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Can Sony's 2014 flagship smartphone (Sirius) challenge Samsung's Galaxy S5 when it comes to sales?

Posted: , by Florin T.

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Can Sony's 2014 flagship smartphone (Sirius) challenge Samsung's Galaxy S5 when it comes to sales?
Earlier today, Samsung’s VP of mobile business confirmed that the company would release its next flagship Android smartphone - likely called Galaxy S5 - around March or April. So an announcement at MWC 2014 seems very unlikely now. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that MWC will be devoid of flagship Android handsets.

Enter Sony, the Japanese company that greatly improved its smartphone offering lately. Its 2013 Xperia Z and Xperia Z1 flagships were well received and praised by most reviewers (with the newer Z1 having lots of pluses compared to the Z). Still, sales-wise, Sony’s flagships remained far behind Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note III, as the Japanese vendor didn’t make it to top 5 smartphone manufacturers throughout 2013.

According to a report from earlier this week, Sony is seemingly preparing a new flagship - currently codenamed Sirius. This might be announced at MWC next month, possibly featuring a quad-core Snapdragon MSM8974-AB processor and a 5.2-inch display. The display resolution is not known at the moment. Nevertheless, it’s said that Samsung already started mass-producing 5.25 Quad HD AMOLED panels for the S5, thus Sony may want to go the Quad HD (1440 x 2560) way, too.

Can this alleged Sony Sirius steal some of Samsung’s potential Galaxy S5 buyers? Well, it might, assuming it’ll be released immediately after its announcement - thus a month or two before the S5. But Sony must pay attention to every little detail, from the color reproduction and viewing angles of the display to the skin on top of Android, from the photo and video capabilities of the camera to battery life and storage options. Everything must be at its best. Sony could also ponder on new gimmicks like fingerprint recognition and eye recognition (both rumored to be included in Samsung’s Galaxy S5).  

What Sony can offer - and other manufacturers seemingly can’t for now - is a beautiful waterproof smartphone body. Yes, Samsung also has a waterproof version of the Galaxy S4, called Active, but its design (with those capacitive buttons à la 2010) is uninspired - and that was probably one of the reasons why sales didn’t go too great. Sony, on the other hand, proved that it can make all its flagships waterproof without compromising on design. We must mention, however, that we'd like to see a thinner bezel - really! When it announced the Xperia Z in early 2013, Sony also introduced the Xperia ZL - this wasn't waterproof, but had a smaller case while keeping the same screen estate (5 inches). Hopefully, Sony took cues from the ZL when designing the Sirius.

Naturally, in the battle with the Galaxy S5, pricing will matter a lot. Sony’s current Z1 flagship costs $649 (unlocked), and we think that a good strategy for the Japanese company would be to try and sell its next flagship for even less. A high-end, waterproof smartphone with an attractive design at under $600 could be a great deal for many customers.

What do you think? Is 2014 the year when Samsung will really feel the threat of other Android vendors (including Sony)? Or is the South Korean giant still going to march triumphantly, with everyone else struggling way behind for the remaining Android market share?

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posted on 09 Jan 2014, 07:33 25

1. shahulvm (Posts: 124; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)

Sony's would be practical, yet sales will be higher for sammy, simple reason being Sammy is well known and Sony doesnt know to put in gimmicky features like SamgDung... In my opinion Sony's products are value for money...

Am all for Sony....!!!

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 08:19 10

19. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

it's sony time guys, PS4 outsell xbox one.........hope this device will grab at least good sell number.

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 14:25

46. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

When the XBox One exclusives start launching, you will see a DRASTIC change in these numbers as far as console sales are concerned..

I would love to see Sony release a device that can add some more competition to the market. I'm planning kn picking up a Z1S myself. Someone needs to put pressure on Samsung, or they'll get complacent just like Apple if they keep dominating, which hurts quality and innovation.

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 08:26 11

20. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

So tell me, if Sony puts no 'gimmicks' in their devices then why do their phones' battery life is awful and why they are so slow in updates ?

I am not even talking about their god awful screen and huge bezels !

