The Sony S1 and S2 tablets haven't exactly been the best kept secret in Sony's playbook, but we still haven't managed to catch a glimpse of that "heavily modified" version of Honeycomb, either -- until now. Thanks to some screenshots grabbed by CarryPad, we now have a better idea of what this duo of tablets will bring to the table. So lets have a look, shall we?
A quick look at the homescreen and settings menu. As you can see, the pair are already running Android 3.2, so they'll be up-to-date on launch day. The main Honeycomb launcher looks slightly modified, with quick access to favorites, and some possibly network connections via the WiFi icon up top.
Sony Ericsson just dropped a press release announcing that the Xperia arc would be available for purchase in the U.S. beginning in August. On the upside, it will be available through Amazon, Newegg, Buy.com, and through Sony directly. On the downside, they give no mention of the device coming to any carrier, and the unsubsidized price is a whopping $600.
Though the arc presents an enticing exterior, the innards aren't so much so:
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
1GHz Scorpion CPU (MSM8255, same as the fairly dated Desire HD and myTouch 4G)
Yesterday we heard that the Sony S1 tablet could be available for pre-order in the UK in early September, and now Engadget is reporting that the S1's brother, the Playstation-branded Sony S2, will be hitting the States on AT&T's HSPA+ network. Don't expect it to carry the same (lame) S2 name, however, as Sony made sure to note that's just a codename.
What Sony execs didn't note, though, is price, availability, or any other important information that consumers usually want to know. They've kept a fairly tight lid on details surrounding this tablet (and the S1) - we still haven't even seen the "heavily modified" Honeycomb interface, after all.
According to This is my next, rumor has it that one of Sony's upcoming tablets - the S1 - will available for preorder in the UK beginning on September 1st. That's still a couple of months down the road, so pricing, availability, final release date, and other details (including possible US release date) are lacking at the moment.
The S1 is one of a pair of tablets that Sony announced back in April, alongside the clamshell style S2. It houses modest specs, along with an unusual design:
Right: Promo shot; Left: Mockup of the "off-center gravity design"
9.4 inch display
1Ghz dual-core Tegra 2 processor
Front and rear cameras
It also sports a custom overlay on top of Honeycomb, but Sony has yet to let us catch a glimpse of what that is expected to look like.
While Sony broke the news of its upcoming S1 and S2 tablets back in April, there has been little info surrounding the pair since then - until today, that is. German blog Golem got some hands on action with the duo, and even took the time to grab a really quick video of the S2. Before I go any further, have a look:
As anticlimactic as that is, it does give a better idea of the form factor of this dual-screened oddity. Golem compared the feel to a Nintendo DS, and noted that it includes an obvious Playstation logo, suggesting that this device is designed for mobile gaming.
Update: Now with video goodness. In fact, you can watch Maria Sharapova (don't get too excited) talk about the Xperia Active. And hey, she knows about active lifestyle phones, because she's sporty.
Catch the other videos about the Ray (here, and here) and the Active (here). You know, if you want. Also, the word "lifestyle" was definitely used in describing the design of the Ray. I felt queasy.
Today at CommunicAsia (we've never heard of it, either) Sony-Ericsson announced two additions to the Android-powered Xperia line of smartphones: the Ray and Active. Both phones are niche sort of "lifestyle" devices, and will probably be marketed more heavily in Japan than the rest of the world.
$3.99/month for basic and $9.99/month for premium (30-day free trial available) buy you streaming of various catalogs of music from the web (à la Pandora) as well as syncing of your own library to Sony's cloud servers with subsequent playback from said cloud (à la Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Music).
Update 3: ZodTTD, developer of several well-known emulators, recently met a similar fate as yongzh - both his Market account and his apps were removed. Today, he decided to clarify a few things in a blog post, noting that the removal of the apps was not due to an open source violation but rather came as a result of a trademark infringement letter from Sony to Google concerning PSX4Droid's icon. While yongzh did not publish any Sony emulators himself, it does seem that the big guys are taking an active interest in the emulator situation on the Market.
Update 2: Google has issued a generic response to our inquiry asking what led to the takedown:
The Playstation phone Xperia PLAY may not have quite hit store shelves yet, but it has been up for pre-order for a few days now. Amazon and Wirefly are both stepping up their game in an attempt to beat Verizon's price of $200 with contract, though, and have discounted prices accordingly. Specifically, Amazon has dropped the price for new accounts to just $100, and upgrades are $150. Wirefly has pegged both prices at $150, but hopefully they reflect Amazon's lower price in order to stay competitive. Then again, Wirefly includes a $25 Android Market Card and free backup service for life.
If tiny smartphones that pack a punch are your thing, then today is your lucky day. Sony Ericsson just officially announced the new Xperia Mini and Xperia Mini Pro, which are both essentially the same phone, except the latter has a full slide out QWERTY. The new line succeeds last year's X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro, but drops the X10 monicker and heavily beefs up the specs. Here are the details:
3 Inch 320x480 display
1GHz Snapdragon processor
320MB internal storage (ouch), SD Card slot with 2GB card included
5MP rear camera with 720p video capture and face detection
Sony BRAVIA engine
While the pair may not be the hottest thing to hit the streets lately, they definitely have the whole smallest-HD-smartphone thing going for them.