Sony has announced a maintenance update for the Xperia Z1 and the Z Ultra, which are just hitting American shores today. The devices are staying on Android 4.2 for the time being, but there are a number of important improvements on the way.
Sony hasn't been great about getting its flagship devices on US carrier lineups, but you can always buy them unlocked from the Sony store. That's the deal today as the Xperia Z1, Zperia Z Ultra LTE, and Smartwatch 2 hit the US Sony online store. The Ultra's status has been updated to shipping, but the other two devices are pre-order for now. You might have to bust open your piggybank, though.
We've known that Sony has been gearing up to launch a smaller version of its new Xperia Z1 flagship, but leaks were all we had to go on. Well, while you were busy not being in Japan, Sony announced the Xperia Z1f at a DoCoMo event in the land of the rising sun. Don't judge it by its size – this is not just another mid-range device.
The Z1f is built around a 4.3-inch 720p display, which works out to 341 pixels per inch.
Back at IFA, I got my hands on Sony's QX10 lens camera, one of two such devices the electronics manufacturer announced in Berlin. I wasn't sure what I thought about it then, having only played with it for about a day, but I've spent some quality time with the device since, and I'm ready to lay down my full impression.
For those not quite up to speed, the QX10 (and its higher-end counterpart, the QX100) is a camera in a lens.
More than a few Android users are lamenting the fact that high-end phones seem to be approaching the size of small billboards. For all you hoping for a true superphone that you can actually hold in one hand, Sony appears to have heard you. XperiaBlog is showing off what appears to be a catalog for Japanese Carrier NTT DoCoMo with a listing for the 4.3-inch Xperia Z1 f, which may indeed be the rumored Xperia Z1 Mini.
Give Sony points for creativity if nothing else: the QX series is unlike any gadget you've seen before. These smartphone add-on lenses made a big impact (for better or worse) at IFA and now the cheaper model is available for purchase on Amazon, right on schedule. The DSC-QX10 is $248 in both black and white, but the QX100 is marked as releasing on October 15th, and shows as "out of stock" from one of the other resellers.
Sony's Xperia Z1 (nee "Honami") made a bit of a splash at IFA in Berlin a few weeks ago. The phone's focus on high-quality imaging via a 20.1 megapixel camera, combined with the undeniably slick high-end industrial design that Sony has been putting out for the last few years, has already earned it a few fans. As usual, Sony has posted the required open-source kernel files for the new device to their developer website, this time before the hardware is actually available for purchase.
Nintendo hoped to revolutionize console gaming when it slapped a 6-inch touchscreen in the middle of the Wii U Gamepad, providing anyone who bought the console with a tablet that can manipulate objects on their television screen. While Sony launched the PlayStation Vita with a touchpad and has inserted one onto the upcoming PlayStation 4 controller, it's sought a cheaper way to provide their gamers with a similar tablet experience. That's why when Beyond: Two Souls launches for the PlayStation 3 early next month, gamers can use the newly released companion app BEYOND Touch to play the game in place of their usual controller.
In a post to its blog today, Sony gave a brief look at a new device to be announced this Sunday, the 15th of September.
What the company calls the BRAVIA Smart Stick looks like a waffle or small wafer cookie, and "plugs into the MHL connection on the back of 2013 Sony BRAVIA televisions, with another short cable plugged into the USB port for power." Right now it's unclear if the device will be compatible with other TV models.
What kind of barbarian would take the living room tablet into the bedroom? Or the bedroom tablet into the den? Outrageous! You need to have a tablet for each room if you want to be a civilized human being. Sony gets that, which is why it has announced the Xperia Tablet Z Kitchen Edition. It's the regular Tablet Z, but with some cooking-oriented accessories (and a higher price tag).
Internally, this is the same Xperia Tablet Z we've seen before with a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.