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Sony Xperia Z Will Offer the Closest Thing to a True “Nexus Experience” Should It Launch

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Is Sony preparing to launch their flagship Xperia Z as a “Nexus experience” device through Google Play along with HTC and Samsung? According to two reports this week, that is indeed the case. Both reports claim that it will arrive this summer, though one mentioned July as a possibility. Like the “Nexus experience” devices from Samsung and HTC, the Xperia Z will also be sold through Google Play, run stock Android, receive updates in a timely manner just like both of those devices, and will run on AT&T and T-Mobile networks here in the U.S. 

For those who had forgotten about the Xperia Z, the device still sports high-end specs even though it has fallen off of U.S. radar thanks to a lack of a presence on any major carrier here. With its Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB RAM, 5-inch 1080p display, 13MP camera, microSD slot for expandable storage, water-resistant body, and LTE capabilities, it’s no slouch.

Also, keep in mind that the Xperia Z is the only device of the three “Nexus experience” phones that has on-screen navigation buttons, so it’ll give you the closest thing to a Nexus experience than any of them. We’re talking quick Google Now access with a swipe up from home, and the traditional Back, Home and Task Switcher navigation setup. This video demonstrates what the experience will potentially be like.

YouTube Preview Image

No word yet on pricing, but since the phone is slightly older than the others, I would love to see it drop in under $500. I doubt that’ll happen though.

Anyone interested in the Xperia Z as a “Nexus experience” device?

Via:  Android Geeks | Android Central

Cheers LiterofCola!

  • DennyBoy

    I’ve been using SonyEricsson smartphones for severeal years and had good experience with them and hope that this Sony Experia Z will be really the best one so far from the Sony family based on phone’s feautures and based what I heard from some new owners of the Sony Experia Z. Also, hope it will come to AT&T since I got a positive experience with this cellphone carrier and the price will be lower thru AT&T. Looking forward to that combo: Sony Experia Z & AT&T

  • [A]dri[A]n

    Sony can do themselves A LOT of good by pricing this phone cheaper than Samsung and HTC have priced their “Nexus” devices. Although I think that is highly unlikely since this phone is much more expensive than the other two at retail price. They need the same mentality in this situation that LG had with the Nexus 4, make a phone to provide customers with great software and updates in a timely manner. Not to make a profit. Because we all know that LG didn’t really make a profit from the Nexus 4. I’m sure they lost quite a bit of money on that phone, but they did it for the customers :)

  • chris420o

    this is def a solid real nice phone that any read android fan would be proud to own…sadly at verizon…we will never know anything of this feeling…i hope motorola impresses my razr hd is holding me over but u need the 2gigs of ram in this day n age

  • fartbubbler

    would have jumped all over this 6 months ago.

  • Bionic

    Wrong, the X phone’s are going to be 98% stock. the 2% is just motorola stuff like smart actions and light stuff like that.

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      98% stock isn’t stock. Just sayin’.

    • bboyairwreck

      it’s like when beef jerky & licorice say 98% fat free! which makes it 2% fat… lol

    • chris420o

      is it a flip phone with a bendable screen leaving it half the size of reg phones in pocket and when u take it out n flip it you got solid 4.7″ piece of sex? like in the dream i had?

  • bananatroll

    And yet again Verizon is more than happy to be so asinine as to call Sony, HTC, and Samsung just to say
    “We don’t want your nexus devices ever ever ever again!”

    • Justin Winker

      Once they switch to VoLTE, they won’t have a choice for Unlocked devices (once they start carrying a penta-band LTE modem).

      • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

        All they need to do is keep the CDMA network running as the “backup”, and then they can require all phones to be pre-approved before allowing them to be used on the network. Even though I love VZW’s coverage, I don’t trust them on giving us total freedom on picking our own phones.

  • Andrew Remmers

    4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2

  • duke69111

    Is this what was meant by 5 nexus devices from 5 different oems.

    • Justin Winker

      I’m not so sure… I’m thinking this was more of a recent decision by HTC and Sony to not be left too far behind Samsung in the movement, especially since HTC didn’t work out how to incorporate more of it’s physical features into it’s HTC One GE.

  • Mitch Joa

    Wow, I guess the pre-n4 rumors of a Nexus device from every carrier were true! We have Samsung, HTC, and now Sony — all members of the original rumor, just waiting on Moto now :)

    • Ian

      OEM* not carrier

      • Mitch Joa

        Oohp, better slow down when I write.

