The Sony Xperia Z Ultra has a 6.4-inch screen, which is dangerously close to the the tablet side of things. Apparently Sony agrees – a new version of the Xperia Z Ultra has been announced in Japan that does away with the cellular connectivity. Now it's just a tiny tablet instead of a monstrously huge phone.
Motorola has been making a name for itself by uploading many of its pre-installed apps (both the exciting and the utterly mundane) into the Play Store where it can serve out updates more quickly, but the Google-owned company isn't the only one to make use of this approach. Today Sony has uploaded the Xperia ZI's Timeshift Burst functionality into the Play Store.
Update: According to comments, the app is also compatible with a handful of other Sony devices, including the Xperia Z, ZL, ZQ, and the Tablet Z.
One of the many vectors which delivers leaked information on upcoming phones is the device benchmark score. Many apps upload the results to online leaderboards for all to see. There's quite a bit of information to be gleaned from these online listings – basically the entire spec list. Now Sony is looking to plug this leak by blocking benchmarking apps.
It's no secret that some of the biggest mobile hardware gets announced at Mobile World Congress, fast approaching at the end of February. So it's about this time of year that we expect to start seeing major leaks from OEMs. Queue XperiaBlog, hot on the trail of the next Sony devices as usual. Today they've published an absolutely massive gallery of screenshots from an upcoming Sony phone, codenamed "Sirius" and running Android 4.4.2.
There's not a legitimate Sly Cooper game on Android yet, but you can get a tiny bit closer with a new game from Sony. Bentley's Hackpack is a collection of three minigames that originally launched last year on PSN alongside Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time for PS3 and Vita. Now you can get these minigames on Android.
The new Xperia Z1s on T-Mobile is almost identical to the international Z1, except for the radio bands and some software tweaks. One thing that definitely isn't the same is the bootloader – it appears that T-Mobile has requested Sony not allow bootloader unlocks on this device. For a company trying to upend the traditional carrier model, this is awfully old-fashioned carrier behavior.
Sony understands wearables, for the company's no stranger to Bluetooth headsets, earbuds, and, more recently, smartwatches. Now it's hitting CES with a new vision of SmartWear, a.k.a, basically whatever Sony makes that can pair with a phone and fit comfortable on, or in, your body. The most interesting of the newly unveiled gadgets is the SmartBand, a FitBit Flex-style bracelet that logs your activities throughout the day. It's thin, safe to wear in the shower, and has enough battery life to last for up to five days.