Let’s get one thing straight: Sony makes good phones. The hardware is always nice and the software has taken positive steps to becoming a perfectly usable skin atop what’s usually the latest build of Android. The camera experience is top notch, and overall, there’s not much to gripe about when it comes to Sony devices. So you may be asking, what’s the issue? I’m glad you asked.
The long running issue with Sony is the pricing and release schedule. By all means, charge what you think is fair, but at the end of the day, we know that there are typically better options available way below the price point Sony phones come in at. We can argue until the cows come home on pricing, but the main issue with Sony is how they go about announcing phones and then releasing them.
The modus operandi for Sony is that they announce a phone in the spring time, then we don’t hear from them for months and months. After enough time has passed and everyone has forgotten about Sony’s announcement (unless you’re a hardcore Sony follower), they release the phone via limited retail channels for a price that might turn most potential buyers off. Due to a lack of US carrier partners, paying full price is usually one of the only purchasing options, which for some or most, is simply too much.
Let’s take last year’s high-end Xperia 1 IV as an example. Gorgeous phone, top of the line specs. The phone was initially announced and placed up for pre-order in May, 2022 at $1600. Not a typo. The phone didn’t release until September. Sony, my friends, that is waaay too long. In my mind, when a phone is announced, it better be available and potentially in my hands within 2-3 weeks or any interest dies. Due to the timing between announcement and release, companies like Google are able to unveil and subsequently release the Pixel lineup of phones, notably at a much less expensive price tag and full of noteworthy software features.
Like I said earlier, Sony makes a nice phone and I’m sure it feels worth those high prices to those who buy it, but let’s be real, there are plenty of other good options out there at far better prices. Those two things, pricing and release schedule, really don’t help when it comes to me recommending phones to family and friends. No one I know is dropping that kind of money on a smartphone. Sony’s least expensive option is $999, the Xperia 5 III from 2021, currently on sale for $699. I’m sorry, but that seems insane to me.
Sony, I need there to be more options available to me besides Google, Samsung, and OnePlus. Please, try to bring it down a bit and don’t make me wait so long for your phones.