Sony Xperia Z4v hands-on

Sony quietly announced the Xperia Z4v only a few days ago, but we managed to get some quick hands-on time with the upcoming smartphone. When the Xperia Z4 was announced, some folks were quick to point out that it lacked a couple of the necessary qualities to make it a stand out in today's market – in the face of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4. Thankfully, though, the Verizon exclusive in the Xperia Z4v addresses those concerns, as it fashions a Quad-HD screen into a phone design we’ve all come to know and love.


Some people were quick to point out the Xperia Z4v’s dated design, seeing that it’s both thicker and heavier than the Z3 before it. We, on the other hand, don’t mind the design at all because it continues to sport one of the most under-appreciated designs out there. For one, it’s one of the few high-end smartphones to combine a premium finish with a water proof construction. Sure, the glass surfaces makes the phone feel a little fragile and a fingerprint magnet, but the overall design language follows in tradition to past Xperias – so that means uniformly flush front and back surfaces. There’s no hump around the camera, nor is there any sort of hump on its body.

Improving its water proof aspect, there’s now no more concern about covering the microUSB port, seeing that it’s been treated for water resistance – though, the SIM and microSD slots still need to be firmly fastened to ensure its water proof protection. Even with the added thickness, Sony is able to stuff a larger capacity battery with built-in wireless charging in tow as well!


Finally, Sony does justice by gracing the Z4v with a 5.2-inch 1440 x 2560 Quad-HD TRILUMINOS display, making it the sharpest display Sony has ever put in a phone. Needless to say, the jump to Quad-HD resolution gives the screen incredible sharpness and detail – while Sony’s X-Reality engine complements things by adding color fidelity to the screen. It looks good and now quells some of the concerns people were having with the Z3+ and Z4, but there’s just one thing that stood out in our hands-on time.

It’s the display’s brightness output, which seems to be subdued even at the highest setting, which can make it tough to view outdoors with the sun present. Of course, being a pre-production model and all, there’s always opportunities to improve before it’s officially launched.


In standard fashion, this pre-production model of the Xperia Z4v is running the predictable Xperia UI on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop. Who knows if there are any enhancements in this experience that we haven’t seen previously, but nonetheless, it’s complemented by the usual staple of slick looking animations. Functionally, it should be familiar as well, boasting the usual essentials, but who knows if it’s finally upped the ante with its multi-tasking experience to run full apps side-by-side to one another.

Processor and Memory

Keeping up with the times, the Xperia Z4v is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset with a generous 3GB of RAM in tow. The hardware, much like the other phones we’ve seen running the same processor, looks well equipped in handling the most demanding of things. And in our quick run through the phone, the snappy response is evident right from the onset, as apps open instantly and scrolling through the interface is buttery smooth.

Endowed with 32GB of internal storage, there’s a microSD card slot on hand to give folks some much needed elbow room for storing additional content. That’s fantastic and all considering it’s boasting a water proof, premium construction – unlike the Galaxy S6.


Thus far, Sony’s cameras haven’t lived up to expectations. With the Z4v, it’s packing a long a monster sized 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS sensor, which can achieve a very high ISO – making it handy for those low light situations. On the video side, you have the usual options of shooting in either 4K or 1080p resolutions, so there’s plenty of flexibility here. While the numbers point to a beastly camera gear in tow with the Z4v, it’s ultimately going to be its real-world quality that will propel Sony’s reputation out of the pitfall it’s been with stuck in. We’re hopeful about it, really!


Verizon customers surely have something sweet on the horizon with the Sony Xperia Z4v, more so when Sony’s presence in the US is still a work in progress. Whereas the Xperia Z4 and Z3+ were regarded as subtle upgrades to the Z3 previously, the Z4v undoubtedly cements its reputation of being a juggernaut thanks to the addition of a Quad-HD display, up-to-date Snapdragon 810 processor, and a beefier sized battery – all of this, in a still premium feeling, water proof phone. Not many phones can say they carry all of those qualities.

Those eagerly waiting for this one will need to keep in mind pricing, which has yet to be announced. However, it’d be a good idea for them to price it similar to the LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6. Who’s looking to snag this one?

Related phones

Xperia Z4v
  • Display 5.2 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 5.1 Lollipop



30. MidtownDawg

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 21, 2015

@lmaxxacre - normally I would say you are right and I would have been happy with the Z3+. I also think the Z4V is perhaps the first phone that Verizon has changed for the better rather than the worse. Improved graphics, sound, rear camera (image stabilization), front camera (wide angle lens), bigger battery, added wireless charging, all except the wireless charging are pretty decent improvements.

