7 review|
The Snapdragon 820 has twice the processing performance, compared to its predecessor, consumes 30 percent less power and gives 40% improved graphics performance.
This processing performance will ensure that there is no annoying buffering or stuttering when streaming media from Netflix or when playing graphic intensive games. This chip would be paired up with a 32GB internal memory and microSD card slot, with support for up to 200GB cards.
Phone Set Up
OS - Android N
The Sony Xperia Z6 will feature Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box, but owners will be able to upgrade to Android N, shortly after its launch and period of exclusivity on the latest Google Nexus phones. Android N has already been released as a developer preview, so the launch of Android N would appear to be just around the corner.
Security - SenseID
So far there hasn’t been much to differentiate the Xperia Z6 from the Xperia X range. But, Sony could use Qualcomm’s new SenseID fingerprint scanner to give new levels of security and design possibilities.
SenseID is more secure at it uses ultrasonic sound waves to build up a 3D image of the finger, including sweat pores and ridges, whereas a traditional scanner can only detect parts of the finger that touch the sensor.
The use of ultrasonic sound waves also means that the SenseID fingerprint scanner doesn’t need to be directly touched. This means that Sony could place an invisible scanner underneath the display, instead of being forced to integrate the scanner into the power button.
Touch interface - Force sensing display
Sony could make a technological leapfrog and go straight for a multi-force touch display, like the one that is expected on the Apple iPhone 7. These can sense more than simply a hard or soft press, giving the phone advanced artistry features and multiple level zooming.
Sound - Output/input
The sound output should be improved with Sony’s Hi-Res audio, which restores compressed music files back to their original quality, projected over a better pair of front-mounted speakers.
Sound input and natural dialogue understanding will be used by the virtual assistant, that can be interacted with though Sony’s Xperia Ear accessory. This delivers more advanced hands-free interactions with spoken notifications, schedule updates, the dictating of messages and control over music playback.
Camera & Video
Photography - Dual lens
Sony has only just re-invented its camera sensor, so it is hard to imagine that the Sony Xperia Z6 will feature anything other than the 23MP snapper, that will be used in its new Xperia X range of smartphones.
This will give photography novices excellent features such as standby to capture in under half a second and Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, which keeps focus on moving objects in the scene by predicting where they will move to next.
The only possible area for an update would the inclusion of a dual lens camera, like the one on the brand new LG G5. This would give extra features such as zooming out as well as in and post capture focal adjustments.
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Capacity - Three days usage
Although it is unlikely that the battery capacity would be increased to above the 3,000mAh norm, new power saving technologies and Android N could allow Sony to deliver a phone with three days usage.
Sony could also choose to add wireless charging support and the new symmetrical and fully reversible USB Type-C charging port, which would in turn offer support for Quick Charge 3.0 charging, which is 27 percent faster that Quick Charge 2.0 and 38 percent more efficient.
Final thoughts: While our Sony Xperia Z6 review is highly speculative it is founded on technology that exists and demonstrates that there are still areas where Sony could create renewed interest, should a Xperia Z6 be put back into its future launch schedule.
Written by: Michael Brown
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