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 08:38 4

22. Amir1 (unregistered)

the battery is not awful at all overall, just in web browsing and videos if i recall and they are not slow in updates anymore. anyway, i'm sure battery life will be even better in next flagship.

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 08:52 6

27. Astoni (Posts: 649; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

Well coming from someone who ones the current flagship. Z1 :p.

Battery time is Meh.. its not really impressive. (btw not acceptable for a 3000Mah battery)
The phones itself is very strudy and nice, very smooth in overall experience.

Why they sell so bad is because the phone has no unique feature except being waterproof, i mean there is nothing to the phone that appeals really well. except build quailty.

yes sure as i said, it's waterproof but you have to pay the price of having a really Bulky device, i mean its close to being as wide as Note 2 and very similar in size to note 3 (slimmer)

I only bought the phones since it was waterproof, dustproof and Extremely sturdy for a flagship. Since i need the waterproof part alot and its very useful in the summer.

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 09:01 3

30. bananana (Posts: 34; Member since: 27 Oct 2013)

dude wat the... nothing else?? how about the camera on the z1, atleast that deserves a credit. The battery? have u tried stamina mode? not to mentioned the z1 uses the snapdragon 800 so u can download the snapdragon batteryguru which will further help with the battery usage. One more thing, the tempered glass. Cmon, that gotta have some +points in the design and looks section~

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 09:06 2

32. Extradite (banned) (Posts: 316; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)

In the phone industry no one, yes no one except Sony is using expensive glass like DragonTrail.

The rest using standard Gorrila glass vs DragonTrail

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 09:58 2

37. Astoni (Posts: 649; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

That is actually a big + but the avreage consumer dosn't care or knows.. :/

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 09:57 1

36. Astoni (Posts: 649; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

I'm using stamina mode..
also Snapdragon 800 is in more than 7+ other phones.. and
I'm talking about whats unique with Sony's Flahship.

Yes it looks good.. but whats so special about the UI?, does it have qucik and useful features?.

Also about that Snapdragon 800 part again.. ehm you can buy 2-3 phones half the price with same preformance.

posted on 11 Jan 2014, 00:40

54. Funky_Rocker (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Jan 2014)

Whats so special about its UI is It is not cartoonish like Samsung's TouchWiz.
Its UI not overloaded with useless features like samsung.

Xperience the Xperia and you will get to know whats so special about it

posted on 11 Jan 2014, 06:41

57. Astoni (Posts: 649; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

No but thats the thing, it dosn't have anything special to offer.. If you want a non clogged android experience you go with stock android which btw Samsung,HTC and nexus mobiles has :p. This is the avreage consumer we're talking about. I like the Z1's interface but it has nothing appealing to make good sales numbers.

posted on 12 Jan 2014, 07:52

59. Funky_Rocker (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Jan 2014)

May I know what's appealing for u in S4?

posted on 12 Jan 2014, 11:25

60. Astoni (Posts: 649; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

a clear vivid screen. Thats it. I do not like the s4 that much except it small for a 5" form factor

This is about the avreage consumer.
The s4 plus has snapdragon 800 and is almost 50% less in price so people tend to buy that instead of the Xperia z1 or other phones that has a higer price point. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on region but in europe the s4 is Dirt cheap in most places.

If i could choose s4 or z1 i would go for the z1. but this conversation was all about the avreage consumer.. not me.

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 13:00 1

43. AshishRomea (Posts: 145; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)

I own a Xperia Z , it gives great battery life of about 14-16hrs on heavy use. The conditions talked of in PA was wrt Videos & Browsing. I browse a lot but not much videos. Im very happy with the Battery life , its still better than Many who own S4 [real life test]

Updates ? Im on 4.3 , The update is so much better than 4.3 thats on One & S4. Speed is not the fastest , but is high on quality! Screen colours & viewing angles have improved drastically.

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 13:44

45. Astoni (Posts: 649; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

First of all, we're talking about the Z1 here, not the Z.

There is a huge leap in preformance from the z to Z1
If you haven't seen battery tests, the Z1 is worse.