29. Imaxxacre

Posts: 76; Member since: Aug 23, 2009

Verizon needs to just carry the real thing, instead of these bloated, yet watered-down versions of Sony's flagships.

28. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

The Z3v already kicks the S6 butt, let alone this Z4v...keep rockin Sony, doin good! And the comments about the camera are way off, the Z3v camera is great!, so the Z4v will be also great!

27. fyah_king unregistered

I think I will be getting these. I ride my road bike a lot and sometimes it's raining. Thus will definitely help me out on my ride.

25. canesfan81

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

I have a z3v, and I've loved it. If course I'm a ps4 gamer, so the streaming onto my xperias makes said devices indispensable. I'm happy we're getting the z4v, and I look forward to it. I really wish there could be a z4v ultra on its way though. A new Xperia phablet would b #1 on my wish list.

24. yanish

Posts: 49; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Why Verizon exclusive?

23. ozbolt

Posts: 45; Member since: Nov 26, 2014

Sony finally puts everything in Z4v. But Verizon logo...I don't like it. When will Z5 be introduced? QHD, wireless charging, a new camera and new design, Snapdragon 820, no Verizon logo lol... Z5 will be the one for me

14. cheetah2k

Posts: 2342; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

So... um.. does it overheat?

15. Max_Boost

Posts: 101; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Just dip it back to the pool or sink. It's waterproofed anyways. LOL :D

13. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

They left out the most important thing: Can those fugly-ass VZW tramp stamps be wet-sanded off of it? Seriously, this isn't NASCAR, and I'm not looking for a sponsorship deal, especially at a cost of "free" to the sponsor.

20. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Im sure that they placed their logo's on the inside of the glass so that you cannot sand them off....

12. muhammed50

Posts: 20; Member since: May 29, 2015

z4v is amazing i love it

11. jmonteiro829

Posts: 275; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

My whole issue with Sony's Xperia line is that they release them too close together. The value of the phone diminishes alot as soon as the next iteration releases.

26. TMach unregistered

The Z3 was released in September 2014, this (in the guise of the Z3+ but minus QHD) is being released late June 2015 which 9 months apart! By the way based in the UK so we don't get to experience the QHD screen. Waiting for a bigger update on the Z3 in Europe, this would have done nicely but alas a Verizon exclusive! Sticking to my S6 for the time being and hope the Moto X 2015 or Nexus gives me something to really get excited about.

10. goodenough

Posts: 82; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

Z4v seems pretty cool. But probably I will stick to my Z3C and wait for Z5. I will check Z4v at Verizon stores though

4. camera531

Posts: 346; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

The QHD screen adds nothing. Everyone knows that 1080 is just as sharp on a smartphone screen. And in this case, it just makes it unacceptably dim. And it's thick and heavy, unlike the proper Z4 (Z3+). Also, are the sides plastic or metal? It looks plastic and the article and video deliberately avoid talking about it. They say "premium" and only mention the glass back.

8. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1258; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

This phone looks very half baked. Im not feeling this one.

16. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

QHD definitely adds to the gs6 and note 5 but the 1080 display on the Z3 was fantastic and super bright. Too bad it sounds like Sony ruined it here

18. mixedfish

Posts: 1574; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Of course QHD adds to the GS6, it's OLED with pentile, it needs the 2k to get a similar sharpness.

21. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Seems to add to the G4 too but that one is debatable.

3. Virage

Posts: 88; Member since: May 25, 2015

This version should have been priced about the same price slightly less. Tten again the hardware is better

2. mostafawael.1998

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

What ruins my joy is that it is verizon exclusive :(

1. maherk

Posts: 7102; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The Jay Leno of smartphones.

5. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

it tells unfunny jokes for 10 minutes every time it starts? I'd say an iPhone is the Jay Leno of smartphones, with their huge dimpled chins and all...

6. maherk

Posts: 7102; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The iPhone's chin got nothing on this one.

17. spin9

Posts: 310; Member since: May 31, 2014

Does the 810 overheat in this or will have to immerse it in cold water?

7. unregistered

Sony is Crazy. They just buried the Z3+ or whatever they call it with this one. Though I am hardly interested in Sony phones, this one could be worth trying.

9. waddup121 unregistered

I'm expecting a LOT!

19. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

A-LOT of heat?

22. MidtownDawg

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 21, 2015

Thanks to the author, this was the most informative article about the Sony Z4V that I have seen written to date. You didn't just rehash what others have said, but shared interesting insights from your use of the phone such as how bright the QHD display felt. I am very excited about this phone overall.

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