For a long time now, Sony has released devices that look pretty similar to their previous device. Starting with the Xperia Z, which launched back in early 2013 with a completely new design for Sony mobile devices, Xperia Z devices have pretty much looked exactly the same ever since. Of course, a lot has changed since the original Xperia Z in terms of specifications and a little more than you'd think in terms of design. The Xperia Z1 introduced us to the excellent 20.7-megapixel camera which continues to impress. The Xperia Z2 introduced an IPS panel, which was a massive improvement over the display from the previous two devices and the Xperia Z3 introduced a smaller footprint and a thinner device. Today, in Japan, the Xperia Z4 was announced and you'd be forgiven for thinking that this was just the Xperia Z3 in different colors.
The Xperia Z4 features few changes from last year's Xperia Z3, aside from the different color, the 6.9mm thinness and of course, the Snapdragon 810. Now, there's rumor that this Xperia Z4 is only designed for release in Japan, and that a "proper flagship" from Sony will arrive some time towards the end of May. In Japan, the networks do things a little differently, and it could be that they've leaned on Sony to provide a refreshed device to join a lineup of new products, rather than release something especially "new". Hi-tech Mail is reporting that Sony won't be offering the Xperia Z4 outside of Japan and that a new flagship device is heading to shelves before the end of May.
We've seen concept renders leak out as a result of a WikiLeaks distribution and this recently announced Xperia Z4 looks nothing like those concepts. As such, it's no wonder we're hearing that this isn't the next Xperia Z smartphone that Sony have been working on. However, we can't think that Sony will offer the Xperia Z4 in Japan alongside the Xperia Z4 Tablet and ship something different in the West as the naming could grow confusing. Say what you want about Sony's naming scheme, we always know which Xperia Z device came before the other, and we can't quite see Sony throwing this out of the window. At the same time, this Xperia Z4 is definitely not what we'd expect after two years of incremental releases every six months. If the rumors are true, then we should find out in little over a month's time.