Sony has long been (rightly) criticized for ignoring the US market, opting to release phones here very late or not at all. In the case of the Marshmallow-powered Xperia X series, it's just a little late. These devices were announced at Mobile World Congress a few months ago with only vague talk about a US release, but now all four models are coming to the US in waves. It starts today with pre-orders for the Xperia X. Read More
This time last week, the Xperia E5 was announced by Sony, then un-announced when the company removed any mention of the phone from its social media profiles. It seems like it's ready for a second go though, with a website page now advertising the mid-range handset.
The Xperia E5 packs a 720p 5-inch display and a quad-core MediaTek MTK6735 processor. Sony hasn't mentioned the clock speed, but it likely comes in at 1.3GHz. A reasonably respectable 1.5GB RAM is onboard, as well as 16GB storage with microSD expandability up to 200GB. Camera-wise, the rear shooter is 13MP, with HDR and flash, and a predictable 5MP front-facing camera. Read More
Even though Sony hasn't released the Xperia X, XA, or X Performance yet, it's still busy announcing new phones in the range. The latest to be unveiled is the Xperia XA Ultra, a phone with a curved glass screen and a 16MP front-facing camera.
The highlight here is obviously that front-facing camera. It has optical image stabilisation, like the HTC 10, and a wide angle 88 degrees lens. It's also got HDR, which is good for those low-light selfies. The rear camera isn't half bad either: 21.5MP, HDR, and 5x Clear Image Zoom, which presumably means digital zoom doesn't affect the image quality or something. Read More
How would you like to grab a flagship Android device for $100 less than its retail price? No, I'm not talking about the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, nor the LG G5, and not even the HTC 10. As the title says, we're here to talk about the Sony Xperia Z5.
The phone was announced back in September of 2015, but only came to the US in January of 2016. Even though it's half a year old by now, it still carries a lot of cool specs, like water-resistance and a 23MP camera sensor. The rest of the specs seem a tad less impressive now, but they're still more than adequate: a 5.2" 1080p display, a Snapdragon 810 processor, 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, and a 2900mAh battery. Read More
Fans of Sony's Android phones have long touted the advantages of Stamina Mode, which was a bit like Doze Mode before Marshmallow was a thing. However, Google's requirement that OEMs not fiddle with Doze caused Sony to take Stamina Mode out of its Marshmallow builds. Sony promised it would come back, and now it has in the latest beta update. Read More
Creative is not a name you hear as often in consumer electronics these days. The Singapore-based firm is known for making audio products, including the Zen line of media players. Creative has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that basically every maker of Android phones is infringing its Zen patents by displaying your music. It wants them all banned, but what it really wants is money. Read More
A long time ago, Sony Electronics had a reputation for stubborn adherence to its own proprietary formats. Back when the iPod was just an MP3 player, Sony was still trying to promote its own ATRAC standard that was only available on its own hardware. ATRAC itself was a descendant of MiniDisc, another semi-proprietary format that tried to usurp the CD... not long after Sony had lost the BetaMax war. The company doesn't always lose - Blu-ray is a notable exception - but it doesn't learn very quickly, either. Read More
Last week, Sony had a nice gift for a large portion of the owners of their relatively recent devices: Marshmallow! That was following up on March updates to their newest releases. Still, a few were left out. The wait should be over soon, if not already, for owners of the Z3 Tablet Compact.
The updates are going to both the LTE-enabled and WiFi-only variants of the tablet, which were released in late 2014. Here's the summary info provided by Sony's web pages for each variant:
Android version: Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Latest available software: 23.5.A.0.570
Release started: 2016-04-26
The version number is common to most or all of the recent Marshmallow releases to the Z2 and Z3 lines. Read More
Normally only Nexus and other first-party Google devices get a taste of an upcoming Android version before it's released, barring custom ROMs and other end user activities. But Sony has been offering experimental AOSP builds for some of its phones for some time, and today the company has surprised and delighted owners of the former flagship Xperia Z3 with a custom Android N developer preview. This is more or less the same as the preview builds for Nexus phones and tablets, and it includes the Play Store and Google Services - everything one needs for a full Android experience. Read More
Sony has long offered a feature on its phones called Stamina Mode. When activated, unauthorized apps can't run in the background or run sync jobs. The problem, however, is Stamina Mode interferes with Android 6.0 Doze Mode. Sony took it out of early Marshmallow builds, but the company has now confirmed it's coming back. Read More