        • Ian

          I got your back ;)

  • loony2nz

    You got my attention :)

  • DanWazz

    I would consider it. Sony makes good stuff and this one isn’t ugly like their other phones. Can it get it in white? haha

  • BRIM

    People really need to quit bitching about the prices of these Google edition phones.

    Prior to the N4 we didn’t have a ‘Nexus’ under $600.

    The Damn terrible Galaxy Nexus was $650 off of contract for crying out loud.

    If you want a “cheap” Nexus you have the N4. Buy it and quit complaining about the others.

    • JoshGroff

      I honestly feel most people on this site complain just for the sake of complaining. They want top tier specs for next to nothing off contract.

      • Ian

        You wouldn’t like that?

        • JoshGroff

          I would, but I’m not going to cry over a $600 phone. If you want a cheap still fairly top tier phone, get the N4, or sell your old phone to cover part of the cost of the new phone. If you want top tier specs, you’re going to pay for it, it’s a fact of life.

          • Ian

            But if they complain about the price of top tier phones, there is always the hope that someday an OEM will listen and drop the price. I know moto has been discussing coming in under $600 for their next flagship.

          • JoshGroff

            Which, as we know will be at the cost of some high end spec, whether it be storage, screen, or processor.

          • Ian

            Not necessarily. When Moto made that remark it was in reference to profit margin.

          • JoshGroff

            If so, I doubt it will be drastically cheaper. We’ll see when it’s officially announced.

          • kg215

            You are definitely correct, it’s impossible for Google to make a phone with the highest specs like the GS4 and still sell it for the price people want (350-400 from the Google Play Store). They will have to go with an older processor, cheaper display, smaller battery/memory, etc. But still with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 Google was able to keep the costs down and give everyone incredible bang for the buck. That is probably why people have such high expectations, they want Google to sell another amazing product at an amazing price (the anti-Apple).

    • brkshr

      The GSM Galaxy Nexus cost the same as the N4 on the play store.

      • AndroidUser00110001

        Many months after it came out. Google subsidized the N4 prices and Galaxy Nexus. See what one would pay for a GS4, HTC One or a Nexus4 at full retail. I don’t understand why people think that every phone Google sells should be $350.

        • kg215

          True people seem to forget the Nexus 4 only had 16gb internal memory and no LTE to keep costs down. On the other hand 650 for a phone is a lot even for the GS4/One, atleast T-mobile cushions the blow and lowers your price when you are off contract. At&t doesn’t care.

    • brkshr

      I do agree that they shouldn’t be complaining about the ‘Nexus Experience’ devices being this expensive. Google didn’t have any hand in building these, so it’s up to the manufactures to price these how they want. We’re just lucky that Google got AOSP onto these guys.

    • Ian

      “Damn terrible Galaxy Nexus” ….credibility, meet window.

    • mechapathy

      As @brkshr:disqus mentioned, the “takju” variant of the Galaxy Nexus was sold on the play store for $350.

      • Justin Winker

        Yes, about 6 months after the GNex was announced. That wouldn’t have a large effect on the price, but if this becomes the norm (releasing devices to GPlay with Stock Android), then the prices for the Flagship phones will be higher vs. those with Nexus brandings.

  • morpheus282

    Two big stories this morning and neither one shows Verizon users any love.

  • blix247

    I know its not rational, but the logo on the front is just obnoxious to me. I don’t consider a device a Nexus until it doesn’t have a disgusting logo on the front.

    • JoshGroff

      What is up with people crying over branding? Get over it.

      • radiohead14

        the only one i have a problem with is the verizon branding. yuck

        • JoshGroff

          Agreed, Verizon doesn’t do subtle.

      • Hungry Hamburger

        It’s the little things that make a big difference.

        • JoshGroff

          How often do you stare longingly at the bezel of your phone?

          • Hungry Hamburger

            I’m using a Galaxy Nexus so not much. It’s out of the way if you know what I’m saying. It doesn’t have any logos in the front. It’s just a nice smooth curved surface of gorilla glass.

          • JoshGroff

            I have one as well, and a DNA, the Verizon branding rarely catches my eye, since I’m usually staring at the screen.

          • Steve Benson

            How about the Note 2? Do you love that ugly ass logo on the home button?

            Put Verizon’s Note 2 next to every other Note 2 in existence. That logo will stick out like a sore thumb. It makes a huge difference, but maybe you’re just not very observant.

          • JoshGroff

            Or maybe I’m focused on the screen, and the logo doesn’t bother me, because I actually *gasp* ignore it. Also, it’s not hard to cover up, so there’s that too.

