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Sony's Xperia Lollipop skin vs the older KitKat layout: UI comparison

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Sony's Xperia Lollipop skin vs the older KitKat layout: UI comparison
If yours is on the list of Sony devices due an upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop, it's probably safe to assume that you're running out of patience. Indeed, whenever the company starts seeding the new firmware, it'll likely be too late for it to not rank last in terms of speedines of software updates. Thankfully, the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua displayed at Sony's booth at MWC 2015 in Barcelona had Lollipop loaded on it, and it of course featured Sony's proprietary Xperia theme on top of it. In order to give you a taste of what's coming, we took a number of screenshots of its new interface and put them side-by-side next to the older KitKat layout.

In general, you shouldn't expect a massive update. The changes we spotted are mostly visual, as Sony obviously had to adhere to the new Material design language. That may sound a bit disheartening, but the reality is that Sony's skin is in a dire need of a bit more eye candy, and the new build focuses on exactly that.

Check it out:

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posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:20 18

1. GeekMovement (Posts: 2137; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Looks nice.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:22 7

2. Kumar123 (Posts: 447; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


Looks really nice. I'm glad to see Sony is improving their software.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:31 6

8. GeekMovement (Posts: 2137; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


I agree, this is good news. Liking the familiar lollipop UI.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:59 16

18. Kumar123 (Posts: 447; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


Sony should cooperate with google for the next nexus phone. I'm sure many android fan will love to see a Sony nexus. It will also give them much needed recognition they need in the U.S.A. market. So far I'm liking what Sony is doing with their UI. Sony's UI needed a big visual shakeup and from the looks of it they will deliver it. Good luck Sony.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:02 6

20. GeekMovement (Posts: 2137; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


I'm all eyes for a Sony Nexus. +1

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:09 1

24. hboy857 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


Well, I'm impressed kumar. Sometimes you do post something that actually make sense.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:16 4

25. Kumar123 (Posts: 447; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


I'm a honest person. I say what I truely feel like. And I feel that Sony should be the next contender for nexus device. Sony makes excellent hardware and with google's pure version of android Sony nexus would be one hell of a nexus device.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 13:14 1

35. BruceLeeRoyJenkins (Posts: 51; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)


That would be quite interesting to see. BUT, if Sony doesn't make the next Nexus, which seems pretty likely at this moment, they should produce the Z4 on multiple platforms. Follow what HTC did with the M8, take a great phone, minus the horrible camera, and release a Google Edition, and a Windows one as well. Appeal to those who prefer stock android and Windows

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 14:14 1

44. Mutation.X (banned) (Posts: 185; Member since: 09 Feb 2015)


Absolutely agree. I would definitely buy a Nexus Sony. Especially thier sexy sharp angular design, rather than those hideous curves.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:20 1

28. mmmanuuu (Posts: 400; Member since: 05 Nov 2013)


What the heck is iphone doing in 9th picture of about menu? And all sony did was adding a blue band on top of all the apps. Bingo. Lollypop for ya !

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:50

32. kabiluddin (Posts: 171; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Well, I think they did much more than that. All Sony app has a new looks (or should I say material design inspired looks), all the icon looks much flatter, the notification and recent menu is practically the stock version of Android .

But I still see a few skeuomorphic design aesthetic left in the UI. Hopefully with the final build they will remove these conflicting design aesthetic.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:49 2

14. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10409; Member since: 14 May 2012)


While it's definitely a step in the right direction, I want to see the full UI in person. Looks a lot better.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 13:10

34. BruceLeeRoyJenkins (Posts: 51; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)


Agreed, but does Sony seem to be in awkward spot. Both Motorola and Sony have light android skins, which has advantages, but the rest of the competition has a more heavily skinned, feature rich UI and that appeals to most people. So, would Sony be better off with a more heavily skinned feature rich UI or just going straight stock android?

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 14:43

46. dorianb (Posts: 591; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


Wait... Was image #9 (About Menu) really an iPhone5? One black. One White.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:25 19

3. mocir (Posts: 23; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


Picture 9??

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:31 9

7. Kruze (Posts: 1285; Member since: 30 Dec 2014)


PA trolling. :P

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:50

16. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10409; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Inb4 someone says they knew they favored the iPhone over everything.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 16:33

49. UglyFrank (Posts: 1553; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


They did this the other day too, threw a random nokia in a slideshow

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 20:05

53. Hyde_Yamato (Posts: 22; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)


pict 9 came out from nowhere :p

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:28

4. maherk (Posts: 3368; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


It does look great

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:28

5. tjnapster555 (Posts: 9; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


really like it sony didnt change a lot which is good for user just minor ui change

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:29

6. Kruze (Posts: 1285; Member since: 30 Dec 2014)


I think Sony have prepared two UI's for their Lollipop update, one with minor changes but with material design which is what we'll be getting for our Lollipop update, and one with new design with material design for the Z4.

It's alright to receive the minor one now, at least they changed the icons that many people have been craving about. It looks good nonethelss, it looks close to stock Android.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:32 4

9. arch_angel (Posts: 1651; Member since: 20 Feb 2015)


looking goody sony

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:35 3

10. PootisMan (Posts: 247; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)


I really like the design. I Can't wait for the Xpeeia Z4!

