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

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?

Related phones

Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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66 Comments

1. shahulvm

Posts: 124; Member since: Apr 01, 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....!!!

19. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

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

46. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 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.

20. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 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 !

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.

27. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 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.

30. bananana

Posts: 34; Member since: Oct 27, 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~

32. Extradite

Posts: 316; Member since: Dec 30, 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

37. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

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

36. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 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.

54. Funky_Rocker

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 11, 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

57. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 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.

59. Funky_Rocker

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 11, 2014

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

60. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 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.

43. AshishRomea

Posts: 145; Member since: Aug 09, 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.

45. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 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)

48. MojoDojo

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 11, 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?

50. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 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 :)

26. tenho1982

Posts: 68; Member since: Dec 29, 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?

28. Extradite

Posts: 316; Member since: Dec 30, 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

55. Funky_Rocker

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 11, 2014

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

61. tenho1982

Posts: 68; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

You sound like a keyboard hero or a software programmer.

63. Funky_Rocker

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 11, 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?

40. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Your comment is going over the limit.

2. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 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.

56. Funky_Rocker

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 11, 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

3. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

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

4. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

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

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.

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