Sony tends not to push its flagship phones on US carriers, for whatever reason. Sometimes a tweaked version will happen along at a later date, and that was the case with the Xperia Z1. T-Mobile got the Xperia Z1s in January of this year, but it was still on Android 4.3. Well, not anymore—KitKat is rolling out now.
In what will surely be a crushing blow to at least four, maybe five gamers across the globe, Sony has announced that it is ending support for its branded PlayStation Mobile game store and platform. If you'll recall, that's the app and control setup that is (or was) exclusive to Xperia phones and tablets, plus a few select models from HTC and Sharp. In a statement posted to the Japanese PlayStation website, the company said that devices running versions of Android past 4.4.3 would not be supported.
When Sony debuted the Live on YouTube app last month, we wondered if compatibility would extend backwards to some other high-end Sony phones. The time is now, Sony smartphone owners... at least if you own one of three very specific models. Last year's flagship the Xperia Z1, its slightly smaller brother the Xperia Z1 Compact, and the high-powered Xperia ZL2 (which is only available in some Asian markets at the moment), all have access to the app as of now.
Perhaps you don't remember the Xperia L – this 2013 handset never made much of a splash in the US. However, it's proven a popular budget device internationally. It probably won't be seeing a ton of update love through official channels, but at least you'll have CyanogenMod. The first nightly build is available for the Xperia L right now.
Sony has announced an impending software update for the Xperia T2 Ultra and the T2 Ultra Dual that will deliver Android 4.4 to both devices. The update contains the changes introduced by KitKat, but it also tosses in a number of Sony-exclusive touches.
Sony's designers have tweaked the status bar and quick settings to make them easier on the eyes, and they've tossed in new animations at launch and on the homescreen that may look familiar to PlayStation 4 owners.
Google officially pulled the HTC One M7, Galaxy S4, Xperia Z Ultra, and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition devices from the Play Store not too long ago. Since then we've seen a couple of them pop up on sale across various distributors. When an eBay seller offered the Galaxy S4 for $499 ($150 off) last month, we considered that a deal. Before that, Expansys USA offered the Z Ultra for the low price of $349, $100 less than what Google last asked for it.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet isn't the most high-profile tablet around, but there are more than a few fans of Sony's unique industrial design. Combine that with the company's unlocked hardware (at least for non-carrier versions), and you've got a perfect candidate for custom ROMs. The CyanogenMod team has started publishing nightly releases for the Z2 Tablet, in both its Wi-Fi (castor) and unlocked GSM (castor_windy) flavors. The first nightly build is available for download now.
Google officially pulled the Xperia Z Ultra GPE from the Play Store a few days ago, but it looks like stock wasn't completely gone. The device has shown up on Expansys USA for just $349.99. That's $100 less than Google's last price for it. We don't know how long it's going to last, but Expansys says it has more then 100 in stock right now.
Tablets that aren't iPads don't sell well on US carriers, probably because no one is all that keen on paying an extra monthly fee in order to use them and/or sharing a limited amount of data. (3G and LTE tablets are much more popular overseas.) So there's really no point in pre-ordering a tablet from a carrier, unless you absolutely have to have it on day one. If that's the case for the Xperia Z2 Tablet, let your fingers do the walking over to Verizon's website.