If You Own a Sony Phone You Might Be Owed Up to $300

Image: Kat Hannaford/Gizmodo
Image: Kat Hannaford/Gizmodo

Are you one of the four people who owns a Sony phone in the United States? Well get excited because you could be owed up to $300. That’s thanks to a new settlement that will see Sony paying owners of Xperia phones due to some less than accurate advertising. One of the reasons Sony phones have remained pretty cool (even while being very difficult to find in the US) is they are, generally speaking, really resistant to water. That’s why we got all those Sony commercials that showed people taking underwater photos with their Xperia phones. It seemed pretty fantastic, but it stopped being fun when allegedly water resistant Sony phones started dying.


The problem was with the ads, which promised more than the devices could actually deliver. Take the Xperia Z1 for example. It featured an IP-58 rating for water resistance. That means the phone was only certified to resist strong water jets and temporary immersion (like a quick drop in a toilet), not full photo shoots in pools and rivers. But a quick drop in the water isn’t as sexy as models diving into the water, Sony phones clutched in their hands, and Sony continued to make the poor choice of calling its phones waterproof in commercials.

So what happened? Sony got hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that the company’s so-called “waterproof” phones weren’t actually capable of withstanding normal underwater use. And now, instead of letting the lawsuit continue on forever, Sony has reached a settlement that could see owners of affected Sony phones rewarded with up to 50 percent of the device’s MSRP. Depending on the phone and where you got it, that could be as much as $300.

The lawsuit covers 24 Xperia devices including the Xperia Z1 and going all the way up to the Xperia Z5, with a few Xperia and Aqua tablets included as well. (To see a full breakdown of affected devices, check the list below).

If you are an owner of a device named in the lawsuit, you can find more about how to actually make a claim by going here. Additionally, even if you choose not to make a claim, owners of these devices should know that phones and tablets with an active warranty have been automatically extended by 12 months, while devices out-of-warranty get an extra six months of coverage tacked on to the end of the original warranty.

The Sony devices included in the settlement are:

  • Xperia M2 Aqua
  • Xperia M4 Aqua
  • Xperia ZR
  • Xperia Z Ultra
  • Xperia Z1
  • Xperia Z1 Compact
  • Xperia Z1s (T-Mobile)
  • Xperia Z2
  • Xperia Z3
  • Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Xperia Z3 (T-Mobile)
  • Xperia Z3v (Verizon)
  • Xperia Z3 Dual
  • Xperia Z3+ Dual
  • Xperia Z3+
  • Xperia Z5
  • Xperia Z5 Compact
  • Xperia Z2 Tablet (WiFi)
  • Xperia Z2 Tablet (LTE)
  • Xperia Z2 Tablet (Verizon LTE)
  • Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (WiFi)
  • Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (LTE)
  • Xperia Z4 Tablet (WiFi)
  • Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE)

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.



Uh, so the only way to get your ~$300 is if you previously filed a claim against Sony that your phone was damaged by water and they denied it. That is probably going to be a pretty limited group of people. For most people, all the settlement will do is extend their warranty one year, if it is still in effect, and quite a few of the phones listed have been out of warranty for some time. Seems like a pretty good deal.... for Sony.

I have a Z3 compact, and my biggest complaint isn’t with the water proofing. It’s that the screen cracked a week after I bought it while it was in my pocket (never dropped, never banged, hit, or abused in any way) and when the screen cracks on these phones, everything above the lowest crack stops responding to touch. So, there my Z3 Compact sits on my dresser, still powered on for days because I can’t unlock it or event turn it off, and I can’t even pull the battery out because it is an integrated battery, and the back of the phone is glued on.

I’m done with you Sony. The phone is gorgeous and they are pretty much the only manufacturer left who makes a small (less than 130mm tall) Android phone with decent specs (min 2GB RAM, min 16GB storage, top-tier CPU) but I can’t trust a phone that will randomly become a useless brick in my pocket without warning. (Sigh)