In the ever-innovative Xperia™ line, there's a new Xperia™ Z smartphone and tablet. Shaped like a simple, exquisite bar and slate, they reflect a future of greater freedom. Turn the page on a new chapter in Xperia™ design.
Sumii: Xperia™ has always been about Human Centric design, as we explore one design theme or another for each model. The new models build on our Iconic Identity concept introduced in 2012, with distinctive silhouettes memorable enough that anyone could sketch them after just a glance. Now, our pursuit of phones that fulfill their potential well has led to the Xperia™ Z.
Software is such an integral part of smartphones that we are eliminating more physical buttons and making phones even slimmer. When we imagine what kind of phones we should be making in the future, it ultimately comes down to just a simple bar or panel of material. As such, we thought we should take the initiative and make the most exquisite plate we could today. So that was our goal-to unveil unprecedented products based on the design language of an exquisite plate. We also succeeded in making this new design language consistent across product categories, accounting for the user experience and a good match not only with tablets but also with the central Sony display product of televisions.
Suzuki: The display of Xperia™ phones was originally conceived to be like a window through which you enjoy content, but our thinking evolved over time until we realized that the entire product could be viewed as a kind of window. This led to the concept of a single, solid panel of glass. Of course, we also continued to consider the ergonomic Human Curvature™ ideal introduced in previous arc-shaped Xperia™ models. That's why the edges are subtly rounded, to maintain usability.
Hibi: The Xperia™ Z can be called a crystallization of all of our most advanced technologies. Miniaturization of interior components was directly reflected in the exterior appearance, inevitably making the phone look sleek. Still, there's a small but crucial difference between phones that are appealingly simple and those that are just plain. That's why we explored a theme we call OmniBalance design to create a bold product identity. As omni- implies, the body consists of the same elements from any angle, which maintains a sense of balance. Another facet of this approach is omnidirectional shapes.
The directionality of shapes in past phones made them memorable. On the other hand, this may have restricted how people used them, in some ways. For example, surely objects without any directionality at all-such as a perfectly round ball-can be handled most freely. We applied this thinking to a flat object. The surfaces we would normally distinguish by special shapes or materials are simply flat, unadorned materials on the Xperia™ Z, which essentially consists of glass front and back surfaces and flat sides with a glass-like texture. The extremely simple approach of covering all six surfaces in glass demonstrates our "exquisite plate" design language and a new chapter in Xperia™ design.
Sumii: Research tells us that when you ask people around the world what they want in a phone, many say they want to be able to use it for years. That means phones must be tough, and they should inspire affection. Phones soon lose their charm if their character is only skin-deep. That's why in the Xperia™ Z, we demanded high-precision construction with genuine materials and tempered this precision with minimalism, so that it'll never lose its charm over time.
Hibi: There were other reasons to choose glass besides aesthetics. Encasing the phone in glass in the last step of production makes it much more durable and waterproof than conventional fabrication. The many advantages of this approach, structurally and in other respects, made it the clear choice for us.
We realized that the symmetry of OmniBalance design might make you forget which way you're holding the phone. That's why the on/off button is slightly offset, where it's easiest to press, so that you'll know as soon as you pick up the phone. The precision-machined button is made of aluminum, which makes the choice of metal easy to appreciate. It's one of the phone's signature touches.
The phone also offers an impressive experience through its performance, with support for full-HD playback and recording. As much as possible, we eliminated any unneeded elements that might be distracting. Although in use, the phone itself essentially fades into the background, you'll appreciate it when you look carefully. In all, instead of a phone that stands out on store shelves, we sought a phone designed from the user perspective, naturally simple and standing for integrity.