When Google first pulled the lever on Chromecast's screen casting, the functionality was limited to a select number of devices. Well, it still is, but the list is slowly growing, and we've noticed that the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact have made their presence known towards the bottom. This puts them in the same exclusive club as a number of Nexus, Galaxy, One, and G devices (boy is it awkward to say these names without the manufacturer attached).
You know those scary warnings that show up whenever you unlock the bootloader on a phone? "We can't be held responsible... blah blah... reduced functionality... blah... fiery death... blah blah blah." Sometimes they aren't kidding. Users who have unlocked the new Xperia Z3 Compact have found that low-light camera performance drops considerably. It turns out to be because of DRM in Sony's image signal processing.
Recently there's been a rumor that Sony is planning on releasing stock AOSP ROMs (clean, Nexus-style builds of Android) for some of its high-end phones and tablets. It's easy to understand why Sony in particular might attract that kind of attention: the company has better support for aftermarket development than most, promptly releasing binaries and source code on the company's own GitHub and even some developer-grade AOSP builds. But as for consumer-ready, finished and fully supported AOSP ROMs?
With a new Sony smartphone comes a new Sony ad campaign, and the Z3's has just been released in the form of (so far) eight videos published on the company's Xperia YouTube channel. While seven of the spots are actually one and the same product storyline edited differently to showcase various features, one of the ads really did strike me as genuinely good, which is pasted below.
It's 3 minutes or so long, so it's a bit of a lengthy video as an ad, but I think Sony really nails the "product as hero" thing here with just the right mix of emotion (eg, not going overboard) and real human interest story.
It's great that OEMs are using the Play Store to distribute apps to their devices these days. However, Sony might be taking it a little far with a trio of new apps for Xperia devices. AR fun, Ninja, and Sticker Creator exist now, and no amount of wishing will make them go away.
All three of these apps are ways to add stuff to your pictures within the Sony camera app.
When Sony announced that the PlayStation 4's Remote Play feature would be available to Android phones and tablets in November, gamers got excited... right up to the point where they found out that the feature would be exclusive to the new Xperia Z3 line. While the Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact look like fine machines, that isn't much consolation if you can't afford them or can't even find them in your country.
Everything dies. It's kind of a grim reality we have to face, but there's nothing in this world that's truer. One day, everything and everyone you love will die. There is no escaping it. Now for a bit of lighter news: Sony is finished updating the Xperia L, M, C, and SP. While that's generally bad news, I tried to ease the blow by reminding you that you're going die one day.
Sony has announced that the latest version of KitKat is now rolling out to many of its Xperia products with Z in their name. That includes the Z, the ZL, the ZR, and the Tablet Z. For the confused, no, I'm not talking about smearing chocolate all over a Wii U controller. Sony just really likes the final letter of the alphabet, and it's now delivering Android 4.4.4 to four devices all bearing Z in their names.
We had a chance to take a few minutes with Sony's latest and greatest in Berlin earlier today, and I have to say: we left impressed. While the company's smartphones have had basically zero market penetration in the US (aside from on T-Mobile), the Z1 and Z2 were both fine flagship devices when stacked up against their contemporary competitors.
The Z3 isn't a big upgrade over the Z2, for sure, but it does have a few noteworthy refinements.