Remember when Apple’s Steve Jobs said he would like his company to be like the iconic Sony (the one from yesteryear, not the 21st century Sony)? If anything, and except for one thing, Apple has outdone whatever Sony has ever done.
What’s the one thing? Sony makes a boatload of products while most of what Apple makes would fit comfortably into an empty copier paper box with a little room left over. Otherwise, it’s no contest. Apple is the Sony of the 21st century.
One aspect of Apple’s dominance and Sony’s long, slow fall from grace is summed up in the new Sony Xperia Z5 and Sony’s new smartphone efforts which have done what only Samsung has been able to do. Make money.
ZDNet ran an interesting review of the Xperia Z5 Compact smartphone and did what such digital rags always do. List hardware features. And remember, ZDNet is a publication which caters to technology professionals, enterprise IT folks, and those more immersed in technology than the rest of us. That might explain why Sony, LG, Samsung, Lenovo, Nexus, et al, get plenty of pixels even though the iPhone owns the largest share of smartphone usage in the enterprise.
Regardless, Sony still has some mojo here and there. Not only have they managed to scrape up a little profit in the smartphone division recently, the Xperia Z5 Compact comes across as if Apple did the design, packaging, and promotion instead of Sony.
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact doesn’t exactly roll out of your mouth as easily as iPhone but the company knows how to differentiate itself from competitors in the Android field and Apple’s flagship product (no, it’s not the Mac; sorry).
For example, the Xperia Z5 Compact is slightly smaller than the iPhone 6s so it’s in the sweetspot for size. It’s also waterproof. Take that, iPhone 7. The clever power button is also a fingerprint sensor so it knows who you are when you begin to use the phone. Sony touts the Xperia Z5 Compact’s camera as a ‘real camera’ so it suffers from real ratings and comparisons, most of which say the LG, Samsung, and iPhone 6s Plus are better. Autofocus is fast, though, and it will even shoot 360-degrees in 4k (by not by itself).
Battery? Sony claims two days. My iPhone 6s Plus does two days but it’s a much larger phone. The Xperia Z5 Compact runs the latest Android Lollipop and features a fast– but not faster than iPhone– Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. There’s also built-in noise cancelling and a slot for a microSD card but only 32GB of onboard flash storage.
What makes Sony’s Xperia line one of the more successful Android smartphones? It’s very Apple-like, priced as a premium product with premium fit and finish, and with just enough differentiation in features to make it stand out among the Android riffraff.
Therein lies the rub. The Xperia Z5 Compact smartphone, while admittedly a nice departure from the Galaxy line, is squarely placed in the shrinking Android premium smartphone segment.