          • Steve Benson

            Some things are too ugly to be ignored.

          • JoshGroff

            Not really, you don’t hear people crying about the SAMSUNG branding at the top, which is much larger. Compared to that, the Verizon branding is actually fairly subtle, surprisingly.

          • Steve Benson

            It makes a big difference for a lot of people. That was one of the main selling points when I bought my Galaxy Nexus. No ugly ass Verizon logo on front. I’ll never buy a phone with carrier branding on the front – the back is tolerable. Manufacturer branding is okay as long as it’s tasteful.

          • JoshGroff

            I’m a German, we prefer performance over aesthetics. ;)

          • Justin Winker

            I’m an American, and I think (mostly) the same way. I definitely think both work well together though (sexy speedy device ala HTC One).

          • JoshGroff

            I meant genetically, I’m an American too. Also, that’s more the Italian mentality.

          • Justin Winker

            Lol. Didn’t catch that, but should have known. I may have some italian in me… I’m really a mix of European countries. :)

      • LiterofCola

        Just about

    • Steve Benson

      That’s why there’s never been a Nexus device will branding on the front. They’ve always been a plain black slate.

      These are not Nexus devices, these are bastardized Nexus experience devices with terribly handicapped cameras and button navigation.

    • William_Morris

      Sure as hell looks better than a gigantic Verizon, ATT, Sprint, or TMo logo on the front.

    • Laborin_HK

      It’s ok I also have this feeling. But you’d be happy to know that the sony logo can be removed, since its printed onto a screen protector sony installs

  • Scott Webber

    5 words: “Nexus Experience on Verizon PLEASE!”

    • Maximus

      2 words: ditch verizon….

      • Diablo81588

        Two words: No service….

      • Ian

        Two words: Unlimited data

        • edoggy

          Two words: no lube.

          • http://androidiantech.com/ Juan Lopez

            Two words: Never do

        • LiterofCola

          Which i’d happily drop for this bad boy.

          • kg215

            By bad boy you can’t be talking about the xperia-z. It’s an also ran or behind in every aspect.

      • Eric

        2 words: Best coverage

      • Steve Benson

        2 words: Worst phones

      • Raven

        2 words: I can’t
        Why? No other decent data coverage here.

    • LiterofCola

      I’d most definitely dump Verizon for this phone. F*** Yes!

    • Steve Benson

      5 Words: Never Ever Going To Happen!

  • brkshr

    I would choose this over the One or S4

    • itsgonnalast

      Me too… I got caught in a thunderstorm this week and wished my Galaxy Nexus was waterproof.

      That’s essentially what Sony has done here, with better specs.

  • leftiphone4droid

    The HTC One also has the swipe feature now on the home button to open Google Now..it’s in the 4.2.2 leaked update. So I’m sure the “Nexus Experience” HTC One will have it as well.

  • Hungry Hamburger

    Yay! We have all nexus experience phones from almost all major OEMs. We have LG Nexus 4, Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, and the Motorola X Phone. We just need Asus and it’ll be complete.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Padfone Infinity Nexus Experience!

      • JoshGroff

        I would buy one in a heartbeat.

      • CasperTFG

        The Asus FonePad Note looks tasty.

      • William_Morris

        I’d buy that too. Especially with LTE.

      • Justin Winker

        HELL YES. Asus makes amazing devices.

  • Chris Schmucker

    [Obligatory I hate Verizon comment ]

    • Sirx

      [Obligatory Thumbs-Up from someone who genuinely does hate them]

      • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

        Then leave.

        • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

          [Obligatory defensive remark from Vzw-loyalist]
          FTFY

          • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

            Seriously? I left Verizon (Galaxy Nexus) a while back for AT&T on a Nexus 4, then just went under contract with AT&T for a GS4. I’m far from a loyalist. That said, however, I don’t delude myself by denying that Verizon has the single best network coverage of any carrier in the US. That’s not even debatable. If you need a quality data connection almost anywhere you’d possibly live or travel to in the US, you put Verizon #1 on your list and leave 2-10 blank. The end.

          • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

            Hmmm

          • LiterofCola

            I lol’d

      • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

        [Obligatory wistful comment wishing for other carriers with competitive service]

        • https://plus.google.com/110773438514346746273/ tjhrulz

          [Obligatory if Google was a carrier comment]

          • http://androidiantech.com/ Juan Lopez

            [Obligatory comment taht has severla mispeled words]

        • JPlattim1933

          Yay! We have all nexus experience
          phones from almost all major OEMs. We have LG Nexus 4, Galaxy S4, HTC
          One, Sony Xperia Z, and the Motorola X Phone. We just need Asus and
          it’ll be complete.­ ­http://mybestfriendmakes65dollarsper&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

      • Kenny Larson

        [Obligatory comment from someone extolling the virtues of prepaid and how they'll never sign a 2 year contract again]

    • Redsun

      No thanks. I prefer Google Suxperience phones available only on Verizon.

