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.
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.
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.
One of the cooler things that went a bit unnoticed at this years CES was, without a doubt, Sony's all-new XSP-N1BT automotive stereo head unit. No, it's not exactly the most exciting name in the world, but Android enthusiasts may be snatching up this double DIN unit with great enthusiasm when it arrives in May for $250 for one reason: in consort with Sony's control app, it turns your Android smartphone into a touchscreen control unit for your car stereo.
Sony is a huge electronics and media company, so of course they aren't limiting their CES presence to phones. But there's one item that should be of interest to Android gamers: PlayStation Now. This newly-announced service will stream PlayStation games over the Internet to compatible hardware, and includes more than just PlayStation consoles. Sony explicitly announced support for the PS3, PS4, PS Vita, and certain Bravia televisions at CES, but the presentation and press materials say that support for phones and tablets will come eventually.
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.