Writing an unbiased review is a lot easier said than done. Every reviewer, myself included, has their own preferences, opinions, and experiences that will in some way affect his or her attitudes and conclusions. So rather than pretend that I am an unbiased reviewer, I will begin by telling you a little about the phones I have owned for the last few years. My hope is that this information will lend you greater insight into my thoughts and feelings regarding the Sony Z5.
I like Sony phones. I've owned every generation of the Sony Z series that T-Mobile has sold in the US, including the Z, Z1, and Z3. Read More
Google has steadfastly refused to add a reboot option to the power menu in stock Android over the years. In fact, it removed everything other than "power off" from that menu in Lollipop. Users have been asking for a reboot option forever, and now Sony is asking for it too. Sony has opened a bug tracker issue and submitted a patch to add it, but Google does not appear to be biting. Read More
I remember not that long ago thinking that a 4.7-inch phone screen was pretty large. How could they get bigger than that and still be usable? Surely this is the end of the road... and here we are a few years later and the Xperia Z5 Compact is considered diminutive at 4.6-inches. When I say this phone is small (and it is) I mean it's small compared to every other Android flagship.
Consumers have voted with their dollars and told OEMs they want big phones, leaving the Xperia Compact series as your last bastion of tiny flagship phones. When a device basically owns a niche, it doesn't have to be amazing, it just needs to be. Read More
Earlier this week I posted a deal for a pair of super bass heavy cans, the Sony Bluetooth Extra Bass Headphones. While that set of over-ear audio blasters appealed to some listeners, others may prefer a more balanced sound profile. If that's the style of headphones you're after, you'd be hard pressed to find a pair more popular than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Today, they just happen to be available for their lowest price ever at $119.99, ten bucks off their previous low.
I could write a paragraph extolling the virtues of M50x's, but I won't. If you want to know why they are so well liked, you can find out for yourself by reading some of the nearly 2,500 reviews on Amazon, which award the headphones an average score of 4.7 stars. Read More
I have a bit of a tech addiction, and as such I have a lot of different gadgets floating around my house. Some of the purchases I have made, I will readily admit, were mistakes, and sit around gathering dust unused. There are, however, a few items I've bought that I use so often that when I leave the house without them I feel somewhat exposed. Like that feeling you get when you realize that you forgot your wallet or phone at home.
My Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headset falls into that category for me. I listen to them on my way to work, on my breaks, and on my way home, as well as around the house while I work on projects. Read More
The Sony Z5 currently reigns as the king of smartphone camera quality according to DxOMark. I've had the opportunity to use a review unit as my daily driver for the past week, and I have been pretty impressed with the image quality thus far.
One thing that I hadn't liked, at all, was that Sony was still using the same clunky camera app that debuted with the original Sony Z. Seriously, five generations of devices all using the same cumbersome UI?
That changes today. The Japanese phone manufacturer has begun the roll-out of the major camera app update that they previewed back at IFA. Read More
The first gen Android Wear devices are getting a little long in the tooth, but in the electronics world, with age comes a dramatic drop in price. The smartwatch I have worn daily for the past 9 months is the Sony Smartwatch 3, and I have to say, I don't really feel any need to replace it.
The watch has great battery life, WiFi, GPS, and while the transflective display isn't the prettiest, it sure is functional for outdoor use. The water resistance and silicone band keep me from worrying about damaging it while working in the hospital and MicroUSB charging makes it the easiest Android Wear device to top off when out of the house. Read More
If you don't know what PlayStation Vue is, don't worry, you're not alone. It's not a gaming service of any kind, it's an IPTV subscription that delivers select shows and networks to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It's a sort of hardware-exclusive take on SlingTV. Or at least it was, until Sony announced that the service was expanding to other streaming devices. Amazon's Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will be the first non-Sony hardware compatible with PlayStation Vue, not counting iPhone and iPad.
Apparently there are still no plans for core Android app, but the service will expand to the Chromecast (and presumably Android TV by way of its built-in Cast support) at some point in the future. Read More
MicroSD cards are nice. They take a tiny amount of internal memory and supplement it with however much space you need to store whatever you want. And those little plastic squares happen to go on sale all the time.
Today you can get Sony flash memory on Amazon for super cheap. Read More
Even budget phones are pretty good these days, but most of them suffer from an unfortunate lack of storage. 8GB seems to be the standard (with some going as low as 4GB), and that isn't helped by manufacturers' habit of including a ton of apps you might not need or want. Sony got some negative feedback for the Xperia M4 Aqua's 8GB on the base model, but it looks like they've taken it to heart: the latest update to the phone removes quite a few previously standard apps, freeing up some much-needed storage.
Xperia Blog did a pretty great breakdown on the phone's original storage situation, which left just 1.25GB of free space for users after Android 5.0 and all the included apps. Read More