It seems that Sony has been a bit misleading about a couple of their latest phones. In both instances, advertised features aren’t exactly what they seem, but while one is simply disappointing, the other is resulting in a slew of broken phones.

The big story here is the Sony Xperia Z series and its waterproof claims. The upcoming Xperia Z5 has the line “remember not to use the device underwater” in its guidelines because that’s exactly what users were doing with the earlier phones, resulting in waterlogged, non-responsive devices. One particularly upset Z3 user wrote into Mobile Syrup with a story of how they used the phone underwater at a waterpark and now it’s at a repair center in Ontario.

It’s important to note that Sony doesn’t give the phones the IP (waterproof) ratings. That’s done by an independent agency. However, Sony did capitalize on that rating and heavily emphasize the water-resistant capability of the phone in the marketing campaign, and I’m not just talking about the pictures of the phone being used underwater. In regards to the Z3, Sony specifically stated that the phone could take underwater pictures in fresh water.

Now they’re doubling back, saying that the IP ratings were given based on how well the phone survived the underwater tests while in standby mode, and that actually using them underwater is a different story. Again, Sony initially said:

“With the waterproof Xperia Z3, you can take pictures with the best smartphone camera while swimming in fresh water for up to 30 minutes. You can even dive down to 1.5 meters with it.”

So that’s exactly what consumers did, which led to bricked phones. Now Sony has said:

“The IP rating of your device was achieved in laboratory conditions in standby mode, so you should not use the device underwater, such as taking pictures.

“Do not use the device to take photos while performing any type of activity underwater, including diving or snorkelling.”

That isn’t a clarification, it’s a reversal. Whether it constitutes an outright lie, I’ll let you decide. Now, with the Z5, Sony is making sure that consumers know that the phone shouldn’t be taken underwater whatsoever. They’re being completely upfront about the Xperia Z5 and all of its capabilities.

Well, not exactly.

The Z5 Premium is being advertised as the first 4K display smartphone and, as far as I know, that much is true. Sony is also boasting about a “two-day” battery life. What they aren’t clarifying is that the battery only lasts for two days if you watch most of your content in 1080p. In this case they didn’t lie about anything, but they were more than happy to let consumers think they could experience 4K resolution for 48 hours without charging the battery.

Sony, your pants are on fire.

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