As we near the end of spring, so too nears the end of the mainstream release cycle for four of the biggest Android OEMs on the planet. Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony all have competitive flagship devices on the market now, and none of them clearly edges out the others in a holistic sense. They're all very good smartphones in an extremely competitive product category.
Not pictured: Xperia Z2, because I don't have one to picture.
Update: Xperia Blog has confirmed this update is, in fact, Android 4.3. I can confirm that T-Mobile does, in fact, suck at changelogs. The version has also been tweaked to 10.4.C.0.814.
It might not be the latest and greatest anymore, but the Sony Xperia Z on T-Mobile is still getting some update love today. That mysterious Android 4.3 update that was pulled a few months back still isn't back, apparently. Instead, you get some small tweaks.
There comes a time in many Android enthusiasts' lives when the urge to flash a custom ROM becomes too great, but that desire alone isn't worth jack squat without a custom recovery. The Team Win Recovery Project (yup, that's what TWRP stands for) is one of the more popular and reliable options out there, which makes it good news to for tinkerers with a Sony Xperia Z2 that support has landed for their device.
TWRP will let you flash ROMs and ZIP files, but before that, it will also give you the means to back up your device.
Let's talk about money. We all seem to really like that stuff, but most of us never have enough of it. The best way to ensure our money goes further is, of course, through budgeting and planning. Sure, it's tedious and not a lot of fun (or no fun at all), but being broke four days before payday isn't any fun, either; sometimes you have to pick the lesser of two evils.
We've seen a leaked shot of the Xperia Z2 bearing Verizon's markings, and now it's the Xperia Z2 Tablet's turn. @evleaks has shared an image depicting the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet with the carrier's branding centrally located square on its back. You know it's Verizon's because its logo is larger than the manufacturer's.
At 6.4mm, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is very thin, and at 425 grams, it's very light. The device comes with a 10-inch 1920 by 1080 display, a Snapdragon 801 processor, and 3GB of RAM.
You couldn't swing a dead cat at Mobile World Congress back in February without hitting a smartwatch or a fitness band. (Not that you would want to. Barcelona probably has some kind of municipal ordinance against dead feline hurling.) After teasing us with the companion app, Sony has finally released the Smartband SWR10 in the US. This screenless Bluetooth activity tracker will cost you a C-note on Sony's online store, and it should be showing up at other retailers soon.
The mid-range market continues to expand into larger and larger handsets, and Sony doesn't want to be left behind. To that end, they've announced the Xperia T3, a 5.3-inch Android phone with an awesome industrial design, but internals that will leave hardware buffs wanting more. The star of the show is an all-steel body that's admirably thin at just 7mm. It will be available globally in late July.
Move past the admittedly pretty body (available in white, black, or purple), and you'll see hardware that's shooting for the bottom of the mid-range.
The FreeXperia team of contributors help maintain CyanogenMod support for Xperia devices, and they've done such a great job that Sony has decided to hire one of the group's developers. Alin Jerpelea was one of FreeXperia's founders in 2010, and he is now the newest member of Sony's Developer Program. Having already built up a reputation for his work bringing the freshest CyanogenMod ROMs to Sony devices, he will now help the company with its open source initiatives.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that "the next big thing" that Sony is teasing in this coy blog post is not a pretty lady in a red dress. While those are always appreciated, they've been around for a while. No, that oh-so-subtle headline probably has more to do with the device hanging out in the foreground.
The Sony SmartWatch 2 still goes for $199.99 new, but today you can get one around your wrist for less than half the price. Cow Boom, a Best Buy brand, has pre-owned Sony smartwatches in stock that it's willing to let go for $79.99. These may come with scratches and dents, but they're still going to work. I'll admit, that may not sound entirely compelling, but that's the risk you take whenever you buy something used.