Sony's tweaked Xperia Z4v has a better screen and a wider waistline

Remember when Sony cooked up a new flagship smartphone for Japan called the Z4, then renamed it the Z3+ when it came time to take it overseas? Yeah, well, it's finally coming to the United States with a little help from Verizon, and it has another name for us to try and keep straight. Meet the Xperia Z4v. You'd be forgiven for thinking this was a straight-up rebrand of an existing phone, but that's not quite true -- it's a chubbier version of a phone we've already met with a better screen, to boot.

All of the really important bits -- by which we mean the Snapdragon 810 chipset with 3GB of RAM, the 20.7-megapixel camera and all that wonderful waterproofing -- remain intact. So what's new? Well, the 5.2-inch screen has been bumped up to Quad HD (or 2560 x1440 if you haven't committed it to memory yet) from the Z4's 1080p resolution, and the battery has swelled ever so slightly up to a full 3,000mAh. Thing is, Sony squeezed all of that into a body that's just a touch heavier and fatter than the lithe, streamlined Z4, so the company have might have kissed whatever style advantage they had goodbye. We can't say we're surprised to see Sony cozy up to a carrier like Verizon so closely. After all, last year saw a similar tie-up in the Xperia Z3v and Sony's phone business is clearly hurting for some strong supporters. For a company that's spent decades stirring the pot of innovation, it just can't seem to convince the average consumer to buy their phones -- we'll just have to see if the Z4v manages to move the needle at all.