Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet full review

Sony may not have announced its Xperia Z4 flagship smartphone yet, but it did unveil a brand-new Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet during MWC 2015 in Barcelona at the beginning of March, the successor to the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Here, we compare the new Xperia Z4 Tablet with its size-matched predecessor, the Xperia Z2 Tablet, to find out what's new and help you decide whether it's worth the upgrade. Also see: Best new tablets coming in 2016.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Design & build

The Xperia Z4 Tablet has a 10.1in screen, just like the Xperia Z2 Tablet, but with a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels that equates to a pixel density of 299ppi. The older tablet has a 1920x1200 pixel resolution at 224ppi, so there's a definite improvement there.

We were already smitten by the Xperia Z2 Tablet back when it launched at MWC last year, because it was the thinnest and lightest 10in tablet we'd seen. It weighs 426g and measures just 6.4mm thick.

So we were pleasantly surprised to find that Sony has managed to make the new version of its 10in Tablet even thinner and lighter. It weighs 329g, and is really slim at just 6.1mm, as shown below.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet thin

It's durable, with an IP68 dust- and waterproof rating (that's the highest available), and doesn't even need a cover or flap to keep the moisture out of the microUSB port.

The Z2 Tablet is waterproof and dust resistant too, but does require flaps over all of its ports except the headphone jack in order to survive a dip in the pool.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet waterproof

Above: The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet showing off its durability.

We're still not keen on that big bezel around the edge of the tablet, which doesn't appear to have been slimmed down much in the new model. It was one of our complaints about the Z2 Tablet, so it's a shame that nothing's changed there.

You can buy the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet in white or black, and the same goes for the Xperia Z2 Tablet, as shown below.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet back

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Hardware & specs

Inside the Xperia Z4 Tablet is a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, which is about as good as it gets for Android tablets at the moment, and significantly improves upon the Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor found in the Z2 Tablet. Both have 3GB of RAM.

You'll get 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for adding up to 128GB more with the Z4 Tablet, an improvement over the 16GB built-in storage in the Z2 Tablet with the ability to add 64GB via microSD.

Connectivity features are similar across both of these tablets. Both boast 11ac WiFI, and NFC, while Bluetooth 4.0 has been improved to 4.1 in the newer tablet.

New is the support for High-Res audio, with front-facing speakers (the Z2 Tablet sports these too), digital noise cancelling support, automatic headphone compensation and a new LDAC codec which supposedly transmits data three times more efficiently than Bluetooth.

We're still waiting to get the Z4 Tablet back to our labs to do our full benchmark tests to find out exactly how much faster the new Z4 Tablet is, but we'll update this article when we find out. However, we found the Z2 Tablet to be brilliantly speedy, so whether you really need additional power is questionable.

When it comes to cameras, you'll find an 8.1Mp camera on the rear of the Z4 Tablet and a 5.1Mp camera on the front, both good for a tablet. The rear-facing camera uses Sony's Exmor RS sensor, while the front-facing camera has a wide angle lens, handy for getting more people in the frame for selfies or video chats.

That's the same rear-facing camera as the Xperia Z2 Tablet, but an improved front-facing camera compared with the 2Mp one in the older device.

You might also like: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet vs Surface Pro 3

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Software

Both the Xperia Z2 Tablet and the Xperia Z4 Tablet run Android, but while the former is still running 4.4 KitKat, the newer tablet gets Google's new 5.0 Lollipop version. However, Lollipop is set to arrive on Sony's older tablets soon.

It's overlaid with Sony's own UI, which doesn't particularly stray from stock Android. You'll get the two-stage notification bar, the card-style recent apps menu and more.

You will also get Sony's own Walkman, Album, PlayStation and Lifelog apps. There's also the PS4 Remote Play feature enabling you to play PlayStation 4 games on the device from the console, streaming over the same WiFi network.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Price & availability

The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet was unveiled at the beginning of March and isn't on sale yet. It should arrive within the next month or two in the UK, and is available to pre-order now. We're not completely certain about pricing for the new Tablet yet, because the only price listed on the company's website includes a keyboard dock. We'd imagine you'll be able to buy the Tablet without, but if you do want the keyboard it'll cost you £499 for the WiFi-only model, or £579 for the model with 4G LTE connectivity.

If you're interested in buying the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, find out more in our hands-on review.

The Xperia Z2 Tablet originally shipped with a starting price of £399 for the 16GB WiFi-only model. Now, you can buy it for £369 from Sony, or cheaper if you shop around (it's £349 on Amazon at time of writing, for example).


Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Specs

  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 10.1in IPS Triluminos screen, 2560x1600, 300ppi, 500cd/m2
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 64-bit
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage, microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
  • 8.1Mp rear camera with Exmor RS
  • 5.1Mp wide angle front camera
  • MHL 3.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Nano-SIM (LTE model)
  • 6000 mAh battery
  • 254x167x6.1mm
  • 392g (Wi-Fi), 396g (LTE)
  • Black, white