The Z1 is using a Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2,2-2,3 ghz while the Z is using a Snapdragon S4 clocked at 1,5 ghz. That alone will make the Z1 Alot more battery hungry.

In stress tests the Z1 avreage time is about 4h which is really puny for a 3000 Mah battery. Mine lats about 8-10 at almost full usage. and that includes lowest screen brightness aswell as almost everything that drains battery is off but with Wifi on when needed. But thats a price to pay since the phone runs Extremely smooth.

Sadly my older GS3 lasted longer with easily 12 hours + in full usage :/.

I can agree and can't agree on the Update part :p. Sonys update center is way better than Samsungs and HTC's but HTC seem to have more efficient updates that actually helps the phone significantly.
while last camera update seemed to make my Z1's camera worse :( Seriously...

About the viewing angles part i couldn't care less since I'm not looking at it sideways when im browsing or Texting etc.. The screen it self is Great and i love the dragontail glass that screams Quality (very rugged)

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 17:31

48. MojoDojo (Posts: 102; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

I see you compare your phone with other phones like Note 3. Im just curious, what do you think is so unique about the Note 3 besides the stylus?

posted on 10 Jan 2014, 09:54

50. Astoni (Posts: 649; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

The Stylus isnt just one feature... it opens up alot of thing and shortcuts :p.

But it has the same UI and functions as the s4.. and most Galaxy devices. I know most things in the Galaxy Motion category is Gimmicks or seen as gimmicks but it appeals to the customer. originally this was about how bad Sony products actually sell, and what i was trying to say that they are not appealing to the Avreage customer as much as samsungs little gimmicks are doing.

Btw Nice name :)

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 08:50

26. tenho1982 (Posts: 68; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)

It's strange how Sony products such as TV sets, laptops, phones, electronic goods in general are always praised by a lot of people as good products but they don't sell very well. Any idea why? Is it because people say the same good thing about Sony without knowing what they say?

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 08:57 2

28. Extradite (banned) (Posts: 316; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)

I love Sony to. Everything they make is quality, covering all aspects. There Zseries Laptops are to die for and is way much better than Macs, Mac pro, mac air. They even stole the design and keyboard layout. Zseries are to expensive, but would love to own one.
Even did stevejobs loved admired Sony

posted on 11 Jan 2014, 00:46

55. Funky_Rocker (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Jan 2014)

Because a non techie consumer doesn't know the difference between just a gimmick like samsung and Real Good Products.

posted on 13 Jan 2014, 05:20

61. tenho1982 (Posts: 68; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)

You sound like a keyboard hero or a software programmer.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:23

63. Funky_Rocker (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Jan 2014)

Not a software programmer, if you wanna call me keyboard hero then it's upto you
But main thing is you are not having anything else to say in reply to my comment. You agree with that out you don't have any answer for that?

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 10:26 1

40. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2226; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

Your comment is going over the limit.

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 07:35

2. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Noway, Samsung has earned reputation for their type of products and services.

But they should limit the versions of the same model. e.g. S4. Right now Sony is li'l bit behind in Sales and other things.

posted on 11 Jan 2014, 00:53

56. Funky_Rocker (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Jan 2014)

No they have not earned the reputation actually, they just earned sales figure and that is not related to reputation
They just launched new phone every now and then with same design same features same everything with lil changes like screen size camera, etc. with tagline made for humans?? Ya actually for humans with a logic that someone somewhere will pay for their product.
Sales will definitely be high if you are flooding ur products in the market. If a non techie person will see 10 phones of Samsung (all same actually, same design same everything just different screen size) and 1 of Sony they will buy a samsung phone

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 07:35 3

3. _Bone_ (Posts: 2155; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Sales? No. But the phone itself should do well, I root for Sony.

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 07:36 4

4. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

I think it's a yes, if Sony do it well this time. I'm looking forward to your Xperia Z2, Sony!

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 07:45

6. MrTzr (unregistered)

Yeah, they only need to change the screen to IPS and use better camera software and they'll have my money for sure.

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 08:12

16. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

Like this one???

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