Sony Xperia Z6 release date, price, specs: Xperia Z6 to pop up at MWC 2016? Don’t count on it.
Mobile World Congress (MWC) is a matter of weeks away and Sony has a press conference on 22 February. There are rumours that Sony will use this conference to announce the Xperia Z6.
Last year’s Sony’s Xperia Z5 was the best smartphone Sony has ever made. Featuring an excellent low-light camera, fingerprint sensor on the side power button and shock-absorbing nylon corners, the Xperia Z5 impressed us – even if the Z5 Compact was better value for money. Sony seems to update its handsets at an alarming rate, and that means we’re due an Xperia Z6 sometime this year. Will Sony want to strike while the iron is hot and push out a new flagship?
We’d say: it’s unlikely. Sony only released the Xperia Z5 at the tail end of 2015 and previous years have similarly seen a mid-to-late year launch of the Xperia Z1, Z2 and Z3. Instead, we’d wager that Sony plans to talk about a follow-up to the Xperia Z4 Tablet, or perhaps a new mid-range handset.
It may not pop up during MWC 2016, but a follow up to the Xperia Z5 looks likely later in the year. So, what do we know about Sony’s next flagship smartphone? Here are all the rumours, whispers and leaks about the Sony Xperia Z6.
Sony Xperia Z6 price:
Sony has a habit of selling its Xperia phones at incredibly high prices. While that does make sense thanks to its metal and glass body, high-end camera and powerful innards, it just doesn’t have the brand power clout outside of Japan to warrant those prices. For the same price you could pick up an LG, Samsung or HTC phone and they’re all far more established smartphone manufacturers in the UK.
Sadly, expect that trend to continue with the Z6. Going by previous release pricing, it’s almost certain the Z6 will launch with an RRP of £549. While you can expect that price to go down sharply post-launch, it’s unlikely we’ll see a cheaper price for the Z6 if it turns out to be little more than a Z5+.
It’s important to remember that prices fall steeply the closer you get to the launch of a new flagship handset. The X5 has dropped £170 in price since launch.
Sony Xperia Z6 release date:
Going by previous release cycles for Sony’s flagship Xperia phones, it seems likely that the Z6 will arrive in the middle of next year. It could also be possible that, like the Z4, it becomes the Xperia Z5+ outside of Japan due to being only an incremental upgrade on the Z5 hardware.
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Sony Xperia Z6 design:
Sony’s Xperia Z6 could go one of two ways in the design department. While the Z3 and Z5 both came in Compact and standard sizes – with the Z5 also coming in a Premium phablet model with a 4K screen – the Z2 and Z3+ did not. Seeing as the Z6 is likely to be a summertime release (like the Z2 and Z3+) it’s unlikely we’ll see a revision of the Compact and Premium models so soon.
If that’s the case, it’s also unlikely we’ll see any major design changes either. Like with the Z3+ over the Z3, we may see some of the Z5’s thickness shaved off to make an already svelte phone even thinner.
We expect the Z6 will retain its IP68 water and dust resistivity rating, keeping the USB and headphone ports uncovered in the process. As it will be Sony’s first phone of 2016, it’s also likely to make use of USB Type-C and contain built-in wireless charging.
Sony Xperia Z6 specs:
Details around the Z6 are incredibly slim, basically non-existent, so trying to judge what specification hardware it’ll contain is pure conjecture. However, if we’re to believe that the Z6 is nothing more than an incremental upgrade on the Z5, these are the specs we expect to see:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
32GB with microSD storage up to 200GB
23-megapixel, LED flash 4K video
5.2-inch 1080 x 1920-pixel IPS LCD
Android Marshmallow (with Sony overlay)
NFC, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, USB Type-C, GPS
We think these specs are as accurate as you’ll get right now. Looking at previous iterations of Xperia phones, the big change Sony always makes is to the processor, with a change to the front-facing camera every other Xperia model. Going by this method it’s likely we’ll see the Z5’s 5.1-megapixel camera bumped up to an impressive 8-megapixels as that’s the next sensor-size up that Sony’s sensor division produces.
As for the processor, the next Qualcomm chip up from the Snapdragon 810 is the 820, a chip that’s currently not in any consumer mobile device – but is heavily rumoured to be made for the next-generation of smartphones. By including the Snapdragon 820, the Xperia Z6 will not only be a step up from the Z5, but it’ll also be one of the leading smartphones on the market on release. We don’t expect the Z6 to see a jump in RAM though as 3GB should be more than enough thanks to Android Marshmallow’s optimisations – even if the Xperia range has had 3GB since the Z2.