History Of The Sony Xperia Flagships

Sony has been in the smartphone game from the very beginning, pretty much, and the company had revealed quite a few flagship smartphones to date. Sony has been releasing several flagships per year, and is one of those companies that rebranded its flagship series more than one. The Sony Xperia Z flagship series was born way back in January 2013, when a phone with that name was announced. Sony has been releasing devices under the Xperia Z series until February 2016, when the Xperia X landed, and replaced the Xperia Z5, ushering in Sony’s X series of flagships, which quickly became the XZ series of flagships.

The company’s Xperia XZ series of phones lasted until 2019, when the company decided to rebrand its flagships once again, and this time around Sony opted for a much simpler name for its new flagship, as it ended up calling it the Xperia 1. If you’d like to know more about the history of the company’s flagship smartphone series, read on, as you’ll find all of the company’s flagship smartphones listed down below along with more info.

Sony Xperia Z

The Sony Xperia Z was announced in January 2013, and it was one of the first Android flagship handsets to offer an actual IP rating. The Xperia Z shipped with IP57 rating for dust and water resistance. Sony was also one of the first smartphone companies to adopt glass backs, as the Xperia Z shipped with a glass back. The phone included a circular power key on the right, which was also not that common back then. Speaking of buttons, a proper physical shutter key was also included on this phone, and located on the right-hand side of its body.

The Xperia Z included a 5-inch fullHD display, which was actually considered to be rather large back then. The company also introduced a phablet version of the Xperia Z in July 2013, the Xperia Z Ultra. That handset was quite similar to the Xperia Z, but it shipped with a huge 6.4-inch panel, and the phone was quite huge, it’s enough to say that it was 92.2mm wide. The Xperia Z was fueled by the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, and it included 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage (expandable). The Xperia Z shipped with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, but it was later upgraded to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, which was the last official update for the device.

Sony Xperia Z1

The Sony Xperia Z1 was the main phone in the Xperia Z1 series, but it came with two siblings, the Z1 Compact and Z1s. All of those devices were flagship-grade, and all of them were fueled by the Snapdragon 800 processor. The Sony Xperia Z1 arrived in September 2013, the same year the Xperia Z was announced. The Xperia Z1 Compact followed in January 2014, same goes for the Xperia Z1s. While the Xperia Z1s was almost identical to the Xperia Z1, aside from the storage capacity and some other tidbits, the Xperia Z1 Compact was considerably smaller, and its specs were somewhat different.

The Xperia Z1(s) featured a 5-inch fullHD display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB (32GB in Z1s’ case). Android 4.2 Jelly Bean came pre-installed on the Xperia Z, while 4.3 Jelly Bean shipped with the Xperia Z1s. Both phones received Android 5.1 Lollipop as their last official update. Both of these devices included a 3,000mAh non-removable battery, and a 20.7-megapixel camera on the back. The Xperia Z1 Compact came with a 4.3-inch HD display, and it shipped with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The phone also included 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, while it sported the very same camera setup as the Xperia Z1(s).

Sony Xperia Z2

The Sony Xperia Z2 was announced in February 2014, while it went on sale two months later. The phone resembled its predecessor quite a bit in terms of the design, while it came with a slightly improved processor, the Snapdragon 801. The Xperia XZ2 featured a 5.2-inch fullHD display, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. The phone also included IP58 certification for water and dust resistance, while the very same 20.7-megapixel camera was included on the back of this phone.

The Xperia Z2 also came with a 3,200mAh non-removable battery. A 2.2-megapixel camera was included on the front side of this phone, and was a slight improvement over a 2-megapixel unit which was included in the Xperia XZ1. The Xperia Z2 also included a set of stereo speakers, while it shipped with Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box. The last update this phone received was Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Sony Xperia Z3

Sony has announced two flagship handsets as part of the Xperia Z3 lineup, the Xperia Z3, and Z3 Compact. Both of these phones were announced in September 2014, and both of them were fueled by the same processor, the Snapdragon 801. On top of that, the two phones offered the same design language, while the Xperia XZ3 Compact was considerably smaller than its sibling. Both of these phones shipped with a set of stereo speakers, and those speakers were quite solid at the time.

