Here at MWC in Barcelona this morning, Sony announced an all-new series of Xperia devices: the X series. Sorry, folks - no Z6 to be found here. But the X Performance may pique your interest regardless. We had a chance to play with the X and XA (the X Performance was not being shown, just dummy units), so let's talk specs and first thoughts.
Since the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and LG G5 have already been leaked to death by almost everyone on earth, Evan Blass, aka @evleaks, is turning his attention toward lesser known devices. He already showed us a family portrait of 6 color variants of the midrange HTC A16 and he's back with another press render, this time for a Sony Xperia device.
There isn't a lot of information to go with the photo, just a PP10 name, which Evan says could either be a codename or a retail branding. I'd personally lean toward the former, especially given how its reminiscent of the new MediaTek Helios P10 processor.
Sony is becoming less and less of a factor in the smartphone world, but their camera sensor modules are second to none. You can find Sony's Exmor camera sensors in more or less every high-end phone on the market these days, including Samsung's Galaxy line and the iPhone. So when the company announces a new high-end sensor, it's kind of a big deal. That's the case today: Sony's camera division has revealed the IMX318, a new sensor with more megapixels, tiny dimensions, and a host of built-in features.
The IMX318 uses 22.5 megapixels, which is a modest bump over the previous 20MP design.
After taking its sweet time releasing the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact in the US, Sony thought charging $600 and $500 respectively for the devices seemed like a good idea. Well, they're already discounted via Amazon for $50-60 off after going on sale February 7th.
While they don't carry the same popularity as flagships from Samsung, HTC, and LG, Sony still has some dedicated fans of its unique hardware. Those fans will be glad to know that the Xperia Z5 and its smaller cousin the Xperia Z5 Compact are now on sale in the United States, right on time. According to Sony's blog post, both phones should now be available at Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, and other electronics retailers. They're both being sold as unlocked GSM phones. At the time of writing Amazon only has the international version (without a US warranty) and Best Buy's website is only showing the Z5 Compact, but B&H seems to have all of the current US models.
There are many ways to go about getting your hands on an Android Wear device, but if your preferred method consists of ordering from the Google Store, there are two fewer options for you to consider. The original Moto 360 and the Sony SmartWatch 3 are no longer showing up for sale on the site.
The Asus Transformer line used to be a stalwart of Android tablets, and 2013's Transformer Pad TF701T was no slouch. The device had a beautiful 2560×1600 display that still holds up today, and like all previous Transformer devices, it had a detachable keyboard. It was intended as a productivity machine, but like all Android devices, the manufacturer only provided a couple years' worth of updates. The tablet went from Jelly Bean to KitKat, and there it stayed.
Fortunately custom ROMs have a way of breathing new life into old devices.
Sony has been rolling out Android 5.1 updates intermittently ever since last July... up to and past the point where Android 6.0's AOSP code has been available to manufacturers. The last few devices that received bumps to 5.1 were the Xperia C4 and C5 Ultra earlier this month, and today the Xperia M5 gets the same treatment. Users can wait for the over-the-air update alert in the usual manner, or use Sony's PC Companion computer program to download and install the update manually.
This "super mid-range" M5 was launched back in August, running Android 5.0 at launch, much to the consternation of Android fans who would have preferred the latest software.
Cell phones need modems. They're pretty important if your plans include making calls and accessing data. Like processors and GPUs, most phone manufacturers don't make their own wireless modems or radios, instead incorporating pre-existing designs into their phones. Sony might soon be able to roll its own wireless components: the Japanese electronics giant has announced that it has finalized plans to buy Altair Semiconductor, a designer of LTE modems based in Israel, for $212 million USD.
The acquisition will allow Sony to produce its own LTE hardware, and possibly sell it to competitors, as is already the case with Sony's widely-used camera modules.