Here at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Sony is announcing new entries to its Xperia smartphone line at all levels. The flagship Z series, last updated only six months ago at Mobile World Congress, has been bolstered with the Xperia Z3. This device is the tip top of Sony's line, though in terms of sheer hardware it's an evolution rather than a revolution. The 5.2-inch 1080p screen, Snapdragon 801 processor (bumped up to 2.5Ghz), and 20.7MP rear camera are similar to the last iteration, but the body is much thinner at 7.3mm.
It's hard to believe something as wacky as Sony's QX series of add-on smartphone lenses could be considered "conventional." But compared to the QX1 leaked yesterday, which may allow any Sony E-series lens to mount onto a standard phone, the new QX30 is rather plain. Sony Alpha Rumors posted shots of the newest member of the QX family, which includes an impressive 30x optical zoom (4.3mm-129mm) in the same form factor.
The Sony leaks are not over yet—Xperia Blog has what appears to be a press shot of the Xperia Z3 in copper, as well as a glimpse of Sony's new SmartBand. With an e-ink screen, this accessory will probably get mega-long battery life.
Sony's QX100 and QX10 lenses are add-on gadgets that purport to give your phone DSLR-quality imaging capabilities. While the concept of those devices is more interesting than their execution, it looks like Sony is set to change the game with its next version. Photos of the "ILCE-QX1" leaked by Sony Alpha Rumors show what's basically an independent E-mount module, which might just support any of the various Sony E-mount lenses already on the market.
It's been less than six months since Sony announced the top-of-the-line Xperia Z2 back at Mobile World Congress, but it looks like the company may be ready to release yet another iteration at IFA in Berlin. A Facebook fan page (reported by the reliable XperiaBlog) posted photos of what looks a lot like the next Xperia superphone, the Z3. A sticker on the device includes specifications, though there's no way to confirm them.
Sources are saying that Sprint will soon offer a Sony smartphone in the US for the first time. We can't tell you who these sources are, but they're the kind that have spoken to Reuters and The Wall Street Journal in two separate reports. And the device apparently won't be cheap either. We're talking about an upcoming Xperia flagship. With Sony expected to unveil the Z3 at IFA next week, well, you can fill in the blanks from here.
Owners of the Xperia T, TX, and V had a little hope before today that their beloved devices would see some of that KitKat goodness, but now their hopes lay dashed to bits at the feet of Sony's heartless engineers. These devices won't be making the jump to Android 4.4 KitKat, but will continue to live on with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Sony has announced the Xperia M2 Aqua, a variant of the M2 that it's marketing as "the waterproof smartphone for everyone." It's Sony's first water-resistant phone with mid-range specs, and it's apparently ready to swim with the best of them.
In the small print, we see that the Xperia M2 Aqua is IP65 and IP68 compliant, meaning that it can withstand dust and survive being kept under 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
Sony's been on a slow roll lately, steadily pushing KitKat to various Xperia devices. Today marks the release of the 4.4.4 update for the Xperia M2 and M2 Dual, which also brings some additional functionality by way of Sony-specific tweaks.
We’ve added our tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (and pretty easy on the eye)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and live wallpaper across the lock and home screens
Better storage choice – you now have the option to easily move applications from internal memory to SD card – we recognised the need to have more control over your content… as something particularly useful for devices with slightly less space
We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, Smart Connect, TrackID, What’s New, and Battery STAMINA Mode, Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies
And proving pretty popular, now totalling over 2 million downloads (!) – our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…
Compatibility with our SmartWear Experience; SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app – enabling you to record social, physical and entertainment activities and have them all visualised in a beautiful interface… reminisce at that past, make the best of the present and plan for the future
Now that Android Wear is a thing and watches are coming out that turn Google's take on the concept into a reality, it's time for the more budget-minded among us to turn their eyes over to some of the previous smartwatches that tackled the form factor before it was cool. One such option is the Sony SmartWatch 2, a device that was never mind-blowing but perfectly capable of displaying calls and notifications like the alternatives that have launched since.