Sony’s one of those rare smartphone manufacturers that really seems to have a great sense of design identity; while from across the room you might struggle to tell an LG phone from a Samsung model, an Xperia handset is unmistakably Sony’s. It’s also been keeping on top of hardware advancements, delivering flagships like the Z2 that compete on even footing against other Android heavyweights this season. In some respects, Sony’s even been a bit ahead of the curve, being one of the first manufacturers to really embrace waterproofing on its devices. But for all it does right, Sony has still managed to come up short in one area that’s becoming increasingly important for OEMs: its budget phone lineup. That may soon be changing, with rumors suggesting that Sony could release a waterproof Xperia model with a very competitive price tag.
Industry sources out of Taiwan claim that Sony is interested in making a waterproof Xperia for 2015 that would retail for $300 or less, without subsidies. While Sony’s been able to hit low price points like that with devices like the Xperia M, that’s come at the expense of features like waterproofing which are otherwise present on the company’s higher-end offerings. If this rumor hits the mark, we may start getting the best of both worlds.
Of course, there’s more that goes into making a budget phone worthwhile than waterproofing, and we’d be curious to see if Sony can deliver a model that also manages to compete with budget efforts from companies like Motorola in the performance department – in this sub-$300 space, every component is part of a balancing act, and it’s tricky to select the right mix of capability and affordability.
In addition to Sony, these sources suggest that we’ll be seeing a lot more waterproofing in general from the rest of the smartphone OEM crowd.