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A first look at Sony's Xperia Z4v

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Verizon has a bad habit of taking the best phones from Sony's Xperia line and making them into weirder, less-lovable siblings. And earlier this week, it did it again: it announced the Xperia Z4v, a custom version of the Xperia Z4 that, at first glance, seems to change the device for the worse by making it thicker and less stylish. I was hoping that the story would be different in person, but it's about what you'd expect.

While Verizon's publicity photos of the Z4v make it look like a soft and friendly take on the Z4, it's not actually like that. It's basically just a thicker Z4 that looks a bit rougher for the changes — you might think of it as a hybrid with the Z2, or like a poorly made mockup of a huge iPhone 4. The phone isn't terribly thick, but it primarily just gains wireless charging in the exchange — something that not everyone will agree is worth it.

Looks aside, it feels like a well-made phone, as Sony's devices typically do. It has a 5.2-inch Quad HD display that's bright enough when you're looking face on but quickly fades off as you look at it from the side. On the back is a 20.7-megapixel camera, and inside is a 2GHz Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM. The phone wasn't running final software, but it seemed to be appropriately snappy for everything that's inside of it. No pricing or release date has been announced yet, but the phone is expected to arrive this summer.