The Xperia Z3 featured a 5.2-inch fullHD display, 3GB of RAM and 16GB / 32GB of expandable storage. The XZ3 Compact, on the other hand, included a 4.6-inch HD display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. A 20.7-megapixel camera was included on the back of both devices, while Android 4.4.4 KitKat came pre-installed on both of them. Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the latest update that these two phones received.

Sony Xperia Z3+ / Z4

Sony’s Xperia Z3 successor is called the Xperia Z4, but only in Japan, everywhere else the phone is referred to as the Xperia Z3+, for some reason. It is still unknown why Sony did that, as it managed to confuse quite a few people, but there you have it. The Xperia Z3+ looked quite similar to the Xperia XZ3, while its dimensions were almost identical, as the phone was equally tall and wide as its predecessor, while it also included the same display.

The Xperia Z3+ was also made out of metal and glass, just like its predecessors, and it featured a 5.2-inch fullHD display. The phone included 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, while it was fueled by the Snapdragon 810 processor from Qualcomm. The device was IP68 certified for water and dust resistance, just like the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, while a 2,930mAh battery was included on the inside. That battery was a bit smaller than a unit included in the Xperia Z3, but the Xperia XZ3+ included Quick Charge 2.0 charging. Just to be clear, the Xperia Z3 did as well, but only its Japanese variant, a global model did not, so the Xperia Z3+ definitely improved in that regard.

Sony Xperia Z5

Sony had introduced three smartphones as part of the Xperia Z5 series, the Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact, and Z5 Premium. All three devices were announced back in September 2015, and all of them are fueled by the same processor, the Snapdragon 810. These three devices also look quite similar, and all of them have physical shutter buttons, which was to be expected considering that every single one of their predecessors included such a button as well. All three devices included stereo speakers, and all of them shipped with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out of the box. The Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium got updated to Android 7.1.1 Nougat, while the Xperia Z5 Compact received Android 7.0 Nougat as its last official update.

The Sony Xperia Z5 was about the same size as the Xperia Z3+, while the design language did not change much either. The phone includes a 5.2-inch fullHD display, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (expandable). A 2,900mAh battery was included in the package, along with Quick Charge 2.0. The Xperia Z5 Premium sported a larger 5.5-inch 4K display, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. This phone came with a larger 3,430mAh battery, and the same fast charging as the base model. The Xperia Z5 Compact, on the other hand, included a 4.6-inch HD display, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, while a 2,700mAh battery was included in the package as well, along with Quick Charge 2.0.

Sony Xperia X Performance

The Sony Xperia X Performance was basically announced as a successor to the Xperia Z5. This handset was announced in February 2016, and it sports a 5-inch fullHD display. The X Performance shipped with an aluminum back, while it also included a side-facing fingerprint scanner, that fingerprint scanner was located on the right. The phone sported a set of stereo speakers, and it also included a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Xperia X Performance shipped with 3GB of RAM and in 32GB and 64GB storage variants. The phone was fueled by the Snapdragon 820, while a 23-megapixel camera was included on its back. A single 13-megapixel camera was placed on the phone’s front side, while Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow came pre-installed on this phone. The phone got update all the way up to Android 8.0 Oreo, which was its last update.

Sony Xperia XZ

The Sony Xperia XZ was the company’s very first “Xperia XZ” flagship, as Sony decided to rebrand its flagship series of smartphones yet again. This smartphone was announced back in September 2016, while it became available a month later. The phone did resemble its predecessors in terms of the design, and it retained a physical camera shutter. The Xperia XZ shipped with a side-facing fingerprint scanner, it was located on the right-hand side of the Xperia XZ’s body.

The phone featured a 5.2-inch fullHD display, and it came with IP68 certification for water and dust resistance. The Snapdragon 820 fueled the Xperia XZ, while the phone sported a single 23-megapixel camera on the back. A 13-megapixel camera was included on the front side of the smartphone, while Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow came pre-installed on the device. Android 8.0 Oreo is the last update this phone received, and the device included a non-removable 2,900mAh battery, no to mention it supported Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging.