  • Luxferro

    Why the sudden change from “google experience” to “nexus experience”? It’s not a nexus device and shouldn’t be called that. The OG Droid was labled a google experience device back in the day, since it was pure android and google was supposedly in control of the updates. That’s all these devices are. Google experience. Stop with the misleading nexus stuff.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Because “Google Edition” was a made up term by the media. Hugo Barra called the Galaxy S4 a “Nexus like experience.” HTC is promoting the One as the “One Nexus Experience.” It’s the correct way to reference it. Not “Google experience” or “Google edition.”

      http://blog.htc.com/2013/05/htc-one-google-nexus-experience/

      • Luxferro

        And that’s why I despise marketing and sales. All they do is think of different ways to say or market the same things as someone else. It’s nothing more than a google experience device.

        Soon people won’t be saying “do you have a droid” when referring to any android device. Soon it will be “do you have a nexus” and everything will be nexus. It’s just stupid.

        • Luxferro

          To add more to that, then when someone says they have a nexus. And I tell them they don’t, and show them a real nexus device, they will be “but this is a nexus”. Again, it’s just stupid marketing BS. They should be called google experience devices because that is all they are.

          • Justin Winker

            They want a cohesive brand recognition. You don’t create two separate brands (i.e. Nexus and Google Experience) since that makes it harder for consumers to recognize the brand. Nexus and Nexus Experience are the same except that Nexus devices are specifically designed for stock android while the Nexus Experience devices use a device designed for an alternate android-based ROM. It’s not much different.

        • anezarati

          yeah, but thats what the companies want…brand recognition. without marketing and sales there wouldnt be any of these devices cause google/moto/samsung/sony/etc wouldnt have any MONEY!

        • Justin Winker

          I think the last device I used that had Google Experience branding was the OG Droid. Not sure if others came after that.

        • 23

          Actually, they’re calling any Android phone “a Galaxy” now since that’s all you see and hear about.

          Who knows what EVO or One or Xperias are? It’s all Samsung Galaxy.

    • jstew182

      I would assume they are doing that to get more/free marketing out of the Nexus brand since everyone knows what Google is/means.

    • Hungry Hamburger

      Where’d you hear that the OG Droid was getting their updates from Google? Last time I checked Verizon was the one in control of the updates for the Droid. The Droid is a perfect example of a “Google Experience” meaning it has stock android with no custom skin like Google intended it to be. Now that doesn’t necessarily means it’s a “Nexus Experience”. A “Nexus Experience” is a device that gets their updates straight from Google.

      • Luxferro

        Verizon doesn’t let anything on their network that that don’t have their paws in. Updates to the OG Droid were as much hands off as Verizon could let themselves be. It was supposed to the new era of openness for verizon. Soon after they wen’t back to their old ways.

        BTW those aren’t what google experience or nexus experience are – just getting update from directly from google. The Galaxy Nexus on verizon is a perfect example. A nexus device that verizon couldn’t keep their paws off – even if the updates were from google, they were controlled by verizon – they are the most apple-like of the cell phone carriers.

    • Steve Benson

      It this a joke?

      “google was supposedly in control of the updates”

      Where the hell did you hear that? Google had no part in the update process of this phone. This phone was made by Moto for Verizon. Moto took AOSP and made the greatest phone of all time for Verizon. Everytime there was an update to AOSP, Moto updated the software and passed it along through Verizon’s rigorous testing process. Update didn’t come for months. The process with the OG was arguably worse that what we saw with the Gnex.

      • 23

        Jean-Baptise Queru himself confirmed that Google controlled the OG Droid’s updates.

        Where are you getting YOUR information? XDA?

  • ahhh yes

    i would get rid of my n4 for this. mainly because of the screen and sd storage.

  • Dorian Brooks

    Shut up & take my money!!!!

  • Mvrcel Lgt

    Its a bit odd to fool people with a “nexusish” feeling on a device, when its defo not a nexus! I wont recommend buying.

    • MikeCiggy

      It’s more or less for us Droid-Life readers who are educated in the field and would like a stock device. Any regular customer will usually buy from there service provider.

