Sony’s stupidly expensive USB car charger now on sale

by XB on 2nd July 2015

in Accessories

Sony AN420 Car Quick Charger_2A number of our loyal readers are likely to be hardcore Sony fans, you guys will know that buying a Sony product normally means paying a premium for the brand. However, sometimes we feel that Sony is really taking the biscuit when it comes to pricing. Without getting started on the excessive Xperia Z3+ price points globally, Sony has just released the Car Quick Charger AN420 across Europe.

Sony says that this USB car charger “supports fast charging (1.8 A)” – don’t confuse this with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 – and it can charge two devices at the same time. Sony wants £30 of your hard-earned money for this car charger in the UK and as much as €40 in mainland Europe. Madness. Having a quick look at Amazon, we found the very well-reviewed Anker 4.8A car charger (533 reviews; 4.6 stars) for £10.99 (or without the cable for £6.99). This is better specced than Sony’s offering, from a customer-focused brand at a third of the price.

We understand that Sony wants to appeal as a premium brand and isn’t going to attack the value market any time soon, but it has to offer something extra to demand that premium price point. Consumers are more value conscious than ever before, but are willing to spend extra if the design/features are deemed attractive enough. We do wonder what game Sony is playing sometimes, but it is quite clear that the company needs to be much more realistic with its pricing if it wants to retain its loyal users.

Sony AN420 Car Quick Charger_1

Sony AN420 Car Quick Charger_2

Sony AN420 Car Quick Charger_3

Sony AN420 Car Quick Charger_4

  • DBS

    I think Sony is convinced they’re Apple. And so follow Apple’s business model of overcharging for the brand.

    The problem is that Sony hasn’t got the memo telling them that, unlike Apple consumers, theirs actually have brains. Which is why they keep struggling.

    I’m fine paying premium prices for devices. As long as they can justify to me that premium price. Which is something Sony is having harder and harder times doing these days…

  • DanielGearSolid


  • Aiden Pearce

    I don’t really understand what is in the mind of their price department, i mean who the hell does that, do they think everyone is as rich as them,to stupidly price the products or they are showing signs of walking off the mobile business..stupid peoples.
    As much as i like sony products, these silly people are making hard to afford those products now.
    I guess i should find out alternatives. Thought of getting a new z3+ but now i don’t even think i could afford that..

  • theskig

    We need to see the street price.

    I bought MDR-NC31EM (headphones with noise cancel) on ebay in bulk package (a plastic bag) for 28 euro including shipping when on sony store they cost 69 euro.

  • Geese Howard

    Sony really likes to push things to the limits… I dig Sony’s gadgets and understand what kind of strategy they are doing… but they tend to really push it you know?

  • nfs2010

    Sony’s super premium $1200 ZX2 walkman was on sale for $850 for a while. So yeah, street price is what matters, XB! But this charger still looks pricey.

  • nfs2010

    Off-topic – Hey XB, can you please make a post about the missing toggle for the shitty call noise suppression under ‘call settings’ on the Z3+? I need to turn that crap off. I think they shipped the phone with that thing on.

  • Samuel

    yeah! sure ;) “quick”

  • nfs2010

    As I was saying the other day, they also tried to sell the bundled ‘EP880’ charger as quick charger ‘EP881’. It was very annoying and misleading.

  • jmaxim917

    Sony has been overpricing their products long before the Apple Co was conceived, Sony being 30 years older. However, I do believe that Sony’s overpricing will be the death of them.

  • jakobd.

    Please look this video ! 1. the Z3+ Camera Auto Focus is much worse than LG G4 AF (Z3+in low light even worse) 2. Microphone when Z3 + is much quieter and overdriven mikropfon as Lg G4 3. the focus is totally bad at Z3 +! looks on people’s faces when Z3 + no Deteil everything blurred and full of stuttering that’s the old Z3 until today so that’s bad! .4, Eliminates finally the gray haze of camera you have an aperture of f2.0 so useful there, the camera could be so much better!

  • nfs2010

    Its launch price is actually lower than their previous models’. I guess it depends on where you live though.

  • DBS

    The difference is that, 20 years ago, they could do that. Because they had little competition. Nowadays, unless you manage – as Apple did – to create a culture of brainwashing around your brand, overpricing just “because” will be the end of you indeed.

  • jakobd.

    better less gimmick camera apps, but more properly optimized camera’s Sony

  • Prateek Bhanushali

    I think the Blurred thing you notice here is because of the digital Stabilizer which scales the Image from 1080p… Sound was obvious better on G4, but daylight quality could have been better than G4 with the Stabilizer off…. Night quality is better with G4 because of 1.8 aperture !!!!