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:39 4

11. kkmkk (Posts: 450; Member since: 06 May 2013)


Simple and clean... Superb

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:45 4

12. Zero97 (Posts: 36; Member since: 15 May 2014)


IMO kitkat settings look more premium than lollipop.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 13:34 1

37. mixedfish (Posts: 1144; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


White on black, you can't beat it. Unfortunately people prefer kiddy colors.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:46 6

13. mokhtar (Posts: 402; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


the most beautiful ui in any android smartphone .. no doubt

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:49 1

15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10409; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Disagree. Nothing beats stock.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:43

31. maherk (Posts: 3368; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


A weak ago, my choice would have been Sense. But the new TW looks promising, the way you ll be able to customize EVERYTHING that has to do with the UI is superb. You can have Sense theme, switch it to Stock in matter of seconds, or go with Xperia's UI if you feel like doing so. The sky is your limit in terms of customizing your phone with the new UI.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 11:58

17. shuaibhere (Posts: 1983; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


it is your opinion...i disagree with it for me sense and stock android looks better...new TW is almost there...

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:02 8

19. bokimaricu (Posts: 58; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


Sony now has the closest-to-stock Android UI of all the mayor players... LG is getting there, but not quite... I hate the home button here though.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:04 1

21. Amir1 (Posts: 332; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)


Definitely the most beautiful u in any phone. *waiting for Z4*

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:05 1

22. XaErO (Posts: 297; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


Excellent !! ..
Sony's UI was already clean and now they made it cleaner, and much more subtle !!

But those on-screen buttons are not good .. either the older ones or pure stock android on-screen buttons are way too good ..

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:06 1

23. anleoflippy (Posts: 595; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


Definitely better than the old one. This is a small step i change in terms of UI.
Yes, my Xperia Tablet Z is in the line of getting lollipop.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:18 2

26. PopeFrancis (Posts: 59; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


Loving it, very close to stock, yet with Sony´s added fucntionality.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:19 1

27. vuyonc (Posts: 983; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


It's aight. Smooth and inviting.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:36

29. dil2abu (Posts: 305; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


Wow loving it.. Release it Sony.. I am waiting for my Z and Z1.. After seeing this I lost my patience..

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 12:40

30. Xenaz (Posts: 144; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)


Personally, I prefer the Kitkat one over the Lollipop one.....

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 13:05

33. insan (Posts: 4; Member since: 16 Feb 2015)


The ugliest UI at all

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 13:24

36. Rhinoface (Posts: 176; Member since: 05 Dec 2014)


Why'd they rename Walkman to Music?

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 13:36

38. mixedfish (Posts: 1144; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


Future integration with cloud music services, like spotify.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 13:46

39. parasky (Posts: 10; Member since: 14 Jan 2015)


Quite a improvement. Never been a huge fan of the Xperia skin but this is now second to htc sense as my favourite oem skin.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 13:52

40. Djz89 (Posts: 261; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)


I like it quite a bit, god to see sony improving after all?

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 14:04

41. JMartin22 (Posts: 1889; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


They finally stepped out of the Gingerbread/Ice Cream Sandwich era of design philosophy. The UI looks less dead and dull. But this one firmware change isn't going to solve Sony's woes. No one in developed markets knows them or wants to use their products.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 14:18

45. Mutation.X (banned) (Posts: 185; Member since: 09 Feb 2015)


And why is that? Sony is known for excellent design and quality.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 14:10

42. Feanor (Posts: 663; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


This is the closest skin to stock Android and the only one that keeps the aesthetics of Lollipop really intact. My only complaint is the keyboard. I think they succumbed to pressure to continue having it look like iPhone. And maybe they were afraid that the stock Android keyboard without dividers might look a bit unergonomic. But I like stock Android keyboard more. Other than that, this is the best Android skin of all major manufacturers.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 14:14

43. nomiking8 (Posts: 16; Member since: 29 Dec 2014)


Oo come on sony..kindly announced L for my Xperia Z Ultra......its gonna too longgggg

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 15:49

47. sulre (Posts: 18; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


Why is there a picture #9 of iphone? what is supposed to mean?

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 16:30 5

48. gersont1000 (Posts: 279; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


Wow, as per photo #9 we'll even be able to theme the exterior of the phone to look like an iPhone! I just love the freedom of Android!

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 17:07

50. Drsarcastic (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Jul 2014)


Is it possible to disable small apps?

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 18:41

51. Andrewtst (Posts: 597; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Is happy to see Sony flatten the icon and more material look.

posted on 03 Mar 2015, 19:03

52. Finest (Posts: 90; Member since: 16 Aug 2013)


I want the lollipop now ! Sony really nailed it this time the UI is almost stock

posted on 04 Mar 2015, 01:24

54. RajRicardo (Posts: 372; Member since: 28 Feb 2014)


It's a bit too cartoony. I kinda liked the older theme. Looked professional, just like the Z3.

posted on 04 Mar 2015, 05:37

55. NightSurfer (Posts: 100; Member since: 06 Sep 2014)


Good job. Excited to see it applied in z4.

posted on 04 Mar 2015, 06:03

56. BaffledTruffle (Posts: 505; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)


I don't like how it looks. It looks a bit.. boring to me.

posted on 08 Mar 2015, 18:04

57. YamiYukiSenpai (Posts: 4; Member since: 24 Sep 2014)


They should fully redesign the small apps. It looks so out of place. I wish they'd improve it to make it on-par with Samsung's.

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