Sony announced the Xperia Z4, its flagship smartphone for 2015 earlier this year. The company, however, is selling the phone only in Japan and a handful of regions. Elsewhere, the Japanese technology conglomerate is launching the Xperia Z3+, which more or less is the same phone as the Xperia Z4, only with a different name. But the world was doing just fine without this phone, and it is unlikely to give a hoot about it now. Reason? Exorbitant pricing. More on this later.
At a media event today, Sony announced the launch of the Xperia Z3+ in India. The Xperia Z3+ is likely the Sony flagship phone we will have this year. And rightfully so, as it does sport an impressive set of hardware specs. Flaunting a 5.2-inch FHD Triluminos with Live Colour LED display, the Xperia Z3+ is powered by Snapdragon 810 processor, coupled with Adreno 430GPU and 3GB of RAM. On the storage front, the phone comes with 32GB ROM which can be expanded up to 128GB using a microSD card should you need more storage.
Other features of the Z3+ include a 20.7-megapixel primary camera with Exmor RS sensor, and a 5.1-megapixel selfie snapper placed upfront. On the connectivity side, the Xperia Z3+ supports 4G LTE, 3G, HSPA, Wi-Fi and other standard features. There’s a 2,930mAh battery with STAMINA mode feature to keep the phone running all day. The phone, much like company’s other marquee smartphones retains IPX5 and IPX8 water and dust resistance.
That’s really a good smartphone, but the company has failed to get the pricing right. The Xperia Z3+ is priced at Rs. 55,990 ($880), which is by far pricier than most of the flagship smartphones in town. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, in comparison, are now available for around Rs 40.000 in the country. Even the current generation iPhones can be bought for fewer bucks.
As my colleague Nimish Dubey pointed out recently, many smartphone companies are having a hard time adjusting to the dynamic competitive smartphone market in India. Sony is definitely one such player. The Japanese smartphone manufacturer doesn’t realize that there are companies that are offering as good phones (almost) as the Xperia Z3+ at sub-Rs 25,000 price point. And the fact that those cheaper phones are selling like hotcakes is a testament that a vast majority of people don’t care about branding as much anymore. What they need is a phone that works, and offers best specs for its price point.
It’s absurd that Sony refuses to learn from its own mistakes. This isn’t the first time the company has labelled ridiculously high price tag to its phones. Even its last year’s flagship, and the flagship before that tell the same story. Earlier this year, Sony unofficially slashed the retail price of many of its premium smartphones including the Xperia Z3 just 4-5 months after its launch in the country. This goes on to suggest that the phone wasn’t faring well at its original retail price. We’re afraid the Xperia Z3+ will be subjected to the same fate.