  • nfs2010

    They do need to fix their pricing. On top of that, they need to market/brainwash to sell their stuff. Good pricing itself isn’t going to help at all. X10, Arc, Play, Ion, T – all were very reasonably priced here in the US. The lack of brainwashing killed them all.

  • Srijan Chawla

    Ignore this article, just another chapter in the new Sony biography titled “How To Fook Things Up 101”

  • Srijan Chawla

    Thank you, someone finally said it

  • Paul M

    what’s this got to do with the car charger?

  • Rikimaru Azuma

    it’s a shame to see Sony doing this.

  • Paul M

    These days I want to buy stuff in full retail packaging because of the problem with counterfeit goods. There was a time I was happy with grey imports from unofficial dealers as forgeries were much less common.

  • HAWX

    I don’t know but Sony is expensive in most areas man. Bravia TV’s, Xperias, Vaio in the past, High Resulation Audio equipments.. Only area I know is PlayStation which have good Price/Performance ratio. (Their games are expensive but so Xbox) Is this releted with Japan maybe:? Good Engineers have good salary in Japan and Sony is having bad time paying for these engineers:? What you think?

  • HAWX

    Even the Xperiablog is going crazy with Sony XD!

  • DBS

    Yes, and that’s exactly the point. They often go overboard with being expensive. And that’s what’s dooming them. You pointed out a bunch of their products quite well. Now look at them and see which is the only one thriving.
    Exactly. The PlayStation. The only product Sony isn’t overpricing is the one that’s keeping the company afloat.
    Vaio was sold, TV’s were spun off, Xperia’s are barely alive, Walkman keep decaying…

    I don’t think this has anything to do with Japanese salaries. Other Japanese companies don’t do what Sony does. South Korea is a country as evolved and rich as Japan and they manage to have the likes of Samsung and LG without overpriced products.

    Sony makes great products. They ARE premium products. The problem is that Sony lost the notion of WHAT is a premium price. And I often think they apply Japanese prices to the rest of the World. Even though the rest of the World doesn’t live by Japanese life costs. And the rest of the World, unlike Japan, doesn’t care about the nationality of the products. Japanese are very proud of their products and when they are given a choice, they go with their national brands (the iPhone being the big exception). So Sony can give themselves the luxury to sell a Z3+ for more than the S6Edge in Japan because they know Japanese consumers will prefer the Japanese product (Sony) to the South Korean one (Samsung).

    Problem is…nowhere else in the World do things work like that. And in Europe, for example, for all the goodwill we have towards Sony, no one will pick up a Z3+ over a Galaxy S6 unless the person specifically wants to. Because the S6 offers more for less or the same amount of money. And so the rational choice goes towards the S6.

  • Wolfmachien

    Who told you that the camera of z3+ would be better than the g4?

  • gamer324

    Look I hate overpriced accessories as much as the next guy, but you have to understand that these accessories are only targeted at niche demographics, they are ‘SONY’ products that follow that design aesthetic, these things are for people who must have consistency and symmetry between their device and its accessories (ya know, the OCD type of fans and those tthat only use same-brand accessories out of a fear of some malfunction etc.). Plus you can’t deny that it looks a lot classier than the Anker model, that and Sony uses higher-grade plastics and other materials, these things are manufactured precisely for these ludicrous price points. Sony knows that it doesn’t stand a chance in the value segment, simply because a Sony product can’t be made to sell that cheaply (Don’t say playstation cuz the dualshock 4 bill of materials is less than $20 and it costs $60).

    If you honestly want to point fingers at crappy accessories that are way overpriced, look at the keyboard dock for the z4 tablet, it’s a $150 bluetooth accessory with a mushy-keys keyboard and a trackpad. Basically what you can buy for about $50 if you look for it

    Oh and in closing, the samsung 2A car charger costs 25 quid, and it is uuugly :
    £5 over a samsung charger for a Sony charger is easily justified for me, especially when the Sony one looks so elegantly SONY. And EU always gets the short end of the stick in pricing, basically €40 is likely to be $40 in the US, and that’s mainly down to taxes and legislation as per Sony’s statements.

  • Svnjay

    The PS4 is cheap because the PS3 was overpriced and no one bought it until it got a price drop.

  • janglegirl

    sony products are almost always more expensive than others. they still have a mentality that everyone wants to buy their products. soon sony will just be making spare parts like camera for mobile phones.