    • brkshr

      I agree that they are not true Nexus’, but I wouldn’t go as far as to not recommend them to my friends & family. I would much rather have them on an AOSP UI, than touchwiz or sense. None of my friends or family care about a Nexus or ROMing. Personally, it’s Nexus or nothing for me.

  • Xious

    I’m really starting to dislike this love-hate relationship with Verizon. Love the coverage and speed, HATE the lack of phones. I would definitely get this phone if it worked on Verizon. The S4 and One are good phones, but the button set up is just ridiculous. If only Verizon….

    • M3D1T8R

      My thoughts exactly. Stuck with Verizon due to coverage, still hoping the Xphone provides what i need, and has a sane button layout, and comes sooner rather than later.

      If I weren’t on Verizon the Sony would probably be the most appealing despite its not great screen. Dumb buttons on S4 and One ruin those otherwise good devices. I got rid of my S3 and went to G.Nex due to just this one annoyance, after learning to love the Nexus7.

    • aQuickBit

      I just want this phone on Verizon. Doesn’t have to me almost nexus experience it almost already is. I think Sony did a decent job with its default skin. I realy really want this on Verizon :(

  • BRIAN MUENTER

    If it comes to big red!!!!!

    • MikeCiggy

      I’m not confident anything out of the play store will be Verizon compatible for some time.

      • jstew182

        Chromebook Pixel LTE…

    • Hungry Hamburger

      Is this an unfinished question or a short comment? Lol

  • sagisarius

    Man, if the Xperia Tablet Z could be a nexus experience device, I’d be on it in a second.

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    Ay-chee-mama. While I doubt the S4, One, or this would have ROMs that get updates directly from Google, if they do end up that way, I’ve got work to do on my website. I track and mirror all factory images and every OTA update for every Google-built and maintained ROM from the OG Droid up through present-day.

    I figure these are all going to be stock Android ROMs that are built and updated by the OEMs, not Google. I won’t believe otherwise until I see screenshots of the About Phone screens.

    Also keep in mind that if these DO run OEM ROMs (which they most likely will), that would put them in the same class as the yakju(xx) firmware variants on the Galaxy Nexus or the HTC-maintained Nexus One firmware variants for Europe. They all took forever to get official updates. Unless the ROMs come straight from Google, there’s very little reason to own one of these over the normal skinned versions…unless you just love the stock Android UI that much.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      HTC said that updates for the One “Nexus experience” will come from Google, so I would assume that will be the case for all of them.

      • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

        I call marketing on that and nothing more. We’ll see in a few weeks. Again, I won’t believe it until I see build numbers and build.props with my own eyes. haha

        • atari37

          During I/O, Google said the GS4 Google edition would be updated by Google.

          • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

            They definitely did not. All anyone ever said was “prompt system updates”. Even the yakju(xx) firmware variants on the Galaxy Nexus (updated by Samsung) got “prompt” system updates compared to any non-Nexus phone on the market. Those updates took months.

            Nobody has said a word other than HTC, and I still believe that’s purely marketing. We’ll find out in a few weeks once the devices launch. It’ll take 3 seconds to find out if it’s a Google or an OEM ROM.

        • Justin Winker

          Re-watch the reveal at I/O regarding the Galaxy S4 GE. They say that updates will come direct from Google. They are Nexus devices, the only difference is the hardware wasn’t designed specifically for stock Android (meaning you may lose some hardware features of the device itself). Updates will be direct from Google.

          • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

            I’ve watched the I/O reveal several times. All Hugo Barra said was “prompt system updates”. At no point, anywhere in that presentation, does he say where the updates come from. All he said is ‘prompt system updates’.

  • Sean Rowe

    I’d be interested, however I will need to look into switching to ATT…

    Is there a good review on the camera of the Z vs. HTC1 and S4?

    • William_Morris

      It’s hard to compare them as these will be Nexus experience devices… HTC and Samsung provide software to differentiate their cameras and that’s what makes them better shooters. Considering these phones will all be using stock Android software, the HTC will be in less of a position to compete as it’s only a 4MP shooter vs the S4 and XZ having a 13MP shooter. This is one of the major drawbacks of the Nexus Experience Devices. GOOGLE, FIX THE CAMERA SOFTWARE!

      • Sean Rowe

        Yea I am aware of the stock camera software issues. I was more interested in a comparison of the phones currently. Meaning the skinned versions of the phone. I highly doubt any review of the “Google Experience” devices are available yet because they aren’t out yet.

        I think the HTCone would compete to some extent, I know it takes better low light photos than the S4.