Sony Xperia XZs

The Sony Xperia XZs was announced in February 2017, and it sported the same display size and resolution as the Xperia XZ. The same can be said for its design as well, while even its dimensions were identical. The Xperia XZs was fueled by the same processor as the Xperia XZ, but it was a more powerful smartphone, as Sony boosted some of its specifications. The Sony Xperia XZs included more RAM than the Xperia XZ, it sported 4GB of RAM, and shipped in both 32GB and 64GB storage options.

The phone sports a 19-megapixel camera on the back, while a 13-megapixel unit was included on its front side. The Xperia XZs was IP68 certified for water and dust resistance, while it includes a 2,900mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 3.0, same as the Xperia XZ. The phone sported stereo speakers, and it shipped with Android 7.1 Nougat. The last update this phone received was to Android 8.0 Oreo.

Sony Xperia XZ1

As part of the Xperia XZ1 series, Sony actually introduced two smartphones, the Xperia XZ1, and XZ1 Compact. Both of these phones were announced in August 2017, and they were both fueled by the same processor, the Snapdragon 835. Both devices were IP68 certified, and even though they looked really similar, they differed quite a bit in size, while some of their specifications were also different.

The Sony Xperia XZ1 featured a 5.2-inch fullHD display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The Xperia XZ1 Compact, on the other hand, included a noticeably smaller 4.6-inch HD display, along with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Both devices sported a 19-megapixel camera on the back, while the same 8-megapixel selfie camera was included on both devices as well. Interestingly enough, Sony opted to include the same battery capacity in both devices, a 2,700mAh unit, which was beneficial for the Xperia XZ1 Compact, of course.

Sony Xperia XZ2

As part of the Xperia XZ2 family of devices, Sony actually released three smartphones, the Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact, and XZ2 Premium. The first two phones were announced in February 2018, while the XZ2 Premium landed in April that same year. The Xperia XZ2 series represented a change in the design philosophy for Sony, these devices included thinner bezels than their predecessors, while they were not boxy like Sony’s previous smartphones, the company actually decided to curve them up quite a bit.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Premium were made out of metal and glass, while the Xperia XZ2 Compact shipped with a plastic back. All three devices sported rear-facing fingerprint scanners, and all of them were fueled by the Snapdragon 845. The Xperia XZ2 sports a 5.7-inch fullHD+ display, the Xperia XZ2 Compact shipped with a 5-inch fullHD+ panel, while the Xperia XZ2 Premium featured a 4K display. All three devices shipped with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

Sony Xperia XZ3

The Sony Xperia XZ3 followed the lead of the Xperia XZ2 with a glass back panel, and plenty of curves, the phone was announced in August 2018. These two phones were actually quite similar, with one major difference, the Xperia XZ3 was the company’s first flagship to include an OLED panel, the phone shipped with a 6-inch QHD+ P-OLED display. The Xperia XZ3 also included a fingerprint scanner on the back, and it sported IP65/IP68 certification for water and dust resistance.

The Xperia XZ3 was fueled by the same processor as its predecessor, the Snapdragon 845, while it shipped with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. A 6GB RAM variant was also available, but only in Taiwan. Android 9 Pie came pre-installed on this smartphone, while A 13-megapixel camera was included on the back of the Xperia XZ3. A 13-megapixel selfie unit was also a part of the package, while the phone shipped with stereo speakers, but without a headphone jack.

Sony Xperia 1

The Sony Xperia 1 was announced in February 2019, and it represented a new rebrand for Sony’s flagship series of smartphones, as it marked the end of the Xperia XZ series of devices. The Sony Xperia 1 was made out of metal and glass, it included a side-facing fingerprint scanner, and it was quite tall, and quite narrow at the same time, despite having a 6.5-inch display. The reason for that lies in its display aspect ratio, the phone shipped with a display aspect ratio of 21:9, and was the very Sony-branded smartphone of that kind in the market.

The Sony Xperia 1 included a 6.5-inch 4K display, 6GB of RAM and 64GB / 128GB of storage. The phone was fueled by the Snapdragon 855 processor, and it shipped with Android 9 Pie out of the box. Three 12-megapixel cameras were included on the back of this phone, which made it the very first Sony-branded phone to ship with three cameras on the back. Stereo speakers were included, and so was a 3,330mAh battery.

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About the Author
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Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at Kristijan. [email protected]