  • xperiaDROID

    Stop with your stupid “premium” pricing, Sony! You’re not Apple, you can’t drag so much people to buy your overpriced products like Apple. If only Sony learns to follow Chinese manufacturer’s footsteps, like offering consumers a bang-for-the-buck product that is value for the money, that would be great. I don’t give a shit about the so-called bullshit “premium brand”, in the mobile industry, you’re just a typical Android manufacturer that makes beautiful products but overpriced.

    So, you want me to get this shitty quick car charger from you? Hell no.

  • xperiaDROID

    Tbh, I don’t give a shit about “because they are ‘SONY’ products that follow design aesthetic” blah blah blah…I buy Sony products because I like it, and because of loyalty, not because it is a premium brand. But like is like, loyalty is loyalty, but I don’t buy everything Sony. For example, if Xperia Z5 is still the same, I can always switch to other brands for a while. I don’t need to get a Sony powerbank when I can get a Chinese branded one for way cheaper price, I don’t need to get a Sony smartwatch when I can still wear my lovely Casio watch.

  • Battal Aljadei

    The biggest problem with Sony it’s looking at apple fans not at it’s own .

  • Thariq Mohammed

    G4 has some issues with colours, (purple colour sky) Z3+ is better in stable even without OIS

  • P9

    hope Sony see this post n comments…
    keep up Sony, we still love u best. dont disappoint us more.

  • Alvin

    Reading the title “Sony’s stupidly expensive USB car charger now on sale” made me like: “wow now xperiablog called it stupid, how about timel?”
    Just kidding timel honey

  • Timel

    Don’t forget that 30 years ago Japanese electronics was know as junk and cheap products.

  • Timel

    Is it so hard for you to admit this ugly truth?

  • Abhinav Tella

    Guys you missed the hidden vibrate function, that’s the reason for the cost…. It’s a multi purpose device I’d say it’s a good deal.

    Those thinking about the above mentioned feature, get your mind out of the gutter… It’s for massaging lol.

  • M?rcis Buhholcs

    Some internet shops sell this charger for less than 30€ (some even close to even 20€), so you just have to look arround. Sony official stores always have ridiculous prices for their accesories.

  • 3_nity

    OIS vs Steadyshot. an indiot people still know who is the best

  • Sjoerd Hiemstra

    I don’t mind paying premium, if indeed the product I get has a premium feature. This is just a medium specced car charger, no more, no less. The curled cord can be usefull or annoying, depending where the device being charged has to be positioned in the car. The waterproofing of their smartphones to me still is a nice bonus, as is their 5.x update for older devices (compared to other manufacturers), and their pretty good power management, but this is ridiculous.

  • nfs2010

    While I agree with most of your points except for the fact that korea is not as rich & evolved as Japan. keep in mind that Japan is a G5 nation with word’s third largest economy. Korea is not even in the list of 10 richest Asian countries (GDP per cap). Labor & operating costs along with corporate tax rate are lower in korea.

  • Luuk

    off topic.

    I played demo z3+ at O2 store found the 20M manual mode doesn’t support ISO setting which is fixed as Auto. But my Z1 & friends’ Z3 do support it well.

    Does it just the problem of a demo phone or Sony has added the feature back after recent update?

  • Timel

    My uncle told me that 35 years ago, japanese products were copying german products but sell in lower price, 35 years ago Japanese electronic products always meant junk and very cheap. Sony which is one of those japanese companies was crap before So don’t try to compare Sony to Apple, Sony is not the same level as Apple. Apple was born with premium, Apple has always been premium while Sony is not…

  • nfs2010

    ISO is still fixed at ‘auto’ in both 16 & 20mp modes. They were probably too busy with those cheesy camera modes & forgot to ‘keep’ the ISO setting =) But auto mode itself improved. Oh they also forgot to ‘keep’ the toggle for the active call noise suppression. Looking forward to an update that fixes all of these!

  • Afzal Zainal Rddz

    Wow… It takes only smartphone to start world war 3…. Lol… Iam perfectly fine using old sony ericsson car charger for my current device. If it to expensive just ignored and find a better deal for a car charger.

  • moijk

    The PS3 was expensive because it was a lot more expensive to make.

  • At least it should sport a sony glowing logo for that price, and have a more compelling design.

  • gamer324

    Honestly I don’t get people clammering on about ‘loyalty’ to tech companies, to me it makes no sense at all. I buy products that I like; that satisfy my needs and wants the most.
    Anyway I didn’t mean ‘SONY’ as in a brand premium, I meant it as this device too has all those little attentions to details that most Sony fans (or at least I) love about Sony, from the design to the spiraled cord, it’s hard to describe in words, but I really appreciate these simple little things in device design. Obviously you may like or hate Sony for entirely different reasons, that’s human nature; people are different.
    Anyway That’s why I like Sony products, and yeah a lot of their devices are overpriced (which I normally don’t buy anyway), but this is not one of them, Samsung who always undercuts other name brands in price , charges £25 for its 2A charger, and it’s hard to deny that the Sony charger is a better product than the samsung, not to mention it will probably last wayyy longer. 5 more quid for that hardly seems unjustified.
    But to each their own, I just wanted to give my two cents on the matter.

  • RobertaSBruno
  • marcyff2

    thhere is a huge difference between selling parts and a full device. BMW sells their motors to cooper, but they don’t charge them over the top prices for it

  • Shubham Mutreja

    yeah they (xperiablog) are the only one which are non biased blogs
    look at other blogs like that of nokia.They always talk shit about other phones and claim Nokia is best!

  • Harut Hajin

    SONY NOT APPLE AND NOT HTC OR XIAOMI If think like You WE DONT NEED MERCEDES, INFINITI , PORSCHE OR AUDI BECAUSE THERE ARE OVERPRICED , SONY PRODUCING LOW < MIDDLE AND HIGH END SMARTPHONES FOR EVERYONE < But You all want to buy budget model and get updates and futures like flagman has . Sony can stop producing low price devices` cameras , audio equipment , video equipment , TVs and make only HIGH END and You will wish to buy one of Sony product , and Sony will not destroys because example If 100 people will pay for 500 USD video camera there can sell 1 camera for 25000-1500000 USD and can make more money than 100 people . (sorry for bad English)

  • Aiden Pearce

    z3+ is highest priced globally as per my knowledge!!

  • DBS

    I was thinking more about Seoul. Korea is indeed not as GDP rich as Japan. There’s a great discrepancy in richness in Korea which doesn’t exist as much in Japan. Labour and operating costs are high in Japan, yes, but then again, Sony almost isn’t producing things in Japan anyway, unlike Korean companies. Which means production costs of Sony products (think about the ones like the PS3 which are produced by Foxconn in China) are actually lower than the production costs of Samsung and LG in Korea.

  • That said, you often get discount coupons for the shop, especially for accessories. This makes those way more interesting, as they tend to give 20% or even more off.

  • bigshynepo

    If we want to look at accessories that are overpriced, for an albeit overpriced phone, check out the cases for the Vertu Line. Just the cases run $500-$1000. Outrageous what people will spend their money on.

  • jmaxim917

    Hey Timel, I was not comparing Sony to Apple. Was pointing out that Sony’s overpricing culture was around long before Apple was born. Junk or not they were still overpriced.

  • roeshak

    They’re fools!!!! Period! End of!

  • nfs2010

    Interesting. I buy international models through ebay as Sony takes months to release their phone here in the US. So the ebay prices of those imports gives me an idea about pricing in the rest of the world. Z2 at launch costed me $750 ($1000 in the first week as I bought two Z2) & Z3+ at launch week was $650!

  • Abhinav Tella

    That was then (the old Sony), this is now. Last I checked a lot of very old luxury companies went out of buisness or got bought up when they did dumb things like this.

    Brand is not an excuse, in this day and age of the internet and greater choices people are a bit more educated.

    A lot of Sony TVs ar made by third party only they add the Sony emblem…. There was a NBC or ABC news segment on name brands simply licencing production in China and adding their emblems. Basically the same unbranded TV you could get for lot lower prices. Yes other companies do the same for many products like WiFi routers etc…

    Note- I am not hating on Sony, some other companies do the same stuff… I am looking at you Apple…

  • Abhinav Tella

    here was a NBC or ABC news segment on name brands simply contracting design AND production to Chinese companies and adding their emblems and Sony is also one of many companies……. so cost should not be that high.

    Dont forget HTC was one such company they made some of the Treo series for Palm….

  • percentaged

    By expensive did you mean “AAA games(high budget games)”?

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  • Srikant Boddepalli

    Stop ? fighting. If you don’t like, don’t buy. As simple as that

  • Shamoy Rahman

    Then they should add better specs in their phones like 4GB ram, OLED display, better marketing, and new and improved design. The X Performance is a repeat of the mistake of the Z series.

  • Shamoy Rahman

    Samsung and LG produce their products in China too.

  • DBS

    Not their flagships. I have a G4 and an S7 and both were made in Korea.

  • Shamoy Rahman

    Oh maybe they moved their production lines now but Sony can match Samsung and LG in costs if they use CNC milling and technologies related to robotic manufacturing and 3D printing.

  • Onno Zijlstra

    Point is, I tried numerous car chargers for my Xperia Z. None will charge sufficiently when using TomTom navigation. Only this one.

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